Anish Kapoor. Untrue Unreal at Palazzo Strozzi

Anish Kapoor, renowned British artist of Indian origin, has always had a close relationship with Italy. He has exhibited works in several Italian museums, such as the MAXXI in Rome and the Prada Foundation in Milan, he chose Venice to open his namesake Foundation inside Palazzo Manfrin and he even designed the entrance to line 7 of the Naples metro.
Now he has also arrived in Florence with the great exhibition Anish Kapoor.Untrue Unreal, open at Palazzo Strozzi until February 4th.
The exhibition proposes a journey through historical works and site-specific works, specifically designed taking into account the spaces of the building.
As soon as we enter the courtyard we immediately find ourselves in front of the first work in dialogue with the architecture of the building, Void Pavillion VII (2023), which makes visitors reflect on the idea of space and perspective, thanks to the immersive experience in a environment created specifically for the occasion.
Going up to the main floor the exhibition itinerary begins with the iconic Svayambhu (2007), a Sanskrit term which means "self-generated" and refers precisely to the fact that the work here is created autonomously and in real time: an enormous block of red wax moves slowly on a guide between two rooms of the palace, morphing and leaving traces of itself as it passes through one of the large Renaissance doors.

Further on we find Endless Column (1992), which is inspired by the homonym sculpture by Constantin Brancusi. Kapoor's column of red pigment seems to come from underground and break through all the floors of the building, stretching towards the sky ad infinitum. Here we begin to understand a fundamental idea that Kapoor wants to convey through many of his works, namely that the artwork transcends matter, a concept reiterated even more clearly in the next room.
The "black works" series make use of the famous Vantablack, an innovative pigment composed of carbon nanotubes, which is capable of absorbing more than 99.9% of the visible light. This almost absolute black makes it nearly impossible to distinguish the internal contours of the painted object and therefore the third dimension.
Kapoor creates works that are real black holes of perception, that confuse and make the viewer dizzy. Even knowing already that they are painted surfaces, the viewer's eye cannot help but look for something more within these works made of darkness, which appear like portals to another dimension, where space is potentially infinite.

Just like his "black holes", a work like Vertigo (2006) attracts the viewers, sucks them into its center and disrupts their perception of reality, in this case literally turning it upside down, stretching it, distorting it and arousing precisely a sense of vertigo and disorientation.
The exhibition concludes with pieces of sky fallen to earth: Angel (1990) is a work composed of large stones covered with electric blue pigment, which seems to want to give a concrete and tangible form to the abstract idea of sky, of paradise, of an otherworldly dimension.

Anish Kapoor invites us to explore the world beyond the boundaries of reality, to transcend matter and to question our senses. We follow him with curiosity on this surprising journey.

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