Jitish Kallat Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Jitish Kallat
Public Notice 2


4,479 fibreglass sculptures

Dimensions variable
Within my practice, ’Public Notice 2’ (2007) links up with two key antecedents, ’Public Notice’ (2003) and ’Detergent’ (2004), both works wherein a historical speech is summoned as the central armature of the work. Blurred and sometimes forgotten due to the passage of time, the historical speech is fore-grounded and held up as an apparatus to grade our feats and follies as nations, as humankind.
’Public Notice 2’ (2007) re-invokes the momentous speech delivered by Mahatma Gandhi on the eve of the historic 400-kilometer ’Dandi March’ lasting about 24 days during the Indian Freedom Struggle. On the 11th of March 1930, prior to setting out to break the brutal Salt Act instituted by the British, Gandhi laid out the codes of conduct for his fellow revolutionaries. He called for complete ’Civil Disobedience’; the only fierce restriction being that of maintaining ’total peace’ and ’absolute non-violence’.
The speech has within it several themes that may aid our ailing world, plagued as it is with aggression. In today’s terror-infected world, where wars against terror are fought at prime television time, voices such as Gandhi’s stare back at us like discarded relics. The entire speech will be constructed out of about 4500 recreations of bones shaped like alphabets. Each alphabet in this speech, like a misplaced relic will hold up the image of violence in clinical clarity even as their collective chorus makes a plea for peace.
Within the Indian context as well, we have the worst instance of subversion of Gandhi’s words in the year 2002 within his own home state of Gujarat. The historic ’Dandi March’ and the speech were delivered not far from the site where India saw one of the worst communal riots and bloodshed since the Indian Independence.
Jitish Kallat

Public Notice 2 recalls the historic speech delivered by Mahatma Gandhi, on the eve of the epic Salt March to Dandi, in early 1930 as a protest against the salt tax instituted by the British. Through this speech he lays down the codes of conduct for his fellow revolutionaries, calling for complete civil disobedience, the only fierce restriction being that of maintaining ‘total peace’ and ‘absolute non-violence’. In Kallat’s work, Gandhi’s ardent speech is recreated as a haunting installation with around 4500 bone shaped alphabets recalling a turning point in the nation’s history. Each alphabet, like a misplaced relic, holds up the image of violence even as their collective chorus makes a plea for peace to a world plagued with aggression.
Jitish Kallat


Black lead on fibreglass

419 x 169 x 122 cm

Eruda is a mammoth iconic sculpture of a young boy selling books on the traffic lights of Mumbai. The children (who could sometimes be illiterate) often sell these books authoritatively, playfully engaging in conversations about the book’s interest value; their rigour, audacity and endurance making them mascots for the resilience of a city such as Mumbai. Kallat’s sculpture has feet shaped like homes, forming the quintessential image of a nomad whose home is where he lays his feet. Treated in black-lead, ‘Eruda’ ensures that you take back a black stain on your fingers if you choose to touch him; also black-lead is the softest form of carbon while diamond remains the hardest.

Jitish Kallat
Death Of Distance


Black lead on fibreglass, a rupee coin and five lenticular prints

Sculpture 161 cm diameter Prints 46 x 60 cm

In Death of Distance five lenticular prints bring together contrasting experiences of living in India today. Each of the panels highlight two divergent news stories; the launch of ‘one rupee a minute’ telephone rates across India and a disturbing story of a girl who committed suicide because her mother couldn’t afford the one rupee she wanted for a school lunch. A rigid rupee coin is balanced on the gallery floor, while the two narratives flip and interchange depending on the position of the viewer.

Jitish Kallat


Black lead, fiberglass, stainless steel base

(Including the base) 145 x 46 x 46 cm
Annexe is a sculpture of a young child, whose upstanding posture suggests a determination to survive. Weighing over his shoulder is a heavy serpentine rope used as a whip with which to lash himself in order to seek alms. Like Eruda, his feet shaped like homes appear rooted to the spot while his glistening black-lead body stands on a stainless steel base with a drain, perhaps representing a punctured sculpture pedestal or the societal gulf between the veneer of wealth and the perceived stain of real poverty.
Jitish Kallat
Rickshawpolis 4


Acrylic on canvas with bronze gargoyles

178 x 274 cm
Rickshawpolis 4 is like a vast collision portrait of a thumping, claustrophobic city-street. The vehicles collide on the face of the canvas like a mushroomed explosion; battered vehicles are intermingled with figures that appear to negotiate a way through this chaos and calamity. The painting itself is mounted on bronze sculptures that are re-creations of gargoyles that are found atop the 120 year old Victoria Terminus Building in the centre of Mumbai.
Jitish Kallat
Untitled (Eclipse) 3


Acrylic on canvas, triptych

274 x 518 cm
Similarly in Kallat’s huge triptych Untitled (Eclipse) 3, rays of sunshine emanate from the background; the grand radiance that forms the backdrop for the portraits is in sharp contrast to the caricaturesque rendition of the urban detritus brimming out of the unkempt locks of the children. Thus above their forehead are rendered a thousand colliding stories; perhaps the complex narrative of 18 million people living on an island of 600 square kilometers that is Mumbai.
Jitish Kallat
Untitled (Eclipse) 5


Acrylic on canvas, in three panels

229 x 518 cm
Kallat’s paintings from the Eclipse series are rendered in the epic scale and format of a film hoarding with the hard edge of a propaganda poster. The portrait of the city, rendered as a crumbling cascade of countless narratives, interlaces with the overgrown hair of the children as if they were raconteurs of the city’s inner secrets. The brimming debris forms a linkage between the heads of the children seeming to signify their common overlapping reality.

