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British sculptor of Indian birth. Kapoor spent his early years in India, first in Bombay (Mumbai), and then in Dehra Dun at the Doon School. As a teenager, he moved to Israel, and then to Britain to attend Hornsey College of Art and Chelsea School of Art and Design, both in London, and he has been based in that city since.
He was one of a generation of British-based sculptors who became established in the international arena during the 1980s and is prominent among his contemporaries for the quality of hermetic lyricism that permeates his work. He has acknowledged a bearing on his art of both Western and Eastern culture. The powerful spiritual and mythological resonances of his sculptures arise in part from frequent return visits to India. Natural materials such as sandstone, marble and slate are impregnated with raw powdered pigment of vivid hues, thus enhancing a feeling of inner radiance.
In the early 1990s he introduced a more enigmatic slant by boring holes in the flanks of standing stones, while in The Earth (1992; installed San Diego, CA, Mus. A.; Des Moines, IA, A. Cent.; Ottawa, N.G.; and elsewhere) a perfect circle was removed from the gallery floor to intimate the generative effect of negative space.
In other works impressions of weightlessness stem from the skilled transformation of materials by an almost alchemical process; earth slabs coated with brilliant blue pigment become signs for sky and water. By imaginative combination of disparate materials in meditative structures, attention is focused on qualities of interior balance and well-being.
Throughout his career, Kapoor has worked extensively with architects and engineers. Kapoor insists that this body of work is neither pure sculpture nor pure architecture. Notable architectural projects include the recently announced Tees Valley "Giants", the worlds five largest sculptures in collaboration with Cecil Balmond of ARUP AGU, two subway stations in Naples in collaboration with Future Systems, an unrealised project for the Millennium Dome, London, (1995) in collaboration with Philip Gumuchdjian, a proposal for the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and "Building for a Void", created for Expo '92, Seville, in collaboration with David Connor. “Taratantara” (1999-2000) was installed at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and later at Piazza Plebiscito, Naples.
Kapoor represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, 1990, where he was awarded the Premio Duemila. The following year, he won the prestigious Turner Prize.
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