, Pratap Morey
, Samit Das
, Vishwa Shroff02 February - 05 February, 2017
For a booth at the India Art Fair, the gallery intended to focus on one aspect of the gallery’s key programming interests, namely space. The four artists proposed for the fair all work on different approaches to the broader subject of space through the mediums of painting, photography, and collage. Clare Arni’s photography is documentary an ethnographical while also celebrating the visual delight of form and colour within a frame. This particular print is a compelling composition that highlights the architectural sophistication of arches that are almost ubiquitous across India. While Samit Das’s unique photograms look at the morphing urban landscape in the country with specific reference to the same “everyday” that Clare refers to in her works. Vishwa Shroff’s drawings possess the precision of architectural drawings with a painterly quality of an artistic imagination. For the Party Wall, Tokyo Series, Shroff has found her inspiration in the idea of the memories of lived spaces that partisan walls hold. Kumeura House betrays Shroff’s love for Modernist architecture and is yet another example of her meticulous practice and immaculate draughtsmanship. Pratap Morey’s work grapples with the complex nuances of the shifting geographies of urban spaces. He works on digital prints and archival material to create an intricate matrix that articulates his concerns about the problematic nature of construction, redevelopment and displacement.
Clare Arni is a photographer based in Bangalore, India. Her work encompasses architecture, travel, social documentary and cultural heritage. She has been published by leading British book publishers Phaidon, Thames and Hudson and Dorling Kindersley. She has also contributed work to magazines like Abitare (Italy) Tatler, Conde Nast (UK) Wallpaper, The Wall street journal and Harvard Design magazine as well as many Indian magazines. Her solo photographic books document the history of the architecture of Banaras, Palaces of the Deccan, the recent excavations of Hampi, the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire and a four month journey along the course of the river Kaveri. Her solo exhibitions document the lives of marginalized communities in some of the most remote regions of India and the disappearing trades of urban India. Her work has been exhibited Internationally at the Essl Museum, Vienna Austria, Grosvenor Vadehra, London, Bose Pacia, New York, Berkeley art museum, California and is the permanent collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London, the Freer/Sackler gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Pratap Morey is a Mumbai-based artist with a post-graduate diploma in Indian Aesthetics from Mumbai University and a Graduate degree in Fine Art from Vasai Vikasini College of Visual Arts. His solo exhibitions include Concrete Ciphers, TARQ, Mumbai (2019), Lost right Angle, Space Gachang, Deagu, South Korea (2017) and measure | decipher, TARQ, Mumbai (2015).
He has participated in several curated group shows, including Under Construction, curated by Anuj Daga, Khoj Artist Association, New Delhi (2018); Planes of Experience, Zones of Action, curated by Kaiwan Mehta, Gallery Max Muller Bhavan, Mumbai (2017), Jeonnam International Sumuk Pre-biennale, Jeollanam-do, South Korea (2017); Red moon song, curated by Georgina Maddox, Apeejay Art, New Delhi (2016); Imagined futures, Reconstructed past, curated by Meera Menezes, Gallery Anant, New Delhi (2016); The Unbearable Closeness of Being at Gallery Engendered, New Delhi (2015); the Art on Paper biennale at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, North Carolina, USA (2014); Interstices at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2012); Stop Making Sense at False Ceiling Gallery, Mumbai (2012); and @rt Virtually Real at Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi (2012) among others. His art fair participation includes AD Design Show, Mumbai (2018) and India Art Fair, Delhi (2017), represented by TARQ, Mumbai; United Art Fair, co-curated by Meera Menezes under the Artistic Direction of Peter Nagy, New Delhi (2013) and India Art Fair, New Delhi (2013), represented by Art Alive Gallery.
He has participated in residencies at several institutions such as Space Studios, Vadodara, India (2017); Gachang Art Studio, Deagu, South Korea (2017); Harmony Art Foundation, India (2015); the Artists-In-Residence programme hosted by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi (2014); CRACK International Residency, Bangladesh (2013); Space 118, Mumbai (2012); and Uttarayan Art Foundation, Vadodara (2012). He is also the recipient of the Bendre- Husain-Scholarship, India (2013) and the La Critique award at Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, France (2012).
