Vadehra Art Gallery is pleased to present Peak Shift Effect, a group exhibition curated by Gayatri Sinha to commemorate 25 years since the gallery’s inception. The exhibition is the first in an edition of three shows to mark the event in 2013.
Peak Shift Effect is a tribute to the artist who devises a language of art which is often more perfect than the original. It is a term coined by the renowned scientist VS Ramachandran. In studying human artistic experience, Ramachandran devised eight laws, the leading of which is peak shift effect. Peak shift effect analyses the intuitive capability of artists to recognize heightened visual stimuli, and then to use them to create an artistic language. The scope of his study covers all periods of artistic innovation – from a 10th century Parvati Chola bronze to Cubism. In seeking to understand beauty and the “visual brain,” scientists like Semir Zeki before him and VS Ramachandran confirm that the artist intuitively knows how to interpret a principle of beauty; what scientists in the field of neuroesthetics are only now contemplating.
The exhibition Peak Shift Effect at Vadehra Art Gallery invokes a mix of art practices that draw on a free flow of ideas. Not everything is as it seems. The art work can tease or delude, and images and materials defy set or easy categorization. To be beautiful or arrive at its peak shift effect, art can willfully exaggerate, be disobedient and ask us to consider the world anew.
The artists in the exhibition, some of the most talented of their generation, invoke play and suggestion, creating narratives both real and illusory. Shilpa Gupta’s work ‘I Look at Things with Eyes Different from Yours’ unexpectedly confronts the viewer, allowing the art work and the body of the viewer to become one.
Hema Upadhyay creates the suggestion of a beautiful floral carpet with ‘Pedestrian’ which can slowly disintegrate into hundreds of utility pieces, each embedded with the artist’s image. Faiza Butt with her huge bejewelled domestic objects – ‘Mouth of your Eyes I, II and III’ – and Hemali Bhuta’s large wax instrument – ‘Thick to Thin’ – draw attention through exaggeration and a fineness of execution. In the works of Prajakta Palav Aher, Jagannath Panda and Zakkir Hussain, high art is disparaged by an ironic view of our new, all consuming urban reality.
Together the fifteen artists on view represent the newer tendency in Indian art, to assume an inter-media position, with a world view that is both anti heroic and self reflexive. As one of the three exhibitions presented by Vadehra Art Gallery, Peak Shift Effect complements The Drawing Wall, scheduled for October, at D 40 Defence Colony and Ideas of the Sublime, which will run at Lalit Kala Akademi from April 4 to 11, 2013.