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.”