INDIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
- Born in 1964 in Khagaul, Bihar, India
- Lives and works in New Delhi, India
UNDERSTANDING THE ARTIST
India's fast-changing culture provides both subjects and materials for Subodh Gupta’s installations. The very materiality of his works engages with the idea of the everyday object, re-galvanised within new terrain to create novel meanings relevant in a global economy. The tiffins swinging around in conveyor belts, like that of a sushi restaurant refer to the new economic dimensions that country is waking up to and transcultural domains the country is negotiating with.
Gupta manifests his ideas through multiple mediums and techniques from traditional paintings, sculptures, site-specific installations, performances, videos and photography. His rendering of the ubiquitous Indian stainless-steel utensils in his works is the focal point of his oeuvre, as a visual signification employed in multi-meaning creation.
Gupta is best known for his large sculptures constructed from dozens of stainless steel and copper utensils. He translates the conceptual art format of the readymade into a rich exploration of everyday life in India and shifting notions of artistic and economic value. He works with objects of mass utility-objects of the middle-class kitchen and of ritual associations. Origin and identity are the core of Gupta’s works as his main focus deals with Indian themes but always aware of the western gaze that his works attract.
Preoccupation with vehicles of movement mark economy, mobility and migration in his artwork - The cycle, which is the single unit of mobility in towns and villages of India, the scooter or two-wheeler that transports the Indian nuclear family and the Ambassador car, the pre-economic reforms symbol of official power — all constellations of mobility and migration, within the ambit of the economic, formulate a stereotype of Indian roads. He knew that poverty, illiteracy, hostile climates, bad governance, feudalism and casteism had sent the Biharis as indentured labours in foreign farms. Subodh has brought all these discourses in his art.
Subodh Gupta, Wall, 2009, fibreglass, paint, brick wall, 187 x 75 x 56 38 in
Subodh Gupta, Untitled, 2007, oil on canvas, 66 x 90 in
Subodh Gupta, Untitled, 2008, oil and enamel on canvas, 89 3.4 x 65 3.4 in
Subodh Gupta, Untitled, 2003, oil on canvas, 65.5 x 90 in
Subodh Gupta, A Little High Life, 2007, stainless steel and paint, height -54 in
Subodh Gupta, Dada, 2010-13, stainless steel and stainless steel utensils, variable dimensions, Courtesy Artist, Arario Gallery and Nature Morte
Subodh Gupta, Mind Shuts Down, 2008, stainless steel utensils, stainless steel stand, 254 x 155 x 172 cm
Subodh Gupta, School (detail), 2008, 45 brass casted stools, stainless steel utensils, dimensions variable. Installation view.
Subodh Gupta, Seven Billion Light Years X, 2015, oil on canvas with found objects, 72 × 63 in
Subodh Gupta, Repose, 2011, stainless steel, 29 x 102 x 50 in