Jitish Kallat's Biography

Jitish Kallat
Born in 1974, Mumbai, India
Lives and works in Mumbai


Stations of a Pause, Chemould gallery, Mumbai

The Astronomy of Subway, Haunch of Venison, London

Aquasaurus, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation
Skinside Outside, Arario, Seoul
Public Notice-2, Bodhi Art, Singapore
Universal Recipient, Haunch of Venison, Zurich

Sweatopia, Chemould Prescott Road Bodhi Art
Unclaimed Baggage, Albion, London
365 Lives, Arano, Beijing
Rickshawpolis-3, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney

Rickshawpolis-2, Spazio Piazzasempione, Milan

Rickshawpolis-1, Nature Morte, New Delhi
Panic Acid, Bodhi Art, Singapore
Humiliation Tax, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

The Lie Of The Land, Walsh Gallery, Chicago
FAQ, Art Rotterdam, Holland

First Information Report, Bose Pacia, New York

Milk Route, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
General Essential, Sakshi Gallery, Bangalore

Ibid, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

Private limited I, Bose Pacia, New York
Private limited-II, Apparao Gallery, Chennai

Apostrophe, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

P.T.O., Gallery Chemould, Mumbai
Prithvi Gallery, Mumbai


Maximum India, The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC

Bring Me A Lion: An Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art, The Hunt Gallery, Missouri
All That is Solid Melts Into Air: Indian Contemporary Art in Global Times, Lakereen Gallery, Mumbai

Indian Summer, Gallery Christian Hosp, Berlin
Architectonica, Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi
India Contemporary, GEM, Museum of Contemporary Art, Hague
Life is A Stage, Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), Mumbai
Inaugural Show, Sakshi Gallery, Taipei
Body Chatter: An Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art, Walsh Gallery, Chicago

Indian Highway, Serpentine Gallery, London
Die Tropen, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin
Chalo India: A New Era of Indian Art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
GSK Contemporary, Royal Academy of Arts, London
3rd Guangzhou Triennal, Guangzhou, China
Pasage to India, Initial Access Frank Cohen Collection, Wolverhampton

The 5th Asia Pacific Tirennale of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery
Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane, Australia "Passages", Palais De Beaux Arts, Brussels
Lille 3000, Lille, France
The 6th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea
Hungry God: Indian Contemporary Art, Arario Gallery, Beijing
The Busan Museum, Korea
L'Art a La Plage, Gallery Enrico Navarra, Ramatuelle, France
Another Worlds, Arario Gallery, Korea

Indian Summer, Ecole Nationale Suprieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
The Artist Lives and Works in Baroda/Bombay/Calcutta/Mysore/Rotterdam/Trivandrum, House of World Culture, Berlin
1st Pocheon Asian Art Triennale, Pocheon, Korea
Paths of Progression, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore
Mom and Pop Art, Walsh Gallery, Chicago
The Armory Show, Nature Morte, New York
International Painting, Gallery GBK, Sydney
Kunst En Oorlod, Kunst en Cultuur Noord, Holland

The Sacrifice - An Intimate I, Collection of Henri Swagemakers, Museum De Beyerd, Holland
Contemporary Art from India, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York
Summer Show, Bose Pacia Gallery, New York
Art Chicago, Walsh Gallery, Chicago
Masala, William Benton Museum, University of Connecticut
Zoom! Art in Contemporary India, Culturgest Museum, Lisbon

SubTerrain: Artists Dig the Contemporary, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Drawing Conclusions, New York Arts Gallery, New York
Pictorial Transformations, National Art Gallery, Malaysia
Urban Graffiti, Woolff Gallery, London
Crossing Generations:Diverge, Gallery Chemould's, Mumbai
National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
Indians & Cowboys, Gallery 4A, Sydney
The Tree from the Seed, Henie Onstad Kultursenter, Hovikodden, Norway
Arco 2003, Madrid, Spain

Under Construction, The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Tokyo
India- Contemporary Art from Northeastern Private Collection, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey
Singapore Art Fair, Singapore
Clicking into Place, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

Century City, Tate Modern, London
Indian Painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Indian Contemporary Fine Arts, Seven Degrees, California

Seventh Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba
Kunstrai, International Art Fair, Amsterdam

Kunstrai, International Art Fair, Amsterdam
The First Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan
Nature Morte, New York
Mary Place Gallery, Sydney

Kunstrai, International Art Fair, Amsterdam
Art of the World 1998, Passage de Retz, Paris
Multi Media Art of 90's, CIMA Gallery, Calcutta
Jehangir Nicholson Collection, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
The Wilberding Collection, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
Indian Contemporary Art, The R.P.G. collection, Leverkusen and Monheim, Germany

Innenseite, Kassel, Germany
50 years of Art in Mumbai, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai