For a long time – even since the pigment pieces – I’d been thinking of my work as potential architecture. I’ve always been convinced by the idea that to make new art you have to make new space.

Anish Kapoor

The link between art and architecture is key to Anish Kapoor’s work and it is also the theme for the second Dojima River Biennale 2011, held in Osaka’s Dojima River Forum.

This group of rarely seen architectural models surveys Kapoor’s collaborations with architects and engineers from the start of his career to today. They offer a rare insight into the development of his ideas from the initial concept right through to a finished product in the public realm. Some are models for fully realized works. Others are unrealized, but show Kapoor experimenting with the full range of preoccupations found in his sculpture: scale, depth, boundaries, mood, texture and volume.

Kapoor’s work is always about the human relationship with the space he creates or modifies. For him, many of these architectural pieces are about the making of emptiness or the expansion of available space. He talks of his desire to make space ‘unreadable’ and while none of these works are pure sculpture, nor are they purely architectural. Each explores the ‘fiction of space’ through conceptual engagement with buildings.

The architectural models range from the simplest example, Place (1982), a wall with a hole in it, through to Taratantara (1999-2000), where Kapoor aimed to turn the shell of a former mill-cum-gallery inside-out by filling it with a membrane form, which had a rectangular opening at one end, morphing to a circular one at the other. The models show how vital scale is to the artist’s work and the spiritual dimensions associated with his sculptures are intensely concentrated in these miniature maquettes.