Hyphenated Identities: Tara Sabharwal

Tara Sabharwal, originally from Delhi, Sabharwal has been based in NYC since 1989. She graduated from MS University, Baroda and received a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art, London. Over a career that spans 37 years, she has had 42 solo shows in Japan, India, Germany, the UK and USA. Sabharwal has received many awards, including: The British Council, Meehan, and Durham Cathedral fellowships in the UK, the Joan Mitchell and Gottlieb Foundation in the USA.  Her work is in the collection of the Library of Congress, NY Public Library and the Peabody Essex, Victoria and Albert, DLI and British Museums. She has taught at The Guggenheim and Rubin Museums and many other places.

In Tara’s own words: In 2017, as I witnessed the unfolding horror of the global migration crisis, the figurative subjects in my work came to be trapped within womb-life boats in boundless seas. The prints of my 2018 etching portfolio, “Boat in a Sea”, (#3-5) intend to depict not only migrants on boats, but also our life on Earth. While we are so much luckier than these migrants, are we also stuck in between shores, exploring the dark waters of the world with only light of our own self-discovery? Can we perhaps empathize with these migrants through an understanding of our own impermanence?           
In 2018, as the crisis was still underway, I developed a large collaged silkscreen (#1) and a hinged book object (#2). In both works, I used repetition to emphasize the persistence and unavoidability of the crisis. These works emanate from questioning our need to construct an ‘other’ in order to know ourselves.
Increasingly, the world is bringing us closer, but why is it not bringing us together? Can we embrace our similarities with the other while also respecting the otherness of the other? These are questions that continue to motivate my work and have fueled a parallel curatorial practice.

Below are a couple of Tara’s paintings speaking to the above.



You Will Know Me

Together, Alone 

Birds and Boats 

Ducks and Boats

Vortex


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