Subodh Gupta - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 2006

  • Exhibited

    New Delhi, Gallery Nature Morte, Subodh Gupta: New Paintings And Sculptures, February 1 - February 25, 2006
    Brisbane, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, December 5, 2009 – April 5, 2010 (another example exhibited)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Subodh Gupta’s stainless steel sculptures pay homage to the commonplace kitchen utensils of his Indian childhood. Plates, containers (barthans), tongs (chappati) and in the case of the present lot, spatulas, are transformed into minimalist sculptures. The present lot, Other Thing, 2005/2006, appears to float upon the wall, with the handles of the glistening and bright spatulas, occasionally in subtle movement, sticking out like the quills of a porcupine as though protective of an invisible creature within or beneath. They seem strangely reactive to the approaching world. The seemingly sacred quality of the final form is immediately undermined by the banality of its material and everyday referents. As Gupta explains, "I am the idol thief. I steal from the drama of Hindu life. And from the kitchen - these pots, they are like stolen gods, smuggled out of the country. Hindu kitchens are as important as prayer rooms. These pots are like something sacred, part of important rituals, and I buy them in a market. They think I have a shop, and I let them think it. I get them wholesale" (C. Mooney, “Subodh Gupta: Idol Thief,” ArtReview, 17 December 2007, p. 57). This satirical comment clarifies Gupta’s approach to his artistic re-appropriation and his effort to highlight the duality of his raw source materials as metaphoric bridges between high and low culture, between poverty and wealth, and between possession and need. Gupta calls upon the ostensibly sacred spatula as an object that, as he has noted, “the poor, the middle classes and the rich use at home….in this country, how many people have the utensils but they starve because there is no food?" (July 2015).

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection


Other Thing

stainless steel
81 x 83 x 25 in. (205.7 x 210.8 x 63.5 cm)
This work is number 3 from an edition of 3 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for $293,000

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 10 May 2016