Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mind the Gap


Mind the Gap exhibition with fresh works created by four young artists’ meanders around the city, its changing ethos of all pervasive consumerist culture of instant gratification, popular icons, new media and traffic. They challenge the distorted notion of development and progress with its disastrous environmental impact urging one to mind the gap.

There is Krittika Narula from Delhi who learnt painting at Delhi College of Art and works in installation, performance and mixed media using found materials of cultural significance. Interested in art practice and theory she is currently studying for a master's in art history. Her work focuses on the city and life’s never ending search. The installation project exhibited in the show with a Tata Nano car, an icon of public imagination, covered to the brim with soft stuffed elephant toys, a trail of pollution masks and some typographical messages on its body (Proclaiming: Please Take Me Home), featured strapped shut as if to prevent a deluge, is a remark on the gap between consumerist craze and aspirations of the city bred as against the denial to many others. Her video is about the rapidly changing dynamics of our culture and India today, on a fast track to ‘progress’ unmindful of what it tramples over on the way. The congestion and packaging signifies movement and multi layering of the composition and the gaze; raising questions about the distinction between a product and work of art as the repetitive pattern turns hypnotic in a meditative mould in to get the message across. Using familiar and unfamiliar props from our collective memory that co-exist along with traditional techniques, she juxtaposes them against our new obsessions to signal the alert ‘mind the gap’. Inspired by Gandhi’s philosophy, Krittika also works with thread while Frida Kahlo has also been her muse.

Sanjeev Sonpimpare from Mumbai is a graduate in Painting from Sir J.J. School in the city. Also interested in Art theory besides practice, he received UNESCO-ASCHBERG residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. His work in a semi realistic oeuvre has traversed from an abstract mode to representational art that underlines the struggles that govern our life in urban metros. There is much preparation and planning including scene setting, photography, drawing and digital intervention that precedes his work on the canvas with paint and brush to give his work its special theatrical appeal. The work in the show confronts the urban unmindful unplanned construct and greed that undermines normal life challenging the notion of co-existence and convergence. He focuses on unplanned building and re-building that goes on in the name of infrastructure development that makes farmers landless and common people homeless.

And Pampa Panwar studied for her Bachelor’s degree in painting from Visva-Bharati University Santiniketan and Master’s in Printmaking from Fine Arts Dept at M.S. University in Baroda followed by another Master’s from Slade School of Art in London and residency at Centre d’Art, Marnay-sur-Seine, France amongst others. Her work in mixed media meanders around nature and time in a fine assimilation of
landscape, narrative and abstract. Her colorful paintings about the changing cycle of weather seasons and time use collage and text while she plays around with her frame to encase the imagery and question the gap between human perceptions of reality at one level and between her own vision and that of the viewer and his/her way of looking at what she creates.

The fourth artist Sanjay Sundram is a professionally trained architect who went on to specialize in visual communication with a Master’s from IIT Mumbai. And now as head R & D in new media for a multinational he continues to experiment with creative designing while also practicing and refining his art that has been show in New York besides here. The impact of his multifarious interests is reflected in his thought provoking installations and paintings that high light the widening gap all around in the cities. The various sized toy cars re-formed and re-created precariously hanging and blocking the skyline evoke fear of traffic with intrigue and dismay. A contrast of sorts appears in his paintings that recall the gift of nature which human greed seems all set to engulf due to short sightedness.

The artists play around with ideas in mixed media and varied forms and styles asking us to mind the gap created by consumerist culture in today’s metros. The issue is interpreted and re-shaped differently bringing into focus the gaping holes in our life. The myriad encounters are featured in four different sections of the exhibition within the gallery space, each with its distinct aesthetic, perspective and medium coxing one to rethink and mind the gap between perception and reality, between what is and what ought to be, while the reality of life, its joys and travails in a contemporary context are depicted with energy and gut.

1 comment:

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