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New triumph story in steel

Mumbai-born, London-based Anish Kapoor has been named a trustee at Tate Gallery, reports Poonam Goel.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 15:02 IST
Poonam Goel
Poonam Goel

The man often hailed as Britain's greatest living sculptor is in the news again.

Mumbai-born, London-based Anish Kapoor has been appointed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair as one of 12 trustees at Tate Gallery, London.

Says senior sculptor KS Radhakrishnan: "It's time that the Indian government gave Anish Kapoor his due recognition. Till then, this honour is Kapoor's alone and that too as a British artist."

Kapoor, 51, has been quoted saying: "I'm an artist, not an Indian artist or a British Asian artist." But then, Kapoor is known for making grand statements, more through his life-size sculptures.

In 2002, he filled the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern with a giant steel and PVC sculpture called Marsyas -- a 150 m long ear-shaped trumpet.

As the new entrant in the most powerful decision making body at Tate, Kapoor will have a say over the purchasing policy at all four Tates, namely Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives.

Only three out of the 12 members are practising artists but Kapoor isn't letting the fact that he is following in the footsteps of celebrated sculptors like Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth go to his head.

"I'm delighted but my main concern will be to continue doing good work and further the cause of art," he says.

Since his first sculptures -- simple forms covered with coloured pigments and arranged on the floor -- Kapoor has developed an eclectic range of work using materials such as stone, steel and glass.

While Kapoor has his future role etched out "simply as a sculptor", his early life has been far from simple.

Kapoor has earlier said: "I had this feeling that if I didn't make something, I just wouldn't survive."

But survive he did and how! His winning the Turner Prize in 1991 was his "most fulfilling moment in life".

The man who says he considers himself an outsider must now surely reconsider.

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 15:02 IST