Art world's rockstar, Anish Kapoor is finally bringing the first solo show to his native country

It's official now. Anish Kapoor, counted amongst the most well-known sculptors of the world, is finally going to have his first ever show in India, the country he draws his roots from. Based in London since the 1970s, Kapoor has so far showcased only two of his creations — two stainless steel discs which were exhibited at the second edition of the India Art Summit in New Delhi last year, one of which was supposedly bought by Kiran Nadar for Rs.1.25 crores. This November New Delhi will hold Kapoor's first show in India which will incidentally be also his biggest to date.

The exhibition is being presented by Ministry of Culture, Government of India, British Council, Lisson Gallery and Louis Vuitton. It will be on at two venues simultaneously — one in NGMA's newly constructed hall and the other in the Mehboob film studios, Bandra, Mumbai though the Delhi show is believed to be the bigger one.

Spanning the three decades of the artist's career, the show will feature his early pigment-based sculptures of the 1980s like ‘As if to celebrate', ‘I discovered a mountain blooming with red flowers' to his most recent wax installations. For instance, his wax-firing canon which was showcased in the recent, record-breaking exhibition of Kapoor's work at the Royal Academy, London. A public space installation, new works made from fibreglass and reflective stainless steel are some of the other highlights of the exercise. Known for his imposing installations, Kapoor is creating the world's largest inflatable sculpture, slated to fill Paris's Grand Palais next year, and the London Olympics tower ‘Arcelor Mittal Orbit,' to be unveiled in London Olympics 2012.

But what kept the art world's superstar away from India for so long even though the country made impressions on his art practice from time to time?

Lack of right space

It is believed that the prestigious Turner prize-winning artist never found the right space for his gigantic sculptures but finally in NGMA's newly constructed exhibition hall, which has features like temperature control, humidity control and a pollution-free environment, Kapoor got what he was looking for. Actively involved in every stage of the initiative, the artist will be even handling the placement of his work himself.

The exhibition is the first in the series of many more cultural exchanges to take place between India and the UK as agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt and Jawhar Sircar from the Indian Ministry of Culture during the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron in July 2010.

The Anish Kapoor exhibitions will coincide with the India Art Summit, which runs from 20-23 January 2011.

(In Delhi, the exhibition opens November 27 and will be on till February 27, 2011 whereas in Mumbai, the show will begin on November 29 and will remain on view till January 16, 2011)