Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
ABIR KARMAKAR, Within the Walls I, 2008, oil on canvas, 183 x 366 cm / 72 x 144 in (triptych)

Abir Karmakar became known for his voyeuristic self-portraits that saw him place his body in intimate settings. His oil paintings evoked an inward looking world replete with imagined situations and layers of psychosomatic content. His approach in more recent paintings is as sophisticated a performance as his flamboyant narcissism was in the preceding phases of his career. 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. 

Karmakar's interiors are sumptuous and mysterious; and even when they are sometimes tawdry, he elevates them with the burnished light glowing through a yellow curtain. Sources of deep, recessive lightwarm and mellow, luminous behind shades are ubiquitous in these paintings, marking Karmakar's homage to the Old Masters, to Rembrandt and Vermeer. But the masters are not trapped in reverent emulation; instead, they are brought back into the currency of living exchange through citation and adaptation. 

Karmakar is clearly drawn to the primacy of idea; the vehicle of realism and specifics of technique, though honed to a craft-like skill, are secondary. His paintings of single, life-sized doors are based on the conceptualization of the door as an autonomous entity, extracted from the wider narrative and compositional syntax of the interior. He covers the surface of the door with meticulously painted stains, scratches, and traces of dirt, numerous marks that not only speak of the door's function, but also the cultural and social origin of its user. The realistic rendition of the door lures the beholder into surrendering to the visual illusion of an infinite space behind

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

Solo Exhibitions

2017    'Displacement', curated by Birgid Uccia, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai 
2015    'Uncanny Space', catalogue essay by Donald Kuspit, Aicon Gallery, New York
2012    'Room, Interrupted in Passage', catalogue essay by Ranjit Hoskote, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2011    'The Morning After', Aicon Gallery, New York
2008    'Within the Walls', catalogue essay by Gayatri Sinha, Gallery Espace, New Delhi and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2007    'In The Old Fashioned Way', catalogue essay by Donald Kuspit, Aicon Gallery, London
2007    'Whispering Palette', Red Earth Art Gallery, Baroda
2006    'Interiors', catalogue essay by Kamala Kapoor, Galerie Heike Curtze, Berlin
2005    'from my photo album', catalogue essay by Kamala Kapoor, presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, The Museum Gallery, Mumbai

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019    India Art Fair, presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, New Delhi
2018    'Drawn From Practice', Experimenter, Kolkata
2018    India Art Fair, presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, New Delhi
2018    '20 / 20 Artists for Khoj', Khoj International Artist' Association, New Delhi
2017    Kochi-Muziris Biennale Fund-Raiser Auction, Saffronart, Mumbai
2017    Culture of the Streets, Aicon Gallery, New York
2017    'DWELLING', 10th Anniversary Show (Part II), curated by Ranjit Hoskote, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2016    'Forming in the pupil of an eye', curated by Sudarshan Shetty, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi
2016     Abir Karmakar, Sunil Padwal, Galleryske, 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; Galleryske, New Delhi
2014    'Mapmakers III: The Evolution of Contemporary South Asian Art', Aicon Gallery, New York
2014    'Residual Remnants' curated by Rekha Rodwittiya, SITE art space, Baroda
2014    India Art Fair, New Delhi, presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
2014    'My Sweet Lord', 1 x 1 Gallery, Dubai
2014    'Reviving the Retinal' curated by Kat Wyma, Gallery OED, Kochi
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, New Delhi
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 
2011    'Dolls', curated by Marta Jakimowicz, Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore and Chennai and Rob Dean rt, 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, organized by CIMA Gallery, Kolkata, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
2011    'Pills', curated by Avni Doshi, Latitude 28, Delhi
2011    India Art Summit, New Delhi
2010    'Changing Skin', curated by Marta Jakimowicz for The Fine Art Company, Mumbai
2010    'INDIA AWAKENS Under the Banyan Tree', Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria
2010    'Have I Ever Opposed You?, New Art from India and Pakistan', Faye Fleming & Partner, Geneva
2010    'Trial and Error, Abir Karmakar, Debraj Goswami and Rahul Mukherjee', Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda
2009    'A New Vanguard: Trends in Contemporary Indian Art', Saffron Art and The Guild Art Gallery, New York
2009    'Failed Plot', Korea International Art Fair, Seoul
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
2009    'PANORAMA: INDIA', presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, ARCO_Madrid
2009    'Mutant Beauty' curated by Gayatri Sinha, Anant Art Gallery, New Delhi
2008    Gallery weekend presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke at the Baumwollspinnerei Factory Complex, Leipzig
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, Kolkata

Public Collections

Essl Museum of Contemporary Art, Klosterneuburg
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi


2016    Asia Society's Future Artist Award



Abir Karmakar 'DISPLACEMENT'

November 15, 2017 - February 28, 2018

Abir Karmakar 'Room, Interrupted in Passage'

December 05, 2012 - January 10, 2013

Abir Karmakar Within the Wall

November 08, 2008 - November 22, 2008

Abir Karmakar Interiors

September 27, 2006 - October 27, 2006


Asia Art Awards India

by Editors, Asia Society India 


by Vandana Kalra, The Indian Express 

Body Maps

by Abhijeet Tamhane, Art India 

Beyond Performing Identity

by Murtaza Vali, Art India 

Pushing the Limits

by Girish Shahane, Art India 

For a Fresh Gallery Space, Contemporary Indian Art

by Benjamin Genochio, The New York Times 

The many faces of Dolls

by Deepika Arwind, The Hindu 

Skin Show

by Gargi Gupta, Business Standard 

Come into my parlour

by Alexander Keefe, The Wall Street Journal