The Tate’s capacious approach allows a public still largely unfamiliar with the many artistic revolutions that have taken place outside of the narrow scope of the Euro-American tradition a window into one such visionary oeuvre. 168-213. He is a reminder of the immense possibilities of difference: as a “Pop” artist outside the centers of Pop, as a gay artist in a conservative Indian city, and later as someone suffering while in the company of healthy friends. Dercon, Chris, and Nada Raza, eds. He holds a pair of driving gloves near his crotch: the fingers bunching into a bouquet of phalluses. “Paan Shop for People: Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003).” Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990. B hupen Khakhar was born in Khetwadi in Bombay in 1934. The productive capacity that this deviation has is evidenced everywhere in the retrospective. We’re left wondering if his use of mythological imagery – the monkey god Hanuman makes an appearance alongside a man with five penises – is intended to be satirical, fantastical, sincerely spiritual or simply funny. Bhupen Khakhar is an Indian artist who is best known for his paintings, but also experimented with installations, glass-painting, ceramics and writing. At the Tate which is an institution in its own right extremely exlcusive in its choice of artists and exhibitions how did Bhupen Khakar become the Indian artist who is … It draws you in not only through the sheer liveliness of the work, but because Khakhar’s artistic impulses weren’t at heart intellectual or political, but personal and emotional. Print. These aren’t the subtlest colour combinations, but, boy, do they sing out. As his own relationship to corporality shifted in response to his battle with cancer, so did his approach to it in its painted form. In “Gallery of Rogues” (1993), independently framed panels are arranged together in constellation of plebeian faces: lovers from all corners of Baroda who have been the object of Khakhar’s doting admiration. Bhupen Khakhar, “You Can’t Please All”, 1981, oil and paint on canvas, 175.6 x 175.6 cm. In addition to these prominent positions, the museum is presenting an artist who has yet to be discovered by Western audiences: Bhupen Khakhar. Citron, Beth. For his friends and colleagues who have outlived him, he is a warm memory that continues to inspire — to be found in their art, their writings, and their wistful conversations. Bearing a TATE exhibition label on reverse along with another label with cataloguing details and exhibition history in India from the 1990s. Painted in 1993 A man labelled Bhupen Khakhar branded as painter.  Nada Raza, “A Man Labelled Bhupen Khakhar Branded as Painter.” Dercon, Chris, and Nada Raza, eds. While we don’t want to be overwhelmed with contextual information, too much about Khakhar’s complex cultural background is left vague. Print. Purchased 1996 © Estate of Bhupen Khakhar About the artist A key figure in 20th century painting, Bhupen Khakhar’s pictures depict the world with unflinching honesty and deep humanity. From the beginning of his artistic career, Bhupen Khakhar expressed a commitment to presenting the world as he saw it and experienced it. Yet you won’t spend long in front of these beguiling images before you start wondering how much in them is naïve, how much is pseudo-naïve and how much is making a sophisticated play with our expectations of Indian art. Bhupen Khakhar (also spelled Bhupen Khakkar, born Bombay 10 March 1934 – died Baroda 8 August 2003) Bhupen Khakhar was a leading artist in Indian contemporary art. Mark Hudson warms to this exhibition dedicated to the colourful and subtly complex paintings of the late Indian artist Bhupen Khakhar.  The nudity suggests a kind of voyeurism he looks to the men of the fable, as if getting pleasure from watching them go about their day. Bobby Friction: The sound of Bhupen Khakhar; Five ways to look at Bhupen Khakhar; Who is Bhupen Khakhar? They are painted lovingly, with unidealized bodies and an unglamorous presence. This biography is from Wikipedia under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. Tate Modern; Exhibitions; Bhupen Khakhar; Feature . Prior to his arrival in Los Angeles, Sayantan worked in commercial galleries in New York and New Delhi and in the education sector in Shanghai. We learn from a documentary film from 1983, shown in the gallery, that far from being simply picturesque, Khakhar’s view of Indian life is fundamentally satirical. 1934 - 2003. “The Uncommon Universe of Bhupen Khakhar.” Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures.  Khullar, Sonal. By this time, there had been two retrospectives of Khakhar’s work, one shortly after his death at the National Gallery of Art in Mumbai, and another mounted at the Reina Sofia in Madrid the previous year. Print. The Tate’s very welcome exhibition of the great Indian painter Bhupen Khakhar (1934–2003) is the first international retrospective since the superb show held at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai three months after the artist’s death. Tickets: 020 7887 8888; tate.org.uk. BHUPEN KHAKHAR. When Khakhar was asked why the donkey was sporting an erection, he responded, “Because he is carrying two men.” The man in the painting, with his back towards us, may very well be enjoying the view just as much. Towards the latter end of his life, Khakhar’s interest in the male body