Artists > Abir Karmakar

ABIR KARMAKAR, Installation View - I, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2016-17

Introduction

Inviting the viewer to assume the gaze and role of the voyeur, Karmakar's video installations adopt an economy of means, his palette tending towards monochrome, the austere grammar of the work parsed from the movements made by the figures. In viewing it, we become painfully aware of the depredations of time on the body, of the gradations by which the body casts off security and social propriety, like so many suits of clothing, as it descends into sleep, to reveal the primal motors of selfhood. And as we watch Karmakar's this ad  protagonists and become involved in their dramaturgy of involuntary disclosure, we too find ourselves inveigled into dropping the customary defences of adulthood.

In Karmakar's handling, the body's urges and discontents, its shapes and impressions, leak beyond their physical confines and imprint themselves on objects and across spaces. The domestic interior records the extended presence of the bodied self, which claims it as habitation and, indeed, as habitat. Equally, alongside these lavish flows of desire, Karmakar's art bears testimony to decay and desuetude: he identifies the processes of ruin, in anatomy as in architecture, on toned flesh as on a window frame. Of late Karmakar has turned to installation, translating the very concerns and preoccupations that animated his paintings into a three-dimensional vocabulary. "I have always been interested in the periphery," the artist says. But it's not just the in-between-ness that Karmakar points to, but also the aperture's capacity to clarify and also obfuscate, to reveal a world beyond even as it conceals the one within. It's a blind, thus, in more ways than one, quite like the rooms in Karmakar's paintings which function as a kind of spatial metaphor for and an extension of a frame of mind.

Born 1977 in Siliguri, India
Bachelor of Visual Arts in Painting, Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta
MA in Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda
Lives in Baroda

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2015

    'Uncanny Space', Aicon Gallery, New York. Catalogue essay by Donald Kuspit

  • 2012
    'Room, Interrupted in Passage', Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai. Catalogue essay by Ranjit Hoskote
  • 2011
    'The Morning After', Aicon Gallery, New York
  • 2008
    'Within the Walls', Gallery Espace, New Delhi and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai. Catalogue essay by Gayatri Sinha
  • 2007
    'In The Old Fashioned Way', Aicon Gallery, London Catalogue essay: Donald Kuspit
  • 2006
    'Interiors', Galerie Heike Curtze, Berlin Catalogue essay by Kamala Kapoor
  • 2005
    'from my photo album', The Museum Gallery, Mumbai Presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai Catalogue essay by Kamala Kapoor

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2017

    'Dwelling, 10th Anniversary Show (Part II)', Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India

  • 2016

    'Forming in the pupil of an eye', Kochi- Muziris Biennale 2016, curated by Sudarshan Shetty

  • 2016
    Abir Karmakar, Sunil Padwal, Gallery Ske, Bangalore
  • 2015
    'In the depths of our crater lake, all is silent...' 1 x 1 Gallery, Dubai
  • 2015
    'Three Projects', Abir Karmakar, Sunil Padwal, Unnikrishnan C; Gallery Ske, NewDelhi
  • 2014
    'Residual Remnants' curated by Rekha Rodwittiya, SITE art space, Baroda
  • 2014
    India Art Fair, New Delhi. Presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
  • 2014
    'My Sweet Lord', 1 x 1 Gallery, Dubai
  • 2014
    'Reviving the Retinal' curated by Kat Wyma, Gallery OED, Cochin, India
  • 2013
    'Touched by Bhupen', Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
  • 2013
    'Peak Shift Effect', curated by Gayatri Sinha, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
  • 2012
    'Four Projects', Gallery Ske, Bangalore, India
  • 2012
    'Cynical Love: Life in the everyday', Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida, India
  • 2012
    'Reconstructing (White) 3' curated by Himali Singh Soin, The Loft, Mumbai
  • 2011
    'Adbhutam – Rasa in Indian Art', CIMA Gallery, Kolkata and India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
  • 2011
    'Window in the Wall: India and China- Imaginary Conversations' curated by Gayatri Sinha and Gao Minglu, Pearl Lam Fine Art, Shanghai, China
  • 2011
    'Dolls' curated by Marta Jakimowicz, Gallery Sumukha and Rob Dean Art, Bangalore, Chennai and London
  • 2011
    'Of Gods and Goddesses, Cinema, Cricket The New Cultural Icons Of India' Curated by Arshiya Lokhandwala for RPG Academy of Art & Music, Mumbai
  • 2011
    'Yeh Image Mahaan' – India meets Bharat, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, organized by CIMA Gallery, Kolkata
  • 2011
    'Pills' curated by Avni Doshi, Latitude 28, Delhi
  • 2010
    'Changing Skin' curated by Marta Jakimowicz for The Fine Art Company, Mumbai
  • 2010
    'INDIA AWAKENS – Under the Banyan Tree', Essl Museum, Vienna
  • 2010
    'Have I Ever Opposed You? New Art from India and Pakistan, Faye Fleming & Partner, Geneva
  • 2009
    'A New Vanguard: Trends in Contemporary Indian Art, Saffron Art and The Guild Art Gallery, New York
  • 2009
    'Failed Plot', KIAF - Korea
  • 2009
    'New Fables: Contemporary Voices', Gandhara Art Gallery, Kolkata
  • 2009
    'Long Gone & Living Now' Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
  • 2009
    'Threshold: Forging Narratives in South Asian Contemporary Art', Aicon Gallery, New York
  • 2009
    'Shifting Shapes – Unstable Signs' curated by Robert Storr and Jaret Vadehra Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • 2009
    PANORAMA: INDIA at ARCO_Madrid, presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
  • 2009
    'Mutant Beauty' curated by Gayatri Sinha, Anant Art Gallery, New Delhi
  • 2008
    Gallery weekend at the Baumwollspinnerei Factory Complex, Leipzig, Germany, presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
  • 2008
    'A MAZ ING', curated by Anupa Mehta for Harsh Goenka/RPG Academy of Art and Culture, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • 2007
    1st Anniversary Exhibition, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
  • 2007
    'Reality Bites', CIMA Gallery, Calcutta

Public Collections

  • Essl Museum of Contemporary Art, Austria

  • Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi

Award

  • 2016

    Asia Society's Future Artist Award