Huma Bhabha

Guna S. Mundheim Visual Arts Fellow - Class of Fall 2013

Artist, Poughkeepsie, New York

American Academy Project: New Sculptures, Painted Bronzes and Drawings
Current Location: New York


Huma Bhabha was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and lives and works in Poughkeepsie, New York. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (1985) and her MFA from Columbia University (1989). Known for her engagement with the human figure and use of found materials, her works often tend towards the grotesque: sculptural works and photo-based drawings featuring bodies that seem dissected or dismembered. They might also appear as monuments to salvaged human life reclaimed from the detritus of a post-apocalyptic landscape. Incorporating materials like Styrofoam, animal bones, and clay, Bhabha’s curious figures feel unstable and ephemeral, recalling figurative traditions from a range of cultures and historical periods—neo-primitivism and yet decisively contemporary.

Bhabha’s artwork has been the subject of dozens of national and international solo exhibitions, most recently “Unnatural Histories,” MoMA P.S.1, Long Island City (2013); “Players,” Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia (2012); “Huma Bhabha,” Aspen Art Museum (2011); and “Huma Bhabha: 2008 Emerging Artist Award Exhibition,” The Aldrich Contemporary Museum (2008). Notable group shows include “Intense Proximity,” La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Whitney Biennial in New York (2010); “Statuesque” City Hall Park, New York (2010); 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea (2008); “USA Today: New American Art from the Saatchi Gallery,” Royal Academy of Arts, London (2006); “Greater New York 2005,” MoMA P.S.1; and “Versus,” Arena Mexico Arte Contemporaneo, Guadalajara (2004). Her work is represented in collections of numerous major museums, among them the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Modern Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The New York Public Library; Centre Georges Pompidou; the Saatchi Gallery; The Nerman Museum of Art, Overland Park, KS; the Yale University Art Gallery; and Bronx Museum of the Arts.

American Academy Project

New Sculptures, Painted Bronzes and Drawings

At the American Academy, Bhabha plans to continue exploring the possibilities of figuration and to develop bronze sculptures that will go into production during her time in Berlin, in preparation for an exhibition planned for spring 2014.

Lecture Summary