New Delhi | Artist Subodh Gupta who has made a name for himself by creating artworks out of mass manufactured goods like steel pots, pans and tiffinboxes, is coming up with a new solo that focuses on his first love, paintings Yes, I am planning to showcase paintings at upcoming events. It’s going to be major paintings this time in my solo exhibition. I will be exhibiting around seven to eight paintings installations in my show in New York next year, artist Subodh Gupta said.
The contemporary artist was here recently to accept the Dayawati Modi award for art culture and education 2014. Excited to get back to his first love, the contemporary artist says his focus is completely on paintings. Actually right now I am working only on paintings. Well I work with utensils, so basically I am working with old utensils, left over utensils and I found these utensils at not somebody’s home but in a scrap yard thrown by people, says Gupta.
Trained as a painter, Gupta went on to experiment with a variety of media, which culminated in his first installation in 1996 entitled 29 Mornings. Gupta is mostly known for working with everyday objects that are ubiquitous throughout India, such as the mass-produced steel tiffin boxes used by millions to carry their lunch, as well as thali pans, bicycles and milk pails. I see the life within that utensils, the food which was cooked in it, the stories associated with the utensil. So, I thought that whole universe you find within that utensil so I am working on that subject. Its in a very crucial stage right now. I am painting this concept basically, says Gupta.
The 50-year-old Gupta’s works were the focus of a major comprehensive show earlier this year at the National Gallery of Modern Art. This year he has had solo exhibitions in Frankfurt, Seoul, Korea and Shanghai. Well I have been practicing art for over 28 years now and each time an artist makes something it becomes new and it’s only during exhibiting the artwork that it becomes the talk of the town, says Gupta. Previous works of Gupta, a Patna Art College graduate who relocated to Delhi had been sold for huge sums of money.
In a self portrait done in 1999 Gupta painted his face using cowdung. One of his famed videoworks titled Pure the artist is seen taking a shower with cowdung. He uses ambassador cars, cycles, lanterns, tiffin boxes to create artworks and even created an entire conveyor belt of luggagebundles, boxes and trolleys all cast in bronze.
At the first edition of the Kochi Muziris Art Biennale, Gupta had installed a wooden boat filled with everyday items like bed, tables, chairs, fan, gas cylinders and cooking utensils that were considered symbolic of the spices trade in Kerala. Excited about his upcoming solo shows which includes ones at Hauser and Wirth, New York (2015), Gupta sheds light on the fact that art fairs are not that important as compared to solo shows and art exhibitions.
Art fair is not so important more than the art exhibition or museum exhibition. Definitely I have many promises to keep and my upcoming show in Februrary in the first week in New York with my gallery one of the biggest show is going to happen, so I am looking forward to that. I have two three more commitments I am looking forward to that, Gupta says.
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