signed in Hindi and dated '07' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
66 x 90 in. (167.6 x 228.6 cm.)
Painted in 2007
Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
N. Bourriaud, S. Kalidas and D. Cameron, Subodh Gupta: Gandhi's Three Monkeys, New York, 2008, pp. 66-67 (illustrated)

Lot Essay

Subodh Gupta's works have been widely exhibited. This year he is participating in several museum exhibitions including, Indian Highway VI, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, Indian Contemporary Art, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Arken and Massive/Intensive: Contemporary Art from India, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv. Furthermore, he was recently included in exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, FLAG Art Foundation, the Devi Art Foundation, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou and the Herning Kunstmuseum, among many others.

From his iconic series on stainless steel utensils in India, this painting is a commentary on contemporary India, transitions, and the inherent contradictions of globalization. Stainless steel utensils are symbols of traditional Indian family life that transcend class, religion and ethnicity, being one of the first truly aspirational objects of modern India. "Hindu kitchens are as important as prayer rooms. These pots are like something sacred, part of important rituals." (Artist quote C. Mooney, 'Subodh Gupta: Idol Thief,' ArtReview, 17 December 2007, p. 57)

The mesmerizing reflective quality of the utensils in this painting is a celebration of the prosperity they represent, at the same time Gupta comments on their inherent vanity. After being used every day such objects could never be so perfectly shiny and reflective, so their impossible perfection becomes a frozen alternate reality. "Superficially, Subodh's art has taken the experience of India away from the dirty, crowded and noisy to the clean, sparse and sedate. While he has done so metaphorically, his choice of icons and materials and his strategy of approach have been anything but simplistic [...]." (P. Nagy, Start.Stop, exhibition catalogue, Mumbai, 2007)

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