anish kapoor's endlessly spinning water vortex descends on brooklyn

anish kapoor's endlessly spinning water vortex descends on brooklyn

anish kapoor’s endlessly spinning whirlpool has descended on brooklyn. sited at pier 1 in brooklyn bridge park, the continuously spiraling funnel of water penetrates the earth in a powerful rush of ceaseless motion, drawing viewers in to its mystifying and mesmerizing abyss. presented by public art fund as part of its 40th anniversary season, and unveiled during NYCxDESIGN 2017, ‘descension’ turns an ordinary material like water into an extraordinarily behaving substance, disturbing the familiar notions of our world.

anish kapoor descension
all photos by james ewing, public art fund, NY © anish kapoor, 2017



the presentation of ‘descension’ in brooklyn follows its first display as a smaller, interior work at india’s kochi-muziris biennale, after which it travelled to galleria continua in san gimignano, and later to a solo exhibition at versailles. this latest commission by public art fund, curated by public art fund director nicholas baume, is the first time kapoor has presented ‘descension’ in north america.

anish kapoor descension



spanning 26 feet in diameter, the liquid mass converges in a central vortex, as if rushing water is being sucked into the ground at brooklyn bridge park. ‘descension’ stimulates the imagination and suggests a fictional dimension which can’t be seen, but can be observed and experienced from a curious, yet careful distance. 


‘anish kapoor reminds us of the contingency of appearances: our senses inevitably deceive us. with descension, he creates an active object that resonates with changes in our understanding and experience of the world,’ described nicholas baume. ‘in this way, kapoor is interested in what we don’t know rather than in what we do, understanding that the limit of perception is also the threshold of human imagination.’

anish kapoor descension

anish kapoor descension

anish kapoor descension

anish kapoor descension

  • @ Tessie Violoa agree, but please look up what vantablack actually is- it can’t be applied in this matter haha.

  • All of the local adverts have advertised this as a black vortex in the ground. It wasn’t until I found this article and SAW it in real life that I realized they were absolutely full of s..t.

    It loses a lot of it’s charm without the dye.

    If I wanted to see a giant vortex I would just stick my eyeballs down my drain post bath.

    The comparison between the vortex and the river is a moot point because you can’t see the river while at the vortex.

    It seems like NYC got shafted in their installation of this piece.

    Maybe Kapoor didn’t want to waste his precious vantablack on us?

    Tessie Viola

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