Jitish Kallat, Age, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Age: 49 Years
Wife: Reena Saini (artist)
Hometown: Mumbai

Jitish Kallat

Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- kg
in pounds- lbs
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
Artforms• Sculptures
• Paintings
• Installations
• Photography
• Multimedia works
ThemesHis artworks are usually based on the theme of self-centred open narrative and are related to the ideas of time, death, cycles of life, celestial references, and familial ancestry. Kallat mainly depicts the urban milieu of his native city Mumbai in his artworks. He presents the downtrodden or dispossessed inhabitants of Mumbai in a bold, colourful, and highly graphic manner. He usually incorporates the concerns like India’s endeavour to enter the globalized economy, tackling the crises related to housing and transportation, city planning, caste and communal tensions, and government accountability in the country. Kallat’s paintings are usually a recreation of the wall adornments found on the 120-year-old Victoria Terminus train station in the centre of Mumbai. His unique way of creating a weathered texture for his paintings makes paintings appear as if the paintings were left under the sky to be damaged by the changing weather like rains and scorching sun. The subject matter of his paintings was earlier described as ‘the dirty, old, recycled and patched-together fabric of urban India.’
Selected Solo Shows• “P.T.O.,” at Gallery Chemould and Prithvi Gallery in Mumbai, India (1997)
• “Apostrophe,” India Habitat Centre at New Delhi, India (1998)
• “Private limited I,” at Bose Pacia Modern in New York, USA and “Private limited II,” at Apparao Gallery in Chennai, India (1999)
• “Ibid.” at Gallery Chemould in Mumbai, India (2000)
• “Milk Route” at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, India and “General Essential” at Sakshi Gallery in Bangalore, India (2001)
• “First Information Report” at Bose Pacia Modern in New York, USA (2002)
• “The Lie of the Land” at Walsh Gallery in Chicago, USA (2004)
• “Rickshawpolis 1” at Nature Morte in New Delhi, India, “Panic Acid” at Bodhi Art in Singapore, and “Humiliation Tax” at Gallery Chemould in Mumbai, India (2005)
• “Rickshawpolis 2” at Spazio Piazza Sempione in Milan, Italy (2006)
• “Sweatopia” at Chemould Prescott Road and Bodhi Art in Singapore, “Unclaimed Baggage” at Albion in London, UK, “365 Lives” at Arario Gallery in Beijing, China, and “Rickshawpolis 3” at Gallery Barry Keldoulis in Sydney, Australia (2007)
• “Aquasaurus” at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Sydney, “Skinside Outside” at Arario Gallery in Seoul, South Korea, “Public Notice 2” Bodhi Art in Singapore, and “Universal Recipient” at Haunch of Venison in Zurich, Switzerland (2008)
• “Public Notice 3” Curated by Madhuvanti Ghosh at the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, USA, “Likewise” at ARNDT in Berlin, Germany, and “The Astronomy of the Subway” at Haunch of Venison in London, UK (2010)
• “Fieldnotes: Tomorrow was Here Yesterday” at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai, India, and “Stations of a Pause” at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, India (2011)
• “Circa” Curated by Natalie King, Bala Starr and Andrew Jamieson, Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne, Australia, and “Chlorophyll Park” at Nature Morte in New Delhi, India (2012)
• “The Hour of the Day of the Month of the Season” at Galerie Daniel Templon in Paris, France “Epilogue” Curated by Susan Leask and Jodi Throckmorton at San Jose Museum of Art, USA (2013)
• “Public Notice 2” Curated by Suhanya Raffel, Presented by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and “The Infinite Episode” Galerie Daniel Templon in Paris, France (2015)
• “Covering Letter,” Curated by Amanda Sroka at Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, USA, “Covering Letter,” Curated by Kamini Sawhney at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya in Mumbai, India, and “Sightings” at Chemould Prescott Road in Mumbai, India (2016)
• “Covariance” at Galerie Daniel Templon in Brussels, Belgium, and “Here After Here” (1992-2017), Curated by Catherine David at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, India (2017)
• “Decimal Point” at Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York, USA (2018)
• “Phase Transition” at Galerie Templon in Paris, France (2019)
• “Return to Sender” at Frist Art Museum in Nashville, USA, “Terranum Nuncius” at Famous Studios at Mumbai, India, and “Terranum Nuncius” at Bikaner House in New Delhi, India (2020)
• “Epicycles” at Norrtalje Konsthall in Sweden (2021)
Selected Group Exhibitions1997
• Innenseite, Curated by Hamdi El Attar, Projektgruppe Stoffwechsel, University of Kassel, Germany
• 50 Years of Art in Mumbai, Curated by Saryu Doshi, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, India

