Anish Kapoor

The superartist will shine brighter with his new commission to design the ‘iconic’ landmark for the 2012 Olympic site

It is hard to believe that the committee in charge of commissioning an ‘iconic’ landmark for the 2012 Olympic site in London were ever going to go for a submission that did not primarily use the material of the project’s main patron, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. And it’s really hard to imagine that they could not have expected the pasting the design got from public and critics alike.

Kapoor’s last foray into architecture, a train station with Future Systems in Naples, has only been completed this year, two years later than planned, but there’ll be no chance of lateness in London, with an Olympic deadline looming. And there’s no doubting Kapoor’s popularity: in addition to a solo show at the Guggenheim Bilbao, his Royal Academy exhibition (the first granted to a living British artist) got 277,473 visitors, making it into the top three of London contemporary art shows last year. It’s a pulling power that few of his peers can match.