took a turn for the grotesque. As a result, single artists are getting loving attention from curators in landmark retrospectives, certifying them as worthy of a place in an expanded canon. Kitaj.. He journeyed to the USSR, Yugoslavia, England and Italy. Subramanyan, Bhupen Khakhar. Ed. 18. Filmed in Baroda, Messages From Bhupen Khakhar 1983 is an intimate profile of the artist speaking about many of the works in the exhibition. The face of the older man, though masked by the dark, urgent profile of the younger is recognisably Khakhar's. 181. Mumbai: Gallery Chemould, 2005. Nilima Sheikh, Vivan Sundaram, Mrinalini Mukherjee, GM Sheikh, and other artists had banded together to establish a new outlook on art as India marched farther and farther away from the date of its liberation from the British empire. There is a new age underway in which European and American museums are beginning to see Indian modern art not in terms of national or cultural parameters, but as another strain in the very plural experience of modernism in the global context. Hyman, Timothy, and Bhupen Khakhar. The preoccupation with same-sex union becomes a focal element of Khakhar’s paintings in the 80s and 90s, oftentimes married with iconography from Hindu mythology and folkloric practice. Print. Print. The exhibition was an homage to the artist’s late style, which started to show a preoccupation with morbidity and mortality in the late ‘90s. London: Tate Gallery, 1982. Khakhar’s more humble subjects, the local barber, watchmaker and tailor, were thus beatified in these sensitive and observant portraits. But he was also influenced by art history. Renowned for his unique figurative style and incisive observations of class and sexuality, Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003) played a central role in modern Indian art and was a key international figure in 20th century painting. Signed and dated in Gujarati lower right. But he found life in London glum and “grumpy”, communicating as much through the paintings he executed there, two of which are on show in the the exhibition’s second room. Bhupen Khakhar, however, gives us modern Indian art as the romantically inclined Westerner would like to imagine it: magic realist images of small-town life in vibrantly intense colours, painted with a quirky disregard for Western conventions of space and composition. This room takes its title from the 1999 painting in which Khakhar boldly painted the agony he suffered during cancer treatment. Kapur, Geeta. Sheikh encouraged Khakhar to attend Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda and intro… This muralistic style of composition reveals Khakhar’s study of the Sienese painting tradition, which he shared with his colleagues in the Baroda and would see reproduced in books during his time studying at the Faculty of Arts. His mother’s death in 1980 also allowed him greater openness about his preferences, as he became less concerned with reactions from his family. In many ways, Khakhar’s life’s work represents vanguard radicality that responded to an artistic climate that was aggressively androcentric and heteronormative. Khakhar was an autodidact and worked diligently throughout his life despite an absence of any formal training. As … We should read Jonathan Jones’ review in The Guardian of Bhupen Khakhar’s retrospective at the Tate Modern as an expected irritant – he (still) writes like a provincial Englishman. Those close to him have commented on the intense relationships he developed with men in Baroda: invariably older than Khakhar and of lower social status. If we’re going to spend time in a substantial exhibition on an artist from a very different culture, we need some understanding of where their work is coming from and what it means, or it all just becomes a colourful blur. Zitzewitz, Karin. The subjects are oftentimes Khakhar’s own lovers, who tended to emerge from lower socioeconomic classes. It was clear that time passed on by, but love for Bhupen remained as ardent as ever. Comprising 91 works from across five decades, this is the first international retrospective of the work of Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003) since his death and, according to incoming Tate Modern director Frances Morris, it is “part of the spirit of the bigger international story that the new Tate Modern [to be opened to the public on 17 June after its £260m extension] is dedicated to”. While Gaitonde and Mohammedi might be relatable to global audiences by virtue of their links to abstraction and minimalism respectively, Khakhar presents a much more intrepid option. His current research interests include histories of display and queer identities in modern South Asia.  This was the everyman that appeared and reappeared in his paintings: the tea shop owner, the zoo keeper, the average city dweller. The Bhupen Khakhar retrospective “You Can’t Please All” opened on 1 June 2016 at the Tate Modern, supported by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, and runs until 6 November 2016 as part of an ongoing partnership between the London museum and Berlin’s Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, where it will travel to next. Scholars have tended to categorize Khakhar’s art with three periodized divisions of his biography, beginning with the earliest period after his relocation to Baroda. Thus, the irony of London as the home to the most important retrospective of Khakhar’s work is subtly addressed with great humor and poise. He moved to Baroda in 1958 to follow a longstanding passion and curiosity for art, enrolling in a graduate program in Art Criticism at the then-new Faculty of Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University. This landmark exhibition showcases vivid works on canvas, luminous watercolour paintings and experimental ceramics. 