> Folly Measures

Vishwa Shroff

09 January - 28 February, 2020

The team at TARQ is delighted to present Folly Measures by Vishwa Shroff. In this exhibition, Shroff continues to journey through the everyday, focusing on the idea of transience and impermanence.  The catalogue is accompanied by an essay penned by Mumbai based independent curator, writer and researcher, Veeranganakumari Solanki. The show is both meditative and thought-provoking in the manner in which Vishwa’s drawings of architectural form uncovers man’s relationship with space over a period of time. What most would overlook or consider mundane, Shroff is able to weave together highlighting engagement and exclusion through her medium of drawing. The audience is immediately placed into a curious yet contemplative mood by the detailed window panes, finely structured partisan walls (playfully named, Partywall) and speckled cracked floors. Shroff’s precision and use of earthly tones is not merely a reflection of fashion trends, or time periods but access, encroachment and restrictions. Her work reaffirms that time does not stand still for architecture and the changes within these architectural structures become indicators of the lives lived within these spaces. Solanki points out in her essay, “at a moment when history’s future is increasingly uncertain, visual colonial comforts and follies are pulled out in the perception and adaptation of architecture. Residues and ruins legitimise our current situation of being, both in the physical and mental state, thereby making us collective by-products of the past. The patterns and forms seen in the drawings are from inhabited spaces. We have all perhaps chanced upon spaces such as these in the city that is dominated by a British architectural identity. The familiarity of these foreign elements conflictingly embeds itself in a feeling of normalcy and home. The shared feeling of sentimental colonial amnesia is acknowledged through habitual mundane elements that visually play out in the spaces we occupy.”

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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.


  • Mumbai Mirror-The gallery hopper’s guide

    The city’s leading art hubs band together once again to bring the eighth edition of the massive Mumbai Gallery Weekend. Transience and impermanence — that is what artist Vishwa Shroff focuses on as she highlights what one could on the surface be perceived as mundane. Her works in this exhibition is described as “drawings of architectural form [that] uncovers man’s relationship with space over a period of time”. Jan 9 to Feb 28. Tarq, Colaba

    Mumbai Mirror
    09 Jan 2020
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  • Stir. Folly Measures celebrates architecture as an indicator of urban experiences

    Artist Vishwa Shroff presents a solo exhibition at gallery Tarq with works reacting to the built environment, focusing on the idea of transience and impermanence. When one encounters the architecture inspired works of Vishwa Shroff, there is an immediate sense of wonderment. They sit at the intersection of drawing and sculpture; at first, they seem ornate documentary renditions, but on closer inspection one can easily experience the narrative layer. “My fundamental interest is in drawing methodologies. The architecture comes from the urban environments I live in and have a longevity that permits them to become temporal maps of both, transitory occupations and architectural fashions,” says Shroff.

    08 Jan 2020
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  • Vogue- 16 must visit art exhibits across India you need to check out this January

    In the exhibition titled 'Folly Measures', Vishwa Shroff continues to journey through the everyday, focusing on the idea of transience and impermanence. Curated by Veeranganakumari Solanki, the exhibition is on at Tarq, Mumbai. Jan 9 to Feb 28, 2020. Address: F35/36 Dhanraj Mahal, CSM Marg, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai

    10 Jan 2020
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  • AD- Mumbai: Vishwa Shroff’s ‘Folly Measures’ explores the architecture of inhabited spaces

    This is the artist’s seventh solo exhibition and is presented by TARQ, Mumbai. It will be on view till February 28

    With six solo exhibitions and multiple group exhibitions to her credit, Vishwa Shroff’s works have garnered her considerable acclaim in the art industry. Besides this, she has also participated in numerous residencies, talk series and workshops. Having shifted to Mumbai just over a year ago, Shroff’s most recent and seventh solo exhibition is an attempt at showcasing the realities of the built structures around us, how the aspect of time and our usage affect their physical and spatial qualities. Titled, ‘Folly Measures’, this exhibition is on view at TARQ till February 28 and is accompanied by an essay written by Veeranganakumari Solanki, a Mumbai-based independent curator, researcher and writer.

    Architectural Digest
    29 Jan 2020
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  • The Hindu: The beauty of architectural transience

    Vishwa Shroff’s meditative and thought-provoking art highlights the complexity of man and buildings

    Architecture is the ‘mother art’, that’s rarely given its due in the creative world. While blueprints and technical drawings are an integral part of designing and constructing a building, these are seen more as functional rather than artistic expressions. Vishwa Shroff, whose ongoing show Folly Measures explains her affinity by drawing a relationship between the built environment and its use. She says, “Architecture tends to collect like — marks, scratches, breaks, cracks, all of that. So it becomes apparent when you walk through any space that has been around for a while…you look at it and wonder why something happened.”

    The Hindu
    29 Jan 2020
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  • Paper Planes- Interview with Vishwa Shroff

    Artist Vishwa Shroff’s observant eye barely ever misses an intricately detailed balustrade, an absent tile, or a nondescript partisan wall. Her practice is firmly rooted in drawing; Shroff’s works are currently on display at Bombay’s TARQ art gallery. She has also conceptualised and designed — along with Katsushi Goto — the set for the play ‘Guards at the Taj’ (2017) directed by Danish Husain, weaving together the architectural facets and histories of the Taj Mahal, the space the actors occupy on stage, and the narrative of the play that oscillates between the worldly and the imaginary. Here, Shroff tells us about the books she loves to return to, the idea of exploring domesticity through drawing, and why stepping out for a walk can be a crucial starting point for making a work.

    Paper Planes
    24 Jan 2020
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  • Architect and interiors India. TARQ hosts Folly Measures, an exhibition by Vishwa Shroff

    This is the artist’s seventh solo showing

    Artist Vishwa Shroff, who shuttles between Mumbai and Tokyo, is exhibiting her latest works, Folly Measures, at TARQ, Mumbai. With this exhibition, Shroff continues to journey through the everyday, focusing on the idea of transience and impermanence.  The catalogue is accompanied by an essay penned by Mumbai-based independent curator, writer and researcher, Veeranganakumari Solanki.

    Architect and Interiors India
    03 Feb 2020
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  • Sunday Mid-day. If time were a place…

    ... tiles would be its landmarks. As an exhibition in the city ponders the memories of Mumbai's floors, we find an excuse to focus on the different histories presented by colonial and economic interests.

    At Colaba art gallery Tarq, an exhibition by artist Vishwa Shroff, uses tiles found in Mumbai's buildings as a tool to speculate on how time and architecture collide. For the exhibition, called Folly Measures, text written by Veeranganakumari Solanki states: "Recontextualization and reconstruction of time and change are meticulously recorded in the details of mismatched tiles, landings, residues and lines...Floors become pattern libraries of interruption, while worn tiles become a chronicle of chanced memories. Architectural features become the carriers of change and time frames. Material compositions from changing fads of marble, concrete, kota stone to mosaic tiles, banisters and old walls, each tells a story from a chapter in time."  

    09 Feb 2020
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