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Solo exhibitions: Subodh Gupta, 'Faith Matters'
23 January 2010 - 21 March 2010

The PinchukArtCentre presents Faith Matters, Subodh Gupta’s first major solo show in Eastern Europe. For this exhibition, Gupta has created four new sculptures and a series of nine new paintings, installed on the second and third floor of the PAC. With these new works, Gupta focuses on the shifting of national identity and cultural change.  The exhibition will be open from 23 January till 21 March 2010. 

The title Faith Matters refers to a central work of the exhibition. The installation, which consists of a moving sushi conveyor belt topped with piles of traditional Indian kitchen utensils, presents what appears to be a metropolis in constant mechanical movement.

By the invocation of the many metaphors of food and its containers, both the sublime and the sensual are never far from Subodh Gupta’s ever hospitable high table. His work, Faith Matters, comprises a huge, slowly moving sushi belt fitted with scores of tiffin boxes. On the one hand, this work talks about food and how it has traveled in time across seas and continents, and on the other, it recalls the obscure destiny of the dabba-wallas of metropolitan Mumbai who manually transports wheel-barrows of tiffin boxes filled with home cooked food in a fast changing urban reality.

The ready-made object of the kitchen utensil often used by Gupta, contains both a strong historical significance and symbolic meaning, demonstrating the economical and cultural change in his country. In Faith Matters, this break is visible by combining the stainless steel objects with “skyscrapers” made from brass.

In Only one Tiffin, Gupta again uses the utensils as ready-mades, now accumulating them and turning the whole sculpture around by introducing a red cotton bag used to hold one of the utensils. In his œuvre, Gupta is constantly turning and twisting the ready-made object, portraying through abstraction the new industrial versus the traditional. Through its content and abstraction the work is positioned in the tradition of India and history of art but speaks far beyond these borders, making the ready-made object with specific roots and a clear iconographical reference a universal icon. This continues in Gupta’s new series of paintings presented at the PAC where the same utensils are the main subject. As in Faith Matters, these utensils are in movement: they fall down, passing by, blurring out to almost abstract forms and sometimes transforming into an organic form. Gupta uses not only the idea of the cold steel, but also the reflection of colour to break down the material.

Cosmic Battle introduces a new direction in Gupta’s work, transforming the ready-made idea by enriching it with narrative structure. With this sculpture, Gupta shows the collision of good and evil and at the same time creates a melting pot of two cultures, two beliefs and two iconographies. The sculpture depicts Durga, a Hindu female warrior goddess who was born out of the cosmic energy of the defeated male divinities. She is shown riding a lion and holding her weapons, including the snake. She fights the centaur, a figure from Greek mythology, described in Dante’s Divina Commedia as demons patrolling the banks of the river of blood, using their weapons to keep the souls at their assigned depth. Again Gupta twists the sculpture by painting it white, effectively cooling down its dramatic form. The transformation of the sculpture continues through the use of light elements which gives the work a divine aura and reinforces in a surprising way the dramatic aspect of this “Cosmic Battle”.

Subodh Gupta was born in 1964 in Khagaul, Bihar, India. He studied at the College of Art, Patna (1983 – 1988) before moving to New Delhi where he currently lives and works. Trained as a painter, he went on to experiment with a variety of media, which culminated in his first installation in 1996 entitled ‘29 Mornings’. His work has been prominent in major international biennials and has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions across Asia, Europe and America.

The solo exhibition by Subodh Gupta will be demonstrated on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the art centre and will include 4 new sculpture installations and 12 new paintings. 

Viewing hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 12:00 – 21:00
Closed – Monday
Admission is free

Block А, 1/3-2, Chervonoarmiyska Street/Baseyna Street
Besarabka quarter
Kyiv 01 004

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E-mail: [email protected]