anish kapoor: ascension in venice 2011
anish kapoor: ascension in venice 2011 anish kapoor: ascension in venice 2011
jun 07, 2011

anish kapoor: ascension in venice 2011

‘ascension’ by anish kapoor, basilica di san giorgio, venice image by oak taylor-smith

‘ascension’ is a site-specific installation by anish kapoor, presented as a collateral event of the venice art bienniale 2011. exploring the transience of smoke, the work creates a tangible, rising column of the traditionally immaterial substance. previously exhibited in gallery spaces in san giminiano (italy), in sao paolo and rio de janiero (brazil), and in beijing (china), the work takes on new meaning in the spiritual context of venice’s basilica di san giorgio.

‘in my work, what is and what seems to be often become blurred. in ascension, for example, what interests me is the idea of immateriality becoming an object, which is exactly what happens in ascension: the smoke becomes a column. also present in this work is the idea of moses following a column of smoke, a column of light, in the desert…’  anish kapoor

‘ascension’ detail image © designboom

base detail image © designboom

the column rises from a circular base placed at the intersection of the basilica’s transept and nave, with four surrounding pillars lined with fans to elevate the smoke. though ventilation from the church’s doorways diffused the smoke, its dispersion of light made it still visible in the daytime.

image © designboom

supporting fans image © designboom

artist anish kapoor portrait courtesy of arte continua

presented in partnership with italian coffee producer illy, the exhibition also included his design for the company’s art collection, a porcelain cup and saucer customized with his trademark of reflective surfaces.  

anish kapoor for the illy art collection image © designboom

with alternative placement of the saucer placed on top of the cup, the platinum lining creates a void

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
482,761 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
privacy policy