A photo of Anish Kapoor's "Descension." It is a jet black whirlpool in the middle of the ground.

“Descension” by Anish Kapoor.
Photo courtesy of
Fabio Omero at Flickr Creative Commons.

Anish Kapoor, a famous Indian artist, has recently made news in the art world and online by acquiring the exclusive rights, seemingly in perpetuity, to ‘vantablack,’ the blackest pigment yet known to art. That began a rather amusing art feud with the rest of the community. Colors don’t seem like something one can steal, but blacks and pinks have now both been stolen, with the two sides poking fun at each other across Twitter.

Kapoor is no stranger to being newsworthy. His yonic sculpture The Queen’s Vagina in Versailles garnered violent graffiti followed by lawsuits. He has a CBE and a knighthood from Britain, an Ordre des Art et des Lettres from France, and a Padma Bhushan from India. Now one of his works is on schedule to be part of the New York Public Art Fund’s 40th Anniversary Year of Art.

Descension (2014) is a pool, seemingly depthless with its black-tiled bottom, filled with dark water that spirals endlessly down into the center. The vortex spins and collapses and drifts in its orbit, surrounding the pool with a low, primal roar. White foam paints short-lived patterns before being sucked down as well. The pool could stand in for a portal or a well, a window or a grave. Looking down into it is intimidating.

Descension, which was previously installed in the gardens of Versailles, will be put into Brooklyn Bridge Park in May of 2017. It’ll probably be tempting to throw coins into that endlessly sinking whirlpool, but is there really any telling into which reality they’ll come out?

The placement of Kapoor’s sculpture is one of four solo shows that will take place in the latter part of 2017. The first few months of the year will be devoted to NYPFA’s city-wide digital group show, with more than 20 artists pitching in. More details can be found here.

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