‘There is a history in the stone, and through this simple device of excavating the stone, it's just as if a whole narrative sequence is suddenly there’ – Anish Kapoor
Emerging from the overwhelming, velvety blackness of Belgian black stone, Anish Kapoor’s Untitled professes a profound physicality within its twinned hollows. The tactile, roughly hewn exterior complements the smooth, polished cavities that Kapoor has carved from the black stone. Created in 2002, the year of the artist’s celebrated installation Marsyas at the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London, Untitled is a sensitive articulation of presence and an extension of decades-long enquiry into the unique essence and transformative qualities of sculpture. Although a key to this sculpture are its hollowed recesses, Kapoor never views these voids as vacant or silent expanses; rather, he understands them to be ‘transitional spaces’ that have ‘much to do with time.’ Reflecting, he said, ‘I have always been interested as an artist in how one can somehow look again for that very first moment of creativity where everything is possible, and nothing has actually happened. [The void] is a space of becoming… 'something' that dwells in the presence of the work… that allows it or forces it not to be what it states it is in the first instance’ (A. Kapoor, in conversation with H. Bhabba, 1998, reprinted in Anish Kapoor, exh. cat. Hayward Gallery, London 1998, p. 32). Kapoor allows his materials to be mutable and unfixed, suspended together in delicate equilibrium, and Untitled operates as an existential portal, a meeting point between the tangible and intangible worlds. In his search for new ways of harnessing the sublime, Kapoor crafts a physical and eloquent expression of the void; it is his desire to create objects which are not objects, ‘to make a hole in the space, to make something which actually does not exist’ (A. Kapoor, quoted in C. Lewallen, ‘Anish Kapoor’, View, vol. 8, no. 4, 1991).