The Museum of Contemporary Art yesterday confirmed Indian-born Londoner Anish Kapoor would be the subject of a show from December 20. The sculptor's works have been exhibited in Australia before -- the Art Gallery of NSW, for example, owns a piece comprising four blocks of Northumbrian sandstone called Void Field -- but the 58-year-old Kapoor has never been the subject of an individual exhibition here.
MCA director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor says Kapoor, who has also created a work for the London Olympics, wanted the show to be made up of mostly new works but has been persuaded to include some earlier pieces as well.
Macgregor will curate the show exclusively with works from the artist's studio.
By way of contrast, the Francis Bacon retrospective, curated by AGNSW curatorial director Tony Bond, has come from 37 sources across Europe and the US.
Bond says it has become increasingly difficult to secure international loans from private collectors but he found the museums involved particularly co-operative. He says he knocked back four or five works owned by private collectors who had requested private insurance that the gallery could not afford.
"One work was going to cost $273,000 to insure (and to meet) the collector's requirement to travel first-class plus having a separate courier," he says.
He describes the Guggenheim in New York as among a handful of institutions reluctant to get involved. "They said it was too fragile but I saw the conservators and it's not fragile at all; it's a really robust work. I just don't think they want to lend it," Bond says.
Museums in Stuttgart and Munich were unable to supply Bacon works because they were needed for their own exhibitions.
Francis Bacon: Five Decades opens at the AGNSW on November 17 and will include original photographs and other material alongside works they inspired