• Art of the World 1998, Passage de Retz, Paris, France

• The First Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Curated by Kuroda Raiji, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan

• Seventh Havana Biennale, Curated by Hilda Maria Rodriguez, Havana, Cuba

• Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Curated by Geeta Kapur and Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Tate Modern, London, UK
• Indian Painting, Curated by Haema Sivanesan, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
• Palette 2001, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi, India

• Under Construction, Curated by Ranjit Hoskote, The Japan Foundation, Asia Center, Tokyo
• India, Contemporary Art from Northeastern Private Collection, Curated by Jeffrey Wechsler, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey, USA

• SubTerrain: Artists Dig the Contemporary, Curated by Geeta Kapur, House of World Cultures, Berlin
• Pictorial Transformations, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
• Crossing generations: diVERGE, Curated by Geeta Kapur and Chaitanya Sambrani, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, India

• Zoom! Art in Contemporary India, Curated by Nancy Adajania and Luis Serpa, Culturgest, Lisbon
• Contemporary Art From India, Thomas Erben Gallery, NY, USA
• Summer Show, Bose Pacia Gallery, NY, USA

• First Pocheon Asian Art Triennale, Curated by Yoon Jin Sup, Pocheon, Korea
• Indian Summer, Curated by Henri Claude and Deepak Anath, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
• The Artist Lives and Works in Baroda/Bombay/Calcutta/Mysore/ Rotterdam/Trivandrum, House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany

• The 6th Gwangju Biennale, Curated by Kim Hong-hee, Wu Hang and Kim Sang-Yun, Korea
• The 5th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia
• Passages, Curated by Deepak Ananth and Jany Lauga, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels

• Soft Power: Asian Attitude, Curated by Biljana Ciric, Huangfu Binghui, Shen Qibin, Shanghai Zendai Museum of Art, Shanghai, China
• Urban Manners, Curated by Adelina von Furstenberg, Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan
• Hungry God, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

• Farewell to Post Colonialism, Curated by Gao Shiming, Sarat Maharaj, Chang Tsong-zung, The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong
• Museum of Art, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
• Indian Highway, Curated by Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Thierry Raspail, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK
• Die Tropen: Views from the Middle of the Globe, Curated by Alfons Hug, Dr Peter boy, Prof. Dr Viola King, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany

• India Contemporary, Curated by William Baars, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Hague, Netherlands
• Mythologies, Haunch of Venison, London, UK
• Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art, Curated by Akiko Miki, National Museum, Seoul and Essl Museum, Vienna, Australia
• Art Foundation Mallorca Collection, Centro Cultural Andratx, CCA Andratx, Spain

• Monumental, Walsh Gallery, Chicago, USA
• Collection Show 2010, Arario Gallery, Seoul, South Korea
• Now Through a Glass Darkly, Arario Gallery, NY, USA
• Changing the World, ARNDT, Berlin, Germany

• Boundaries Obscured, Haunch of Venison, NY, USA
• Paris- Delhi- Bombay, Center Pompidou, Paris, France
• Pause: A collection, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, India

• Arsenale 2012, The First Kiev International Biennale of Art, Curated by David Elliott, Kiev, Ukraine
• India: Art Now, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark
• Critical Mass: Contemporary Art from India, Curated by Tami Katz-Frieman and Rotem Ruff, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel

• Curitiba Biennial, Curated by Stephanie Dahn Batista, Angelo Light, Deborah Santiago, Kamilla and Renan Araujo Nunes, Curitiba, Brazil
• Ideas of the Sublime, Curated by Gayatri Sinha, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
• Aesthetic Bind |Citizen Artist: Forms of Address, Curated by Geeta Kapur, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, India

