previews

Subodh Gupta, Faith Matters, 2007–2008, sushi conveyor belt, motor, stainless steel and brass utensils, aluminum, copper, 5' 3 3/8“ x 8' 8 1/8” x 15' 1 1/8". Photo: Stefan Altenburger.

Thun

“Subodh Gupta: Spirit Eaters”

Kunstmuseum Thun
Thunerhof Hofstettenstrasse 14
February 16 - April 28

Curated by Helen Hirsch

A focused selection of artworks old and new, “Spirit Eaters” is New Delhi–based Subodh Gupta’s solo debut in Switzerland. Sculptures, videos, and paintings provide a long-overdue chance to test the aesthetic mettle of India’s most famous “Man of Steel” and to trace the arc of his lauded career. Gupta’s semirural antecedents are often overlooked thanks to the glare cast by his shiny steel installations of kitchen utensils, pots, and pans—as the towering tiffin boxes of Faith Matters, 2007–2008, reminiscent of the soaring skyscrapers of Gurgaon (the posh suburb where Gupta resides), testify. But his early output was substantially less glitzy. The grittier work Pure, a 1999 video, shows a nude Gupta slathering himself with cow dung, in reference, perhaps, to the Bihar-born artist’s status as a small-town boy from India’s poorest state. A catalogue available in German and English, with an essay by Aveek Sen, dishes out further food (and fodder) for thought.