Anish Kapoor

Revitalizing the mentor

Revitalizing the mentor

History is filled with stories of inspiring mentor-protégé relationships, from XX and the painters Camille Pissaro and Paul Cezanne to fictional accounts like Don Pedro and Claudio in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Mentorships are a time-tested way to for an artist to develop their vision and their craft. They, traditionally, give someone time learn, grow and create under the watchful eye of someone who has already blazed a trail.

Rolex is dedicating to reviving the tradition of mentorship by pairing young, promising artists with leaders in their fields. It’s easy to see what the protégés have to gain. They get a year of time to learn from their mentors. But, a truely successful mentor-protégé relationship benefits both parties. As we take a look back at the results of these exciting relationships, let’s take a look at what some of the Rolex Arts Initiative mentors have gotten out of their year collaboration:

Creating spaces: Rolex mentor and protege Anish Kapoor & Nicholas Hlobo

Creating spaces: Rolex mentor and protege Anish Kapoor & Nicholas Hlobo

Both Anish Kapoor and his Rolex Arts Initiative protégé Nicholas Hlobo had big years in the art world. Both mounted large-scale, interactive sculptures at the Venice Biennale in addition to solo exhibitions around the world. But the two artists still found time to meet at Kapoor’s London studio to develop the trajectory of Hlobo’s work.

The 2010/11 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative

The 2010/11 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative

Yesterday, Brian Eno made an appearance at the New York Public Library to introduce a work by his musical protĂ©gĂ©, Ben Frost. It was part of a weekend of performances marking the end of the fifth cycle of the Rolex Mentor and ProtĂ©gé Arts Initiative, a year-long program that pairs promising young artists with masters in their field for a year of creative collaboration. This year saw artist Anish Kapoor paired with Nicholas Hlobo, choreographer Trisha Brown with Lee Serle, filmmaker Zhang Yimou with Annemarie Jacir, “polymath patrician” Hans Magnus Enzensberger with Tracy K. Smith, dramaturge Peter Sellars with Maya Zbib as well as Eno and Frost. The opportunity to work alongside such world-renowned artists is so coveted and exclusive that nominees are selected by an anonymous panel of experts who conduct an exhaustive international search…

Anish Kapoor at Monumenta 2011

Anish Kapoor at Monumenta 2011

The major challenge – and draw – of Monumenta, France’s (mostly) annual grand art exhibition, is making the most of the 13,500-square-meter (over 44,000-square-feet) Grand Palais, Europe’s biggest and one of its oldest glass-roofed structures. Built in the Beaux-Arts style for the Universal Exposition of 1900, the Grand Palais boasts huge ceilings and an expansive exhibition space, so choosing the right artist to commission a site-specific piece from is key. In the past, Monumenta has had success with Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski and, that lover of the large-scale, Richard Serra. This year’d exhibition features a piece by Anish Kapoor, whose huge and hugely popular public sculptures like “Cloud Gate,” the enormous mirrorized pebble-shaped piece in Chicago’s Millennium Park, make him an apt choice.