Saturday 27 January 2024

Subodh Gupta: “A small village, around the corner, up in the mountain”

Aparajita Jain and Peter Nagy (co-directors of Nature Morte) are proud to announce the opening of a permanent space for the gallery in Mumbai, occupying the entire third floor of Block A of the historic Dhanraj Mahal at Apollo Bandar. Joining the family of contemporary art galleries in the Colaba neighborhood, our windows look directly upon the Bombay Yacht Club and the new tower of the Taj Mahal Hotel.

Artist: Subodh Gupta

The gallery will open with a solo show of new works by the celebrated artist Subodh Gupta, who was born in Bihar in 1964 and is based in the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon. This is the seventh solo show that Nature Morte is hosting with Gupta in India, and opening our Mumbai space with him is particularly appropriate as we opened our Neeti Bagh space in New Delhi (home to the gallery from 2003 to 2020) with his solo show. Entitled “A small village, around the corner, up in a mountain,” Gupta’s exhibition will include sculptures, paintings, and wall reliefs, all created in the past few years. The works in the exhibition continue with Gupta’s provocative investigations into the associations of common objects, realized as complex free-standing sculptures, wall reliefs, and paintings. Vessels used for cooking that are ubiquitous throughout India remain the artist’s basic vocabulary but a wide range of other objects now join in the mix, most of which continue to allude to the social stratifications of Indian society. Gupta’s use and depictions of these humble objects act as metaphors for the passage of time, our human condition, the bonds of family and community. His titles for many of these works speak of the discoveries and mysteries associated with travel and the theatre of life.

Subodh Gupta’s works have been exhibited in solo exhibitions in prestigious museums and venues such as Monnaie de Paris (2018); Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK (2017); Art Basel, Switzerland (2017), The Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art, Washington DC (2017); National Gallery of Victoria, Australia (2016); Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany (2014); Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland (2013); Kiran Nadar Museum, New Delhi (2012); and the Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland (2011). His mid-career survey, curated by Germano Celant, was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi in 2012, where his monumental sculpture “People Tree” is permanently installed on the front lawns, facing the India Gate. Solo shows of his works have been hosted by the gallery Hauser & Wirth in London, New York, and Somerset UK and by the Galeria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy and Paris, France.



Founded in New York's East Village in 1982 and closed in 1988, Peter Nagy revived Nature Morte in New Delhi in 1997 as a commercial gallery and a curatorial experiment. In the early years, Nature Morte became

synonymous in India with challenging and experimental forms of art; championing conceptual, lens-based, and installation genres and representing a generation of Indian artists who went on to international exposure. Today, Nature Morte is the leader in its field in India with increasing visibility around the world, representing many of the most accomplished contemporary artists working in India today, fostering the most promising new talents, and introducing the works of international artists to the country.

The gallery now has two exhibition spaces in New Delhi: the main gallery is located at the Dhan Mill complex in the Chhatarpur area, in a 400-square-meter space on the ground floor at the center of the complex. In addition, a secondary gallery is in the neighborhood of Vasant Vihar, measuring 70-square-meters and used for smaller shows. The Vasant Vihar space also houses the gallery’s offices, private viewing rooms, and expanded storage. Mumbai is not the first space for Nature Morte outside of New Delhi: previously the gallery has maintained multiple branches in various locations: Berlin (2008-2014), Kolkatta (with BosePacia from 2006-2009), and at the Oberoi Gurgaon hotel (2011-2014).

The artists represented by the gallery are active throughout the world and their works have been exhibited in and acquired by many of the most prestigious museums: in New York (Museum of Modern Art, P.S. One, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim); London (Tate Modern, Hayward Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, Courtauld Institute, The Serpentine Gallery); Paris (Centre Pompidou, La Monnaie, Musee Guimet, Palais de Tokyo); Tokyo (Mori Art Museum); Chicago (The Art Institute, Museum of Contemporary Art); Hong Kong (M+); Venice (La Biennale, Fondazione Prada, Punta della Dogana, Palazzo Grassi); Australia (National Gallery inCanberra, Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney), among many others. Nature Morte was the first gallery from India to be included in the most important international art fairs (starting with The Armory Show in New York in 2005) and has participated in Art Basel, Fiac Paris, Art Basel Miami Beach, Paris Photo, Art Dubai, Tokyo Art Fair, Art Basel Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi Art Fair, and Frieze London and New York, among others. Nature Morte has also organized projects and exhibitions with international artists coming to India and combining their works with those of Indian artists to foster cross-cultural communications. In addition to its own programming, Nature Morte has collaborated with institutions in India such as the British Council, the Alliance Francais, the Sanskriti Foundation, the India International Centre, the India Habitat Centre, Max Mueller Bhavan, the Italian Culture Institute, Khoj International Artists Association, the Kochi/Muziris Biennial, Pro Helvetia, the National Gallery of Modern Art in both New Delhi and Mumbai, the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and the CSMVS Museum (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum) in Mumbai, and the Museum of Art &Photography (MAP) in Bangalore.


