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Tall Tree & The Eye

Over the past 30 years, sculptor Anish Kapoor has undertaken investigations into objecthood that have expanded Post-Minimalist practices and had a profound effect on the course of contemporary sculpture. Exploring color, scale, materiality, space, and process, he has worked iteratively through major themes and bodies of work, or what the artist calls "form languages". Like his early "voids", his more recent architecturally inspired, site-specific installations are phenomenological events that elicit both intimate and collective experiences. For Kapoor, the object is always in a state of becoming as it transits through varying processes of self-generation, dissolution, fragmentation, and multiplication. The body and gaze of the viewer are all-important elements of the work, as each viewer brings his or her own subjective reality to bear while witnessing and contemplating these powerful sculptural presences.

Kapoor's monumental Tall Tree and the Eye (2009), recently installed outside the museum alongside outdoor works by Louise Bourgeois, Daniel Buren, Jeff Koons, and Fujiko Nakaya, consists of 73 reflective spheres anchored around three axes. This illusionistic work continues the artist's examination of complex mathematical and structural principles embodied in sculptural form. The mirrored surfaces of the orbs reflect and refract one another, simultaneously creating and dissolving form and space. Images of the surrounding city, including the Nervión river, Buren's sculptural intervention on La Salve Bridge (Arcos rojos/Arku gorriak, 2007), and the museum itself, are cast into dynamic suspension. Kapoor reminds us of the instability and ephemerality of our vision-and by extension of our world.

Anish Kapoor

Tall Tree & The Eye (Tall Tree & The Eye), 2009

Stainless steel and carbon steel

13 x 4.4 x 4.4 m

Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

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