Anish Kapoor

Bombay India 1954, lives and works in London

Descent into Limbo
1992
fiberglass, acrylic medium and pigment
varying dimensions
1998.AK.06

In the center of this room's floor lies a black circle, about sixty centimeters in diameter: it immediately draws our attention but does give rise to questions at the same time. Are we looking at a flat surface or at unfathomable depths? Doubt as to what we are observing causes us to approach it with some caution. Only with our eyes can we attempt to explore the work. Gradually there grows an awareness that what we see is a black hole. The black 'disc' is, in reality, a dark globular cavity beneath the floor—so dark that we no longer are able to discern any perspective or space in it. Anish Kapoor has achieved this effect by lining the entire cavity with dark-blue pigment. This pure pigment absorbs all light and thereby prevents us from perceiving depth. What remains is the illusory image of a flat, black circle. With the title Descent into Limbo, the artist aptly tells us that our sense of adventure in the experience of his work mainly lies with the very act of observation. By his work we are visually misled and are made aware that we should not always believe our eyes.