On display at Nature Morte in October will be a show of paintings by three artists which explores the diverse strains of imagery in painting today. A “gamut” is the complete range or spectrum of possibilities. Landscapes, portraiture and abstraction come together in the works of these three young artists.
New Delhi-based Nidhi Agarwal paints aggressive, muscular abstractions that harbor figurative passages and landscape tendencies. Violently expressionistic, her color palette is both complex and acrid and her subject matter often perverse. Her paintings are almost anti-decorative and a suite of works on paper update the nihilistic heads of F.N. Souza with collage techniques and advertising images. Born in 1972, Agarwal studied painting at the College of Art, New Delhi and has had solo shows of her work at Art Konsult Gallery (1999) and Dhoomimal Gallery (2009), both in New Delhi.
The paintings of Ramakrishna Behera are most certainly landscapes and are inspired by real places: the caves of Ajanta, the mountains and monasteries of Ladakh, the countryside and temples of Orissa, even the interior of the artist’s home. Yet the works employ distorted perspectives and fold in images of outer space to become something more like psychological maps or hallucinatory visions. While their palette of colors is realistic, their spaces certainly are not. The surfaces of his paintings are buttery and their details are seemingly coaxed spontaneously from their making. Behera, a self-taught painter, was born in Orissa in 1977 and lives and works in Barauni in Bihar. He has held solo shows of his works at Bose Pacia in both Kolkata and New York and at Seven Art Ltd. in New Delhi.
Trained in Santiniketan, where he continues to live and work, Basist Kumar fuses singular portraits with iconic landscapes, resulting in paintings that are indebted to both Science Fiction and Symbolism. He pairs individuals in confrontational poses with boulders, trees, sea-scapes, or architecture to create diptych paintings that are both balanced and dynamic. Born in 1984, the artist earned a BFA degree from the College of Art, Delhi University and an MFA from Vishwa-Bharati University in Santiniketan. Kumar has exhibited his paintings in the past few years at both Bose Pacia Gallery in Calcutta and the Davide Gallo Gallery in Berlin.