Title: Untitled (from the series Blind Bulb etc…), 2005
Medium: Automotive Paint Covered Fiberglass with Matte and Gloss Lacquer
Courtesy: The artist
Location: Ground floor
Mumbai based sculptor Sunil Gawde (b. 1960) crafted these two elegantly hanging opaque bulbs from fiberglass coated in car paint. Often, we only appreciate an object for its function and usefulness, not for its form or wider meaning. These giant bulbs block us from experiencing their light (if any?) and force us to look at them outside of the traditional way we have been primed to view bulbs. Things that don’t obviously fit into the box, or perform the way you expect them to, are often considered useless and their possible hidden potential can be completely overlooked. These bulbs, apparently useless, force us to evaluate them for qualities outside of their functionality, and we admire them for the beauty of their form. This idea of appreciating non-conventional potential in people and objects is dear to Gawde and his practice. In fact, he once became completely disillusioned with the establishment when he barely passed his first year of college despite being an excellent student. He abetted his frustration by taking a two-month pilgrimage to Pandharpur, where he reevaluated his life under his own terms and standards.
Like bulbs, Gawde uses materials of everyday life such as razor blades, nails, knives, and swords, and recontextualizes them to make us reconsider their meaning. He has a remarkable technical expertise, and his kinetic sculptures challenge the limits of the imagination. One of the series he is most famous for is comprised of sculptural butterflies made out of knives and razorblades, making us think about how violence can be easily masked within plain sight. Gawde has exhibited at some of the world’s most important exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou, and even on the famous San Tropez beach in France, which also exhibited “Blind Bulbs” similar to the ones on view here.
This work is on Generous Loan from the Artist