Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thought and process of artist Prajakta Potnis

Artist Prajakta Potnis received her BFA and MFA from Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai, India (1995/2002). Her multidisciplinary work spans painting, installation, sculpture and photography and investigates the porousness and interpenetrability of boundaries and binaries such as inside/outside, public/private, natural/engineered.

Her wide body of work has received immense critical acclaim in India and internationally, having been showcased at various museums and renowned institutions, such as Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2012); Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2011); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania (2011); MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome (2011).

The artist’s art has also been featured at Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art, Paris, France (2011); HEART Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark (2010); Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway(2009);  Essl Museum of Contemporary Art, Austria (2010); KHOJ International Artists’ Workshop, New Delhi (2009);

She has had a series of solos ‘Porous Walls’, The Guild gallery (2008); Membranes and Margins, Em Gallery, Seoul (2008); and ‘Walls- in- between’, The Guild (2006), to mention a few. The former body of work revolved around and within the four walls of a household where life tends to grow / decay, wherein the “still” walls transform as a veil and also as organic separations between the inside and the outside world.

The images tried to echo a certain kind of numbness experienced in everyday living.  While she configured this unpredictable transformations of the walls (like the fungus growing) and objects as a part of human habitation, the artist desired her paintings and objects to be part of these interiors. Thus, her works inadvertently oscillated between ornamentation and aggravation. In a way, her work process echoed a pursuit, which might deceptively invade the human psyche, eluding margins of recreation and passivity.

Art critic Nancy Adajania had elaborated in an essay: “All the world’s a skin, for Prajakta Potnis - a skin that could be the body’s wall against the world, threatened by sudden inflammation; or the epidermis of a room, flaking by degrees and punctured to let hidden electricity spark through. And then there is the skin of delicate conception that turns into the carapace of an apparatus and is subverted by the imperceptible challenges of pearl-like fungus and fizzy bacteria”

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