IAAC Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2011   

Tara Sabharwal
Tara Sabharwal


Artist Statement

Time fascinates me, a flash of reality encompasses all that has been, is and can be. As I spontaneously apply marks and colors, abandoning my conscious mind’s need for logic and sequence, I attempt to tap into a deeper submerged order and tune into time’s simultaneous openness.

 The Past embraces the experiences, environments and times I have lived in. It holds my debt to mentors and to the art traditions I have inherited and adopted. The Present is always at hand, pulsating with impressions and the excitement of experimentation. In recent work, the reference to ‘beads of breath’ comes from watching my father’s labored breathing. A residency in Japan inspired the empty spaces and calligraphic brushwork. The Indian imagery and earth colors are my present too, returning through a natural mid-life process of revival.

The Future manifests itself mysteriously. Pictures come in their own non-linear sequence, often predating a series by years and can also be premonitions of things to come.

My images in my paintings stem from my time/reality flux but they also draw from our collective unconscious, where dreams, memory imagination, myth and culture overlap and co exist. Experience my reality, explore your own.


Tara Sabharwal was born in Delhi, studied painting in Baroda and completed her Masters from the Royal College of Art in London on a British Council scholarship. As a student in London, the Victoria and Albert Museum bought her work and she showed at Bernard Jacobson and Christopher Hull galleries.

On returning to India she had solo shows at Art Heritage and Cymroza galleries and after three years left for the UK on the Myles Meehan fellowship. This was followed by the Durham Cathedral fellowship and shows at the Laing Art gallery, DLI Museum, and the Darlington Art Center along with teaching in Newcastle and Sunderland Art colleges.

In 1990 Tara visited New York and since then lives between India, UK and NY, making paintings and prints and continuing to show in all three countries. She has had solo shows at Harewood House, Mercury, La Monte, East West and Rebecca Hossack galleries in London; Galerie Scherer, Michael Oess, Galerie Schwerpunkt and Martina Janzen in Germany; Henry Street settlement, John Jay, Stephen Harris and Gallery 678 in New York and Art Heritage, Cymroza, Nazar, Sakshi and Art alive galleries in India, in HISHIO, Japan, Orvieto arts festival, Italy and Versailles, Chamalieres and Duoro print triennials in France and Portugal.

She has taught art at the Guggenheim Museum, Cooper Union, Studio in a school, City University (CUNY) and the Rubin Museum of Art. She has received the Henry Street fellowship, International cultural collaborations grant, Cooper union residency, Hishio international exchange residency in Japan and her work is in the collection of the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum (a second collection) in London, the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston and the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

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