ZURICH.- Hauser & Wirth
opened its new Zurich space with an exhibition of works by Subodh Gupta, including monumental new sculptures and the Cosmos paintings, first shown at PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine. Guptas ideas take shape in a variety of different media, such as steel, bronze, marble and paint. Materials are encountered for their aesthetic properties and as conceptual signifiers carrying a wealth of connotations. The mass-produced utensils that have played such a prominent role in Guptas art offer an ambiguous symbolism: whilst they are seen by those in the West as exotic and representative of Indian culture, to those in India they are ubiquitous items, used daily in almost every household. Gupta harnesses these hybrid associations, allowing them to resonate in the viewers mind and has made steel a subject in its own right.
The final paintings in Guptas oeuvre to feature utensils as the central motif, the works relate not only to the earlier Still Steal Steel series (2007 2008), but also to the sculptures that Gupta constructs using innumerable thalis and tiffins. These paintings are poetic and meditative depictions of metal and light. They show stainless steel kitchenware in a state of suspended flight, their photorealism rendered abstract by the blur of their motion. The flat surfaces of these paintings reference Pop Art while the utilitarian subject matter ties them to the tradition of still life painting.
New marble sculptures complement the paintings. These take ordinary objects such as a bucket and drum as their subjects, yet in carving these items from marble and at a larger-than-life size, they transcend the simplicity of the original object, turning the practical forms into majestic objects of beauty.
This exhibition is Hauser & Wirths inaugural show at Hubertus Exhibitions, a raw industrial space that will be the temporary home for the gallery during the refurbishment of the former Löwenbräu brewery building. Together with Hauser & Wirth Zürich, the Migros Museum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Galerie Bob Van Orsouw and Kunstgriff bookshop will all be based at Hubertus Exhibitions until the Löwenbräu renovation is completed in 2012. Hubertus Exhibitions is located at Albisriederstrasse 199A, 8047 Zurich and can be visited online at www.hubertus-exhibitions.ch.