Artist Anish Kapoor receives Genesis Prize

British-Indian Kapoor was hailed as "one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation" by organisers of the Genesis Prize.
British-Indian Kapoor was hailed as "one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation" by organisers of the Genesis Prize. PHOTO: BUSINESS TIMES

JERUSALEM • Sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor was named on Monday as this year's winner of the million- dollar Genesis Prize, awarded for commitment to Israel and Judaism, organisers said.

British-Indian Kapoor "is one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation", they said in a statement.

He won the prestigious Turner Prize in 1991 and was knighted in 2013.

"Kapoor will use this award, and the global platform provided by the Genesis Prize, to raise awareness of the plight of refugees in order to engage the Jewish community in a global effort to help alleviate the refugee crisis," the organisers said in a statement.

The award is granted by the Israeli government, the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency and the Genesis Prize Foundation. "It recognises individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their fields and whose actions and achievements express a commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and the State of Israel," the statement said.

In the statement, Kapoor, who was born in Mumbai to a Hindu father and a Jewish mother, said: "I am an artist, not a politician, and I feel I must speak out against indifference for the suffering of others. There are over 60 million refugees in the world today - whatever the geography of displacement, the refugee crisis is right here on our doorstep."

He added: "As inheritors and carriers of Jewish values, it is unseemly for us to ignore the plight of people who are persecuted, who have lost everything and had to flee as refugees in mortal danger.

"Outsider consciousness resides at the heart of Jewish identity and this is what motivates me, while accepting the honour of the Genesis Prize, to re-gift the proceeds to refugee causes."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2017, with the headline 'Artist Anish Kapoor receives Genesis Prize'. Print Edition | Subscribe