Anish Kapoor

Hayward Gallery

Hayward Gallery, 30 April – 14 June 1998

This exhibition was the first major showing of Anish Kapoor’s work in a public gallery. It featured over 20 large-scale works made since the 1990s, among them In the Beginning (1997) and When I am Pregnant (1992), as well as a number of new site-specific works that responded to the unusual architecture of the Hayward Gallery.

Early exhibition outline for Anish Kapoor's solo show at Hayward Gallery.

Anish Kapoor described the exhibition – which took over the entirety of the gallery, including the sculpture terraces – as ‘like theatre, but not theatrical’. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue featuring an essay by Homi K Bhabha.

Rather than following a chronological order, the works in this exhibition unfolded as a sequence of discrete experiences. In the first gallery, visitors encountered My Body Your Body (1993), Iris (1998) and Suck (1998). ‘Together’, argued Hayward Gallery’s Martin Caiger-Smith, these three works 'evoke a sense of the presence of the body, and the entire space itself as a body.’ Turning the World Upside Down III (1996) was exhibited on one of the sculpture terraces.

Image and drawing of Kapoor's Descent into Limbo (1992).

In the exhibition guide Caiger-Smith describes the way in which Kapoor's disorientating site-specific works – At the Edge of the World II (1998) and Iris (1998) – appeared to grow out of the Hayward Gallery's walls and floors.

Marketing leaflet for Anish Kapoor: Descent into Limbo.

Talks and Events leaflet for Anish Kapoor at Hayward Gallery.

The exhibition received over 66, 000 visitors. For Richard Dorment, writing in the Daily Telegraph, Kapoor’s works, at their best, were enough to make him ‘almost die of pleasure.’

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