Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Nothing is Absolute: A Journey through Abstraction'

Titled as 'Nothing is Absolute: A Journey through Abstraction', a new exhibition on view at Mumbai’s Jehangir Nicholson Gallery is a must-visit for art lovers.

Bringing together the collective narratives of abstract artist -Mehlli Gobhai and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote, the collaboration is based on long term conversations and discussions the two have shared over the last twenty years. Of all diverse forms of art creation, abstract is probably the toughest one to decipher and decode. Interpretations of it can be as unique and multifold as its viewers. In an effort to shed further light on the inspiration(s), which form the essence of abstract art, Hoskote and artist Mehlli Gobhai have come up with this showcase.

The walls of the gallery, present the different philosophies and sources of inspiration for abstract artists as well provides chronological depth as they link ancient practices, theologies and structures that have inspired abstract artists in different ways.

The practice of artist Mehlli Gobhai addresses a specific formal problem: the split between surface and structure that is a defining characteristic of much modern painting. At another level, it records the dialogue of spare line and burnished field: often, a gradual luminosity emerges from beneath the sombre colors that he layers, one above the other, in strata of roughened and smoothed textures, so that the painting aspires to the condition of leather or parchment sanctified by years of ritual.

The Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation curator, Kamini Sawhney, has been quoted as saying:  “The exhibition is a rather unorthodox account of the various strands, which make up the rich history of abstractionism in art that has evolved out of a continual dialogue between Hoskote and Gobhai, leading to a collaboration through that the two bring together the fascinating experiences of the studio, the library the gallery, the museum, and the archive they both have had across three continents.”

The exhibit is truly unconventional and accounts for several strands that make up the story of abstraction in India.

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