biography

biography

Amar Kanwar has distinguished himself through films and multi-media works, which explore the politics of power, violence and justice. His multi-layered installations originate in narratives often drawn from zones of conflict and are characterized by a unique poetic approach to the personal, social and political.

Recent solo exhibitions of Kanwar’s work have been held at the Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden (2017), Marian Goodman Gallery, London, England (2017), Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai (2016) and at the Assam State Museum in collaboration with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and North East Network, India (2015). In 2013 and 2014 at the Art Institute of Chicago, USA; the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, U.K.; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA 21), Vienna, Austria and at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2012).

Recent group exhibitions have been presented at the Documenta 14, Athens, Greece & Kassel, Germany (2017), Goethe Gallery, Hong Kong, China (2017), Megaron, Athens, Greece (2017), Devi Art Foundation with Salima Hashmi (2016), Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, USA (2014); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India (2014); 56th Carnegie International, USA (2013); Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2013 and 2012); 13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2013); 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2013); 11th Sharjah Biennale, UAE (2013); 1st Kochi Biennale, India (2013); Tarra Warra Museum of Art, Victoria, Australia (2013) and the Bristol Museum, U.K. (2013).

Kanwar has also participated in Documenta 11, 12, 13 and 14 in Kassel, Germany (2002, 2007, 2012, 2017). Other solo exhibitions have been at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2008); the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, U.K. (2007); the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (2006) and the Renaissance Society, Chicago, USA (2004).

Amar Kanwar has been the recipient of awards such as the Prince Claus Award (2017); Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change (2014); an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, Maine College of Art, USA (2006); the Edvard Munch Award for Contemporary Art, Norway (2005); the MacArthur Fellowship in India (2000); the Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, USA (1999), as well as the Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival, India (1998).

Retrospectives of his films have been held at film festivals including the 5th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, Kerala State (2012), the 13th Madurai International Documentary and Short Film Festival (2011), the Documentary Dream Show, Tokyo (2010), the Parallel Perspectives Film Festival, Hyderabad (2008), and the 9th International Short Film Festival, Bangladesh (2005).

solo exhibitions

2017

Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden

Marian Goodman Gallery, London, England

2016

Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai, India

Nanyang Technological University, Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore

2015

The Assam State Museum in collaboration with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and North East Network, India

2013

Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, England, U.K.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary-Augarten, Vienna, Austria

2012

Evidence, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland

2011

Babel Art Space; Trondheim, Norway

2010

Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, USA

2009

Film Huis Den Haag in collaboration with “Movies that Matter”, Amnesty International Film Festival, The Hague, Netherlands

2008

Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand

Marian Goodman, Paris, France

2007

Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England, U.K.

Selected Work 1991-2006, Apeejay Media Gallery, New Delhi, India

2006

Trilogy, National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway

2005

Nye filmer, Fotogalleriet, Oslo, Norway

2004

A Season Outside, Peter Blum Gallery, New York, USA

A Trilogy of Films, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, Illinois, USA

2003

(Trilogy), Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden

selected group shows

2017

#Resist, Goethe-Gallery & Black Box Studio, Hong Kong, China

The Garden Sees, Megaron, Athens, Greece

Documenta 14, Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany

2016

This Night Bitten Dawn. Salima Hashmi with Gujral Foundation and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi, India

Third Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2015

Local Stories/Global Practices. MDE’15, Medellin, Colombia

Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva, Switzerland

2014

Word. Sound. Power. Khoj Studios, International Artists’ Association, New Delhi, India

In the Aftermath of Trauma. Kemper Art Museum. St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Is it What You Think ? Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, India

Where do I end and you begin, Edinburg Arts Festival, Scotland

2013

56th Carnegie International, Pennsylvania, USA

5th Moscow Biennale, Russia

13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey

Sharjah Biennale 11, United Arab Emirates

Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kerala, India

Being Singular Plural, Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

Newtopia, The State of Human Rights, Mechelen and Brussels, Belgium

Indian Highway, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space, Nasher Museum of Art, North Carolina, USA

No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

No Borders, Arnolfini, Bristol, England, U.K.

Word. Sound. Power, Tate Modern Project Space, London, England, U.K.

Animate/Inanimate, Tarra Warra Museum of Art, Victoria, Australia

Connecting-Unfolding, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea

2012

Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany

Indian Highway, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

Being Singular Plural, Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

Lines of control, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA

2011

Paris, Delhi, Bombay, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

You have been there, Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris, France

Artist Films: Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

Sharjah Biennale, United Arab Emirates

Indian Highways, MAC-Musée d’Art contemporain, Lyon, France

Indian Highways, Fondazione MAXXI, Rome, Italy

29th Sao Paulo Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Biennale Jogja, Indonesia

2010

Aichi Triennial, Aichi, Japan

Snapshots of Tourism, Helsinki International Artists Centre, Helsinki, Finland

Being Singular Plural, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany

October Salon, Belgrade, Serbia

Indian Highways, HEART Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning, Denmark

Signs of Life, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland

The View from Elsewhere, Gallery of Modern Art and the Australian Cinematheque, South Brisbane, Australia

2009

“What a Wonderful world” Göteborg Internatinella Konstbiennal, Sweden

The symbolic efficiency of the frame, Tirana Biennale, Tirana, Albania

“Significant and Insignificant Events”, Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul, Turkey

Indian Highway, Astrup Fernley Museum, Oslo, Norway

Trouble at the Front/ Troubles aux Frontières, with Yael Bartana and William Pope. L, Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris, France

Expended Box, Arco Art Fair, Madrid, Spain

“Lines of control”, The Third Line Gallery, Dubai, UAE / VM Gallery Karachi, Pakistan

"The World in 1989", Haus der Kultur der Weldt, Berlin, Germany

2008

Indian Highway, Serpentine Gallery, London, England, U.K.