The Owners


C (born 1959, Bridgeport, CT, USA) was co-founder (along with Alan Belcher) of Gallery Nature Morte in New York's East Village in 1982, where it continued until 1988. Nature Morte represented artists such as Steven Parrino, Gretchen Bender, Not Vital, Ken Lum, Julia Wachtel, and Jennifer Bolande, in addition to mounting solo project shows of important artists such as Vito Acconci, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Keith Sonnier, Ross Bleckner, Richard Pettibone, Allan McCollum, and Laurie Simmons. The third gallery to open in what was then New York’s frontier art neighborhood, Nature Morte exhibited the work of many artists early in their careers including Robert Gober, Haim Steinbach, James Welling, and Cady Noland.


A graduate of Parsons School of Design in New York (1981) with a BFA in Communication Design, Nagy's art was represented in the 1980s by International With Monument in the East Village and later with Jay Gorney Modern Art in Soho. Solo exhibitions of his art in the latter half of the 1980s happened in Los Angeles (Margo Leavin Gallery), Cologne (Jablonka Galerie), Milan (Studio Guenzani), London (Edward Totah Gallery) and Paris (Galerie Georges-Phillipe and Natalie Vallois) and his works have been included in important group exhibitions in museums such as the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Tate Modern in London. Currently, he is represented by Magenta Plains in New York, who collaborated with Jeffrey Deitch to mount a survey exhibition of his black-and-white works made in New York from 1982 to 1992 at Deitch’s New York gallery space in 2020. His art works are in the collections of the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the Menil Collection of Houston, among other institutions. Based in New Delhi since 1992, Nagy’s writings on contemporary art have been published in a wide variety of publications, from international magazines to museum and gallery catalogs.


Aparajita Jain (born 1980, Kolkata, India) is the co-director of Nature Morte since 2013, when she bought a controlling interest in the gallery, assimilating into its roster some of the artists represented by Seven Arts Limited, the gallery she previously owned that focussed on discovering young talent, among whom were Asim Waqif and Martand Khosla.

Aparajita, along with her husband Gaurav Jain, was a founding/council member of Harvard University's South Asia Arts Council, representing Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, established to connect South Asia's curators, museum administrators, artists, and art educators with Harvard faculty. She was listed as one of 50 iconic Indian gallerists by Platform magazine and played an active role in the Vogue Women's Empowerment Campaign. She was listed as one among eight influential women in the Indian art world by ARTSY, one of 30 influential women in the art world by ELLE magazine, and amongst the top 100 creative by Harper’s Bazaar. She was recently awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by FICCI FLO for her contribution to art and is currently on the advisory board of Indian Council for Cultural Relations. She has anchored, along with Peter Nagy, a television series called Art Insider on NDTV.

In 2010, Aparajita Jain founded The Saat Saath Arts Foundation, envisioning it as a not-for-profit initiative meant to foster a platform for creative dialogue between Indian artists and the international art world. The foundation has received international acclaim for its Curatorial Research Grant program, conceived along with Diana Campbell, artistic director of the Dhaka Art Summit, which endows international curators with resources to extend their research on the Indian art scene, thus nurturing a vital exchange of knowledge between India and the rest of the world. The first recipients of the grant, Laura Raicovich (Director of Global Initiatives, Creative Time, NY), Mari Spirito (Founding Director of Protocinema, Istanbul/New York), Lauren Cornell (Curator, 2015 Triennial, Digital Projects and Museum as Hub), and Dr. Helen Pheby (Senior Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park,UK) visited India in 2013 and 2014. The foundation helped customise their itineraries to suit their research interests,while providing them with resources to ensure an efficient and productive trip. In 2015, Catherine David (Deputy Director, Centre Pompidou, Paris) and Dieter Roelstraete (at the time on the team of dOCUMENTA14) were awarded the grant to nurture their ongoing research on contemporary Indian artists. The foundation also supports exhibitions by Indian artists, most recently responsible for the mounting of Jitish Kallat's poetic piece, Covering

Letter, at the CSMVS (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum) in Mumbai and the exhibition "Matter," featuring the work of Bharti Kher at Vancouver Art Gallery. SSA launched India’s first public Sculpture Park for contemporary art in collaboration with the Government of Rajasthan in 2017, where it continues inside the Nahargarh Fort of Jaipur today.

January 19th to March 9th, 2024

 Gallery Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11am to 7pm. Closed on Sundays.



Dhanraj Mahal, Block A, Third Floor Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001

Monday through Saturday: 11am to 7pm


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