Born in 1970 in Jamshedpur, Samit Das began his formal artistic training at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan in 1994, where he continued on to his Masters degree two years later. In 2000, he participated in the Associate Student Post Graduate Program at the Camberwell College of Art, London. Das has also been the recipient of the BRIC scholarship which led to him spending some time in Italy in 2011. Samit Das is deeply fascinated with documentation and the archive. Das' love for the archive and his Santiniketan roots culminated in a documentation project at the Tagore Museum in Kolkata between 1999 and 2001. He went on to work on another project in the form of an exhibition titled “The Idea of Space and Rabindranath Tagore” that was exhibited in various spaces including Lalit Kala Academy (New Delhi), India International Centre (New Delhi) , Victoria Memorial Hall (Kolkata) and Freies Museum (Berlin). He has exhibited extensively in India and abroad while also participating in projects such as the art installation project at the international airport in Mumbai which was curated by Rajiv Sethi. Samit Das lives and works in New Delhi.
Vishwa Shroff’s artistic practise is firmly rooted in drawing, with a proclivity towards architectural forms that serve as compelling take-off points for a deeper contemplation on memory and our relationship with the material world. Her works seek to explore the narratives of lived experiences that lay embedded within surfaces. Mundane accidents and absent-minded aberrations – a missing tile in a floor for example – simultaneously become signifiers of the presence of absence and the potential of a future presence. Through her sensitive observation, Shroff chronicles the banal to unravel the sublime within it. The sharp lines and the intense detailing underscore her meticulous approach to her medium of choice. While Shroff often includes watercolour (and more recently, gold leaf) in her drawings, the precision of the drawn line forms the definitive aspect of her oeuvre. Shroff’s works are born within the space of her sketchbook. The initial sketches metamorphose into detailed works that are the product of observation and interpretation. The drawings within the modest space of the sketchbook are sometimes substantially enlarged to the scale of installations, as seen in her “Corridors” series. The format of the book, however, remains close to Shroff. She has worked extensively with this format in the past and continues to use it as the base for the initial framework. Shroff’s love for architecture and the stories that are folded within it is apparent in her “Party Wall” series that form something of a cornerstone in her practice. Her work on the “Party Wall” (shorthand for partisan walls that lie concealed between two buildings) began in 2015 while she was in London and has since, developed into the ‘Tokyo series’ and most recently, the ‘Interim Party Wall’ series inspired by her travels in Ho Chi Minh, London, Vadodara and Rome. The Party Walls were presented along with two other series – ‘Transitions’ and ‘Guards at the Taj’, at TARQ’s debut participation at Art Basel Hong Kong 2018. The ‘Transitions’ series is a continuation of Shroff’s observation of floors in spaces of historical significance. These jewel-like works, created using watercolour and ink on paper, evoke the patient precision of a miniaturist’s hand. For Shroff, the discreet, unusual disjoints are the repositories of many collective and individual histories. The ‘Guards at the Taj’ on the other hand, started out as a project to create a set for a play of the same title. It has extended beyond its initial purpose to mark an interesting aesthetic development as she moves away from her definitive stark, Japanese-inspired aesthetic to a more animated and whimsical style. Speaking about her relationship with drawing, Shroff says – “With drawings placed firmly at the centre of my practice, I experiment with drawing techniques, bringing attention to exaggerated marks, break points and the richness of line itself...(her works) aspire to become perimeters within which momentary recollections and personal musings are sustained.” Shroff started her artist training at The Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU, Baroda in 2002 after which, she continued on to the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (UK) in 2003. She has had five solo exhibitions in India, the UK and USA as well as several group shows. She has also participated in several artist residencies, most recently at the Swiss Cottage Gallery in Camden, London. Her work was a part of TARQ’s presentation at the India Art Fair 2017 and most recently, at Art Basel Hong Kong 2018. Shroff currently lives and works between Mumbai and Tokyo
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The Financial Express29 Jan 2017
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