Since the early 1990s, Huma Bhabha (born 1962 in Karachi) has developed a distinct visual vocabulary that draws upon a wide variety of influences, including horror movies, science fiction, ancient artifacts, religious reliquary, and modernist sculpture. The largest survey of the artist’s work to date, Huma Bhabha: They Live encompasses sculpture, drawing, and photography, with a special focus on Bhabha’s engagement with the human figure.
Best known for her sculptures, Bhabha uses a diverse array of natural, industrial, and found materials to make compelling works that engage the arts and histories of diverse cultures. Her work transcends a singular time and place, instead creating an exploration of what she describes as the “eternal concerns” found across all cultures: war, colonialism, displacement, and memories of home.
Huma Bhabha: They Live will also include drawings, photographs, and prints spanning the past two decades, as well as new works made on the occasion of this exhibition. It will be accompanied by a lushly illustrated scholarly publication.
About Huma Bhabha
Huma Bhabha is well known for making sculptures from inexpensive media such as Styrofoam, wood, and clay. She uses these materials for their immediacy: they are easy to work with and shape, reveal her making processes, and convey a sense of mystery in their ‘ordinariness’; they are also the materials traditionally used in bronze casting to make the ‘original’ of the sculpture for the mould. In A.B. however, Bhabha doesn’t only allude to this process, but follows it through to its ultimate conclusion. Picturing a clay head crowning a stack of readymade packing, A.B. is actually a cast and painted bronze. Its surface is uncanny in its detailing: the rough-worked clamminess of clay and gauged and dimpled texture of Styrofoam pose convincingly as the real thing, giving a sense of power and import to the discarded original, and questioning the conventional values of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art. (Saatchi Gallery)