• Busan Biennale 2014: Inhabiting the World, Artistic Director- Olivier Kaeppelin, Busan, South Korea
• An Appetite for Painting, Contemporary Painting 2000–2014, Curated by Gavin Jantjes, The Museum of Contemporary Art,
• Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway

• After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997, Curated by Dr Arshiya Lokhandwala, Queens Museum of Art, New York
• After Utopia, Curated by Tan Siuli and Louis Ho, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
• Obsession, Maison Particulière, Brussels, Belgium

• Given Time: The Gift and its Offerings, Curated by Arshiya Lokhandwala, Gallery Odyssey, Mumbai
• Setouchi Triennale, Curated by Fram Kitagawa, Takamatsu, Japan
• Telling Tales: Excursions in Narrative Form, Curated by Rachel Kent, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

• India Re-worlded: Seventy Years of Investigating a Nation, Curated by Arshiya Lokhandwala, Gallery Odyssey, Lower Parel, Mumbai
• Age of Terror, Curated by Sanna Moore, Imperial War Museum, London, UK
• A World in the City: Zoological and Botanic Gardens, Curated by Kaiwan Mehta, IFA Stuttgart, Germany

• Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Singapore Art Prize 2018 Exhibition, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
• Riots: Slow Cancellation of the Future, Curated by Natasha Ginwala, ifa Galleries, Berlin and Stuttgart
• Asymmetrical Objects, Curated by Tasneem Mehta and Himanshu Kadam, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, India

• Our Time for a Future Caring, Curated by Roobina Karode, India Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
• Circadian Rhythms: Contemporary art and biological time, Curated by Chris Clark and Fiona Kearney, The Glucksman, Cork, UK
• Weather Report, Curated by Richard Klein, Aldrich Museum of Art, USA

• Chromatopia, Art Gallery of Southern Australia, Australia
• South East North West, Curated by Rory Padeken, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, USA
• Distorted Portrait, Space k Seoul, South Korea

• Frieze Art Fair, London, UK, Presented by Nature Morte
• Markers of Time and Space, Nature Morte, New Delhi, India
• Confabulation, Nature Morte, New Delhi, India
• On-Site, Bikaner House, New Delhi
Awards• K.K. Hebbar Art Foundation Award in 1996
• Govt. First Prize, Sir J.J.School of Art, Mumbai in 1996
• Indo-American Society’s Young Achiever Award in 2001
• Sanskriti Award in 2001
• Harmony Award in 2002
Personal Life
Date of BirthYear, 1974
Age (as of 2023) 49 Years
College/UniversitySir JJ School of Arts in Mumbai
Educational QualificationBA in Fine Arts in painting from the Sir JJ School of Arts in Mumbai
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Wife/SpouseReena Saini (artist)
Jitish Kallat with his wife

Jitish Kallat

Some Lesser Known Facts About Jitish Kallat

  • Jitish Kallat is an Indian artist who is known for his sculptures, paintings, installations, photography, and multimedia works. He is mainly known for depicting the milieu of his birth city, Mumbai in his paintings.
  • The main concerns that he incorporates in his artworks include India’s endeavour to enter the global economy, solving housing and transportation issues in the country, city planning, caste and communal tensions, and government accountability.
  • In his career span, he has worked with various notable art galleries and exhibitions including Nature Morte in New Delhi, Chemould Prescott Road in Mumbai, ARNDT Art Agency in Berlin, and Galerie Daniel Templon in France and Belgium.
  • He did his first solo exhibition titled ‘PTO’ at the Chemould Prescott Road in 1996.
  • His art series ‘Public Notice’ is one of his most talked about artworks. It consists of three installations incorporating the famous speeches delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, and Swami Vivekananda respectively.
  • His installation ‘Public Notice 2003’ was the first work in his Public Notice series. The installation consists of five art pieces in which he incorporated the famous speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’ delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru on 14 August 1947 at Red Fort, Delhi on the eve of the independence of India. In this installation, Kallat hand-inscribed the speech by using the burnt letter that he made with rubber glue on acrylic panels. In the background of the artwork, he used carnival mirrors that give a distorted reflection. The artist has expressed the failure of Nehru’s message that he wanted to convey through his speech by using the burnt letter in the installation.

