July 9, 2015 - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - Bharti Kher’s Not All Who Wander Are Lost on the museum’s façade
July 9, 2015

Bharti Kher’s Not All Who Wander Are Lost on the museum’s façade

Bharti Kher, All Who Wander Are Not Lost, 2015. Digital print on vinyl. Courtesy of The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Bharti Kher
Not All Who Wander Are Lost

July 1, 2015–January 5, 2016

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way
Boston, MA
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 11am–5pm


Bharti Kher is the sixth artist invited to create a temporary site-specific work for the museum’s façade. The Anne H. Fitzpatrick Facade is devoted to new public art by Gardner Museum Artists-in-Residence program, with artworks changing every six months. Not All Who Wander Are Lost will be on view from July 1, 2015 to January 5, 2016.

Kher’s project reflects on maritime history, highlights her interest in mapping and typography, geodesy and colonization, and references the migration of people in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.  

 “An atlas lets you hold the world in your hands,” says Bharti Ker. Not All Who Wander Are Lost is in part a readymade: a 1960s map from The Larousse International Political and Economical Atlas, edited by Jean Chardonnet, which Bharti Kher has appropriated, enlarged and transformed, filling the image with multi-colored bindi dots. The Hindi word Bindi is derived from the Sanskrit Bindu, meaning “a drop” or “a small particle.” Bindis are a forehead decoration worn by women and men in India.  They represent the third eye—a symbol of heightened consciousness—and are a central element in the artist’s work. 

In Not All Who Wander Are Lost, the acid orange and black bindis impart a sense of emergency as they collide. These dots mark places for urgent attention and earnest conversation in our daily lives. They serve as a metaphor for the eye urging us to be aware of migrant populations as they move across shifting borders, marking the map as a constantly changing flux of truths and leaving a residue of time like a palimpsest.

Born and raised in England before moving to New Delhi, artist Bharti Kher knows something about livingamid transience. The concept of home, culture and identity preoccupy her as an artist who is known for her hybrid cast sculptures and paintings. 

Bharti Kher has been exhibited around the world: at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; MAXXI Museum,  Rome; the Saatchi Gallery, London; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and The Baltic, UK. She has had solo shows in Shanghai, Seoul, Hong Kong, Paris, London, New York and New Delhi. Kher lives and works in New Delhi. She was in residence at the Gardner Museum in 2013.

Previous façade installations at the Gardner Museum have included work by Stefano Arienti, Adam Pendelton, Hamra Abbas, Luisa Rabbia and Nari Ward.   

Artists-in-Residence spend one month at the museum and are given the “gift of time.” Founded in 1992, the program continues the legacy of inspired support demonstrated by Isabella Stewart Gardner. The Artist-in-Residence Program is directed by Pieranna Cavalchini, The Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art, and is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Barbara Lee Program Fund. This residency was supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Funding is also provided for site-specific installations of new work on the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade on Evans Way. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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Bharti Kher's Not All Who Wander Are Lost on Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's façade
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
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