Cu­ra­tor Mon­ica Jain de­ci­phers lay­ers of art

Cu­ra­tor and Di­rec­tor of Art Cen­trix Space, Mon­ica Jain takes you through a jour­ney of var­i­ous artist’s work which is be­yond the depth of art culi­nary

The Ideal Home and Garden - - Contents -

If I were to en­list the FAQs on art, then de­ci­pher­ing ab­stract art would be right on top. While as a cu­ra­tor and an artist run­ning a gallery I like to steer clear of dis­tinc­tions such as fig­u­ra­tive, ab­stract and the like, some­times it is un­avoid­able as it is the sim­plest way to clas­sify art. And who am I to stand in the way of sim­plic­ity when art al­ready seems so tough to de­code ?

What ap­pears as ab­stract in art isn’t nec­es­sar­ily so. Very of­ten an ab­stract work rep­re­sents an idea, a feel­ing, a form or fig­ure, which has been fil­tered to its most fru­gal form. Take the works of se­nior artist Man­ish Pushkale for in­stance. His paint­ings in oils are like dark gos­samer fab­rics per­me­ated with light. Upon closer ex­am­i­na­tion, they are clearly a phe­nom­e­non of sev­eral su­per­im­posed strata where we find a pro­gres­sion - a growth if you will, of a struc­ture built over time. Be­neath the fi­nal sur­face, each stra­tum is well-aligned to con­struct and build to­wards the fi­nal over­lay. The su­per­stra­tum or fi­nal form, there­fore, is the cul­mi­na­tion of nu­mer­ous coats of paint un­til that mo­ment when the creator ar­rives at the crit­i­cal de­ci­sion of the fi­nal mas­ter­stroke!

In works where the viewer dis­cerns ‘recog­nis­able’ or ‘semi-recog­nis­able forms’, the lay­er­ing is a con­struct of nar­ra­tives, and per­haps dreams, ma­te­ri­al­is­ing vis­ually upon the sur­face. Some­times it ap­pears as a treat­ment of space on an x-y plane of ver­ti­cally su­per­im­posed nar­ra­tives whereas, in oth­ers, it may come through in the use of a va­ri­ety of medi­ums and ma­te­ri­als that the artist em­ploys to build up the sur­face

Pallav Chan­der

Man­ish Pushkale

Mon­ica Jain

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