Born: 1964

Subodh Gupta - Artworks


Subodh Gupta, dubbed as the ‘Damien Hirst of Delhi’, is a world renown Indian contemporary artist. Multifaceted, his production runs across the complete gamut of mediums, from sculpture and painting to installation, photography, video and performance works. He transform the icons of everyday life into intricate artworks-cum-commentary reflecting on the transformation of the economic and cultural Indian landscape.

Born in Bihar in northern India in 1964, Subodh Gupta spent his formative years traveling with a small theatre group. He worked as an actor for five years while designing posters to advertise the plays. Later on, he worked as a part-time newspaper designer and illustrator while studying at the College of Art in Patna (from 1983-1988) where he went on to receive his BFA in painting. After graduation, he was offered a permanent job by the newspaper. He then moved to New Delhi, where he was awarded a scholarship by a government-run initiative, and a space to work in the Garhi Studios.

Although trained as a painter, he experimented with variety of media; stainless steel being his signature medium. He worked with everyday objects ubiquitous throughout India, such as steel kitchen utensils, used in almost every home in the country. He utilize the found and manipulated these objects to encapsulate multiple meanings and reflect on the circumstances of contemporary India while employing both their aesthetic properties and conceptual significance. By using these quintessential Indian icons, Subodh Gupta questions the ambivalence of a society caught between traditional customs and globalization, booming wealth and impoverishment, and old caste politics and religious beliefs. He explored the effects of cultural translation and dislocation through his work, demonstrating art’s ability to transcend cultural and economic boundaries.1

In the past ten years, within the context of the contemporary art scene of India itself, Gupta has gradually moved towards a more encompassing attitude of art, one which focuses on specific images and issues that subsequently dictate the mediums in which they can be articulated. To be sure, certain motifs are often found repeated in different works as Gupta's concerns hover close to home even though his formal rhetoric may seem to be imported. It is the diversity of his production which is most impressive. He is almost completely alone among his generation within India to completely disregard disciplinary boundaries or the inhibiting strictures of the marketplace.2

Gupta’s works have been exhibited in prestigious museums, art fairs and biennales throughout the world. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held in some of the most internationally renowned contemporary art galleries, including Hauser & Wirth (London, Zurich, New York and Somerset), Arario (Seoul and Beijing), Pinchuk Art Centre (Kiev) and Galeria Continua (San Gimignano, Italy). In 2012 his mid-career survey was seen at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, curated by Germano Celant. His most recent solo shows include Anahad/Unstruck (2016) at Famous Studios, Mumbai, India; Invisible Reality (2016) at Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, UK; and Seven Billion Light Years at Hauser & Wirth (2015), New York. In late 2015, his monumental sculpture When Soak Becomes Spill was installed in front of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; a giant stainless steel bucket with hundreds of small vessels spilling from the brim like over-flowing water. His work was included in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s recent show Megacities Asia and in 2013 he was awarded the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Letters, among the French government’s highest honors, for his contribution to contemporary art. Gupta’s work has been acquired by leading private collectors as well as for the permanent collections of museums all over the world.3

Gupta's process, always keenly aware of the physical presence of objects, the aesthetic and symbolic attributes of materials, the relationships between space, bodies and the passage of time has the penchant to exploit the cliches of India. His works carry a wealth of connotations yet successfully found an art language and aesthetics that resonates throughout the world producing breathtaking pieces that reflect on the transformational power of the everyday.

Text Reference:
1 3 Retrieved from &
2 on September 10, 2018


  • Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Letters, Government of France, 2013
  • French Government Residency, L’Ecole des Beaux-arts, Paris, 2004
  • UNESCO-ASHBERG Bursaries for Artists, Gasworks Studio, London, England, 1997
  • Emerging Artist Award, BosePacia Modern, USA, 1997
  • 1st Prize by M.F. Husain, All India Painting Exhibition, Vadehra Art Gallery, India, 1996
  • Research Grant Scholarship, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, India, 1990-91
  • All India Festival, Dhanbad, India, 1989
  • Students Grant Scholarship, Government of Bihar, India, 1987-88
  • All India Youth Festival, Madras, India, 1986



  • Subodh Gupta - The Imaginary Order Of Things, Fernando Frances, Published by Cac Malaga, Idea Books
  • Subodh Gupta: Gandhi’s Three Monkeys, Nicolas Bourriaud, S. Kalidas & Dan Cameron, Jack Shaiman Gallery, London, 2010
  • Subodh Gupta - Common Man, Martin Herbert & Hans Ulrich Obrist, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, London, New York, 2010
  • Subodh Gupta, Camille Morineau & Mathilde de Croix, Editions Skira Publishing, Paris, 2018
  • Everything is Inside, Subodh Gupta, Penguin Studio, India, 2014


Top 10 Auction Records

Title Price Realized
Saat Samundar Para (10) HKD 9,280,000
Steal 2 USD 1, 166,500
Miter USD 920,500
One Cow USD 866,500
Cheap Rice USD 842,500
Saat Samunder Para VII USD 825,000
Untitled (Pot) USD 785, 983
Untitled GBP 601,250
Chimta GBP 529,250
Untitled (Pot) HKD 5,031,500