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A friend was finishing a painting that would be included in a show titled “Touched by Bhupen”: an exhaustive group exhibition that brought together several Indian artists who either claim influence from Khakhar or knew him personally, in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of his death. In these decades, any timidness around the male body and eroticism disappears, allowing for graphic images that explore love and lust between Indian men. Towards the end of this “early period”, Khakhar also painted comical scenes from his own time in England, drawing on his travels — an ironic postcolonial reversal, in a sense, of the colonial documentation embodied by Company Painting. “Paan Shop for People: Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003).” Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990. As a land grant institution, UCLA acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, So. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2007.  Khakhar’s paintings took this imperial motive and redeployed it for his own inquiries into the lives of his fellow countrymen — the everyday people who would become his muses in both life and art until the end. There is a comic edge to these works, both in their titles and in Khakhar’s use of translucent glazes and bright colours. Until November 6. 175.6 x 175.6 cm. London: Tate Publications, 2016. International painting is at the center of this year’s Tate program: Georgia O’Keeffe, Francis Bacon, Maria Lassnig, and Robert Rauschenberg are being honored with major exhibitions. This is no small part of Khakhar’s legacy: his defiant embrace of men loving men, in both allegorical and earthly realms. This Tate Modern exhibition in 2016 … Enjoy your stay :). The show, in its multi-pronged approach, manages to resurrect a resplendent image of such a beloved figure, doing justice to the deep affective ties he still holds among so many members of the Indian art community today. Tate Museum, London.  Baroda would become Khakhar’s permanent home — a respite from the intense urbanity of Bombay, and shelter from the prying eyes of the community he lived in. 168-213. Building a Bridge between Academia and Community Needs: Trans Latinxs in Southern... César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. This landmark event ushers in a new age in the display of South Asian contemporary, heralding the possibility of institutional support for a truly international interpretation of modernism. Your email address will not be published. Khakhar, speaking about the painting, has said that if indeed one cannot please all, one should please themselves. This is also the time when Khakhar worked on a series of “trade paintings”: portraits of men diligently at work in their local shops, allowing for a certain view into a world ordered by their particular line of business. It was after his time in London that the artist decided to be more forthright in his sexual identifications, and this was partially linked to the more progressive stance he saw the English taking towards sexuality. “Saint Bhupen.” Bhupen among Friends : A Tribute to Bhupen Khakhar by Friends.  The body is no longer a site of sex and love, and more so a place of decay.  These relationships featured heavily in his work. The past 10 years have shaken up our view of art from outside the Western mainstream. He is the subject of a major retrospective at London’s Tate Modern, where his life’s work is welcomed alongside the global greats. Here are some interesting links for you! Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003) was born in Bombay, studied economics and qualified as a chartered accountant. But his most important and comprehensive expose was arguably the current show mounted at the Tate Modern, titled after his seminal painting “You Can’t Please All” (1981). These works are a willful affront to the famously conservative values of the middle class, but mine a long tradition of homosociality in Indian history to locate a local vision of queer identity.  Kapur, Geeta, “The View from a Teashop,” Contemporary Indian Artists, New Delhi: Vikas, 1978.  Geeta Kapur, “Mortality Morbidity Masquerade,” Dercon, Chris, and Nada Raza, eds. This second ‘stage’ in his practice is consistently pivoted around a turn symbolized by his painting, “You Can’t Please All” (1981). 13-25. His first foray abroad took him to the USSR, Yugoslavia, Italy, and most importantly, England, a country with which Khakhar started to develop an interesting relationship. By combining art-historical influences with contemporary … Two men stand in naked embrace, their erect penises almost touching. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. Channel Islands). You Can’t Please All was painted at Khakhar’s house in Baroda, India. 3 October 2016 . Biography A self-taught artist, Bhupen Khakhar was born in Bombay on the 10th of March 1934. 