Photo Gallery: “BHARTI KHER Matter” at Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada

“BHARTI KHER Matter” is the Indian artist’s first major North American survey to date.

Running until 10 October 2016, the exhibition presents Bharti Kher’s diverse artistic practice incorporating elements of painting, photography and sculpture from the past two decades.

Bharti Kher, 'An absence of assignable cause', 2007, bindis, resin. Photo: Bharti Kher Studio. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

Bharti Kher, ‘An absence of assignable cause’, 2007, bindis, resin. Photo: Bharti Kher Studio. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

“BHARTI KHER Matter” explores the Indian artist’s oeuvre, from her iconic bindi paintings to her sculptures and photography (PDF download) of hybrid creatures. Curated by Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator/Associate Director, and Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art, the exhibition sheds light on the artist’s exploration into the meaning of human relationships, spirituality, the animal world and the role of femininity in today’s society. As the Vancouver Art Gallery writes,

Her work leaves us to ponder what it means to be human today.

Bharti Kher was born in London, England, in 1969, and after receiving her education there, moved to New Delhi, India in 1993, where she has been based ever since with her artist husband Subodh Gupta. Much of the inspiration for her work, whether tied to her themes, ideas, materials or techniques, comes from Indian influences, such as her unique use of bindis, and some mythological references.

Through her work, Kher poses questions of identity and gender, as well as challenges the stereotyped notions of femininity and beauty, creating hybrids that blur the distinctions between male and female, animal and human such as her ‘cyborg-like’ “Hybrids” and her quasi-androgynous sculptures of ‘goddesses’. Kher investigates the nature of human relationships and the complexity of social norms, bringing about ideas of female empowerment.

Bharti Kher, 'The betrayal of causes once held dear IV', 2016, mixed media. Photo: Bharti Kher Studio. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, ‘The betrayal of causes once held dear IV’, 2016, mixed media. Photo: Bharti Kher Studio. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

In the exhibition press release (PDF download), Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, is quoted as saying:

Bharti Kher’s artworks are varied in material, sensibility and subject matter, yet are bound together by her piercing explorations into the meaning of human relationships, spirituality and femininity in today’s society. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity for the viewers to reflect on perceptions and realities of being human at the present time.
Vancouver Art Gallery has also co-published with Black Dog Publishing a comprehensive exhibition catalogue, BHARTI KHER Matter (2016), which reproduces a career-spanning selection of artworks representing Kher’s diverse artistic practice, as well as a collection of eight essays on the artist written by eight distinguished writers, art historians and curators, including Shanay Jhaveri, Rebecca M. Brown and Ashok Mathur.
Bharti Kher, 'The Messenger', 2012, resin, sari, wooden rake, granite. Photo: Genevieve Hanson. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, ‘The Messenger’, 2012, resin, sari, wooden rake, granite. Photo: Genevieve Hanson. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

 

Bharti Kher, 'Heaps (I)', 2012–13, saris, resin. Photo: Keith Park, Courtesy of Kukje Gallery. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, ‘Heaps (I)’, 2012–13, saris, resin. Photo: Keith Park, Courtesy of Kukje Gallery. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, 'Contents', 2010, bindis on twenty-one medical charts. Private Collection. Photo: Mike Bruce. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, ‘Contents’, 2010, bindis on twenty-one medical charts. Private Collection. Photo: Mike Bruce. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, 'The betrayal of causes once held dear IV', 2016, mixed media. Photo: Bharti Kher Studio. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, ‘The betrayal of causes once held dear IV’, 2016, mixed media. Photo: Bharti Kher Studio. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, 'Matter', 2013, (detail), bindis on mirror, stainless steel. Photo: Chandan Ahuja. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & WIrth.

Bharti Kher, ‘Matter’, 2013, (detail), bindis on mirror, stainless steel. Photo: Chandan Ahuja. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, 'In your absence', 2010, sari, resin, wooden chair. Photo: Kushal AN. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery SKE.

Bharti Kher, ‘In your absence’, 2010, sari, resin, wooden chair. Photo: Kushal AN. Image courtesy the artist and Gallery SKE.

Bharti Kher, 'They day they met', 2011, sari, resin, wooden stairs. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

Bharti Kher, ‘They day they met’, 2011, sari, resin, wooden stairs. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

Bharti Kher, 'And all the while the benevolent slept', 2008, resin, porcelain, plastic, pedestal in mahogany wood, copper wires. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

Bharti Kher, ‘And all the while the benevolent slept’, 2008, resin, porcelain, plastic, pedestal in mahogany wood, copper wires. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

Bharti Kher', Six Women', 2013–15, (detail), plaster, wood, resin. Photo: Document Photography. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher’, Six Women’, 2013–15, (detail), plaster, wood, resin. Photo: Document Photography. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, 'Six Women', 2013–15, plaster, wood, resin. Photo: Document Photography. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bharti Kher, ‘Six Women’, 2013–15, plaster, wood, resin. Photo: Document Photography. Image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

 

“BHARTI KHER Matter” runs from 9 July to 10 October 2016 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada.

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Related Topics: Indian artists, art and mythology, female body, female empowerment, museum exhibitions, events in Vancouver

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