Sunday, September 23, 2012

‘Solarum Series I’ and other works by Bharti Kher

Among the prominent sculptures on view in the exhibition of works by Bharti Kher at London’s Parasol unit is ‘Solarum Series I’ (2007–10). It’s a 9-foot-tall fibreglass tree, its branches covered with hundreds of what seem, at a distance, to be golden autumnal leaves of extreme delicacy. On closer inspection, one sees that these leaves are actually miniature, waxy-looking heads of various fantastical creatures.

Also on show is her ‘The deaf room’ (2002-2011), a sculpture made of dark glass bricks. It is seemingly a strictly aesthetic minimalist work, but when one learns the origin of its bricks it begins to reveal its feminine bias and a wealth of symbolism. The barely translucent dark bricks are made from melted glass bangles, those that Indian women traditionally wear in multiples on their wrists.

The merest hint of the radiant glow of bangles only becomes apparent when the bricks are exposed to light behind the gestural clay build of the work. The deaf room, 2002-2011 stands for the absence and memory of a woman, in an emptied room. Finally, Warrior with Cloak and Shield, 2008, a life-size fibreglass figure of a woman adorned with exaggeratedly huge stag’s antlers, is part of a series of hybrid half-human, half-animal figures, which again testifies to Kher’s non-abidance mind and unflinching imagination.

The exhibit is accompanied by a comprehensive publication that includes several insightful essays by Parasol unit Director/Curator Ziba Ardalan, art critic and curator Gayatri Sinha, and Tom Morton, curator, writer and contributing editor for Frieze, alongside an interview with the artist by curator and writer Aveek Sen. It will be distributed internationally.

Bharti Kher, born 1969 in London now lives and works in New Delhi, India. She has shown internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Most recently, she featured in the First International Biennale of Contemporary Art; at Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kiev, Ukraine; in Paris–Delhi–Bombay at Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2011; in ‘21st Century: Art in the First Decade’, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia; ‘Tokyo Art Meeting: Transformation’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and in ‘Susan Hefuna – Bharti Kher – Fred Tomaselli: Between the Worlds’, Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland, (all in 2010). Her latest exhibition in London is supported by Priya & Cyrus Vandrevala and Jolana & Petri Vainio.

No comments:

Post a Comment