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Anish Kapoor face to face with Rembrandt

Oh, Anish Kapoor… My friends know not to get me started about him…

If I had to choose between all the artists in the history of art, I would pick Kapoor in a heartbeat. Ever since I first laid eyes on his work back in the nineties, it has had some sort of magical power over me.

Lucky for me and all the other Dutchies, Museum De Pont in Tilburg has warm ties to the artist, so the Netherlands has some brilliant works of Kapoor on display in permanent collections. De Pont had a wonderful exhibition of a selection of Kapoor’s work back in 2013, about which I have written review for 8WEEKLY.

But currently, there is another chance to see his work. And possibly on the best location in the country, too.

Three works of Kapoor, Internal Object in Three Parts, are exhibited at the Gallery of Honour at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Right across from Rembrandt’s masterpieces like The Jewish Bride and The Syndics.

The works are quite disturbing. They bring to mind human flesh, blood and bones, expressing some sort of aggression. Especially when you know that the artist, among other things, explores the Greek legend of Marsyas, in which Apollo ties the satyr Marsyas to a tree and skins him alive. Nice.

In museum language, the works are meant to enter into a ‘visual dialogue’ with the late works of Rembrandt. This sounds wonderful, but what does that actually mean?

Well, simply put, you have to closely look at the works of both the artists and try to relate them in some way. Start to ask yourself thing like: Are the works in any way the same? Can you put those similarities into words? What is different?

Look at things like color, the materials used, the way in which the paints or other substances have been applied. What kind of emotions do you feel looking at the Rembrandt’s and the Kapoor’s? Is there any way you can relate those feelings to each other? Do those feelings change the way you look at the works and therefor at the artist’s?

Even if you’d rather skip all this art talk, you really should go see Kapoor at the Rijksmuseum. Seeing these fleshy works between the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer and other heroes of the Dutch Golden Age is pretty spectacular. Any way you wish to look at it.

You can visit the exhibition until March 6, 2016.

I will definitely write about Kapoor again in the future, so be warned.

For this particular exhibition, who better to listen to than the master himself?

Anish Kapoor in het Rijksmuseum
Anish Kapoor, Internal Object in Three Parts. Gallery of Honour, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Photo: Olivier Middendorp.
Nederland, Amsterdam, 27-11-2015. Anish Kapoor, Internal Object in three parts. Perspresentatie in de Eregalerij van het Rijksmuseum. Foto: Olivier Middendorp.
Anish Kapoor, Internal Object in Three Parts. Press Conference at the Gallery of Honour,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Photo: Olivier Middendorp. Behind Kapoor: Internal Object in Three Parts, 2013-2015 (detail). © Anish Kapoor; Courtesy the artist & Lisson Gallery.



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