PARTICIPANT / Ranjani K Shettar

  • Name Ranjani K Shettar
  • Vocation Not Available
  • Education Not Available

Artworks by Ranjani Shettar can be found in a number of leading public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET),[1] San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA),[2] Museum of Modern Art (MoMA),[3] New York Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA)[4] and the Walker Art Center.[5]

Shettar’s sculptural creations combine elements of nature and industry by using a range of materials that include beeswax, sawdust, wood, latex, PVC tubing, silicone rubber, and metal. She shows a deep regard for her materials by taking the time to get to know them: all their strengths and limitations. Known for bringing traditional crafts, practices, and techniques into her contemporary work, the care of her handling and the skill of her manipulation is obvious in the transformations of her materials into her artworks. She crafts both natural and industrial materials into multidimensional works that bring forth the metaphysical characteristics of existing within a constantly changing physical environment.

The relationship between man and nature is central to Shettar’s practices. She has always been fascinated with the force of nature and the effects that human activity has on nature. Her move to Karnataka, a rural part of India, has placed her in an environment where nature is much closer and more readily revealed than in her previous urban life. Her attitude towards nature and how it manifests in her work is not only aesthetic, but ethical, philosophical and representative of her very way of life.

Shettar received her Bachelors of Fine Arts (Sculpture) in 1998 and her Masters of Fine Arts (Sculpture) in 2000, from the College of Fine Art Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath and the Institute of Advanced Studies Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bangalore respectively. Shettar’s finished works are grand in scale and effect, so it may come as surprising that her art begins in a very modest way.


Ranjani Shettar had her first solo exhibition in the United States at the Talwar Gallery in New York, NY in 2004. The Indian Spring showcased two of her sculptural works: Vasanta and In Bloom. Vasanta is characterized by its intensity: a cosmic curtain representative of transitions, while In Bloom is a luxurious composition that celebrates the indulgence of materiality. Holland Cotter reviewing the exhibition for The New York Times wrote “Ranjani Shettar, a young Indian artist based in Bangalore, makes her New York solo debut with this two‐sculpture show, and itʹs a beauty.” Deepak Talwar, owner of the gallery, befriended the artist one year earlier and describes her art as speaking “with [its] own unique and elegant language.” Talwar notes on the artist’s devotion and understanding of her materials, remarking on her dedication to process. She is an artist unafraid of time, her works evolve over months or years, a process which enables her to foster a strong relationship with the materials she uses. She uses sustainable materials that correspond with the artist’s deep sense of ecological responsibility. Her love of nature is obvious in her work and is rooted in the coexistence of nature and man.

Ranjani Shettar is the first ever living Indian artist to have a solo exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 2018. Her work was described as compelling both abstractly and figuratively, gravity defying, and a “fine synthesis of unlikely materials.” Shettar is an artist that is both innovative and modern as well as in tune to tradition. Her art is both inspired and responsive, “ultimately, it is administered equally by a subjective logic and ideology—one that incorporates observation, slowness and social responsibility.” Her work has been praised all over the world, called “bold experimentation” in Boston, observatory and reflective in Washington, “radically transformative” in New York, “stunning and sensual” in San Francisco.

Shettar’s projects are mostly sculptural, however she has experimented in other forms as well. One such project is Varsha, an artist’s book in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art (New York). The covers are made of zinc-alloy with silver inlay and the pages consist of 16 prints accordion book inspired by different Monsoon rains in India and a special text by Anita Desai. There are silkscreen and wood block prints, etching and laser prints. Shettar’s works have been the subject of various publications from National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne[6] and galleries like the Talwar Gallery[7] and Marian Goodman Gallery.[8] Shettar has also been awarded with the Hebbar Foundation award in 1999 and 2003, as well as the Charles Wallace Trust Award in 2004, the Sanskriti award in 2008, and the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Puraskar in 2011 for her works.

Selected exhibitions [9]

Solo Exhibitions

The Phillips Collection, Earth Songs for a Night Sky, Washington DC, US [10]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seven ponds and a few raindrops, New York, NY, US[11]
Talwar Gallery, On and on it goes on, New York, NY, US[12]
Talwar Gallery, Bubble trap and a double bow, New Delhi, India[13]
Talwar Gallery, Night skies and daydreams, New York, New York [14]
Talwar Gallery, Between the sky and earth, New Delhi, India[15]
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai, High tide for a blue moon, India [16][17]
Museum of Modern Art, Varsha, Artist’s Book in New York City [18]
National Gallery of Victoria, Dewdrops and Sunshine, in Melbourne, Australia[19][20]
Hermes Foundation, Flame of The Forest, in Singapore [20]
Talwar Gallery, Present Continuous, New Delhi, India[21] 2009: Talwar Gallery, New York, NY, US
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New Work, in San Francisco, California (2009)[22]
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, FOCUS, in Fort Worth, Texas [23][20]
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Momentum 10, in Boston, Massachusetts[24]
Talwar Gallery, Epiphanies, New York, New York [25]
Talwar Gallery, Indian Spring, New York, New York [26]:

Group Exhibitions

Pizzuti Collection, Visions from India, Columbus, OH, US[27]
5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia[28]
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Seven Contemporaries, New Delhi, India[29]
Henry Art Gallery, Now Here is also Nowhere, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, US[30]
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Crossings, New Delhi, India[31]
Pizzuti Collection, Teasers, Columbus, OH, US[32]
Museum of Contemporary Art, barely there (Part III), Detroit, Michigan, US[33]
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Time Unfolded, New Delhi, India[34]
Art Tower Mito, Quiet Attentions, Mito, Japan[35]
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), On Line, New York, NY, US[36]
10th Liverpool Biennial, Touched, Liverpool, England[37]
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Sculpture Garden Inaugural Exhibition, CA[38]
Carnegie Museum of Art, Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA[39]
9th Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France[40]
8th Sharjah Biennale, Sharjah, UAE[41]
XV Sydney Biennale, Zones of Contact, Sydney, Australia[42]
Marian Goodman Gallery, Freeing the line, New York, NY, US[43]
ARTPACE, Artist in Residence, San Antonio, TX, US[44]
Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts, Transition & Transformation, MA, US[45]
Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, J’en reve (Dream on), Paris, France[46]
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Out There, Norwich, UK[47]
Talwar Gallery, (desi)re, New York, NY, US[48]
Wexner Center for the Arts, Landscape Confection, Columbus, Ohio and travel[49]
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA, US[50]
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, Texas, US[51]
Khoj International, New Delhi, India[52]
Walker Art Center, How Latitudes Become Forms, Minneapolis, MN and travel[53]
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Per L’Arte, Torino, Italy[54]
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, Texas, US[51]
Synergy Art Foundation, Concept Shop, Bangalore, India[55]


2000- Masters of Fine Arts (Sculpture) Chitrakala Institute of Advanced Studies, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore, India

1998- Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture) College of Fine Art, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore, India

Awards and Grants

2011- Aditya Vikram Birla Kalakiran Puraskar 2008- Sanskriti Award, India


2017- Ranjani Shettar: Between the sky and earth, text by Catherine deZegher, Ranjani Shettar, Deepak Talwar, Talwar Gallery[56]

2011- Ranjani Shettar: Dewdrops and Sunshine, Essay by Alex Baker, National Gallery of Victoria,

2009- Epiphanies, Essay by Marta Jakimowicz, Talwar Gallery

Vitamin 3-D: New Perspectives in Sculpture and Installation, Editors of Phaidon Press [57]

2006- Freeing the Line, Essay by Catherine de Zegher, Marian Goodman Gallery[58]

2005– Transition and Transformation: A. Balasubramaniam and Ranjani Shettar, Essays by Loretta Yarlow and Deepak Talwar, Published by University Gallery, Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts, MA, US[59]


Associated Programmes