Alistair Souke makes this interesting point in his Telegraph profile of Anish Kapoor and his recently announced landmark commission, the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
The sculpture will be constructed out of a continuously looping lattice of tubular steel – surely a self-conscious nod to the fabric of Paris’s Eiffel Tower, another structure built to mark a global event (the Exposition Universelle of 1889).
It’s the kind of project that has only become possible in recent years, thanks to advances in the field of engineering: it is noticeable that Kapoor has collaborated with Balmond, of the engineering firm Arup, on most, if not all, of his biggest sculptures. Our age may well be remembered as the era in which engineers began to be considered as artists in their own right.
Today Kapoor is undoubtedly one of the most popular – and wealthy – artists working in Britain. His retrospective at the Royal Academy last year was a smash hit: it attracted about 280,000 visitors, making it the most successful exhibition by a living artist held at the RA, as well as the most popular exhibition of sculpture ever staged in London.
The Rise & Rise of Anish Kapoor Inc. (Telegraph)