When I am PregnantWhen I am Pregnant original
- Artist: Anish Kapoor
- Creation date: 1992–1998
- Object type: Sculpture
Anish Kapoor was born in Mumbai, India, but moved to London to study art. His sculptures are concerned with the dichotomies of space, material, absence, presence, reflection and absorption and much more. He says that “sculpture works because it is the body”. It is a non-verbal form of communication about some human presence that brings into play a dialogue between viewer, object and artist.
On a visit to Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) in Central Australia in the late 1980s, the unitary mass of sandstone rising from the body of the earth appeared to Kapoor as neither unitary nor a solid mass. It inspired him to make a sculpture that emerges from the gallery’s white wall as a pregnant form. For the form to be regarded as pregnant, it had to be oval and not round. He noticed when “attenuating the oval into the flat surface of the wall, something remarkable happened. The form disappeared”.
Seen from the front its presence is suggested by a diffuse shadow on the wall. The sculpture’s protrusion from the wall as an oval can only be seen from the side. The sculpture melds presence and absence by making the material of the object vanish into its immaterial subject, in the same manner clay disappears once it becomes a sculpted pot. Seen against the grand scale of his public works, this relatively small sculpture is a sublime statement on the fecundity of creative beginnings.
Text: Gavin Jantjes