Lot 232
  • 232


150,000 - 200,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Anish Kapoor
  • In Out
  • resin and paint
  • 59.7 by 229 by 126.7 cm. 23 1/2 by 90 1/4 by 49 7/8 in.
  • Executed in 2006.


Lisson Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the previous owner in 2007


London, Lisson Gallery, Anish Kapoor, October - November 2006


Colour: The colours in the catalogue illustration are fairly accurate, although the colour changes between blue and purple depending on the viewpoint. Condition: This work is in very good condition. There is some very light and unobtrusive wear to the sharp edges in places. Visible only upon extremely close inspection in raking light, there is a small and unobtrusive rub mark to the centre inside of the sculpture, one to the centre left side of the back, and some light and superficial scratches to the back of the protruding element.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

With its endless, serene curves and hypnotic colour, Anish Kapoor’s In Out lures the viewer into a dizzying new dimension, which exists somewhere between the physical and the immaterial. The flawless mirrored surface of the work contorts the surrounding world; it stretches and inverts reality, which becomes an inherent part of the sculpture. The viewer brings the form to life by engaging a new space which exists within the reflections. Kapoor notes of his own work that, “in a painting the space is beyond the picture plane, but in the mirrored voids it is in front of the object and includes the viewer. It's the contemporary equivalent of the sublime, which is to do with the self - its presence, absence or loss. According to the Kantian idea, the sublime is dangerous because it induces vertigo - you might fall into the abyss and be lost forever. In these sculptures you lose yourself in the infinite” (Anish Kapoor in conversation with Sarah Kent, Royal Academy of Arts Magazine, no. 104, 2009, p. 43). In Out continues Anish Kapoor’s career-long interrogation of space, which has earned him his reputation as one of the greatest contemporary sculptors. Kapoor’s early pigment sculptures from his 1000 Names series, which he worked on between 1979 and 1980, raised questions about shape and form. From there, Kapoor went on to create his iconic wall-mounted reflective disks, which distort the viewer’s own reflection and their environment. When observing these disks, the viewer becomes immersed in a mystifying visual experience similar to that of In Out; a reflected reality envelops the viewer in a coloured universe, which encourages contemplation on the relationship between an individual and their environment.

Although Kapoor’s sculptures are brilliantly innovative in their inquiry of space, his style is deeply rooted in the tradition of minimalist sculpture. In their perfect simplicity, his works recall Donald Judd’s Specific Objects; like Judd’s Objects, Kapoor’s pieces demand that the viewer abandon any representational references and meet sculpture on its own, simplified aesthetic terms. Kapoor’s sculptures also recall the revolutionary oeuvre of Lucio Fontana, whose pieces seek to articulate a dimension beyond the limits of the canvas. In contrast to Fontana, Kapoor interrogates the physical space surrounding his sculpture. On his polished surfaces physical reality is transformed into fantasy.

Kapoor’s belief, “that art is all about illusion and the unreal,” (Anish Kapoor, cited in ‘Kapoor on Kapoor’, The Guardian, 8 November 2008, online) informs an understanding of his dynamic mirrored surfaces. Hovering on the border between real and imaginary, In Out is imbued with an unsettling ambiguity, articulated in its paradoxical title. Its fluid form appears frozen in time, but about to disperse into formlessness once more. Its surface presents a simultaneously beautiful and warped reflection. This ambiguity adds to the allure of In Out; the work’s seductive beauty traps the viewer in an otherworldly realm. As the viewer’s twisted image glides across the surface, he or she becomes lost in the void.