Drawing Room, Coimbatore; Linen Cupboard, Coimbatore; Gropius House Chair, Lincoln

Drawing Room, Coimbatore; Linen Cupboard, Coimbatore; Gropius House Chair, Lincoln
signed and numbered 'Dayanita Singh 3/7' (on the reverse) two;
signed and numbered 'Dayanita Singh 5/7' (on the reverse) one
silver gelatin prints
9 ¾ x 9 ¾ in. (24.9 x 24.9 cm.) each image; 13 7/8 x 10 7/8 in. (35.1 x 27.6 cm.) each sheet
Executed circa mid-2000s; each from an edition of seven; three photographs
Gallery Chemould, Mumbai
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Dayanita Singh: Chairs, 11 February - 8 May, 2005 (another from one edition exhibited)
London, Frith Street Gallery, Dayanita Singh: Chairs, 1 June - 4 August, 2005 (another from one edition exhibited)

Lot Essay

Dayanita Singh is an artist who works with the medium of photography, and considers book-making her form. Part of the Chairs series, these works by Singh explore the idea of inanimate objects communicating a distinct sense of status, age and gender. Portraits devoid of human figures, these images trace their origin to Singh’s photographs of furniture and empty rooms in Anand Bhavan, Allahabad, from 2000. She further developed into a series of works while she was artist in residence at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2005. At the museum, she was drawn to photographing the chairs in the galleries, as if they were people, communicating their places and histories. This photographic series, published as her first limited edition book-exhibition, now represents a journey that spans many years and cities including Allahabad, Kolkata, Boston, Venice, Coimbatore and Morvi.

Writing about her portraits without people, Geoff Dyer observes, “The dominant suggestion in Dayanita’s rooms is not so much of the absence of people so much as the lack of their absence: the idea of people, I mean, doesn’t rush in to fill the vacancy. The wide-awake day-bed, the armchair never passing up a chance to take the weight off its feet, the books wanting nothing more than to curl up with a good book – all are perfectly content with the prospect of an evening on their own, undisturbed by human intrusion.” (G. Dyer, ‘Now we can See’, Dayanita Singh: go away closer, London, 2013, p. 19)

Most recently Singh has exhibited at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi, Museum Für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hayward Gallery in London, and has represented Germany at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Her latest book-objects are Museum Bhavan and Museum of Chance, published by Steidl in 2017 and 2014 respectively. Singh’s 2013 work, Museum of Chance, was recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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