Overview
Over the last two and a half decades, Shilpa Gupta has developed a powerful interdisciplinary approach to challenging prevailing notions of individual and collective cultural identity. Gupta examines the role of perception and subjectivity in the status of objects, places, people and experiences, and the way value is defined and impacted by nationalism, trade, religion and notions of security.
 
Incorporating sculpture, text, sound, light and ephemera, Gupta explores the psychology of different media forms by reversing their traditional roles and encouraging viewer participation to create meaning. Subverting the way audio and visual technologies typically present information — such as flapboards displaying fragmented words and phrases rather than train departure times, playfully projecting the shadows of unseen objects interacting with the shadow of the viewer, or microphones embedded with hidden speakers amplifying the voices of poets incarcerated for their beliefs, political speeches, or a plurality of thoughts and opinions, prompts the viewer to listen in. The artist highlights the subjective nature of reality reinforced through media and objects, and challenges the authority and autonomy of their means of dissemination. 
 
Gupta’s works often requires the viewer to spend time, watching or listening for meaning to unfold, or revaluate their initial impression shift upon closer inspection. Audience participation plays a crucial role in the formation and evolution of Gupta’s work, as viewers are often invited to take an object with them, activating a change in context both individually and publicly.
 
Long interested in the divisive systems prioritized by nationalism, religious fundamentalism, social identity and the effects on individuals and the collective within South Asia and globally, Gupta’s work communicates across cultures. Often involving many languages, perspectives and subjectivities, Gupta necessarily leaves room for the perception of the work to change, depending on where or when it is encountered, and encourages viewers to project and reflect on their own associations.
Works
Biography

Born in 1976 in Mumbai, Shilpa Gupta currently lives and works in Mumbai, India. The artist graduated with a BFA in sculpture from Sir J. J. School of Fine Art at the University of Mumbai in 1997. 

 

Currently, a new work from Gupta’s ongoing flapboard series entitled Wearecloserthanyoueverimagined has just been installed at the Chemnitz Hauptbahnhof, Germany through October, 2020. She is also featured in an exhibition at Copenhagen Contemporary, on view through December, 2020.

Upcoming, Gupta will have a solo exhibition at M HKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp and will be featured in exhibitions at several prominent American institutions in addition to a large-scale outdoor commission, also in the U.S., to be announced soon.
 
Shilpa Gupta has been the subject of solo presentations at international institutions including at Contemporary Art Center, Baku, Azerbaijan (2018); Kiosk, Ghent, Belgium, which travelled to Bielefelder Kunstverein and La synagogue de Delme Contemporary Art Center (2017); a two-person joint India-Pakistan exhibition, commissioned by the Gujral Foundation at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Kunsternes Hus, Oslo (2014); MAAP Space, Brisbane (2013); Műcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest (2013); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2010); Arnolfini, Bristol (2012); Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Netherlands (2012) and Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2009). A 10-year survey of her work, was presented at the OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria (2010). 
 
In 2019, Gupta was part of a two-person exhibition curated by Nada Raza at the Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai. Gupta’s work has also been included in prominent group exhibitions at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2017); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida (2016); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2012); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2009); Serpentine Gallery, London (2008); Asia Society and Queens Museum, New York (2005); Tate Modern, London (2001); National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai (2000).
 
Last year, Gupta was included in the 58th Venice Biennale curated by Ralph Rugoff (2019). She also participated in Kochi Muziris Biennale (2018), NGV Triennale (2017), Gothenburg Biennial curated by Nav Haq, which was titled after her light work WheredoIendandyoubegin (2017), Berlin Biennale (2014), New Museum Triennale (2009), Sharjah Biennial curated by Yuko Hasegawa (2013), Lyon Biennale curated by Hou Hanru (2009), Gwangju Biennale directed by Okwui Enwezor and curated by Ranjit Hoskote (2008), Yokohama Triennale curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist (2008) and Liverpool Biennial curated by Gerardo Mosquera (2006). Her work has also been shown in biennales in Auckland, Brisbane, Seoul, Havana, Sydney, Yogyakarta, Echigo-Tsumari, Shanghai, Houston and others.
 
In 2019, Gupta was the recipient of the GQ Cultural Provocateur Award; in 2018, she was named India Today’s New Media Artist of the Year; in 2013, she was one of the YFLO Titan Young Women Achievers Awards recipients; in 2011, she received the Bienal Award at the Bienal De Cuenca, Ecuador; in 2004 she was the recipient of the Transmediale Award, Berlin, and the Sanskriti Prathisthan Award, New Delhi. She was also named International Artist of the Year by the South Asian Visual Artists Collective, Canada. 
 
Gupta's work is represented in the permanent collections of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Louisiana Museum, Denmark; Bristol Art Museum, Rhode Island; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris; Asia Society, New York; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane; FRAC des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; and Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, among others.
Exhibitions
Publications