We are pleased to announce 'Everything is Inside', a major mid-career survey exhibition of works by Subodh Gupta at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, from 17 January 2014.
'Everything is Inside' is the first exhibition Germano Celant has curated in India and it is the first time he and Subodh Gupta have worked together.
Celant says: 'Transforming into sculpture a motorcycle or a bicycle that transports milk or water through roads of a village or a city, or moulding flour into bronze as it is kneaded to make bread, Subodh Gupta pays solemn homage to the latent force that comes from below. He creates a lasting testament, capable of withstanding time. Rendering the ephemerality of life as magical and unchanging, he reintegrates it into the spiritual world of art, the daily duties of cooking, or providing food for the family or community. It is a ceremony of revelations which finds great similarity when the very same bronze is used to create a painting, thus equating the white of flour to monochromatic painting and the gesture of the painter to that of the baker. Both are protagonists of food production for the mind and the eyes, for the stomach and taste.'
The exhibition is spread across two buildings – the ornate Jaipur House, originally built as the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1936, and the museum's modern concrete and glass extension constructed in 2009. Celant uses the domestic setting of Jaipur House to focus on Gupta's paintings and smallscale sculptures, made from everyday objects such as the ubiquitous tiffin.
In contrast, the modern wing of the gallery houses a selection of Gupta's large-scale work, including a site-specific installation the artist is unveiling for the exhibition. He will alter the staircase in the centre of the gallery's new wing into a cascading mass of stainless steel culinary utensils, frozen mid-avalanche. The highly reflective, sterile steel surface visually emulates the ironic seduction of a natural disaster.
Gupta is also producing another new work for the exhibition based on his ongoing interest in microcosms of human interactions. Monumental in scale, in a work titled 'All in the Same Boat' (2013), Gupta fills a traditional Keralan fishing boat with well-used utensils and electric fans that are almost like upturned propellers.
Much of Gupta's previous work is also concerned with literal and metaphorical journeys. 'Everything is Inside' features itinerant images such as a luggage trolley carrying two large suitcases; a motorbike laden with milk pails, and an iconic Mumbai taxi cab sinking under the weight of its cargo. Cast in bronze or aluminium, Gupta transforms and gives significance to the commonplace baggage loaded onto each vehicle.
Based in New Delhi, Gupta has often made reference to his roots. As his life has shifted from the rural to the urban, a similar shift has occurred in his artistic concerns. The artist started looking back at materials that were present in his rural childhood environment and used cow dung to make autobiographical works such as 'My Mother and Me' (1997) and 'Bihari' (1999). Today the artist's practice covers a wide spectrum, in terms of scale and material, and in recent works he references the journeys he has taken from urban India into a larger international community.
'Everything is Inside' has come about at the invitation of the National Gallery of Modern Art’s Director, Professor Rajeev Lochan.
To coincide with the exhibition, Penguin Books is publishing a monograph on Subodh Gupta, which includes an interview with the Editor, Aveek Sen, and texts by Germano Celant and Professor Sunil Khilnani.
National Gallery of Modern Art
Jaipur House, India Gate
New Delhi 110003 India
Ph. +91 11 23386111
Daily from 10am to 5pm
- Subodh Gupta, Faith Matters (detail), 2007 – 2008, © Subodh Gupta, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photograhpy Zürich
- Subodh Gupta, The Way Home (II), 2011, © Subodh Gupta, Courtesy Nature Morte
- Subodh Gupta, Faith Matters, 2007 – 2008, © Subodh Gupta, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photograhpy Zürich
- Subodh Gupta, Kuwait to Delhi, 2006, © Subodh Gupta, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
- Subodh Gupta, Everything is Inside, 2004, © Subodh Gupta, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
- Subodh Gupta, Bullet, 2007, © Subodh Gupta, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth