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Indra's Net (6)

Indra's Net (6)
signed, inscribed, titled, numbered and dated 'Bharti Kher 2007 "INDRA'S NET (6)" Bindis on aluminium panel.' (on the backing board)
bindis on aluminium composite panel
48 x 48 in. (122 x 122 cm.)
Executed in 2007
Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
Acquired from the above by the present owner
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.


Bharti Kher began 'painting' with bindis in 1995 after what she has described as a 'supernova' moment of revelation when she came across a woman in India wearing a serpent shaped bindi on her forehead. A powerful symbol of an old India now undergoing rapid change and modernisation, this ancient symbol of beauty, marital status and spiritual awareness applied to their foreheads daily by millions of women across the subcontinent, immediately suggested itself as a rich and appropriate tool for her art. In her paintings Kher applies these felt bindis in vast clusters of patterns so as to suggest designs ranging from very decorative floor designs (rangoli) seen in homes during religious festivals, to large works with free flowing bindis that seem to invoke a sense of migratory flow and constellations of form building and dissipating in complex, unintelligible and cosmic-looking rhythms.

In this piece, Kher appropriates the circular bindis to form a Rangoli pattern - colourful, festive and sacred. In utilising the bindi and its traditional implications, Kher's work comments on class, feminism and the relationship between traditional and contemporary culture. Whether representing the all-seeing third eye of Shiva or acting as an indicator of a woman's marital status, Kher meticulously places hundreds of bindi's into a lively pattern. In doing so, the artist suggests the transgression of the bindi from a significant symbol now universally identified with Indian culture.

"Kher plays on the role of the bindi in contemporary art. Mass-produced stick-on bindis are the low-brow versions of the Bindu (with a capital B), a conceptually loaded aesthetic and spatial device, valorized and self-Orientalized by modern Indian artists and architects. Kher's use of pedestrian bindis is an intellectual and cultural inversion of the mythology of the modern Bindu. By repeating the bindi endlessly and using it in subversive ways to cover surfaces that range from rexine (imitation-leather) carpets and broken cups to fiberglass animals and hybrids Kher pokes fun at the transcendent potential of the hallowed Bindu."
(Kanu Kartik Agrawal, The In-Between Worlds of Bharti Kher, An Absence of Assignable Cause, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and Nature Morte, New Delhi, 2007)