“I’m interested in a certain kind of visceral aspect, a kind of rawness in the work, which I like very much.
It comes naturally to me.”
HUMA BHABHA (b. 1962)
For three decades, Huma Bhabha has made talismanic sculptures and drawings that assemble references to histories and myths spanning the prehistoric, the extraterrestrial, and all corners of the globe. In a sculptural lineage that includes H.C. Westermann, Alberto Giacometti, and Jimmie Durham, the Poughkeepsie, New York–based artist creates figures that seem at once familiar and foreign, exploring how these qualities are assessed and how they intersect. Her formal experimentation brings together natural, industrial, and found materials—a rusted tailpipe, chicken wire, cork, Styrofoam, bronze, air-dried clay—to suggest forms that might be caught in metamorphosis or disintegration. At the heart of her work is an inquiry into the perennial processes of colonization, displacement, and civilization.
Bhabha was born in 1962 in Karachi, Pakistan. She received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (1985) and an MFA from Columbia University (1989). Her 2018 installation We Come in Peace was commissioned for the roof terrace of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and now resides in the collection of Ekebergparken, Oslo. In 2020, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England, organized a retrospective of her work, which has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at Fundación Casa Wabi, Puerto Escondido, Mexico (2022); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2019); Contemporary Austin (2018); and MoMA PS1, New York (2013). Her work has featured in group exhibitions internationally, including the Carnegie International (2018); Venice Biennale (2015); Greater New York, MoMA PS1 (2012 and 2005); and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010). Bhabha’s work is represented in the collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Sharjah Art Foundation; Tate, London; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; and Bronx Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others.