Celebrating Contemporary: Anish Kapoor's Turning the World Inside Out

  • 6 September 2011

Anish Kapoor's absorbing sculpture Turning the World Inside Out is today's focus in our Celebrating Contemporary season.

Anish Kapoor, Turning the World Inside Out, 1995 © Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor, Turning the World Inside Out, 1995

Anish Kapoor's absorbing sculpture Turning the World Inside Out is today's focus in our Celebrating Contemporary season.

The work

A perfectly smooth, irregular egg with a deep dimple at one end, the serene poise of Turning the World Inside Out contrasts with its subversive elements – its reflective exterior which literally inverts the world about itself, and the revolutionary suggestion of its title.

While the sculpture’s dimple ‘naval’ is an unobtrusive allusion to Hindu symbolism, the singular presence of Turning the World Inside Out lends it a universal quality. It can be seen in Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, who bought the piece with help from the Art Fund in 1997. 

The artist

Born in Mumbai and raised in Britain, Anish Kapoor studied art at the Hornsey College of Art and the Chelsea School of Art and Design. He won the Turner Prize in 1991 and the prestigious Unilever Commission for the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall in 2002.

His work blurs the line between art and architecture, and recurring themes include experimentation with scale, mirrored sculptures and the use of red wax. 

Did you know?

Kapoor's experiments with scale have led him to set a number of records for art. His 2006 sculpture Cloud Gate in Chicago was the most expensive piece of public art in the world, costing £10 million to make, while the Orbit – his commission for the London 2012 Olympic site – is set to be the largest piece of public art in the UK.

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