11 January - 20 April, 2014
Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai
Contemporary painter and sculptor Bharti Kher has been engaged with the varying art historical traditions of the readymade, Minimalism and abstraction (through repeated gestures and forms), as well as mythology and narrativity for the past twenty years. Bharti Kher: Misdemeanours presents a fifteen-year survey of Kher's practice from the early years of the 21st century through to the present, as represented by new bodies of work made specifically for the Rockbund Art Museum and its related institutional and cultural histories. The exhibition constitutes a synthesized overview into a complex and evolving worldview and the artist's first major solo exhibition in Asia.
Organized to occupy all six floors of the museum's galleries, the exhibition examines tropes, ideas, and bodies of work that constitute the mainstay of Kher's oeuvre, including the interlocking relationships between man and the animal kingdom and the attendant notions of hybridity, transmogrification, and ethics, which are pervasive topics in contemporary art and critical discourse today; the links between abstraction and figuration; the question of the other; gender politics; globalization and cosmopolitanism, and what it means to be a contemporary artist and cultural producer. The exhibition also includes two site-specific installations that serve as conceptual and physical "skins" that encase the museum's monumental façade and conjoin two exhibition spaces on consecutive floors. These architectural interventions serve as mirrors to Kher's own use of the bindi to serve as a carrier of the other, and an object that revels both in its ability to decorate and enliven attention, as well as to subsume and obscure the gaze.
Text by Sandhini Poddar.