Huma Bhabha Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Huma Bhabha


Clay, wire, plastic, paint

114.3 x 243.8 x 152.4 cm
Working with found materials and constructed forms, Huma Bhabha reworks the familiarity of everyday objects into creepy inventions. Something between a primitive species and space alien, her Untitled is both ghastly and sympathetic. Set atop an altar-like plinth, Bhabha’s figure prostrates in submissive position. Shrouded in black, hands outstretched as if in prayer, it echoes humility and reverence; its aura of calm perversely interrupted by a rigid tail trailing out from behind.
Huma Bhabha
Museum Without Walls


Clay, wire, wood, styrofoam

89 x 63.5 x 86.4 cm
Humorously referencing both tribal masks and modernism, Huma Bhabha’s Museum Without Walls presents the anatomy of a sculpture as voodoo construction. Using the traditional materials of sculptural moulding Bhabha constructs a skeleton of process, her formalist assemblage doubling as anthropomorphic entity. Laying bare her media and their function, Bhabha infuses her work with suggestive narratives. Museum Without Walls stands as both totem and architectural model, creating a contemporary primitivism from cultural refuse.
Huma Bhabha
Waiting for a Friend


Threaded steel rod, Styrofoam, wood, clay, paint

231.1 x 71.1 x 45.7cm
Approaching sculpture as a form of abjection, Huma Bhabha uses found materials combined with moulded components to create an aesthetic that’s equally industrial and barbaric. Using the rough hewn tactility of her materials, Bhabha’s work exudes a fragile sensibility; their underlying fictions of lost utopia wittily mirror contemporary anxiety. Bhabha’s Waiting For A Friend towers as a dejected fertility totem. Lingering lonely against the gallery wall, its archaic form swells with expectation: plaster and wax thighs bulging, head exaggeratedly erect, spilled guts on full display.
Huma Bhabha
International Monument


Clay, wire, Styrofoam, bone

61 x 81.3 x 43.2 cm
Picturing an upraised hand crudely crafted from impoverished materials and rendered in humble scale, Huma Bhabha’s International Monument is less an icon of peace than a remnant of a forgotten ideal. Boldly exhibiting the methods of sculptural process as finished work, Bhabha’s International Monument is conspicuously incomplete in pre-casting form; the potential for bronzed immortality is discarded in preference for the meagre and degradable. Lumpy crackling clay clinging to flimsy mesh and crumbly Styrofoam creates an intriguing tactility, echoing the fragile nature of the body. Rethinking the authoritarian qualities of ‘monument’ as reflective of the human condition, Bhabha’s sculpture is both destitute and empathetic.
Huma Bhabha
Sell the House


Mixed Media

139.7 x 96.5 x 71.1cm
Central to Bhabha’s work is the idea that materials embody a kind of mysticism or power that can be activated or enhanced through the artist’s handling. Sell The House is a small sculpture made to the scale of architectural models or museum relics. Assembled from construction staples such as wood and bricks the body of her sculpture acts as a ‘foundation’ for embellishment. Utilising the aged and weathered qualities of her materials, Bhabha heightens their totemic connotations by adding clay to create an animistic form or mask. The ‘unfinished’ appearance of the sculpture both exposes the artist’s process of making and the materiality of the construction, framing these as something cryptic, compelling, and haunting.
Huma Bhabha


painted bronze

113 x 48.3 x 25.4 cm
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.
Huma Bhabha
Man of No Importance


clay, wire, wood, bones, iron, cotton, fabric, glass

165.1 x 104.1 x 76.2 cm
One of the ideals in modernist sculpture was that materials should refute illusionary form: rather than trying to ‘trick’ the viewer into believing that metal or clay might actually be flesh or hair, it was thought that materials should resemble themselves and be material-like. Bhabha draws upon these notions in a contemporary way. Man of No Importance exposes the exact methods of its construction, and the worn and brutal qualities of the materials give the sculpture an aura of ancient ritual and reverence. In Bhabha’s work, however, this ‘hallowedness’ is used to humorous effect as her mythological character, made from bits of scrap, becomes the physical embodiment of impoverishment, temporality, and ideological failure.
Huma Bhabha
Untitled Drawing


