India Art Fair 2020

30 January - 2 February 2020 

Experimenter presents a group exhibition at India Art Fair 2020 with works by Adip Dutta, Ayesha Sultana, Biraaj Dodiya, Julien Segard, Krishna Reddy, Prabhakar Pachpute, Praneet Soi, Radhika Khimji, Rathin Barman, Sahil Naik, Sohrab Hura, and Soumya Sankar Bose.

Adip Dutta’s sculpture, Relic, is a personal exploration of organic form. Cast in bronze, a branch of a tree is as much the organic shape of blood vessels as it is a nuanced study of form of nature and the built environment, a practice that Dutta has explored over the years. Radhika Khimji presents a suite of paintings and works on paper employing painting, drawing, collage and embroidery. The multiple simultaneous processes add a sculptural element to her work and move toward the abstraction of the body in landscape. Khimji’s work is defined by the palpability and materiality of making that deconstruct and evades constructions of formulated identities. References to landscape and form are evident in the work of painter and sculptor, Biraaj Dodiya. Often referring to darkness and light, especially that of the night, her paintings make form indiscernible in their densely textured surfaces that seem to grapple with ideas of loss, phantasm and the space between familiarity and the unknown. A repeated mark-making and exploration of form is also explored by Ayesha Sultana, who scores, folds and applies layers of graphite on paper as a point of reference to her own body to measuring space, distance and movement.

Notions of loss and the ephemerality of life are addressed in Life is Elsewhere by Sohrab Hura, a nuanced exploration of his family, his loved ones and the sheer need to experience all that is about to disappear. Through an intimate and deeply personal body of work, Hura attempts to document the broken fragments of his life by focusing on his relationship with his mother who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1999 and his own coming of age during the period. Also addressing loss, the need for survival and using the body as a last resort of registering protest, Prabhakar Pachpute presents Prolong Echoes, a large painting on wood that refers to his ongoing engagement with farmer movements and mining workers in reclaiming a damaged ecological landscape under anthropogenic threats. The work posing urgent yet difficult questions to the viewer. The presentation also features works by Julien Segard, who looks at living spaces, the crevices where the constructed meets the natural, and how the two are now inseparable. He observes architectural structures that subsist because of humans but are bereft of human presence. He discerns the intimate, symbiotic, and oftentimes destructive relationship between man, nature and architecture.

Looking at architecture as a complex cultural technology shaped by political interests, Sahil Naik through his works on paper observes the ambivalence between form and ideology. The works on paper, Modernist Facades for New Nations, chart the nation-building project in the overlaps between socialist republics, post-colonies, the Non-Aligned countries, and the Global South. Observing physical spaces that define the fabric of a city, Rathin Barman uses architecture and mediums of construction to relook at the built environment both visually and conceptually. Through in-depth interviews made over the years with inhabitants of old, magnificent buildings, Barman looks at how these homes adopt dynamic capacities where meanings dissimilate, stories converge with the architecture, and resounding within the structures is a need to preserve histories.

A distinct sense of movement and dynamism animates Krishna Reddy’s print on paper. Through his abstractions of deconstructed natural forms, he offers a new point of entry into viewing nature that manifests his vision through effervescent and evocative forms. A rare zinc etching plate along with two distinctively different prints from the 1960’s taken from the same plate depicts his mastery in simultaneous multicolour viscosity printing, a medium that Reddy introduced to the world of art in the 1950’s. Looking at points of convergence between multiple cultural traditions, techniques and political concerns, Praneet Soi’s silverpoint paintings attempt to convey an alternative representation of Palestine, a project that Soi has been immersed in over the last few years. Through a delicately rendered pair of paintings in silverpoint of a 2000-year old olive tree, he depicts Palestine through an experience purely led by the natural landscape. Through the works of Reddy and Soi, nature and natural landscapes are investigated formally through abstraction, and simultaneously looked at as a place of contention, livelihood, and control of movement. Photographer and artist Soumya Sankar Bose presents a photograph of a boat sailing away in the distance in the dusk of the Bengal delta where the confluence of politics, land and its people that share a common history is palpable beneath the tranquillity of the image.