Research seminar: Patterns of Dissent: COntemporaneity in South Asian Art


Subodh Gupta: The Routes of Success

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

18.00, Research Forum South Room

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boat in a gallery, boat filled with objects from the river
Subodh Gupta, What does the vessel contain, that the river does not, 2012. Mixed media. © Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Speaker(s): Subodh Gupta (Artist, New Delhi) in conversation with Professor Deborah Swallow (Director, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London) and Jessica Morgan (The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, London)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission with advance booking required. BOOK ONLINE: http://courtauld-institute.digitalmuseum.co.uk

Organised by: Zehra Jumabhoy with Professor Deborah Swallow (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London)



This Panel Discussion will coincide with What does the vessel contain, that the river does not, Indian artist Subodh Gupta’s solo show at Hauser & Wirth, London, from 18 May to 27 July 2013. The exhibition takes its title from the artwork that will be exhibited – a 20-odd meter long boat, piled high with furniture, a TV set and used pots. The mammoth object is a traditional Keralan fishing vessel and it was initially fabricated for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012, which circled around ideas of trade, transit and travel. Hauser & Wirth’s exhibition in their Savile Row Gallery marks the artwork’s first sojourn outside India.

Gupta’s giant boat represents one of the motifs of mobility that has dominated his practice: others have included cars, taxis, scooters and bicycles.

This Discussion follows close on the heels of Gupta’s survey exhibition, Spirit Eaters, at the Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (16 February to 28 April 2013).Gupta’s Swiss debut included sculptures, videos, and paintings from the 1990s onwards.

The Panel will trace and debate the development of Gupta’s oeuvre; tracking the roots (and routes) of this artist’s phenomenal success.



The lacuna in knowledge regarding modern and contemporary South Asian art in western academic institutions is becoming increasingly evident at a time when numerous survey shows, and some high-profile solo exhibitions, have focused 'international' attention on it.

This Seminar Series offers a platform for artists, curators and scholars to discuss urgent issues concerning the Subcontinent. What, after all, does the term “contemporary South Asian” mean?



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