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Shilpa Gupta
I did not tell you what I saw, but only what I dreamt

June 28, 2024 – January 14, 2025


The exhibition, I did not tell you what I sawbut only what I dreamt presents the Mumbai-based artist practice of Shilpa Gupta (b.1976) with several of her recent installation works, sculptures, photographs, and drawings. A conceptual artist, Gupta’s interactive pieces focus on human agency and information’s power to shape societal behavior and one’s identity.

A central theme of Gupta’s practice is her inquiry into language and how dominant institutions and individuals often utilize it to inform our understanding of reality—to define and enforce societal values or as a tool to spark new possibilities and challenge power structures.

Referring to her work as “everyday art,” Gupta’s sparse installations rely on unassuming materials, including photography, text, audio, and sculptural objects. Contemporary technologies play a prominent role in her practice, such as in her work Speaking Wall (2009–2010). In this interactive audio piece, the visitor wears headphones while walking on a platform of bricks on the floor as Gupta’s voice—in alternating authoritative and suggestive tones—directs one across an invisible and shifting border. In other pieces, the artist introduces objects such as flags and maps as visible indicators of geopolitical struggles over national borders, immigration issues, religious censorship, and the repression of free speech. 

Inspired by her personal experiences yet deliberately elusive, Gupta’s work communicates across cultures. Often incorporating many languages and perspectives, the artist allows the visitor to arrive at their understanding of the work and formulate individual associations, depending on where or when one encounters her artwork. 

This exhibition is curated by Ruth Estévez and coproduced by Amant and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

About the Artist

Shilpa Gupta lives and works in Mumbai, India, where she graduated with a BFA in sculpture from Sir J. J. School of Fine Art at the University of Mumbai in 1997. Recognized throughout the global community, she has exhibited in leading international institutions, museums, and biennials for almost two decades, including recent solo exhibitions at Dallas Contemporary (2022); Barbican, London (2021); and the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2021). Her work has also been featured in prominent group exhibitions at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2017); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2014); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (2009); Tate Modern, London (2001); and the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai (2000).

Gupta has participated widely in biennials in Europe and Asia, and in 2019 was included in the 58th Venice Biennale. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris; Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane; and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, among others.

Programming & Events

Exhibition Celebration
Friday, June 28, 2024 • 5–8 PM

The Great Divide: Partition and its Aftermath
Saturday, October 5, 2024 • 2 PM

Educational materials translated by