> The Shadow Trapper’s Almanac

Tanmoy Samanta

22 November - 09 January, 2015

Curated by Ranjit Hoskote, The Shadow Trapper’s Almanac, is Tanmoy Samanta’s first solo exhibition in Bombay. It features gouache paintings on rice paper and recycled book sculptures, two integral facets of his practice. Samanta’s practice explores notions traditionally associated with sculpture, including “volume and void, relief and surface, container and content.”

In Samanta’s delicate works on paper, we find elements of cutout and collage reminiscent of Surrealist and Dada practices as well as a nuanced surety that echoes the style of the miniature. Samanta begins a painting by layering rice paper onto a thicker base, using a series of colours going from dark to light. His book works explore various types of books, including the kitab, the muraqqa, and the laporetto. Each book engages the viewer’s imagination in a unique way. Samanta’s use of desaturated colour and texture evokes a sense of rich nostalgia in the ordinary.

According to Hoskote “Tanmoy Samanta’s works, with their combination of exhilaration and menace, formal playfulness and philosophical depth, remind us that art is not an escape from the world, but a route that leads us back, replenished by dream and vision, to the perplexities of the everyday.”  

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Tanmoy Samanta

Born in 1973, Tanmoy Samanta 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.

Over the years, Samanta has been a part of group shows across India and abroad. Besides finding a presence in numerous art fairs such as Art Dubai, Dhaka Art Summit, Art Chennai and the 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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