Wednesday, October 3, 2012

‘Porous’ at Vadehra Art Gallery

New Delhi-based Vadehra Art Gallery hosts a new exhibition, entitled ‘Porous’, featuring the artworks of Ruby Chishti, Priyanka Chaudhary, Juul Kraijer and Rakhi Peswani. As the title suggests, the theme looks in areas of overlaps wherein one artist’s practice seeps into and connects with another, even while retaining its individuality.

The four artists investigate the fragmented body through materials and processes, complicating the circuits within which words, images, cognition and sensation function. Their works swivel between boundaries of sculpting, architecture, drawing, installation and performance, and carries historical, cultural and social contexts as well as phenomenological experiences of the materials are brought to the fore.

Juul Kraijer’s drawings offer another counterpoint– the delicate charcoal and pastel drawings seem to become almost immaterial, as if conjured in air. In all the works the process of labor is made visible, through repetition and fragmentation.  Priyanka Choudhary’s works engage with architecture and are often produced onsite. They evoke contrary experiences of beauty, destruction, fragility and violence, and make possible a phenomenological confrontation with objects and their materialities.

Here the surfaces of canvases, sedimented with lace, garments, insects, glass pieces, wire, hair etc, begin to resemble worn out walls that bear silent witness to the passing of time. Shadow and light also emerge as crucial elements in the works. In another sculpture Goat Eater, we see a wooden table like structure that acquires anthropomorphic characteristics – a body on the verge of collapse as blades of luminous green glass pierce through its structure. 

On the other hand, Rakhi Peswani uses pliable materials like cloth, needle, thread etc to extend the boundaries between stitching, drawing and installation. For the exhibition she has created an immersive installation titled Inside the Melancholic Object (an elegy for a migrant worker) with materials like coffee and cotton, referring back to 19th century histories. She evokes the metaphorical potential of the materials with repetitive and laborious physical processes.

Ruby Chishti is also interested in applying craft processes within her art practice. Her emotionally charged sculptures made out of worn out clothes and fabrics that have deeply personal memories of her family and her life in Lahore.

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