Indian Artist Sudarshan Shetty to Join the Rolls-Royce Art Programme

New Delhi, Delhi, India
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is delighted to announce that Sudarshan Shetty will be the next artist to be commissioned for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme. Shetty is one of the most renowned Indian artists of his generation and is acclaimed for his artistic practice, which includes enigmatic sculptural installations that reflect on urban contemporary life.

Shetty’s new work will take the form of a two-channel film, anchored by two sculptures. The commission will be based on an Indian folk tale and is slated to be presented in Mumbai on 5 November 2016, alongside his existing ‘Flying Bus’ public art project at the Maker Maxity in Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai. The new commission will then move to New Delhi.

Shetty will become the first artist from India to join the Rolls-Royce Art Programme, founded in celebration of the marque’s commitment to creating unique, rare and aesthetically powerful motor cars, which transcend the world of conveyance to become works of art themselves. He has recently been appointed as Artistic Director of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which opens in December 2016.
The new commission will take inspiration from a popular South Indian folk tale that is an allegory for artistic expression and the importance of creativity. Two structures will represent the home and public space featured in the story, whilst the film will depict the tale of a husband and wife, at a moment when the wife envisions a story and a song from her breath whilst sleeping.

The sculptures will represent key moments in the tale and will be rigorously handcrafted reflecting the art of craftsmanship. Shown across two screens, the film will convey a sense of unfolding time whilst exploring the narrative as it comes into the world through language and music.

Rolls-Royce has a shared ethos with the world of art, each Rolls-Royce motor car is Bespoke, commissioned for its aesthetic power out of the finest materials, and has its own story to tell. Therefore, a common philosophy was found between the marque and the artist. Shetty’s work raises the questions about the moment in the creative process of when a story becomes a story and when a song becomes a song. His belief is that an artist carries a story and it is imperative for him to express it.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, commented, “Sudarshan Shetty has been recognised as one of the most innovative artists in India for his generation. I am delighted to welcome Sudarshan to the Rolls-Royce Art Programme; he is an artist whose work reflects our own striving for perfection. India is an important part of Rolls-Royce’s heritage and it gives us great pleasure that Sudarshan will weave Rolls-Royce into the thriving Indian arts scene.”

Sudarshan Shetty visited the Home of Rolls-Royce on the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, UK, to inform the creation of this new work, taking inspiration from the meticulous standards set by the marque’s artisanal craftspeople. The Rolls-Royce commission will enable him to explore new dimensions of his work, including an in-depth exploration of new methods of filming.

Sudarshan Shetty commented, “Rolls-Royce is, for me, a model of craftsmanship and technological advancement. It is a matter of privilege and also a challenge to create a new commission for Rolls-Royce and to be able to try to match its high standards. Through this new commission, I am seeking to find a meeting point between the innovation of Rolls-Royce and my own imagination as an artist.”

Sudarshan Shetty joins Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem as a member of the Rolls-Royce Art Programme for 2016. Kazem has been commissioned to create a sculpture for the Programme which will be presented in late 2016 alongside a Bespoke motor car that has been inspired by the new work. Sudarshan Shetty presented a successful Art Talk in Sydney to coincide with the 20th Biennale of Sydney in March 2016 for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme.

Notes to Editors:

About the Rolls-Royce Art Programme

Art and creative endeavour are at the heart of Rolls-Royce and their motor cars are commissioned for their aesthetic power. They are created out of the finest materials at the hands of skilled artisans who, in turn, produce rare, unique and ultimately beautiful automobiles. By creating an Art Programme, Rolls-Royce has formally acknowledged this unique shared ethos with the world of art.

The Art Programme comprises new works commissioned in situ, partnerships with leading organisations, art talks with emerging and established artists, art drives, art walks and art receptions around the world. It fosters creativity and enables artists to realise new projects and to explore new areas of their practice.

To date, Rolls-Royce has worked with leading international artists and key figures from the contemporary art world including: Isaac Julien, Ana Maria Tavares, Morgan Wong, Carlos Rolón/Dzine, Angela Bulloch, Ugo Rondinone, Michael Zavros, Regina Silveira and Will Cotton.

About Rolls-Royce and India

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has a rich Indian heritage. The sub-continent has been the ultimate destination of many of the marque’s early Bespoke motor cars, including the 40/50hp Silver Ghosts and Phantoms built during the first half of the twentieth century. The extremes of climate and terrain offered the perfect proving ground for that which was a relatively new form of machine and transport. To gain a reputation for unequalled reliability and luxury amongst the royalty and elite of India was praise indeed. The number of surviving Rolls-Royce motor cars from those pioneer days remain as a testimony to their success in that era.

About Sudarshan Shetty

Sudarshan Shetty’s recent solo shows include Shoonya Ghar at the National Gallery of Modern Art New Delhi, Mimic Momento at Galerie Daniel Templon, Brussels (2015), who must write these lines at GALLERYSKE Bangalore (2015), every broken moment, piece by piece at GALLERYSKE New Delhi (2014), the pieces the earth took away at Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna (2012), and Between the teacup and a sinking constellation at Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris (2011). Shetty’s work has featured in major group exhibitions including Passage to India, Staatliches Museum Schwerin, Schwerin (2015), Art Walk: Water, curated by Gayatri Sinha, Europalia India, Liege (2013-14), the Kochi- Muziris Biennale (2012), Paris-Delhi-Bombay…, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011), Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum, curated by Nancy Spector at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010) and in Indian Highway, a traveling exhibit (2009-2012). In 2010, Shetty’s House of Shades, commissioned by Louis Vuitton, was unveiled at Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele in Milan. In 2012, Shetty unveiled The Flying Bus, a public art work at Maker Maxity, Mumbai, a significant public work in the country. He has a project at the 20th Biennale of Sydney curated by Stephanie Rosenthal (2016). Shetty has been appointed artistic director and curator of the third edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale which will open in December 2016. He lives and works in Mumbai.

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