​anish kapoor invades versailles

The artist takes over the gardens of the former royal palace with sky mirrors, wax cannons and even a "queen's vagina".

by Oscar Heliani
09 June 2015, 12:00pm

The royal French castle in the suburbs of Paris is already familiar with intrusive contemporary artists. Since 2008, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Giusseppe Penone or Lee Ufan inhabited both rooms and gardens. This year's invitation was addressed to Anish Kapoor. The French public hasn't forgotten the British Indian sculptor and his breathing monster Leviathan sleeping on the ground of Grand Palais in 2011. An aesthetic shock and a physical experience which provoked very contrasted reactions at the time.

For Versailles, Mister Kapoor bore in mind the historical environment. Some objets will reflect the beauty of the 17th century castle. He used his favourite materials to tame the immense space usually devoted to gardens and fountains. Pigments are mixed with wax for Shooting in the corner piece, a cannon firing wax bullets installed in Salle du Jeu de Paume. Although the exhibition opens today, reactions against sculpture called Dirty Corner are already roaring. The steel and rock sculpture is meant to be abstract but the British artist explained to a journalist that it was "the vagina of a queen who is taking power". Kapoor himself said he doesn't remember using these words to describe the sculpture although he admits the vagina word.


Text Oscar Heliani

Anish Kapoor
oscar helliani