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Palatial Parade

August 20, 2015
Anish Kapoor at Versailles

In the days of Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles was adorned with some of the finest art of the age. And while one revolution or another meant that many works were ransacked or removed for safe-keeping, these days some clever curators are doing their bit to bring a bit of creativity back to the grand château.

Since 2009, the gardens of the former royal residence have hosted a rotating array of installations, and right now the long canal and ornate fountains are flanked by a selection of specially commissioned, large-scale sculptures by acclaimed London-based artist Anish Kapoor.

Examining the history-heavy setting and contemporary institutions of power, the six pieces range from the drain-like Descension (a pointed play on the water elements of the grounds) to the simple, modern Sky Mirror, and provocative Dark Place, which has already earned uncouth comparisons to a certain part of the female (ahem) form.

The Bombay-born sculptor is also the first to situate one of his works within the palace walls; Shooting into the Corner turns the iconic Jeu de Paume into something resembling a mixed-media crime scene with classic marble busts juxtaposed against rogue, red wall splatterings fired from a revolutionary era cannon. As evocative and impressive as its the surrounds.

Until 1 Nov, 2015.

Palace of Versailles / +33 1 30 83 78 00 / gardens open 8am-8.30pm Sun-Fri, 8am-5.30pm Sat (Jun-Sep) / free entry Mon-Fri /

All photos courtesy of Kapoor Studio.

‘Sky Mirror’ 2013 © Tadzio; ‘Shooting into the Corner’ 2008-2009 © Tadzio; ‘Sectional Body preparing for Monadic Singularity’ 2015 © Fabrice Seixas; ‘C-Curve’ 2007 © Tadzio; ‘Descension’ 2014 © Fabrice Seixas; ‘Dirty Corner’ 2011-2015 © Fabrice Seixas; portrait of Anish Kapoor © Fabrice Seixas