“48°, Public, Art, Ecology”, New Delhi, India

A Question of Evidence, TBA 21 Vienna, Austria

Reflexions on Contemporary India, Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain Terror – your fear is an external object, Muscarnok / Kunsthalle, Nudapest, Hungary

The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art (Part I), The Hessel

Museum and The Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS) at Bard College, New York, USA

Can Art do more? Art Focus Biennial, Jerusalem, Israel

Everywhere is War (and rumours of war), The Bodhi Art Gallery, Mumbai, India

Other than Yourself – An Investigation between Inner and Outer Space, TBA 21, Vienna, Austria

2007

Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany

Thermocline of Art-New Asian Waves, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany

Stop & Go, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy

There is no border…, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Germany

GeoPoetics, Centro Guerrero, Granada, SpainAfter Shock, Contemporary Art Norwich, U.K.

Shooting back, TBA 21, - Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Australia

Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland

2006

Every Day… another artist/ work/ show, Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria

Subcontingente, Fondazione Sandretty Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy

Zones Lofoten International Art Festival, Svolvær, Norway

Zones of contact, Museum for contemporary Art, Biennale of Sydeney 2006, Australia

Image War: Contesting Images Of Political Conflict. Whitney Museum, New York, USA

The Artists Cinema, Frieze Art Fair, London, England, U.K.

2005

Populism, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway; SMC, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

Experiments with Truth, Fabric Workshop Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Patriot, Contemporary Museum, Maryland, USA

2004

LIAF 04, Lofoten International Art Festival, Svolvær, Norway

Historical Retrospective - 50 years of Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany

Art Basel, Switzerland

In Progress - Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland

‘Diverge – Crossing Generations’, Mumbai, India

Doc Fortnight, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

2003

A Territories, Kunst – Werke Berlin, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

Art Basel Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Selves Made Strange:¬ New perspectives from India at the House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany

Amar Kanwar, 10th Biennial of Moving Images, Museum of Modern Art, Geneva, Switzerland

Extra Muros, FRI-ART Centre Art Centre d'art Contemporain Kunsthalle, Fribourg, Switzerland

2002

Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany

Werkleitz Biennale, Germany

Other India's - Breaking the Code, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England, U.K.

KalaGhoda Art Festival, Mumbai, India

awards

Prince Claus Award, 2017

Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, 2014

Best Public Service Short Film, Vatavaran International Environment Film Festival, New Delhi, India, 2012

Best Film Award, One Billion Eyes Film Festival, Chennai, India, 2011

Jury Special Mention, One Billion Eyes Film Festival, Chennai, India, 2009

Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, Maine College of Art, USA, 2006

Edvard Munch Award for Contemporary Art, Norway, 2005

Certificate of Merit, San Francisco International Film Festival, California, USA, 2002

Golden Tree Award, Vatavaran, National Environment & Wildlife Film Festival, New Delhi, India, 2002

The Grand Prix, EnviroFilm, Slovak Republic, 2002

National Jury Award, Mumbai International Film Festival, India, 2002

The First Prize, Torino International Environment Film Festival, Italy, 2002

Jury’s Award at Film South Asia, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2001

2nd Prize at the Niscort All India Video Festival, India, 2001

MacArthur Fellowship, India, 2000

Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, California, USA, 1999

Golden Orange Award, 36th Antalya International Film Festival, Turkey, 1999

Golden Conch Award, Mumbai International Film Festival, India, 1998

focus/retrospective

Amar Kanwar In Focus: 5th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, Kerala

State Chalachitra Academy, India June 2012

Amar Kanwar Retrospective: 13th Madurai International Documentary & Short Film Festival India 2011

Guest Filmmaker 2009, Flaherty Film Seminar, New York, USA

Amar Kanwar Mini Retrospective, titled Continent India: King of Dreams at the Documentary Dream Show / Yamagata In Tokyo 2010, Japan

International Artist-in-focus: Open Lab, Goteborg Dance and Theater Festival 2008

Amar Kanwar Retrospective 2008, Parallel Perspectives Film Festival, Hyderabad, India

Amar Kanwar Retrospective 2006, Vibgyor Short Film Festival, Kerala, India

Amar Kanwar Retrospective 2005, 9th International Short Film Festival, Bangladesh

filmography

Such A Morning, 2017

The Scene of Crime, 2011

A Love Story, 2010

The Torn First Pages (Part 1, 2, 3), 2004-2008

The Lightning Testimonies, 2007

Henningsvaer, 15 mins, 2006

Somewhere in May, 37 mins, 2005

The Face, 4 mins, 2005

Ma Win Maw Oo, 4 mins, 2005

Thet Win Aung, 3 mins, 2005

The Bodhi Tree, 8 mins, 2005

To Remember, 8 mins, 2003

A Night of Prophecy, 77 mins, 2002

Freedom, 58 mins, 2001

King of Dreams, 30 mins, 2001

Baphlimali 173, 28 mins, 2001

The Many Faces of Madness, 19 mins, 2000

A Season Outside, 30 minutes, 1997

Marubhumi, 52 mins, 1996

Earth as Witness, 40 mins, 1994

Talash, 60 mins, 1993

The Leather Trilogy, 90 mins, 1992

Lal Hara Lehrake, 40 mins, 1992