ANISH KAPOOR, « SKY MIRROR (FOR HENDRIK), DE PONT MUSEUM TILBURG

Anish Kapoor – Sky Mirror (for Hendrik) – De Pont Museum, Tilburg (The Netherlands) – From september 16, 2017.

On Saturday 16 September, a large sculpture by Anish Kapoor, to be situated in the area in front of De Pont Museum in Tilburg, will be unveiled in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix. Sky Mirror (for Hendrik) is a gift commemorating the museum’s twenty­-fifth anniversary. Tilburg will be the first Dutch city to have a Kapoor sculpture in its public space.

Anish Kapoor’s sculpture for De Pont museum in Tilburg is the first outdoor art project of Anish Kapoor in the Netherlands. Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay, India but has lived in London since 1970s. He is a Turner prize-winning artist who has exhibited his works in institutions worldwide including the Tate London, Kunsthaus Bregenz and Institute of Contemporary Art Boston amongst others. Anish Kapoor’s studio produces many large scale works for the public space.

Sculpture in public space
Tilburg, the home base of museum De Pont in the Netherlands, is the first city in the Netherlands that prides itself on having a work of Anish Kapoor in the public space. The ‘Sky Mirror (for Hendrik)’ sculpture, that Anish Kapoor created for the De Pont museum Tilburg, is produced in 2017 and it is a one of a kind in the ‘Sky Mirror’ series. Works from the ‘Sky Mirror’ series are made of polished steel. Anish Kapoor has installed several of these works in different parts of the world since 2006. ‘Sky Mirror (for Hendrik)’ has been inaugurated on 17 September 2017 by the former queen of the Netherlands Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix.

The steel statue is dedicated to the director of the De Pont museum Tilburg, Hendrik Driessen, hence the title ‘Sky Mirror (for Hendrik)’. Hendrik Driessen has a long standing working relationship with Kapoor. The De Pont museum owns several works of the Indian born artist.

Sky Mirror reflection
The ‘Sky Mirror (for Hendrik)’ is a highly polished rectangular sheet of steel of approximately 2 x 6 sqm. The metal sheet is slightly warped and hovers at a tilted angle of approximately 30 degrees over a round brick pond that is linked to another pond made from the same material. The sculpture mimics the reflection of its surroundings, which can be divided into two sections; man-made and pure nature. In the combination of these two opposites, and through Anish Kapoor’s genius work of art, we perceive infinite reflections and illusions of endless space. The amorphous form of the pond’s environment together with image of the infinite sky creates a fitting metaphor attempting to redefine the the museumDe Pont’s entrance

Open ended opposites
This intervening sculpture is invariably open-ended. When one looks at it from the museum entrance side, it’s almost like music in the sky, an uplifting experience. Be careful what you wish for though when walking around the sculpture. One might find oneself standing between the carefully layout plants in many shades of green. A well defined dark shape comes into your vision. This rectangular shape pulls darkness in, and it seems to have intruded the environment like a mournful and misplaced tune. This view is in stark contrast to the opposite side. Instead of light, sky and clouds this side of the work touches upon a possible inner struggle. An encounter with an inner dark side that reflects the flip side of the self. It can easily become a tormenting experience that takes one unaware. Fortunately these gloomy dark patches will gently flow away with time and the water when we walk to the front again. There where we cannot help but contemplate further the movements of the mesmerising sky views.

The mirror’s use in self-portraiture is a straightforward one, but there it is another factor that seals the bond between an artist and a looking-glass such as Anish Kapoor’s ‘Sky Mirror (for Hendrik)’. It is as if the sculpture’s objective is to hold up a mirror to reality and therefore implying that the artist is a kind of mirror too. Although Anish Kapoor’s ‘Sky Mirror (for Hendrik)’ is a work of art that is modest in size compared to some other works from the Sky Mirror Series, it makes waves and definitely demonstrates a lingering resilience for Tilburg and De Pont museum now and in the future.

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