From Duchamp-esque sculpture to intensely personal painting, Subodh Gupta’s collection Everything is Inside will be shown at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi from 17 January to 16 March. This mid-career survey of Gupta’s work is curated by renowned art historian and curator Germano Celant in their first collaborative exhibition.
Displayed across two buildings, Celant has expertly utilised the gallery space to compliment Gupta’s pieces. The ornate Jaipur House, originally the residence of the Maharaja, provides an intimate setting for paintings and small sculptures examining domestic India, while the modern glass and concrete wing houses Gupta’s impressive large-scale installations, including a brand new site-specific piece. Gupta will adapt the central staircase to create a mass of cascading steel utensils, frozen as they tumble towards the ground. This sterile yet hypnotically reflective surface echoes the ironic seduction of a natural disaster.
Drawing on works from across Gupta’s career, Everything is Inside highlights an evolution from the organic and autobiographical style of his earlier collections to the humorous and bold art of the last few years which provides commentary on the changing culture of India as it undergoes rapid modernisation and growth. My Mother and Me (1997) and Bihari (1999) make reference to and engage with Gupta’s rural roots as he uses cow dung to create paintings representative of his traditional upbringing.
All in the Same Boat (2013), a new work produced for the exhibition builds on Gupta’s interest in microcosms of human interactions as a traditional Keralan fishing boat overflows with electric fans and worn utensils. A focus on the icons of everyday Indian life – cooking utensils, kitchenware, bicycles, taxis – is key to Gupta’s work as he transforms the activities and objects of daily life into art. Despite their utilisation of the mundane, these arresting works are far from ordinary as Gupta’s signature juxtaposition captures the vibrancy of his native India.
Subodh Gupta: Everything is Inside, 17 January until 16 March, The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. Jaipur House, C-Hexagon Road, India Gate, New Delhi, Delhi, 110003. ngmaindia.gov.in
Image: Subodh Gupta, Everything Is Inside, NGMA, New Dehli, Bullet, 2007