One of the world’s most avant – garde galleries , Galleria Continua decided to debut in Paris with Subodh Gupta’s migratory exhibition that dwells on memories, nostalgia, desires and struggles that permeate the stories of the artist’s home country, India.
In Gallerie Continua’s celebration of 15 years in the art world, installation genius Subodh Gupta has carried the Indian village replete with vessels and handis and oil on linen paintings all the way to Paris.
Gupta’s titles are allusions to a journey of history, desire and memory. Identity on our shoulder 2107 created with brass and jute rope is the piece de resistance of the show. The sparkling flat bottomed handis used to make Indian curries ,biryanis and pulaos and rice and lentil, stacked on top of each other present a sight of resonance and gravitas.
“The humble vessel belongs to Indian tradition,” states Gupta. “It has many references to its status in Indian society. It is both formal and informal. It at once gives us cultural conversations that bring in the dynamics of economics, politics and the beauty of traditions. With the handis put in a pile I’m sharing the story of my village, it is personal as well intimate.”
Gupta’s ideas take shape in a variety of different media, such as steel, bronze, marble and paint. Materials are encountered for their aesthetic properties and as conceptual signifiers carrying a wealth of connotations. The mass-produced utensils that have played such a prominent role in Gupta’s art offer an ambiguous symbolism: whilst they are seen by those in the West as exotic and representative of Indian culture, to those in India they are ubiquitous items, used daily in almost every household.
In these installations we see that Gupta is harnessing hybrid associations, and adding resonance in the viewer’s mind while the materials he uses are both subject and object. The tall installation using wood and smaller handis as well as other found objects seeks to create a meditation on the walk up the mountain. Little by little, over the years we have seen Gupta invading private collections with his monochrome signatures which tells of life, its challenges and its dramas, with the silent sequence of a novel tale.
The oil on linen paintings in Gupta’s oeuvre feature utensils as the central character in a choreography of texture and timbre. These harness childhood memories in his mother’s humble kitchen in Bihar, his memory of eating food using innumerable thalis and carrying the tiffin of food for his father who worked in the railway. The suite of My Village paintings are both poetic and pensive because they are meditative islands of metal and light.
The show at Galleria Continua in Paris will evoke responses that are born of deep reflective moments of solitude and study. It presents the artist’s vision of life, which is made up of abstract elements, everyday objects, noise and silence. “In some way, it is my village.” Subodh Gupta concludes.
GALLERIA CONTINUA celebrates the 15th anniversary of Les Moulins, its first space in France.
The exhibition, entitled My Village, .the olfactory design was entrusted to Amélie Jacquin, perfumer at Givaudan.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
END OF ARTICLE