    Public Notice (2003) by Jitish Kallat

    Public Notice (2003) by Jitish Kallat

  • In the installation ‘Public Notice 2003,’ Kallat made a political statement against the massacre of the Godhra Riots that took place in Gujarat in February 2002. In an interview, he talked about this and said,

    The words are cremated… much as the content of the speech itself was distorted by the way the nation has conducted itself in the last six decades.”

    Burnt words in the installation ‘Public Notice’ by Jitish Kallat

    Burnt words in the installation ‘Public Notice’ by Jitish Kallat

  • The second artwork of Kallat’s ‘Public Notice’ series evokes the notable speech of Mahatma Gandhi that he delivered on 11 May 1930 at Sabarmati Ashram. In this speech, Gandhi requested his fellow revolutionaries to maintain peace and absolute non-violence in the country. Gandhi delivered this speech a day before starting the ‘Dandi March,’ which was a nonviolent movement, that he started against the British laws of imposing taxes on the production of salt in India. In this movement, Gandhi and his followers covered a distance of approximately 385 km in 24 days.
  •  In the installation ‘Public Notice 2’ (2007), Kallat inscribed Gandhi’s speech using 4500 bone-shaped resin letters. Through the use of bone-shaped letters in the installation, Kallat symbolises the relic that holds the history of people’s aggression; however, the main motive of Gandhi’s speech was to maintain peace and non-violence. In an interview, Kallat talked about inscribing Gandhi’s speech in this artwork and said that he wanted to make people recall the promises of non-violence. He said,

    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.” [1]Saatchi Gallery

    Public Notice 2 (2007) by Jitish Kallat

    Public Notice 2 (2007) by Jitish Kallat

  • The art historian Chaitanya Sambrani wrote an essay titled “Of Bones and Salt: Jitish Kallat’s Public Notice 2,” in which he wrote

    The act of rehearsing a text from modern history and meditating on its relevance today is charged with a revisionary historicism: Kallat simultaneously places the text within its particular historical moment and reinvigorates it for present purposes.”

  • The third work of Kallat’s ‘Public Notice’ series is associated with two significant historical events, i.e., the First World Parliament of Religion, which was held on 11 September 1893, and the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that took place on 11 September 2001.
  • In this installation, Kallat incorporated the speech delivered by Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament of Religions in 1893. To make this art piece, Kallat used LED bulbs of five different colours, consisting of red, orange, yellow, blue, and green. Kallat borrowed these colours from an advisory of the US Department of Homeland Security, where they formed a spectrum denoting terrorism threat level- red for severe, green for low. On 11 September 2010, the installation ‘Public Notice 3’ was exhibited at the ‘Grand Staircase of Art Institute of Chicago’ on the same day and place where Swami Vivekananda delivered it for the first time. [2]Jitish Kallat

    Public Notice 3 at the Grand Staircase of Art Institute of Chicago

    Public Notice 3 at the Grand Staircase of Art Institute of Chicago

  • Apart from his installations, Kallat is also known for his unique painting in which he uses icon-liked images that float around the protagonist of the painting. His paintings are mainly narrative and abstract which depict the milieu of his birth city, Mumbai. Kallat tries to reflect the grittiness and messiness in his city by creating weathered textures in his paintings. In an interview, he talked about the texture of his paintings and said,

    I would peel off paint in places to reveal the white canvas so that in the end you have a new painting that looks old, like the passing of time.” [3]Apollo

  • Some of his famous paintings include Active Desktop (2002), Rickshawpolis (2005), Baggage Claim (2010), Sweatopia (The Cry of the Gland) 6 (2010), Tragedienne (Taste, Lick, Swallow and Speak), and White Cloud (The Cry of the Gland).

    Baggage Claim (2010) by Jitish Kallat

    Baggage Claim (2010) by Jitish Kallat

  • Kallat’s artwork “Field Notes, (Tomorrow was here yesterday) (2011)” at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai was selected for The Skoda Prize in 2012.
  • In 2014, Kallat was appointed as the Artistic Director of the second edition of the Kochi-Muzisis Biennale that was held in Kochi.
  • While describing his art in an interview, Jitish Kallat said that his art analogies with a researcher’s project and said,

    My art is more like a researcher’s project who uses quotes rather than an essay, with each painting necessitating a bibliography.”