Hot 50: ANISH KAPOOR

A prolific 2009 peppered with exhibitions and festivals makes influential artist, pioneering sculptor and winner of the 1991 Turner Prize Anish Kapoor hard to ignore. In March, he collaborated with engineer Cecil Balmond to design five giant outdoor sculptures, as part of the Tees Valley regeneration.

Then, in September, London’s Royal Academy of Arts was home to a display of weird and wonderful sculptures. The exhibition offered a retrospective of Kapoor’s career to date, featuring the aptly named Shooting in the Corner, a cannon filled with red wax shooting every 20 minutes on to the academy’s stark white walls, and a towering steel structure, Tall Tree and the Eye, which dominated the courtyard.

Appointed artistic director at the 2009 Brighton Festival by chief executive Andrew Comben, Kapoor pursued his hedonistic ideas with a trail of sites around the city. All aim to disorientate and distort the public’s perceptions, with funfair-like mirrors and a concave satellite dish called Sky Mirror pulling tree tops and clouds out of shape.

Kapoor creates challenging, serious sculptures which also have a light touch and manage to entertain the viewers, encouraging younger visitors too to develop an interest in art.

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