Descension by Anish Kapoor.
Courtesy Galleria Continua Descension by Anish Kapoor.

Contemporary installation artist Anish Kapoor’s Descension is now on view in the Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy. The spinning, black body of water fills up a 10-foot-wide circle carved through the floors of the retired theatre and cinema space. Despite being constrained by these confinements in diameter, the water's perpetual rotation gives the illusion of infinite depth.

The installation was previously installed at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India’s first contemporary art biennale, in Fort Kochi, India—Kapoor’s native country, from which he emigrated to London in the 1970s. 

The pool serves as centerpiece of the exhibition—also named Descension—which was specially curated for Galleria Continua. Consisting of a series of sculptures made out of alabaster, steel, and large-scale fiberglass configurations, the complementary pieces are placed along the walls and cleared out spaces to enhance the main spectacle at the heart of the venue. The bold shapes colored by dense primary hues were designed to convey a sense of eternity within geometric compositions. 

A closeup of circling body of black water.
Courtesy Galleria Continua A closeup of circling body of black water.

“I have always thought of it [the void] … as a transitional space, an in-between space," Kapoor said in a press release from Galleria Continua. "It’s very much to do with time. I have always been interested as an artist in that very first moment of creativity where everything is possible and nothing has actually happened. It’s a space of becoming.”

The questioning of space is a continuation of Kapoor's work in Descent into Limbo, a 1992 exhibition held at Documenta IX in Kassel, Germany. That project consisted of a cubic building with a dark hole in the floor. “This is a space full of darkness, not a hole in the ground,” Kapoor wrote in a project description on his website. 

Descension started on May 5 and will run through Sept. 5.

Courtesy Galleria Continua
Courtesy Galleria Continua
Courtesy Galleria Continua
Courtesy Galleria Continua AnishKapoor_06