Artist couple staying in Rashtrapati Bhavan

Artist couple staying in Rashtrapati BhavanNEW DELHI: Internationally acclaimed artists Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher are staying in Rashtrapati Bhavan here for a week.

Their stay is under an initiative of President Pranab Mukherjee to provide an environment which will inspire creative thinking and rejuvenate artistic impulses.

The couple, who are married, are in residence at Rashtrapati Bhavan till March 10, an official release said.

Gupta was born in 1964 in Khagaul, Bihar and studied at the College of Art, Patna (1983-1988). He is known for working with everyday objects such as steel kitchen utensils.

While stainless steel is his signature medium, he has also masterfully executed works in bronze, marble, brass and wood.

His works have been exhibited in prestigious museums, art fairs and biennales throughout the world.

Solo exhibitions of his work have been held in internationally renowned museums and galleries, including National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi), Museum f r Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Hauser & Wirth (London, Zurich, New York and Somerset), Arario (Seoul and Beijing), Pinchuk Art Centre (Kiev) and Galeria Continua (San Gimignano, Italy).

He was awarded the Chevalier dans l Ordre des Arts et des Letters, among the French government’s highest honors, for his contribution to contemporary art, the release said.

Kher, who was born in 1969 in London, is a leading Indian contemporary artist.

She studied painting and design at Middlesex Polytechnic in London and then at Newcastle Polytechnic in Northern England. .

Kher uses the bindi as a central motif in her work to link tradition and modernity, the East and the West, it said.

Her famed installation, The Skin Speaks A Language Not Its Own (2006), features a life-size elephant made with fiberglass and covered with numerous white bindis, kneeling on the floor in an ambiguous state between dying and living.

In her sculptures and collages, Kher has created hybrid beings that unite contradictions of gender, species, race, and social role.

Sculptures such as Arione (2004) and Arione’s Sister (2006) are part-human, part-animal; sperm-shaped bindis writhe over their bodies, completing the vision of a futuristic femininity.

She has been exhibiting internationally for more than two decades. Her most recent shows include the ones at the Vancouver Art Museum (Vancouver), Freud Museum (London), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), 20th Biennale of Sydney (Sydney), Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi), Centre Pompidou (Paris).

Kher is the chairperson and founding member of Khoj International Artists Association.

She was also an artistic advisory for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 and is an executive committee member for Jawahar Kala Kendra Museum, Jaipur. Kher was awarded the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2015.

The ‘In-Residence’ program in Rashtrapati Bhavan was launched by the President on December 11, 2013 with the aim of providing writers and artists an opportunity to stay in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The program intends to honor and recognize eminent and established artists and writers as well as encourage young upcoming talent from different parts of the country.

Prominent artists who have stayed in the Rashtrapati Bhavan under this program so far include Jogen Chowdhary, MP (Rajya Sabha), Paresh Maity, Jayasri Burman and Shahabuddin Ahmed of Bangladesh.-PTI

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