Saturday, December 8, 2012

‘Painting Redux’ at Talwar Gallery

Talwar Gallery presents ‘Painting Redux’, a solo exhibition of works by Allan deSouza at its Delhi premises. Through the appropriation of iconic paintings, and his virtual, painterly process, he traverses past and present, exploring collective and individual encounters with Western art history and canonical Western artists.

The familiar, figurative sources of the works, through the process of his overlaying are submerged in dense, mostly monochromatic palettes, subtly re-emerging on the surface in residual traces and flecks of color.

In the Redactions series, paintings by Henri Rousseau and Paul Gauguin have been redacted and reworked, where the color is extracted from the furthest point of the painting–usually the horizon–is brought forth to envelope the surface, obscuring the original image. While the works in ‘Third Eye’ emerge from self-portraits of major Western artists, undergoing a painterly retransformation with the dominant color in each portrait selected from the site of the proverbial ‘third eye’.

There is a heightened responsiveness in this body of work; from the seeming tactility of the medium, the variety of marks on the surface, texture in the translucency of erasure and simultaneous over laying seen in the most varied notations – from the lightness, the density and the sheer luminosity of color. Hovering between figuration and abstraction, subjectivity and neutrality, the real and the fictional, Allan deSouza’s works excavate historical, cultural, and ideological constructs, examining the relationship between narratives of collective identity, individual experience and art history.

Allan deSouza was born in Kenya of Indian parents and currently resides in California where he is a Professor at The San Francisco Art Institute. deSouza’s works have recently been on view in solo exhibitions at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC (2011); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2011); and The Krannert Museum, Champaign, IL (2010). Recently deSouza was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation’s residency program at the Bellagio Center at Lake Como, Italy.

His works have also been featured in exhibitions and institutions worldwide including Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2010); 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, China (2008); 7th Gwangju Biennale Seoul, South Korea (2008); The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA (2007); International Center of Photography (ICP), New York (2006); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2006); The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA (2004); Museum of African Art, New York, NY (2003); and The Studio Museum, Harlem, New York, NY.

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