L'Origine du monde


Artwork Data

Production year: 2004
Size: 700cm (length along oval’s major axis)

About the Artwork

A large black oval is seen on a slanted concrete slab forming one wall of the gallery. The black oval looks flat, but it also appears like a round prominence. The harder we stare at it, the more the truth of the oval’s appearance eludes us. The oval is in fact a large hole, its interior covered with blue pigment. Using a simple shape and materials, the work undermines our perception and plunges us into thought. The title, L’Origine du monde (“The Origin of the World”) refers to a work of the same title by the 19th-century French painter, Gustave COURBET.

About the Artist


Born in Mumbai, India in 1954. Lives in London, UK. After spending his youth in India, Anish Kapoor moved to England at the age of 17 and studied art in London. His later travels in India, in 1979, greatly influenced his work, and he became known for artworks employing the pigments he rediscovered in India. Such works gave play in artwork form not to visually recognizable substances but rather to an appearance of immateriality produced by confusing our visual recognition. Kapoor has since brought wide-ranging materials into his art, including minerals, lacquer, acrylic, and fiberglass. By undermining our visual recognition and spatial concepts, his works make us conscious of the duality of existence and non-existence.