The sculptor Anish Kapoor will be the next contemporary artist to be given a one-man show at the Château de Versailles. Mr. Kapoor’s show will run from June to October next year, the palace’s chief administrator, Catherine Pégard, said in an interview.
“It’s not easy to choose an artist for Versailles,” Ms. Pégard said. “It’s not a museum, or a gallery or an exhibition space.” She said that Mr. Kapoor, 60, had been chosen “because he has something particular to say in this setting.” The series of solo shows began in 2008 with Jeff Koons and has included Takashi Murakami among others.
Certainly Mr. Kapoor, who was born in India and has lived in London for decades, is no stranger to grandeur. He is probably best known recently for his “ArcelorMittal Orbit” in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, a convoluted cross between the Eiffel Tower and a Salvador Dalí surrealist fantasy that stands more than 375 feet high and is Britain’s tallest sculpture.
Nor is he a stranger to the Paris art scene: In 2011 he was the chosen artist for the annual Monumenta show, where his “Leviathan,” a huge maroon balloon-like structure almost entirely filled the inside of the Grand Palais. “Leviathan” attracted more visitors during its six-week stint that any other Monumenta show, a record presumably not lost on the Versailles selectors. Versailles itself packs in some 5 million visitors a year, with numbers peaking during the summer, when the contemporary art exhibition is a magnet for foreign tourists. Big crowds should mean big revenue — much needed when austerity is slicing into the government’s culture budget.