Sunil Gupta

Sunil Gupta (b. 1953 New Delhi, India) is an artist based in London. Over a career spanning more than four decades, Gupta has maintained a visionary approach to photography, producing bodies of work that are pioneering in their social and political commentary. The artist's diasporic experience of multiple cultures informs a practice dedicated to themes of race, migration and queer identity - his own lived experience a point of departure for photographic projects, born from a desire to see himself and others like him represented in art history.

In 1976, the first set of photographs Gupta made as a practising artist were taken around Christopher Street in Manhattan, using the camera as a tool for open expression. The series reflects the openness of the gay liberation movement, as well as his own "coming out" as an artist. More than a nostalgic time capsule, the photographs reveal a community that shaped Gupta as a person and cemented his lifelong dedication to portraying people who have been denied a space to be themselves.

Gupta holds a diploma in Photography from West Surrey College of Art & Design (1981), an Ma in Photography from Royal College of Art (1982) and a PhD from the University of Westminster, London (2019). 

Solo exhibitions include ‘The New Pre-Raphaelites’, Wyndham Gallery, Melbourne (2024); ‘The New Pre-Raphaelites’, Hales Gallery, New York (2023); ‘A Queer Rehearsal: Photographs by Charan Singh & Sunil Gupta’, Bonhams, London (2022);‘Cruising’, Vadhera Art Gallery, New Delhi (2022);‘From Here to Eternity’, Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto (2022); ‘Songs of Deliverance, Part I and Part II’, Studio Voltaire x St. Mary’s Paddington Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital, London (2022); ‘Emerge into Light’, Matèria, Rome (2021); ‘Black Experience’, Hales Gallery, London (2021);‘New Pre-Raphaelites’, Holburne Museum, Bath (2021);‘From Here to Eternity’, Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto (2021); ‘From Here to Eternity’, The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2020); ‘Christopher Street’, Hales Gallery, New York (2019); ‘Friends & Lovers: Coming Out in Montréal in the 1970s’, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto (2018); ‘Sunil Gupta: In Pursuit of Love’, Pelz Gallery, University of London, London (2017); ‘Queer Migrations’, Whitney Humanities Centre, Yale University, New Haven (2015); ‘Sunil Gupta: Out and About in New York and New Delhi’, Sepia Eye, New York (2014); ‘Sun City & Other Stories’, Alliance Francaise Gallery, New Delhi (2012); ‘The New Pre-Raphaelites’, Grosvenor Vadehra, London (2010); ‘Love, Undetectable’, Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi (2009); ‘Imagining Childhood’, Sepia, New York (2009); ‘Mr Malhotra’s Party’, Stephen Bulger, Toronto (2009); ‘Homelands & Tales of a City’, Belfast Exposed, Belfast (2007); ‘Sunil Gupta, Bombay Art Gallery’, Mumbai (2007); ‘Imagining Childhood: Living with HIV in Delhi’, College of Staten Island, New York (2006); ‘Looking for Langston’ (with Isaac Julien), Metro Pictures, New York (2006); ‘Sunil Gupta’, Canadian Museum for Contemporary Photography, Ottawa (2005); ‘Homelands’, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Canada; Sepia International, New York (2004); ‘Trespass 3’, Portfolio, Edinburgh, UK; Bedford Hill Gallery, London (1997); ‘Trespass 3’, YYZ, Toronto (1996); ‘Trespass 3, Focal Point Gallery, Southend (1995); ‘Trespass 3’, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (1994); ‘Social Security’, The Showroom, London (1988); Museum & Art Galleries, Leicester (1984); Museum & Art Galleries, Nottingham (1984); UN International Maritime Organisation, London (1984); Commonwealth Institute, London (1983); India International Centre, New Delhi (1980).

His work has been featured in group exhibitions at Nottingham New Art Exchange project, Nottingham (2024); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2024); Magazzino Delle Idee, Codroipo (2023); Vane Gallery, Newcastle (2023); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (2023); Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham (2023); Tate Britain, London (2023); The Foundling Museum, London (2023); Lehman College Art Gallery, New York (2023); Kirin Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi (2023); National Gallery of Art, Washington (2023); Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2022); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2022); Queer Arts Festival, Vancouver (2022); Atelier Nord, Oslo, Norway (2022); Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2022); FOMU, Antwerp (2021); TJ Boulting, London (2021); Schwules Museum, Berlin (2021); Ffotogallery, Cardiff (2021); The Exchange, Penzance (2021); Paradise Row, London (2021); V.O. Curations, London (2021); Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2021); Les Rencontres de la Photographie Arles, Paris (2021); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2021); Jhaveri Contemporary, London (2021); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2020); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2020); Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2019); Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg (2019); Leslie Lohman Museum,New York (2019); Soho Photography Gallery, London (2019); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2018); Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (2018); Tate Modern, London (2018); SepiaEye, New York (2017); Nottingham Contemporary/Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, Middleborough (2017); Clifford Chance, New York (2016); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2015); Home, Manchester (2015); Magdalen College, Oxford (2014); Tate, Liverpool (2014); NGBK, Berlin (2014); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2012); The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2012); Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon & MAXXI, Rome (2011); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011); Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2009); UCLA, Los Angeles (2008); Valencian Institute of Modern Art, Valencia (2008); Tate Modern, London (2008); Kunstmuseum, Bern (2008). 

Gupta’s work is held in the collections of Arts Council of Great Britain, UK; Cartwright Hall, Bradford; Fine Arts Museum, Houston; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Massachusetts; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of London, London; Government Art Collection, London; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; George Eastman House, New York; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of RISD, Providence; National Museum of Film, TV & Photography, Bradford; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Tate, London; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut.

Gupta has been artist in residence at Light Work, Syracuse (2003) and The Essex Fellowship in Photography (1995). He has been awarded the Kraszna-Krausz Photobook Award, London (2021); AHRB Fellowship in Creative & Performing Arts, University of Southampton (2002); Canada Council Book Award for Publishing (2000). 

Sunil Gupta is represented by Hales Gallery, Matèria Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery and ​Vadehra Art Gallery.

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