Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Subodh (Suman) Gupta

 (born 1964)
Subodh (Suman) Gupta is active/lives in India.  Subodh Gupta is known for iconic sculpture, political theme installation, painting.

Subodh (Suman) Gupta

Biography from the Archives of askART

Subodh Gupta was born in Khagaul, Patna.  He studied at the College of Art, Patna in 1983 - 1988, before moving to New Delhi where he currently lives and works.  Trained as a painter, he went on to experiment with a variety of media. His work encompasses sculpture, installation, painting, photography, performance and video.

Subodh Gupta is best known for incorporating everyday objects that are ubiquitous throughout India, such as the steel tiffin boxes used by millions to carry their lunch as well as thali pans, bicycles, and milk pails.  From such ordinary items the artist produces sculptures that reflect on the economic transformation of his homeland and which relate to Gupta's own life and memories.

Gupta transforms the icons of Indian everyday life into artworks that are readable globally.  He is among a generation of young Indian artists whose commentary tells of a country on the move, fueled by boiling economic growth and a more materialistic mindset.  Gupta's strategy of appropriating everyday objects and turning them into artworks that dissolve their former meaning and function brings him close to artists like Duchamp; The Guardian called him 'the Damien Hirst of Delhi.'

One of his recent major works, consisting of Indian cooking utensils, is Line of Control (2008), a colossal mushroom cloud constructed entirely of pots and pans. The work was shown in the Tate Triennial at Tate Britain in 2009.

Painting is also an important part of Subodh Gupta's art practice.  His series Still Steal Steel consists of photorealistic paintings of kitchen utensils falling and moving in space. In his early paintings, Gupta used another element of Indian every day life, cow dung.  This is used in India for building houses and as fuel for cooking fires.  Moreover, it is a cleaning agent.  The idea that cow dung is inherently clean is ingrained in rural India.  There, it is a purifying element, both ritual and symbolic.  In his video Pure (2000, 9 min.), Gupta takes the detergent concept literally and has filmed himself taking a shower, to free himself of the thick layer of dung that covers his body.

In works that Subodh Gupta presented at Hauser & Wirth in October 2009, the artist moved away from composite sculptures toward objects that possess an auratic quality.  Ready-made commodities experience transformations in scale and material.  Relations to European art history were now to be found.  Among the new works is a three-dimensional reworking in bronze of Duchamp's mustachioed Mona Lisa L.H.O.O.Q. (1919).

His oil on canvas painting Saat Samundar Paar went under the hammer for Rs 3.4 crores in the Saffronart autumn online auction.  In 2008, he along with several other artists raised 3.93 crores for Bihar flood victims.

In 2010 Subodh Gupta designs the stage set for the ballet CREATION 2010 by Angelin Preljocaj, the French choreographer.  The ballet is produced by the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, and the Ballet Preljocaj.

Solo Exhibitions
2010 Faith Matters, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine
Take off your shoes and wash your hands, Tramway, Glasgow, UK
Arario Gallery, Cheonan, Korea
Arario Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Et tu, Duchamp, KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Kunsthalle Wien project space, Vienna, Austria
Nature Morte, New Delhi, India
Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland

2009  Common Man, Hauser & Wirth, London, UK
Line of Control, The Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia

2008  Still Steal Steel, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York City, USA
There is always Cinema, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy
Line of Control, Arario Beijing, China

2007  Start.Stop, Bodhi Art Gallery, Bombay
Silk Route, Baltic Art Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Idol Thief, IN SITU - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France

2006  Hungry God, Nature Morte, New Delhi
Artes Mundi Prize, Cardiff National Museum, UK

2005  Jootha, IN SITU - Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France
I go home every single day, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York NY, USA
Jootha, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, India

2004  I go home every single day, The Showroom Gallery, London, UK

2003  Saat Samunder Paar, Nature Morte, New Delhi, India
This side is the other side, Art & Public, Geneva, Switzerland

2000  Recent Works, Nature Morte, New Delhi, India

1999  Recent Works, Gallery Foundation for Indian Art, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1997  Bose Pacia Modern, New York NY, USA
The Way Home, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, India

