Art in the Gardens of the Chateaux de Versailles...

12:20

The historic Chateaux de Versailles opened its gates to the renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor (India, 1954). Six of his works are on display in areas specially chosen by the artist.
The visit begins at the Jeu de Paume, where the installation Shooting into the Corner is exhibited for the first time in France. Up next, entering in the Terrasse, we find C-Curve, a curved mirror that reflects us standing, or upside down, depending on which side we choose.
C-Curve, by Anish Kapoor (2007) - Detail
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
C-Curve, by Anish Kapoor (2007) - Detail
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
A few steps ahead, at the Parterre d’Eau, the monumental Sky Mirror appears: a 5mts-high stainless steel structure-mirror, which looks like a satellite receptor scanning the sky.
Sky Mirror, by Anish Kapoor (2013)
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
Sky Mirror, by Anish Kapoor (2013)
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
Entering the gardens, towards the left, in the Bois de l’Etoile, Kappor placed a work specially created for this exhibition: a cube with opened sides, so visitors can penetrate it. Inside it feels like being in the circulatory or muscular system of the human body. However the artist wanted to represent unicellular bodies, just before undergoing the process of cellular division to become individual microorganisms.
Sectional Body preparing for monadic singularity,  by Anish Kapoor (2015)
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
Sectional Body preparing for monadic singularity, by Anish Kapoor (2015)
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens - View from the inside
Back into the middle of the garden, and dominating the area known as Grande Perspective, you'll see the controversial installation Dirty Corner, described by the artist as “the Queen's vagina taking power”. The work was attacked by vandals (with paint) a week after its placement. These photos were taken just after the attacks and those to blame could not yet be identified. Kapoor said this was a symptom of the regressiveness seen in certain circles of the French society.
Dirty Corner, by Anish Kapoor (2011-2015)
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
 Dirty Corner, by Anish Kapoor (2011-2015) - Detail
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
Dirty Corner, by Anish Kapoor (2011-2015) - Detail
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
 Dirty Corner, by Anish Kapoor (2011-2015) - Detail
Chateaux de Versailles' Gardens
Less controversial but, nonetheless spectacular, is Descension, a work that can be compared with Kapoor's Ascension. This wonder of engineering, which faces us with the fall into Hell, is located in Apollo's Fountain (Pelouse du Char d’Apollo) and, with its water whirlpool, seems to swallow whatever it finds on the surface.
Descension, by Anish Kapoor (2014)
Chateaux de Versailles
Descension, by Anish Kapoor (2014)
Chateaux de Versailles
Kapoor's works are monumental. For the numerous site-specific he created (from Chicago to Jerusalem), we can say he is the ultimate artist of Monumentality. However, this particular exhibition in Versailles is interesting because, in the choice of works, he captures certain subjects strongly rooted in our imagination, such as the energy of flowing waters, the reflection of mirrors, the symbolic strength of the sun, the visible and the invisible.
The exhibition is spectacular, not only for the sculptures, but also for the historic setting and the beauty of the gardens of Versailles in Summer. A must-go.

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Liliana Wrobel


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