Bharti Kher

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Bharti Kher
London, England
EducationNewcastle Polytechnic
Spouse(s)Subodh Gupta
The Skin Speaks a language not its own(2006)

Bharti Kher (born 1969) is a British-Indian contemporary artist. Her work encompasses painting, sculpture and installation, often incorporating bindis, the decorative forehead dot worn by women in India.[1] The Skin Speaks A Language Not Its Own (2006), a sculpture of an elephant adorned with white bindis, is an excellent example of incorporating Hindu mythology and bindi in her art work.[2]


An Absence Of Assignable Cause

Kher was born in 1969 in London, England to Indian parents.[3][4] From 1987-88 Kher studied at Middlesex Polytechnic, Cat Hill, London, UK.[4] She graduated with a B.F.A in painting from Newcastle Polytechnic in 1991.[4] At 23, she moved to New Delhi in India, where she lives and works today.[5][6] She is married to Indian contemporary artist Subodh Gupta and has 2 children.[7]


Hungry Dogs Eat Dirty Pudding, 2004

Bharti Kher has worked in a variety of media creating paintings, sculptures, installations, and text.[4][8] Kher's primary material is manufactured versions of traditional Indian bindi.[9][10] Throughout her career Kher has kept some repeating patterns in her paintings from her student years from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.[11] Kher considers how the realities of human life is perceived in our current time.[12] Her works displays fondness towards human drama, as well as intrinsic love.[11] Her sculptures and collages often depict hybrid forms that unite different social constructs such as race, and gender etc. [2]

The Skin Speaks a language not its own (2006) is one of her most famous and talked about work. It is a sculpture that represents a life size female elephant made from fiberglass and adorned by numerous bindis. This sculpture combine two of the most common symbols of Indian tradition (bindi) and the Hindu religion (the elephant). This sculpture can be seen as the archetype of India. [13]


Bharti Kher, Sans Titre

Kher has exhibited extensively since 1993. Her work has been shown at the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), the Irish Museum of Modern Art[14] the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Jack Shainman Gallery, the Frieder Burda Museum, the Rockbund Art Museum, the Freud Museum London, the National Gallery of Canada,[15] and the Vancouver Art Gallery.[16][17]


Kher's work is in the Tate Modern in London, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Walker Art Center.[18]


  1. ^ Phaidon Editors (2019). Great women artists. Phaidon Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0714878775.
  2. ^ a b "Bharti Kher | artnet". Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  3. ^ Gallery, Saatchi. "Bharti Kher - Artist's Profile - The Saatchi Gallery". Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bharti Kher". Perrotin. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  5. ^ Bharti Kher, Arken Museum of Modern Art Archived 28 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Rastogi & Karode, Akansha & Roobina (2013). Seven Contemporaries. New Delhi: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. pp. 76–95. ISBN 978-81-928037-2-2.
  7. ^ Vora, Shivani (15 March 2012). "Artist Bharti Kher Explores the Idea of Home". India Ink. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Bharti Kher". Nature Morte.
  9. ^ Queensland Art Museum, Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  10. ^ Soin, Himali Singh (12 May 2016). "These 8 Women Are Leading the Indian Art World". Artsy. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Bharti Kher: Misdemeanours | Exhibition | Rockbund Art Museum". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  12. ^ Augaitis, Daina, editor. Freundl, Diana, editor. Container of (work): Kher, Bharti, 1969- Works. Selections. Container of (work): Jhaveri, Shanay. Conditions of possibility. (2016). Bharti Kher : matter. ISBN 978-1-910433-97-3. OCLC 936534445.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "Bharti Kher THE SKIN SPEAKS A LANGUAGE NOT ITS OWN". Sotheby's.
  14. ^ "Bharti Kher Exhibition". IMMA. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Vision Exchange: Perspectives from India to Canada [Winnipeg Art Gallery]". Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  16. ^ Bahuon, Laetitia. "Bharti Kher". AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  17. ^ Kher, Bharti 1969- Verfasser. (2016). This Breathing House. ISBN 978-3-9524461-5-7. OCLC 1102430320.
  18. ^ "Bharti Kher". ArtNet. Retrieved 26 December 2019.

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