1996  Grey Zones, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, India

Group Exhibitions:
2009  Altermodern. Tate Triennial 2009, Tate Britain, London, UK
Un certain État du Monde?, The Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow, Russia
The 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

2008  God & Goods - Spirituality and Mass Confusion, Villa Manin, Udine, Italy
Indian Focus. Artistes Indiens Contemporains dans la Collection de Claude Berri, Espace Claude Berri, Paris, France
Chalo! India: A new Era of Indian Art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (Traveling Exhibition)
Indian Highway, Serpentine Gallery, London, England (Travelling Exhibition)
Where in the World, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi, India

2007  Sequence 1. Painting & Sculpture from the François Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
Edge Of Desire: Recent Art in India, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, India (Traveling Exhibition)
New Delhi - New Wave, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy
India: Public Places / Private Spaces, The Newark Museum, Newark NJ, USA

2006  Altered, Stiched & Gathered, P.S.1 MoMA, New York NY, USA
Venice - Istanbul, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey
Taipei Biennial 2006, China
Lille 3000, Lille, France
Edge Of Desire: Recent Art in India, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga CA, USA (Traveling Exhibition)
Edge Of Desire: Recent Art in India, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley CA, USA (Traveling Exhibition

2005  51st Venice Biennale, Italy
Weightless Space, The Herzliya Museum Of Contemporary Art, Israel
The Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Dialectics of Hope, Russia
Universal Experience: Art, Life and the Tourist's Eye, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago IL, USA (Traveling Exhibition)
Universal Experience: Art, Life and the Tourist's Eye, Hayward Gallery, London, England (Travelling Exhibition)

2004  Indian Video Art: History in Motion, Fukuopka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
Edge Of Desire: Recent Art in India, The Art Gallery Of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Vanitas Vanitatum, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, India

2003  8. Biennale Havanna, Cuba
Body. City. Citing Contemporary Culture in India, House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany
The Tree from the Seed, Contemporary Art from India, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway

2002  Kapital & Karma, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
Photosphere, Nature Morte, New Delhi, India

2001  Post Production (Sampling, Programming & Displaying), Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy
Context as Content - Museum as Metaphor - Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Fine Art, Chandigarh, India (Travelling Exhibition)
Context as Content / Museum as Metaphor, Nature Morte, New Delhi, India (Travelling Exhibition)

2000  Vilas, Birla Academy, Mumbai, India
Kwangju Biennial, Korea
Invisible Boundary: Metamorphosed Asian Art, Utsunomiya Museum of Art, Japan

1999  Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, Fukuoka, Japan
Of, based on, or obtained, Nature Morte, New Delhi, India

1998  New Millenum, New Media, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, India

1997  Points of Contact, Shirley Fiterman Gallery, New York NY, USA
Khoj International Artists Exhibition, British Council, New Delhi, India Randeep Ranesh. The Damien Hirst of Delhi, The Guardian, 20 February 2007; The Economic Times, India Times, 3 June 2008;

Biography from the Archives of askART
Gupta has had solo exhibitions with some of the most prestigious galleries in the world, including Hauser & Wirth, The Saatchi Gallery and Jack Shainman Gallery. His work has been included in important international biennales and museum shows around the world. Along the way, he has received numerous grants and awards, including the UNESCO-ASHBERG Bursaries for Artists, the Bose Pacia Emerging Artist Award, in New York, a visiting professorship at L'Ecole des Beaux-arts, in Paris, and the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2013. In 2005 he participated in the Venice Biennale and was shortlisted for the Artes Mundi International Visual Arts Prize. Born in Khagaul, in Bihar, India, Gupta completed his BFA in painting at College of Arts and Crafts, Patna, in India. Today he lives and works in New Delhi with his wife, fellow internationally-recognized conceptual artist, Bharti Kher.

Christie's, Mumbai

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday

About  Subodh (Suman) Gupta

Born:  1964 - Khagaul, Bihar, India
Known for:  iconic sculpture, political theme installation, painting