Hema Upadhyay - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Nature Morte, New Delhi

  • Catalogue Essay

    Hema Upadhyay reflects upon issues of gender, caste and dislocation in her art. Combining dissonant elements including painting, sculpture, collage and photography, her works evoke a sense of transient nostalgia belonging to no specific place or time but suggesting many. Upadhyay's paintings are often characterized by the inclusion of small collaged photographic self-portraits. Miniaturizing images of herself in various positions, she inserts them into her allegorical landscapes allowing them to interact with the decorative and fictive environments she creates. The demonumentalization of her visage in these works results in an antifetishized version of the female body and her portraits are likerecords of her meanderings through these spaces.
    The artist repeatedly utilizes patterned surfaces which quote from Indian spiritual iconography and traditional textile design. Upadhyay's marriage of these surfaces with her own image is meant to touch on themes of migration and displacement in South Asia and also reflects upon the existential plight of the artists as solo creators, even in her many incarnations she remains the sole inhabitant of her artistic worlds.
    In this series, Upadhyay introduces an additional layer to the works in the sculptural element of Mumbai shanty-towns at the base of the sculpture. Her use of shading and her depiction of smoke like elements give the impression that the villages are on fire or in the claws of destruction, a theme elucidated by the title, Killing Site I-IV.
    Upadhyay lives and works in Mumbai, India.


Killing Site V

Gouache, acrylic, dry pastel and photographic collage on paper and aluminium sheets, enamel paint, resin and marine ply in two parts.
Painting: 183 x 122 cm.(72 x 48 in).; sculpture: 91.5 x 122 cm. (36 x 48 in).; overall installed dimensions: 194 x 136 x 90 cm. (76 1/2 x 53 1/2 x 35 1/2 in).

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £23,750

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm