Permindar Kaur is a sculpture/ installation artist, whose approach to art is playful, using childlike objects to explore the territory of cultural identity, home and belonging. She uses simple forms, for instance furniture (beds, cots and chairs) and toys (soft, brightly coloured figures, trucks and animal forms). These objects resemble displaced domestic belongings, which have been distorted and manipulated to invoke the uncanny. They are deceptively familiar in their appearance and initially might remind the viewer of innocence, childhood and play belying their sinister undertones.
Kaur has exhibited internationally; major solo exhibitions include Home, 5 Howick Place, London, SW1P 1WG (2020-21); Interlopers, University of Hertfordshire (2016); Hiding Out, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts (2014); Untitled, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick (1999) and Cold Comfort, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Mead Gallery, Coventry (1996).
Major group exhibition include Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945 (2021) YSP & UK tour; Ikon in the 90’s, Ikon Gallery (2021); Animals & Us, Turner Contemporary (2018); A Vision of Utopia, Spirella Building, Letchworth (2014); At Home with Art, Tate Britain, London and touring (2000); Hot Air, Granship, Shizouka Arts Centre, Japan (1999); Pictura Britannica, Art from Britain, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (1997); British Art Show, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff (1995). Permindar Kaur completed her MA at Glasgow School of Art, she lives and works in the UK.
Photo © Brian Benson
Breaking The Mould: Sculpture by Women Since 1945, 18 Sept – 9 Jan 2022. Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside Arts, Nottingham. An Arts Council Touring exhibition. Breaking the Mould is the first extensive survey of post-war British sculpture by artists identifying as women in a public institution. Spanning more than seventy years and exploring the work of fifty sculptors, this exhibition provides a radical recalibration, addressing the many accounts of British sculpture that have marginalised women or airbrushed their work out of the art historical canon altogether and includes sculptors such as Phyllida Barlow, Rachel Whiteread, Holly Hendry, Sarah Lucas, Veronica Ryan, Anthea Hamilton, and Cornelia Parker to name just a few.
RA Summer Show 2021, 22 Sept – 2 Jan 2022. Royal Academy of Arts, London
Currently showing Growing a House (2019) and Indian Teddies (2021) in the RA Summer show curated by Yinka Shonibare. Growing a House (2019) is featured in Bob & Roberta’s curated room IV and is part of the RA’s selected works. Indian Teddies (2021) features in the Lecture room co-curated by Vanessa Jackson RA and Eva Rothschild RA
Cold Comfort and Cultural Identity. The exhibition Cold Comfort, held in 1996, presented new work by Permindar Kaur and was the result of a commission from Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. The preface to the exhibition catalogue stated that ‘Kaur removes the domestic and the familiar from their everyday surroundings and transforms them to produce disquieting results’. This is evident across Kaur’s practice: she pushes the boundaries of materiality and scale to interrogate what it means to be truly comfortable. Roo Dhissou, an artist and research assistant for the exhibition A Very Special Place: Ikon in the 1990s, reflects on how her research into Ikon Gallery’s displays of work by Global Majority artists in the 1990s has offered new perspectives on her own practice. Published in PMC Notes 19, Paul Mellon Centre.
Paul Mellon Centre
Permindar Kaur: Locating a ‘Black’ Artist in Narratives of British Art in the 1990s. Essay by Alice Correia for Art History, June 2021
This special issue of Art History looks closely at the multi-faceted genealogies of Black British modernism since the arrival of the ‘Windrush generation’. It brings together a range essays in different formats by artists and art historians to centralize the lack of attention paid to the material and conceptual nature of artworks made by Black British artists, and asks how a reappraisal of their work can contribute to an expanded understanding of modernism.
Read full essay here: Art History
Talk – Cold Comfort: 25th Anniversary, Friday 23 July 2021 / 1.00pm — 2.00pm
Artist Permindar Kaur discusses her 1996 exhibition, Cold Comfort, with Rupi Dhillon, Ikon Research Assistant. Having exhibited at the British Art Show in 1995, Kaur’s first solo show set up a tension between the routine and the unfamiliar, the comforting and the alienating. The artist considers changes in her practice between then and now, specifically her current exhibition, Home (until 2 July 2021) at 5 Howick Place, London for HS Projects.
Watch here – Ikon Gallery on Youtube
Artists in Conversation: Permindar Kaur, Alia Syed & Jasleen Kaur, Thurs 15 July 2021 / 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Whilst there are overlaps amongst their interests, each artist takes their own unique stance on these subjects, with their respective use of material, imagery and artistic voice. This insightful talk will be chaired by Nadia Thondrayen, Exhibitions Curator at John Hansard Gallery.
Watch here – John Hansard Gallery/ Vimeo
Artist Permindar Kaur in conversation with Eddie Chambers, March 9th, 2021 for Djanogly Gallery. Available to watch for 12 months.
Watch here – Djanogly Gallery
A Very Special Place: Ikon in the 90’s – 18 June – 30 August 2021, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK.
The fourth in a series of surveys of Ikon’s artistic programme, this exhibition is a review of the 1990s. Comprising work by artists who featured in exhibitions and other projects at the gallery in John Bright Street during the period 1989-1997 and then at Ikon’s current premises in Brindleyplace until 1999.
HOME – 12 December 2020 – 2 July 2021 Curated by HS Projects
5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WP.
Kaur presents a range of work from early in her career and a major new sculpture – Overgrown House made specifically for this exhibition. She makes viewers aware of the difference between the ‘private & public’ by abruptly converting this very public space into a bedroom in a private home. The central new work is a large steel bed which upon closer inspection reveals a world of colourful creatures ‘lurking’ beneath it. These creatures are a conception of private thoughts & dreams, giving viewers a sense of domestic insecurities & vulnerabilities.
The catalogue for HOME is now available with 21 colour images and critical texts by Dr Alice Correia and Dr Eddie Chambers. Copies are available for purchase at £10. Email: email@example.com
The Artist Agency
Between Playful and Disturbing: A Conversation with Permindar Kaur – Approaching the familiar as though it were a fairy tale, Permindar Kaur uses the uncanny as camouflage in order to re-explain ordinary things. In “Home,” her current exhibition at Howick Place in central London, she continues her exploration of “private” and “public” by uprooting basic domestic objects and reintroducing them as freakishly distorted furnishings that enjoy the safety of the exhibition space while wanting to be free of it. In conversation with Rajesh Punj for Sculpture Magazine, June 4th 2021
HOME – Review by Piers Masterson for This Is Tomorrow, Feb 26th 2021
this is tomorrow
‘I am careful not to offer answers’. Interview with Michal Boncza, Morning Star, Feb 6-7, 2021
Morning Star interview
IKT 2021 Congress Artists in Conversation: Permindar Kaur & Alia Syed, Thurs 2 Sept 2021 / 6.00 -7.30 pm
Chaired by Nadia Thondrayen, curator at John Hansard Gallery, Permindar Kaur and Alia Syed discuss their respective artistic practices, exploring notions around new networks, connections, collaborations and wider impact on artists of the South Asian diaspora.
Talk available from mid October
Permindar Kaur | Now & Then, Here & There | BAM London Conference 6-8 October 2016 Chelsea College of Arts, Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain. Permindar Kaur presents a paper on Day 2 of the Black Artists and Modernism conference.
Watch here – BAM London Conference