Love in a Cold Climate – Aesthetics and Irregular Verbs

Lecture by Sutapa Biswas

Sutapa Biswas is an artist and curator based in London. She was an undergraduate of Leeds University studying Fine Art and Art History, with a History and Philosophy of Science option (1981-85). Thereafter she was a postgraduate student at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL (1988-90), and also at the Royal College of Art, London (1996–98). Venues where Biswas’s artworks have been exhibited include: Tate Britain, Tate Modern, UK; Whitechapel Gallery, UK; Melbourne International Arts Festival 2006, Australia; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; 6th Havana Biennial, Cuba; Expo Arte, Mexico; Lalit Kala Akademi / Gallery Espace, India; Nara Roesler Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Locus Plus (Newcastle Upon Tyne) in collaboration with Plug In Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada; SF Camerawork, San Francisco, USA; Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest; Whitechapel Art Gallery, UK; Yale University Art Gallery, USA; Harewood House, UK; City Art Gallery, Leeds, UK; Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, UK; Douglas Cooley Art Gallery and PICA, Portland Oregon, USA; Neuberger Museum, New York, USA. She is a Member of the Board of Directors for Film and Video Umbrella (London, UK). Biswas’ artworks are held in many public and private collections internationally, including: TATE Collections; Sheffield Museums and Art Galleries (acquisitioned with the Contemporary Art Society, UK); Cartwright Hall, Bradford Museums; Leicester City Museums; APT New York; Reed University, USA. A monograph of her artworks published by InIVA (2004), London includes essay by Laura Mulvey, Griselda Pollock and Guy Brett.

Sutapa Biswas was central to the influential Black Arts Movement of the 1980s in the UK, when her artworks first came to prominence during the seminal and historic exhibition hosted at the ICA, London, titled, “Thin Black Line”. She is a respected leading authority on questions of subjectivity and feminisms in relation to race, gender and class within the practice of fine art and in relation to critical and historical theories of art, and in particular pertaining to questions of modernism, colonial histories (especially British) and postcolonial theories. Biswas works in a range of media including drawing, film, performance and photography. Her artworks are both conceptually and formally driven, and explore questions of temporality. They often possess a stark but poetic resonance that broadly investigates the relationship between art, history, power and politics. Biswas’s lecture will address the context of ‘making’ art and aesthetics in relation to histories of art, colonialism and power.

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