Born in 1970 in Chandigarh, India, Gauri Gill is an Indian contemporary photographer who lives in New Delhi. She has been called "one of India's most respected photographers" by the New York Times and one of “the most thoughtful photographers active in India today” in The Wire. In 2011, Gill was awarded the Grange Prize, Canada's most prestigious contemporary photography award. The jury said her works “often address ordinary heroism within challenging environments depicting the artist’s often-intimate relationships with her subjects with a documentary spirit and a human concern over issues of survival.
Gill received her BFA in Applied Art at the Delhi College of Arts in New Delhi, India. She was trained as a painter and applied artist, consistently advocating for and supporting other artists, both those trained in art colleges and those who received informal training outside of institutions. She embraces collaboration in her work, working closely with the subjects of her photographs as well as expanding her practice by incorporating materials made by others. In 1994, Gill earned her BFA in Photography at the Parsons School of Design and an MFA in Photography at Stanford University in 2002.
After following the work of Gauri Gill for many years and meeting with her in New Delhi, curator Sarah Suzuki acquired two works from Gill’s Fields of Sight series (in collaboration with Rajesh Vangad) for The Museum of Modern Art's collection. She explains, "In a recent series of materially and formally hybrid collaborations, called Fields of Sight, the artists Gauri Gill and Rajesh Vangad suggest the proximity and productive tension of the traditional and the contemporary, as they mix visual languages, artistic strategies, and global concerns in new and surprising ways...Fields of Sight, comprising Gill’s black-and-white photographs, dizzyingly overdrawn with Vangad’s dancing Warli forms, resulted from a series of long conversations between the artists, with Vangad sharing the history, legends, and folklore of his hometown of Ganjad, which has a complex history of change and unrest. The pictures speak to both artists’ interpretations of the physical and spiritual landscape, and of the city’s past, present, and future."
The Delhi-based photographer Gauri Gill has become a strong voice in the international contemporary art community over the last few years, with gallery exhibitions and major photography prizes, as well as group shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, the Whitechapel Gallery, and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. Since 1999 Gill has embedded herself in nomadic Rajasthani communities, documenting the everyday lives, traditions, and struggles of their citizens, often revisiting the same subjects over an extended period of time in a continuous process of documentation, as in the ongoing series Notes from the Desert.