Sutapa Biswas

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Sutapa Biswas
Born1962 (age 56–57)
Alma materUniversity of Leeds, Slade School of Art, Royal College of Art

Sutapa Biswas (born 1962) is a British Indian conceptual artist, who works across a range of media including painting, drawing, film and time-based media.[1]

Early life[edit]

She was born in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India, in 1962.[2] At the age of four, she moved to London, England with her family.[2] Between 1981 and 1985 she studied at the University of Leeds.[2] She then studied art the Slade School of Art in London from 1988-1990.[2] Between 1996-1998 Biswas studied at the Royal College of Art.[2]


As a conceptual artist, Biswas works in a variety of mediums, including performance, film, photography[3] and installation.[2] During the 1980s, Biswas was primarily a painter.[4] For instance, her paintings Housewives with Steak-Knives (1985) and Through Rose-Tinted Windows form part of the Bradford Museums and Galleries permanent collections on display at Cartwright Hall.[5] She also worked in video. Kali (1984) is a thirty-minute video video that the artist Sutapa Biswas made while a student at the University of Leeds. It documents a performance by the artist as Kali and her fellow student as Ravan. Kali – whose name means the ‘black one’ – is the Hindu goddess of time and change and within Hindu mythology she was created to inhabit more than one representation (hence her multiple appearances in the performance) to rid the world of evil, which is here embodied by Ravan. In 1985, Biswas's work was exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in the exhibition The Thin Black Line, an exhibition of young Black and Asian women artists curated by Lubaina Himid.[6] Her works often reflect on questions of gender and cultural and ethnic identity.[7] For instance, her film Birdsong captures the story of young Indian boy who longs to own a horse and is filmed against the backdrop of an English period home.[8] Biswas was the 2008 Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Yale Centre for British Art, and is a European Photography Award nominee. She is currently a Reader Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.[9]

Public collections[edit]

Biswas' work is held in the following public collection:


  1. ^ "Sutapa Biswas", iniva, Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Sutapa Biswas". Feminist Art Base, Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  3. ^ 'Critical Decade: Black British Photography in the 80s', Ten.8 vol. 2, no. 3, 1992
  4. ^ "Birdsong - Film by Sutapa Biswas", Cuture24. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  5. ^ 2 paintings by or after Sutapa Biswas, Art UK. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Thin Black Line(s)". Making Histories Visible. 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  7. ^ Motley, John. "Sutapa Biswas". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 1 February 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ "Sutapa Biswas", PICA, Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Sutapa Biswas – Manchester School of Art". Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  10. ^ "Sutapa Biswas", Tate, Retrieved 17 October 2014.

Further reading[edit]