158-165. Six Indian Painters: Rabindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, M.F. The graphic directness of Khakhar’s treatment, and his apparent lack of self-pity, are remarkable. Print. The curators do not shy away from teasing out the complex relationship between the former colonial metropole and the artists who boldly produced art for a new India in the years after 1947. Credit Oil on canvas. Khakhar graces the walls of the Tate with his characteristic irreverence and quirkiness: his colors are brilliant; his men playful. 153. It was after his stint in London that Khakhar started speaking openly about his sexuality, reflecting on how sexually liberated people seemed to be in the old metropole.  Khakhar’s lexicon has often been identified with the work of British artists David Hockney and R. B. My first encounter with Khakhar’s paintings came in the summer of 2013, after having just landed in Bombay. His career change was partly thanks to meeting the poet and painter Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh in 1958. New Delhi: Vikas, 1978. In the foreground of the same scene, we see a man — a characteristic self-portrait of Khakhar himself — in the nude looking out over the developments in this tale from his perch on a balcony. Required fields are marked *. Bhupen Khakhar: Truth is Beauty – Talk at Tate Modern | Tate. He is best known for his pictures of everyday life in India which owe much to the British figurative artists, RB Kitaj and David Hockney. The textures of daily life in India — particularly the cheap reproductions of Hindu idols, seen pasted on walls of roadside temples — made appearances in pastiche collages. The sardonic tone in these images stems from his general displeasure at London’s supposed glumness, reflected in paintings such as “Man in Pub” (1979). It took a second for my eyes to focus; to realize that the figures that emerged in his narrative paintings were indeed men: men who came together in various salacious acts of sexual union. W ithin his career and thereafter, Bhupen Khakhar has received the most international and highly regarded institutional attention of any Indian artist. “Bhupen Khakhar’s “Pop” in India, 1970-72.” The Art Journal 71.2 (2012): 44-61. Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All. Khakhar referenced the work of two sixteenth-century Dutch artists, Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s depictions of peasant life and Hieronymous Bosch’s supernatural worlds. London: Tate Publications, 2016. Three small panels on the left of the image follow a British man’s empty day, leading to the large panel on the right, showing the same sad face cradling a pint alone in a garishly decorated pub. The exhibition, “You Can’t Please All”, opened earlier this year. During this time, he began experimenting in material and showed a particular interest in the art of the street. My friend showed me the only monograph of Khakhar’s work produced to date, lovingly compiled by artist Timothy Hyman in 1998. These works took their queue from colonial era “Company Painting,” a style that arose in the nineteenth century during the expansion of the British East India Company. So it’s difficult to pick apart these influences or understand how he evolved his characteristic style. Bhupen Khakhar played a central role in modern Indian art and was a recognised international figure in 20th century painting. Tate Edit Makers' Showcase. At the time, I was only thoroughly familiar with the first generation of modernists emerging at the wake of the Indian republic — such stalwarts as MF Husain, SH Raza, and FN Souza — whose palettes tended towards the muted and somber. Web. The Tate’s intervention has canonized Khakhar as an essential figure in the story of South Asian modernism, while also asserting the entire movement as a viable category for deep curatorial research in leading contemporary art museums worldwide. Subjects were varied, but one prominent use for the Company style was to document uniforms of different groups of tradespeople. His father was an engineer, and he died when Khakhar was still a child. This subtle nod to queer intention becomes thoroughly explicit in the next age of his career — the legacy of which has in many ways defined his contributions to modernism. He was awarded a CSW Travel Grant in 2017. What made the recent record-breaking years in the art market the most exciting ever? Oil on printed cloth with a cushion backing laid on board. The works presented by curator Nada Raza offered poetic snapshots of different artistic investments over the course of Khakhar’s life. Despite having been qualified as a chartered accountant before moving to Baroda in 1962, he joined the Art Criticism course at the Faculty of Fine Arts where he started painting and became involved with the seminal Narrative- Figurative movement. Tate Museum, London. Tate. Subscription ... Bhupen Khakhar (1) Exhibition Bhupen Khakhar (1) Print type Custom prints (1) Price £25 - £49.99; £50 - £149.99; £150 - £299.99; Clear all Even at the outset, Khakhar’s sensibilities were oriented (somewhat presciently) towards the aesthetics of the global Pop, and its defiant breakdown painterly conventions that maintained the sanctity and purity of medium. Khakhar started showing his work as early as 1965, and while it took him some time to lead the cosmopolitan life of his peers, he was traveling internationally by 1976. 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