No Title (from the series "Lavish Absence")
Metal scrap, gun metal casting 199 x 70 x 35 cm
Born in New Delhi in 1979, Sakshi Gupta received her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts (Sculpture) from the Government College of Art, Chandigarh, in 2001. In 2004, she completed her Master's degree in the same from the College of Art, New Delhi.
Gupta uses metal scraps and fittings, the detritus of industry and progress, to construct intricate sculptures and installations. Through her creative process the artist gives these materials new meaning, commenting on transformation, contemporary society, and the passage of time amongst other things. Gupta has also created several public sculptures and site-specific installations. Speaking about these, Rebecca Morrild explains that these pieces are largely produced "...during residencies and at the twice-yearly artists workshop she runs in Rajasthan. Continuing to use the principles of ‘poor art’, her exterior works combine discarded materials from local factories with found materials from nature such as roots, fronds and feathers. The objects she creates are frequently anthropomorphised and evoke deliberate unease and anxiety, to represent the sense of discomfort and conflict that the artist feels in her own life."
Gupta has completed several residencies, including a community based workshop run by Khoj, New Delhi, in 2004; the Kashi Art Residency, Kochi, and one at Bangalore Artists Centre in 2006; a residency at the Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy, on an Inlaks Scholarship in 2007; and one at Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna, in 2008.
The artist lives and works in New Delhi.
“As there seemed no measure between what Watt could understand, and what he could not, so there seemed none between what he deemed certain, and what he deemed doubtful.” From Watt by Samuel Beckett
Assembled as a constellation of five presences, “Lavish Absence” is an exercise in a wrecked space, one of perplexity and torment. Shifting uneasily between affirmation, question and negation, the body of work presented here is fundamentally at war with itself.
The theme of the works hinge around one's realisation of the absurd nature of the universe, and the inevitable clash of this realisation with one’s desire for understanding. The concerns expressed maybe fundamental, but are not one-dimensional – understanding the momentariness of life, time and eternity; the density of the present and the power of imagination; stepping down from an illusory perch in despair and disgust, only to try to climb again; observing the centre from the periphery and vice versa. It is a shudder in and out of focus.