From June, Tate Modern will present the first international retrospective of the Indian artist Bhupen Khakhar since his death in 2003. 

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You Can’t Please All, Bhupen Khakhar, 1981. (c)Bhupen Khakhar.

Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All will bring together a selection of the artist’s work from across five decades and from collections from around the world.

Khakhar was renowned for his use of vibrant colours and his bold examination of class and sexuality, this new display of his work will reveal how he played a central role in modern Indian art but also how he was a key  international  figure in 20th century painting.

On display in the exhibition will be a wide variety of work including major works created on canvas, watercolour paintings and experimental ceramics.

Khakhar was hugely influenced by Ghandi and was committed to relating the truth as a guiding principle for his work. He wasn’t afraid to confront provocative themes but dealt with them sensitively and honestly throughout his career. This was particularly true with the way in which he dealt with his homosexuality in works such as Yayati (1987) , Flower Vase (1999) and Grey Blanket (1998). 

As a writer and playwright, Khakhar was focused on storytelling and illustrating the world in as much detail as possible. He worked with Salman Rushdie on a special edition of two stories for which the artist produced a series of wood-cuts.

His work also had a very personal background as well. In particular towards the end of his life and battling cancer, works such as Bullet Shot in the Stomach 2001 and  At the End of the Day the Iron Ingots Came Out 1999 reveal the realities of living with the disease.

The exhibition is curated by Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern and Nada Raza, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.

Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All will run at the Tate Modern from the 1st June to the 6th November 2016. 

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