TATE Modern | Bhupen Khakhar, You Can’t Please All
2 June – 6 November, 2016
With much controversy about the review of the exhibition by Jonathan Jones, this show has brought the art community of the country together, in defending the genius of the Bombay Boy, Bhupen Khakhar.
This is the first institutional retrospective of Khakhar since his death, which brings together his work from over five decades, showcasing vivid works on canvas, luminous watercolour paintings and experimental ceramics, framing a good scape to understand his practice.
A key figure in modern Indian art, renowned for his unique figurative style and incisive observations of class structures and sexuality, Khakhar (1934-2003) played a central role in modern Indian art and was a key international figure in 20th century painting. An accountant-turned-artist, Khakhar demonstrated a commitment to representing his world with unflinching honesty. High and low merged in narrative paintings with influences ranging from devotional aesthetics and street culture to European painting and pop art. He confronted provocative themes, particularly his homosexuality, with rare sensitivity and wit. Haunting portraits of ordinary men and last works describing his struggle with cancer express a rare humanity. His was one of the few artists who didn’t fall in line with the Modern Art aesthetics of the time, but brought on vivid colours and the pop features into his works.
This is a must visit from any Mumbai person visiting London, and I may, this is worth making travel plans around!
Photo Credit: tate.org.uk, theupcoming.co.uk