watercolour, pastel, pencil, ink on paper, mounted on board

40.4 x 30.4 cm

Bhabha’s Untitled Drawing approaches drawing with the physical sensibility of sculpture. Mounted on board, the image is made more ‘object-like’ than if it were simply on paper. Bhabha uses a variety of media, each imparting their own distinct ‘feel’ and texture: indelible stains of watercolour suggest a poetic fragility underlying thick layers of greasy pastel, opaque ink washes, and gritty graphite residue. Bhabha’s physical process of drawing becomes enhanced through the earthy hues which record the evolution of the piece with a rough, organic aesthetic. The strong contrast of light and dark tones creates a deceptive spatial illusion; the abstract image, reminiscent of a mask, emerges with the three dimensional intensity of sculptural relief.

Huma Bhabha
The Orientalist



177.8 x 83.8 x 104.1 cm
Bhabha’s The Orientalist conveys ideas of exoticism, difference, and otherness. Equally primitive and futuristic, Bhabha’s figure theatrically poses as an ominous king or deity. Cast in bronze, it sits as an imposing relic from a fictional history, a regal air emanating from its polished geometric armour, molten death mask, and ethereal chicken wire veil. Humanised through exaggerated hands and feet and sympathetic cartoon styling, its powers waver between the comically surreal and portentously intimidating, drawing narrative suggestion from the loaded clichés of late night science fiction and horror movies.

Huma Bhabha's Biography

Huma Bhabha
Born in 1962, Karachi, Pakistan
Lives in Poughkeepsie, NY


Peter Blum Chelsea, New York, NY
Salon 94, New York, NY

Huma Bhabha: New Work, Grimm Fine Art, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France

Huma Bhabha: 2008 Emerging Artist Award Exhibition, The Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT

Huma Bhabha, Salon 94, New York, NY
Huma Bhabha, Salon 94 Freeman’s, New York, NY
Huma Bhabha: Karachi Prints 2007, ATM Gallery, New York, NY
Greener Pastures Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada

Degraded, Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston, MA
Huma Bhabha, ATM Gallery, New York, NY

Huma Bhabha, ATM Gallery, New York, NY

A.N. Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan

Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Sculptures, Kim Light Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Statuesque, City Hall Park, curated by Public Art Fund, New York, NY

Atlas Mountains:jason Fox and Huma Bhabha, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY
Huma Bhabha, Jason Fox, Baker Overstreet, Aurel Schmidt, Galleria Paolo Curti /Annamaria Gambuzzi& Co., Milan, Italy
Slough curated by Steve DiBenedetto, David Nolan Gallery, New York, NY
Every Revolution is a Roll of the Dice, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY; curated by Bob Nickas Sites, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, curated by Carter Foster

Warlord, Smith-Stewart, New York, NY
7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea; curated by Okwui Enwezo
East Moves West, ATM Gallery, New York, NY
South Asian Imaginaries South Asian Imaginaries conference and Critical Studio: Dialogue with South Asian Artists,Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York, NY
After Nature, The New Museum, New York, NY
Group Show: Jason Fox, Huma Bhabha, & Andrea Ethier, Greener Pastures Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada Warlord, Smith-Stewart, New York, NY
Disarming Matter, Larissa Goldston Gallery, New York, NY
Nina in Position, Artist Space, New York, NY

Huma Bhabha and Matthew Day Jackson: Sculptures and New Print Editions, Peter Blum Gallery, New York, NY
Collezione Maramotti, Inaugural Exhibition, Reggio Emilia, Italy; curated by Mario Diacono
Every Revolution is a Roll of the Dice, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX; curated by Bob Nickas
Trinchera, Museo Raul Anguiano, Guadalajara, Mexico; curated by Emanuel Tovar
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Galleria Glance, Torino, Italy
Out of Nothing, 4Walls Fine Art, Austin, TX; curated by Daniel Heimbinder

USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, London, U.K. State Hermitage Museum,St. Petersburg, Russia
Remember Who You Are, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY; curated by Amy Smith-Stewart
Clarissa Dalrymple’s Exhibition of Young Artists to Benefit the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Bortolami Dayan, New York, NY
ATMArtFair, ATM Gallery, New York, NY
xquisite Corpse (Cadavre Exquis), Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY; curated by Bob Nickas and Mitchell Algus
Drawing III (Selected), g-module, Paris, France
Johnson County Community College Museum, Kansas City, KS

Greater New York 2005, P.S.1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY
Greener Pastures Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada
Mystic Truths, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL; curated by Simon Watson
Drunk Vs Stoned 2, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, NY; curated by Elysia Borowy

Versus: Jason Fox & Huma Bhabha, Arena Mexico Arte Contemporaneo, Guadalajara, Mexico
Beat the Reaper, Allston Skirt Gallery, Boston, MA; curated by Joe Bradley
Grass and Honey, Champion Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY; curated by David Shaw, May Radicales
Libres, Central de Arte en WTC, Guadalajara, Mexico; curated by Ruben Mendez

Huma Bhabha & Kevin Cooley, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY
2002 Collector’s Show, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
Guide to Trust 2, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; curated by ANP
The Empire Strikes Back, ATM Gallery, New York, NY; curated by Cannon Hudson & Jason Fox

Wet, Louise Ross Gallery, New York, NY
Running in Flip-Flops, Feature, New York, NY

Back to Nature, Derek Eller Gallery, New York, NY
Grok Terence McKenna Dead, Feature, New York, NY
Not a. Lear, Galerie S&H De Buck, Ghent, Belgium, March 2001; curated by ANP, Gracie
Mansion, New York, NY, Allston Skirt Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, Torch Gallery,
Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Art Process, Paris, France
ANP City Projekts, Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam, Netherlands

LOAF, Baumgartner Galleries, New York, NY; curated by Steve DiBenedetto
Trippy World, Baron Boisante Gallery, New York, NY
M du B, F, H & G, Montreal, Canada

YOYOGAGA, Feature, New York, NY, November
WOp: works on/off paper, ANP, Antwerp, Belgium
Science, Feature, New York, NY

Microcosmic Cryptozoic, HERE, New York, NY; curated by Melissa Zexter

Technophobia, Things Change, Dooley LeCappellaine Virtual Gallery
Supastore de Lux, Up & Co, New York, NY; curated by Sarah Staton White Columns, New York, NY

Murder, Bergamot Station Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA & Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY; curated by John Yau
Smells like Vinyl, Roger Meriens Gallery, New York, NY; curated by Sarah Seager & Thaddeus Strode

Who killed Mr. Moonlight, Exit Art, New York, NY; curated by Charles Labelle
MOCA Benefit, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA,
Lauren Wittels Gallery, New York, NY
White Columns, New York, NY

Four Walls Benefit, David Zwirner, New York, NY
Cartoonal Knowledge, Dooley LeCappellaine, New York, NY
Outside Possibilities, The Rushmore Festival, Woodbury, New York; curated by Bill Arning
Meat, White Columns, New York, NY
Interzone, John Post Lee, New York, NY; curated by Karin Bravin

Stand-Ins, P.S.1 Museum, Institute for Contemporary Art, Long Island City, NY; curated by Craig Kalpakjian Kim Light Gallery, Los Angeles CA
The Red Light Show, Stitching CASCO, Utrecht, The Netherlands; curated by Jack Jaeger
The Mud Club, Winchester Cathedral & Lake Nairobi, Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL; curated by Hudson
The Fate of the Earth, Ceres Gallery, New York, NY

Feature, New York, NY, December 4-January 4, 1992
Feature Office, New York, NY