Sheela Gowda

born 1957

Sheela Gowda, ‘Behold’ 2009
Behold 2009
© Sheela Gowda
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Sheela Gowda (born 1957 in Bhadravati, India) is a contemporary artist living and working in Bangalore. Gowda studied painting at Ken School of Art, Bangalore, India (1979) pursued a postgraduate diploma at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, India (1982), and a MA in painting from the Royal College of Art in London in 1986. Trained as a painter Gowda expanded her practice into sculpture and installation employing a diversity of material like human hair, cow-dung, incense and kumkuma powder (a natural pigment most often available in brilliant red). She is known for her 'process-orientated' work, often inspired by the everyday labor experiences of marginalized people in India. Her work is associated with postminimalism drawing from ritualistic associations. Her early oils with pensive girls in nature were influenced by her mentor K. G. Subramanyan, and later ones by Nalini Malani towards a somewhat expressionistic direction depicting a middle class chaos and tensions underplayed by coarse eroticism. She is the recipient of the 2019 Maria Lassnig Prize.

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