> Portraits in Time

Tanmoy Samanta

20 January - 25 February, 2017

Tanmoy Samanta’s second solo exhibition at TARQ, Portraits in Time, carries works created by the artist over the last two years. In keeping with his distinctive aesthetic of clean lines and muted, stone-like colours, Samanta has continued to use a motley collection of found objects – protractors, stencils, pins and a faux fur in his work, which, together with his tempera and mixed media allow a turn towards the uncanny and surreal. Samanta uses portraiture – a theme steeped in historical tradition – in order to delve into time and its impact on memory and recall. The portraits, which individually define their specific subjects, envelop seemingly inconsequential and banal objects in a much wider context. The objects become “witnesses”; receptacles of memories that travel through the folds of time and space. Samanta imbues the uncanny imagery with symbolism that travels from the universe of the frame to the field of vision of the viewer. In her insightful essay on Portraits in Time, Veranganakumari Solanki Jamwal says - “Through this series of portraits, Samanta creates an acceptance of looking at portraiture in a non-traditional manner. He experiments with medium and brings forward icons of time to re-characterise them in a contemporary context. In his works, they depict life, character, thoughts and metaphors.”

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Tanmoy Samanta

Tanmoy Samanta (b. 1973) began his artistic journey at the Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan, West Bengal, followed by training at the Kanoria Arts Centre, Ahmedabad. His career has seen a number of solo exhibitions including three with the New Delhi based Gallery Espace and one at Anant Art Gallery, Kolkata. Samanta’s show at TARQ in 2014, titled The Shadow Trapper’s Almanac, curated by Ranjit Hoskote, marked his first solo exhibition in Mumbai. Portraits in Time is his second solo show with TARQ in 2017. Over the years, Samanta has been a part of group shows across India and abroad. Recently, he was part of a group exhibition, Known Unknown, organized by the Raza Foundation, in collaboration with Vadhera Art Gallery, 2020. Besides finding a presence in numerous art fairs such as Art Dubai, Dhaka Art Summit, Art Chennai and India Art Fair, his works are a part of several prestigious public art projects such as the installation at the Hyatt Regency, Delhi (2016), a site specific collaborative project at IIM Ahmedabad (2016), T-2 Liminus, Mumbai International Airport (2013) and Bee-Hive at the Hyatt Regency, Chennai (2011) – both curated by Rajiv Sethi. In 2002, Samanta artistic practice was recognized and celebrated with an award from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, USA. He lives and works in New Delhi.


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