Bharti Kher, Body Incantatory 21, 2019
Acrylic, pastel, colour pencil, ink on paper 76 x 60 cm / 29 7/8 x 23 5/8 inches
Photo: Dominic Brown Photography
© Bharti Kher Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Arnolfini welcome you to explore the alchemical practice of internationally renowned artist Bharti Kher, in a major solo exhibition of drawing, sculpture, and the spaces that lie between.
Including new and previously unseen works created during a residencies in Somerset in 2017 and 2019, The Body is a Place also features Kher’s monumental bindi drawings, the playful and political drawing-based installation Links in a Chain, sculptures made from found objects and plaster casts, and a new encounter with her site-specific bindi work Virus; part of a 30-year project began by the artist in 2010.
A collector of materials and meaning, Kher’s work invites us into ‘a world of objects and a world of words’, weaving between magical, mythical, spiritual, and scientific realms.
Drawing upon bodily senses she creates her own ‘hand-brain-body-art-language’ – ‘I hear it, taste it, eat it, write it, draw it’ – explored here in both two and three-dimensional forms.
The Body is a Place is accompanied by a programme of film, music, talks and workshops for all ages, as well as a new publication available through Arnolfini Bookshop.
About Bharti Kher:
Bharti Kher was born in 1969 in London, UK. She studied painting, graduating in 1991 from Newcastle Polytechnic with a BA Honours, Fine Art, before moving to New Delhi, India, in 1993. Experimentation and alchemy are key to Kher’s practice, which explores materiality, secularity, and spirituality, creating new meaning in objects and hybrid narratives that move fluidly between fact and fiction, and certainty and uncertainty. Deeply interested in our experience of an artwork and its relationship to the body, her work often challenges preconceived ideas of gender and femininity, ‘tapping into mythologies and the numerous diverse associations a thing or place can bring’.
Kher is recognised as a leading contemporary artist with a career spanning over three decades and has developed a well-earned reputation from a multitude of international exhibitions and installations. Her Public Art Fund commission, Ancestor, a bronze universal mother figure, is currently on view in New York and her Intermediaries sculptures are exhibited by Parasol Unit at the Venice Biennale until 27 November. Kher has presented several UK solo exhibitions over the last 20 years, such as A Wonderful Anarchy, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2019; and gallery and museum presentations: This Breathing House, Freud Museum, London; 2017; Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, 2012; and Virus, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, 2008. Her work has also been shown in numerous international group exhibitions and is held in public and private collections across the world. Significantly she has been recognised elsewhere by awards such as the prestigious Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), in France, 2015; the ARKEN Art Prize, Denmark, 2010, and the Sanskriti Awards, India, 2003.
We offer a range of tools to help you explore Bharti Kher: The Body is a Place in a number of different ways
To help you navigate your way around the exhibition, copies are available in the galleries, as well as for you to download below.
Available throughout the exhibition, accessible via QR codes, as well as here:
Virus X Installation
About the Artist
Arnolfini welcome you to explore the alchemical practice of internationally renowned artist Bharti Kher, in a major solo exhibition of drawing, sculpture, and the spaces that lie between.More Work
15 November 2022