Credit: Lougi De Palme


A filmmaker and artist, Amar Kanwar centres the politics of power, sovereignty and justice in his practice. With narratives drawn from social conflict, oral history traditions and nonlinear storytelling, Kanwar’s work offers a poetic vantage point from which to consider the ideologies and solidarities that populate the contemporary world. Invariably situated at the intersection between art and activism, the artist’s work continually seeks to respond to multiple forms of violence.
Solo exhibitions of Kanwar’s work have been presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2022); Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai (2020); NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery (2020); Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (2019); Tate Modern, London (2018); Minneapolis Institute of Arts, USA (2018); Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden (2017); Frac Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France (2017); Goethe-Institut, Mumbai (2016); Assam State Museum, in collaboration with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and North East Network, India (2015); Art Institute of Chicago (2014); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (2013); Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2012); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2007); National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2006); and Renaissance Society, Chicago (2004).
His films have been shown in numerous international festivals, and he has participated in Sharjah Biennial 10 and 11 (2011, 2013) and documenta 11, 12, 13 and 14, Kassel, Germany (2002, 2007, 2012, 2017). He was one of three curators for the 17th Istanbul Biennial (2021).
Among his awards and fellowships are the IHME Helsinki Commission (2022); Prince Claus Award (2017); Creative Time’s Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change (2014); an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, Maine College of Art, USA (2006); Edvard Munch Award for Contemporary Art, Oslo (2005); MacArthur Fellowship in India (2000); Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival (1999); and Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival (1998).
Kanwar studied in the Department of History, Ramjas College, Delhi University (1982–1985), and the Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (1985–1987).
He was born in 1964 in New Delhi, where he continues to live and work.

SAF participation:
Sharjah Biennial 10, 11 and 15 (2011, 2013, 2023)

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