Sheela Gowda. Remains. An exchange between local artistic traditions and abstraction

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Nuria Enguita, Lucia Aspesi.
From 4 April to 15 September 2019. Opening.- 3 April 2019, 19:00 pm.
Pirelli HangarBicocca. Chiese 2, Milan.

Sheela Gowda

Sheela Gowda was born in Bhadravati, India, in 1957. She studied painting at Ken School of Art, Bangalore, India (1979), pursued a postgraduate diploma at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, India (1982), and earned an MA in painting from the Royal College of Art, London (1986). Though trained as a painter, Gowda expanded her practice to sculpture and installation, and has since also incorporated photography. She was awarded with the 2019 Maria Lassnig Prize, a biennial award that recognizes midcareer artists.

She has developed her practice through a constant dialog and exchange between local artistic traditions and international forms of art. Drawn to common local materials such as cow dung (considered sacred, it is widely used in rural India for construction and as a fuel), incense, and kum kum powder (a natural pigment most often available in brilliant red), she makes process-oriented works in the idiom of Post-Minimalist abstraction that are activated by their materials’ ritualistic associations. 

Sheela Gowda’s works have been exhibited in numerous solo shows at international institutions, including Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2017); Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Para Site, Hong Kong (2015); Centre international d'art et du paysage, Vassivière, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven [travelling exhibition] (2013-14); Iniva, London (2011), Office for Contemporary Art (OCA), Oslo (2010).

Sheela Gowda has also taken part in major group shows, including 31st São Paulo Biennale (2014); 1st Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2012); 53rd Venice Biennale, 9th Sharjah Biennale (2009); 9th Lyon Biennale, documenta 12 (2007). 



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