BOSTON—The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston has acquired a major South Asian art that was installed late last week in its gallery. It’s a piece by Indian contemporary artist Subodh Gupta from 2015.
The untitled piece of cast brass bicycle and aluminum bananas was purchased with funds donated by Xiaohua Zhang and Quan Zhou.
Contemporary artist Gupta makes monumental sculptures out of objects from the ordinary life of an Indian citizen. In this work, he has recreated a sight typical of villages in southern India: bananas being delivered via bicycle.
Today India’s population is flocking to its cities for work and education (as Gupta himself did at 26), and rural ways of life are fading from memory. With a dash of humor, Untitled elevates and preserves mundane objects and daily routines of village life, asking us to see how they might embody basic human needs and desires worth remembering.
“By placing this sculpture in a gallery of historical art, we invite our visitors to think about how questions of preservation and loss are invoked by the much older sculptures in this gallery,” MFA said in a statement. “What changes might have brought these fragments from ancient sacred sites to the museum? How much can we reconstruct or recall about the world in which they were made? What meanings do they hold today, now that their original societies are gone?