Assembled Identites

About Probir Gupta

In his enormous, lush paintings, teeming with powerful imagery and interwoven narratives, and his raw, mixed-media sculptural works, Probir Gupta takes on the fraught, fascinating, tangled history of India with a forthright urgency. Gupta’s canvases reflect his wide-ranging knowledge and deep humanism, and have been compared to traditional narrative history paintings for their grand scope and dramatic mood. In his work, he re-organizes and re-frames pivotal historical events—including presidential visits to India, the emigration of the Bene Israel Jews, and Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent resistance—presenting history itself as a jumble of causes and effects. Images of famous politicians, weapons, and maps of India recur throughout his work, alongside pointed visual references to iconic works of art, like the Bayeux Tapestry (c. 1070) and René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images (1928-29).

Indian, b. 1960, Kolkata, India, based in New Delhi, India