How to describe Anish Kapoor’s new show? In the language of the movie pitch, you might say the funhouse mirror meets Richard Serra (downsized). But that would take out the rush of excitement so unique to almost any new work by Kapoor. Even though one issue here is also scale, and this show does have its own mini tilted arc, the comparison stops there because unlike Serra’s monumentality, Kapoor’s scale is ambiguous. In front of the four pieces in this new addition to the Chelsea spaces, I can’t decide if the reflective surfaces are grand or intimate. Like funhouse mirrors, they distort and contort, deform and transform the viewer’s body, to such an extent one almost experiences a sea-sickness. Nevertheless, that fluctuating scale seems magical and precious because the work achieves a unique intimacy that feels immense. Looking at one’s reflection flip upon it’s head there is a disembodying moment that gives to the funhouse mirror a laugh that has echoes of the metaphysical.
Images: Installation view; Vertigo (2008). Courtesy Barbara Gladstone Gallery.