The Kerala-born artist Nityan Unnikrishnan's second solo show at Chatterjee & Lal, entitled ‘While Everyone is Away’, is comprised of wonderful paper works and two impressive sculptures. Here's a quick look at the artist's current works and his processes:
- Unnikrishnan studied ceramic design at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad and having completed his studies moved to Delhi to pursue a range of interests including pottery, illustration and crafts.
- The artist has presented his artworks at Mumbai-based Chatterjee & Lal gallery thrice in the last three years, and this is the first time that he is showcasing three-dimensional works at this venue. They all function as an extension of his existing practice and seem almost to have jumped out of the picture plane of the paper works, into the exhibition space.
- He puts to use his keen sense of design to create paintings from a myriad of sources both real and imaginary; these include elements from his childhood and his working life. He creates a dynamic relationship between the individual (the self) and his or her landscape.
- The artist’s childhood was spent growing up in a home in Kerala that was part of the intellectual milieu of that period; it was a world populated by left leaning filmmakers, painters and academics. As a child, he was not let into certain rooms such as the cellar of the old house where he would spend his summer vacations. The lingering feeling of dread continues to pervade many of his meticulously detailed paintings of beasts and monsters of unknowable origin.
- A write-up to the solo mentions: “Each individual work is open to different interpretations; little niches and low voices offer up clues as the viewer navigates their densely worked surfaces. He uses his keen sense of design to create paintings from a myriad of sources both real and imaginary; these include elements from his childhood and his working life.
- Unnikrishnan turns to a wide variety of sources while constructing his works such as personal memories, literature, the arts and culture, Arcadia, the modern world, and his present life experiences.