> Drawn Space

Vishwa Shroff

08 December - 14 January, 2017

This exhibition marks Vishwa Shroff’s first major solo show at TARQ. Curated by London based writer and curator, Charlie Levine, the exhibition brings together four series by the artist that explore the potential of spaces and objects otherwise considered banal, in her medium of choice – drawing. As she journeys through the everyday, Shroff’s intricate works bring alive the formalistic wonder and potential for stories within the mundane. The viewer is drawn into a meditative contemplation of inconspicuous corners, partisan walls (playfully called ‘Party walls’) window frames and floors. Shroff’s precise and linear aesthetic lends itself well to her references of architecture and urban-scape. The artist’s superb draughtsmanship and astounding attention to detail is highlighted by her use of the watercolour medium and her palette of earthy tones. The sharpness of her lines and the intensity of details also bring to attention Shroff’s exploration of the inherent state of flux that marks the material and spiritual reality of objects and spaces. A missing tile in a rendering of a mosaic floor simultaneously signifies the presence of absence and the potential of a future presence. Providing insight into Drawn Space, Charlie Levine, who has collaborated with the artist on numerous projects, says – “Shroff is a master of line, precision and perspective. These works at TARQ represent her methodical approach to working and how, by minimising content/colour, her observations become other – neither illustration or architectural drawing, but an insight into how we could look at the world if we narrow our eyes and trip into the whimsy of our minds and memories.”

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Vishwa Shroff

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 1998 after which, she continued on to the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (UK) in 2003. She has had seven solo exhibitions in India, the UK and USA as well as several group shows. She has also participated in several artist residencies, namely at the Swiss Cottage Gallery in Camden, London in 2017. Her work was a part of TARQ’s presentation at the India Art Fair 2017 and Art Basel Hong Kong 2018. Recently, she had her second solo exhibition, Folly Measures at TARQ, Mumbai in January, 2020. Shroff currently lives and works between Mumbai and Tokyo.


  • Are you sitting comfortably?

    Then we'll begin .. with a round-up of chairs , from Irani classics to the latest contemporary Indian designs.

    20 Jan 2017
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  • Elements of Architecture

    one of the basic learning for a student of architecture is to grasp the role and function of elements of architecture such as planes(walls), columns , recesses , openings , courtyards , patterns , perspective and so on ..

    12 Jan 2017
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  • Curious Spaces, linear narratives

    Artist Vishwa Shrof’s drawings, currently on display at Tarq, follow a soothing palette of colours. The work, divided into four distinct parts, is part of the artist’s first solo exhibition, Drawn Space .

    07 Jan 2017
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    Her watercolours and drawings compel viewers to see the extraordinary in ordinary objects and overlooked spaces Windows, corners of rooms and floors — these are seemingly inconspicuous in their settings. But Drawn Space, Vishwa Shroff’s solo show of intricate drawings, calls direct attention to them , and details such as missing tiles and patterns make one ponder over what they might have been in another time.

    07 Jan 2017
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  • Talk about private practice

    The parallels between Nityan Unnikrishnan and Vishwa Shroff begin at their heels. The two artists are eyeing each other's Birkenstock sandals as we settle down at Tarq, Colaba. In their shy ways, they laugh about the criticism that has been meted out to their sartorial choices.

    11 Dec 2016
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  • Lost in Transition

    Windows, corners of rooms and floors — these are seemingly inconspicuous in their settings. But Drawn Space, Vishwa Shroff’s solo show of intricate drawings, calls direct attention to them, and details such as missing tiles and patterns make one ponder over what they might have been in another time.

    29 Dec 2016
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