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Invisible Reality: Subodh Gupta at Hauser & Wirth

Invisible Reality: Subodh Gupta at Hauser & Wirth


Pictured above: Chanda Mama Door Ke (From far away Uncle Moon calls) 2015 Subodh Gupta

It would be hard to imagine a more appropriate setting for Subodh Gupta’s new show than Hauser & Wirth Somerset where the artist’s passionate, futuristic pieces on consumerism and environmental neglect contrast starkly with this historic and beautifully preserved 17th century model farm.

Invisible Reality takes over all five gallery spaces at H&WS with a series of sculptures and installations reflecting the artist’s concern with climate change and limitless global consumption.

Always a lover of the every day object as art form (his giant milk pail graced the courtyard when H&WS opened back in 2014) this show features thousands of discarded pots, pans, colanders, spatulas -  many of them gathered in Gupta’s native India – suspended from the ceiling, a huge mushroom cloud of waste and disregard (main picture above).

The pin-bright tree (Specimen No 108), an ominous, Dr Who-like steel sculpture which sprouts cooking utensils is skilfully juxtaposed slap bang outside the picture-pretty farmhouse.

In the threshing barn, a huge burnished brass pot dangles from the rafters, glowing like a golden orb on your approach, though on the other side its interior is a nightmarish web of barbed wire.

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Touch, Trace, Taste, Truth (side view) 2015 Subodh Gupta

Gupta has said that the piece, once fully formed, became a comment on migrants  lured to the West by the promise of a sunny future.

His despair at thoughtless global waste is everywhere –there’s a visceral sense of anger in his Pressed for Space series, blocks of flattened utensils with scraps of bright Indian material caught in between.

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Pressed for Space 1 Subodh Gupta  2015

The show finishes with an apocalyptic final piece which gives the title to the show. Invisible Reality features a traditional wooden house brought over from Kerala and rebuilt in the gallery. The house is illuminated from the inside with a violent white light and reverberating metal panels on the walls provide disturbing flashes of thunder. A sensory overload with a stark warning – from rural India to the picturesque setting of Durslade Farm, environmental devastation will affect us all.

Subodh Gupta: Invisible Reality is at Hauser & Wirth Somerset until 2 May 

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