This colourist show is a revelation. What gives these works by artists of diverse generations a certain cohesiveness, is the manner in which each has worked through a palette of bold, primary colours that explode our visual sensibilities. Creating a structural tension that holds the canvas together, colours elevate the work to rise beyond the representational, revealing instead an inner state or consciousness of being.
Jai Zharotia, Anupam Sud, Kavita Jaiswal, Shivlal Saroha and Sunanda Khajuria are artists who continue to find the malleability of a medium like acrylics on canvas a challenge. In an era when the mediums of video and computer technology have presented themselves as pressing alternatives in contemporary expression, these artists have maintained their painterly, artisanal skills, allowing one to enjoy the sensory, tactile appeal of their art through colour, texture and form.
An interesting departure can be seen in the video work of Kavita Jaiswal who since last year has made a bold move to explore the virtual realm on her own terms. In her seven new video works she uses the camera to literally ‘journey’ across her tactile lunar landscapes in intense close-up. In this way Kavita uses the camera to enhance our sensory experience of the liquid and grainy textures she moulds and creates.
Younger artists like Rajesh Deb and Aditi Aggarwal have created ‘art books’ that are hand woven and hand painted on handmade paper. Taking the febrile, sensorial nature of the artistic experience towards a new level of sophistication, these artworks can be held, allowing one to appreciate them at close quarters. Whereas one of Aditi’s books is of a ‘minature’ diary size, the immersive quality of Rajesh Deb’s books is enhanced by their large format. These books constitute a genre that is increasingly being described as the ‘graphic novel’.
In the field of sculpture we have counterpointed veteran Latika Katt, with a relatively younger sculptor, Arun Pandit. Both belong to a similar, figurative tradition of the ‘body in Indian art’ being considered central – where the human form becomes both focus as well as point of departure.
Playing with the so-called ‘ archives’ or’ archeological remains’ of her family , Sukanya Ghosh reconfigures old family photographs in collage-like formats in her light boxes, while simultaneously reassembling abandoned family memorabilia in an old suitcase. These objects then constitute moments of her connection with past lives.