Subodh Gupta: The Imaginary Order of Things

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart shares a note on Subodh Gupta’s exhibition at the CAC Malaga

Installation Shot @ Cacmalaga

Installation Shot @ Cacmalaga. Image Credit:

London: The Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga, Spain is currently presenting the first solo show of Subodh Gupta in Spain. The exhibition, curated by Fernando Francés, includes three works which have never been shown in an exhibition before.

“The Imaginary Order of Things” focuses especially on the theme of migration in India,  from rural to urban areas. This is expressed through symbolic objects such as a boat which is used to transport families and becomes their temporary home and objects from the past that they have to leave behind during their journey.

Ancestor Cupboard, Subodh Gupta, 2012

Ancestor Cupboard, Subodh Gupta, 2012. Image Credit:

Fernando Francés says about the artist: “Subodh Gupta is possibly the most poetic artist in the world. He does not renounce the material, but in fact bases himself on it, taking it to the limits of exaggeration, monumentality and the baroque (Bombaysers de Lille, a homage to the victims of the 2004 tsunami), it succeeds in making emotion – a sentiment as close-at-hand as it is rare – spread into and overturn all the boundaries and walls of thinking and reason. He is a sort of modern Robin Hood who appropriates the Indian drama, re-codifies it, imbues it with an emotional charge and gives it back to us as a gift for the eyes and mind. Nothing is the result of chance in his work. The very process of thought is a ritual or ceremony in which, like a skilled alchemist, he revives memories of childhood and youth, symbols, pots and pans, as if they were objects of desire or cult objects or both at the same time. He gives them patinas that bear messages: the bronzes and golds of the sacred, the steel of industrial progress. The result is a sort of equilibrium between antiquity and the avant-garde, chaos and order, harmony and upheaval, emotion and suspense. Only the skill of a poet can harmonise all these elements in a work of art with the certainty that there are no untruths in his discourse. The power to convince that is characteristic of Gupta’s work is only possible through his essential commitment to his work […].”

Take off your Shoes and Wash your Hands, Subodh Gupta, 2008

Take off your Shoes and Wash your Hands, Subodh Gupta, 2008. Image Credit:

Read here for more information on the exhibition and you have time until October 13 to see some of Gupta’s new works which are exhibited for the first time in Spain.