Shaurya Kumar is an artist of recollection who immerses himself in memoirs and imagery of history, context and time, who works in shadows of memory and pulls up fallen and forgotten objects, even if temporarily. He is an avid collector of memories and an observer of frameworks. Employing diverse sets of tools, media, techniques and processes including print, drawing, sculpture and installation, his studio practice focuses on a phenomenological understanding of an object and space, while revealing a labour-intensive process in art-making. Indicating notions of presence and absence, these works play with architectural ruins, transient ephemera, and contextual displacements.
Much as the poet Meer Taqi Meer in the 18th century lamented the monumental loss of culture, shift of power and ruination of his home – Delhi, Shaurya echoes the same sentiment in the 21st century. The moments seem to reverberate with the echos of the past. Speaking from the point of view of a citizen, the work reflects on a place, a city, a state, a country that was once a thriving cultural hub, which has now fallen into ruin.
Shaurya Kumar a native of Delhi, India, currently lives and works in Chicago, IL He is an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chair of the Department of Printmedia. Kumar has been involved in numerous prestigious research projects, like “The Paintings of India” and “Handmade in India.” His work has been exhibited widely across the US and abroad including venues like Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai and Seoul Museum, Seoul; Queens Museum, NYC, Aicon gallery, New York.
The work speaks from the point of view of the citizen while drawing on ethnography, formal analysis of cultural objects and archival study, which are then incorporated into a broader comparative framework.
Born in 1979 in New Delhi, India, Shaurya Kumar studied printmaking and painting at the College of Art; He graduated with an MFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2007. Since 2001, Kumar has been involved in numerous prestigious research projects, like “The Paintings of India” (a series of 26 documentary films on the painting tradition of India); “Handmade in India” (an encyclopedia on the handicraft traditions of India); and digital restorations of 6th century Buddhist mural paintings from the caves of Ajanta.
Kumar’s work has exhibited widely across the US and in countries including India, Taiwan, China, Poland, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, U.K., Norway, France, Australia and Finland among many others. His works have been installed at venues including the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum (formerly Victoria & Albert Museum, Mumbai); Gallery Odyssey, Mumbai; Sundaram Tagore gallery, NYC; Queens Museum, NYC; Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul; Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai; Artifact Gallery, NYC; LACDA, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Georgia; Schneider Museum of Art, Oregon; Charleston Heights Art Center, Las Vegas; TamTam Gallery, Taiwan; Guanlan Printmaking Base, China; UNM Art Museum, Albuquerque; SCA Contemporary, Albuquerque; NIU Art Museum, Illinois among others. Kumar’s work has also featured in international art fairs including India Art Fair, Abu Dhabi Art Fair, Dubai Art Fair and Poznan Art Week. He was represented by Threshold Art Gallery at the Abu Dhabi Art Fair in 2020 and at the India Art Fair in 2019, 2020 and 2022.
Shaurya Kumar currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. He is a Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chair of Faculty in the Office of Dean of Faculty.
Shaurya Kumar, In a Sacred Land a Traveler…, 201814 x 19 inches
Shaurya Kumar, The Case of Broken Hands, 2021Variable Size
Shaurya Kumar, That ruined place, 202052 x x 34 inches
Shaurya Kumar, Yashoda Chastises Her Foster Son, the Youthful Krishna, 20219.5 x x 12.5 inches
Shaurya Kumar, Krishna and Radha in a pavilion, 202113.7 x x 12 inches
Shaurya Kumar, Shiva and Devi on Gajasura's Hide, 20219.4 x x 6.3 inches
Shaurya Kumar, A Case of the Broken Hands, 2021Variable Size
Shaurya Kumar, Deeno Daan , 202219 x x 14 inches