Bharti Kher began painting with bindis in 1995 after what she describes as a ‘supernova’ moment when she came across a woman in India wearing a serpent shaped bindi on her forehead. A powerful symbol of an old India undergoing rapid change, the bindi is linked to spiritual awareness and Hindu religious traditions associated with marriage and a woman’s role in the four main stages of life.
With the help of several female studio assistants, the artist collates thousands of bindis in her paintings and sculptures to create abstract patterns with great fluidity and rhythm. In this large triptych, humorously titled Mother of Anything Possible, Anytime, bindis are tightly packed together on the first two panels to form an extraordinarily textured surface resembling a dense constellation in deep space. In the third, more vibrant panel, differently shaped bindis seem to move in kaleidoscopic formation across the surface, hinting perhaps at the diversity as well as the constant flux of today’s world. Fusing symbolism, history and metaphor with an aesthetic of abstraction, Kher’s vivid work is monumental in both scale and significance.
In recent years, Kher has exhibited with several leading museums including Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; the Arken Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C.