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
Bharti Kher is one of India’s most prominent contemporary artists. Born in London she set up her studio in Delhi in the early nineties. At the centre of the Arnolfini exhibition are a series of drawings made locally during a residency in Somerset in 2019.
In addition to delicate mixed media drawings, works will also include Kher’s highly complex and textured bindi drawings and a new, large-scale, site-specific version of Virus; conceived and executed annually as a 30-year on-site project using bindi drawings and text.
Alongside these the artist will present sculptures and installations, interwoven with a rich mix of materials, resonant with cultural and political meaning.
An exploration of her visual language – an often overlooked, yet hugely accessible, aspect of the artist’s practice – forms the focus of her exhibition at Arnolfini, offering an intimate portal into Kher’s world in which drawing, sculpture and installation intertwine, straddling two cultures but speaking one visual language.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication from Arnolfini, exploring Kher’s visual language, and interweaving a new collection of intimate words and images.
About Bharti Kher:
Born in 1969 in London, UK, Bharti Kher 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, religion, 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 within India 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.