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April 5 @ 11:00 am - April 12 @ 7:00 pm

Curated by Prima Kurien

Participating artists:
Dhaivat Shah l Kumar Misal l Nishchay Thakur l Yash Desai l Zainul Abdeen

Crust. Let us begin with a provocation: There is no imaginative leap of aesthetic transcendence that waits around to surprise us when we stand before the artworks presented  here. A serrated scrubland of photographs, prints, and mixed-media objects, we are instead introduced to a landscape of disinterred artefacts—talismans caked in mud, soil, terra that are equally acute as ecological relics of our time, as well as philosophically obscure regarding their artistic purpose. This exhibition, with its empire of geotic territories, conspires to navigate us through a terrain of environmental speculations, shifts, and severances; it is an address to our damaging footprint that has parasitically settled onto terra firma. Peeling away layers of urban settlement and industrial antagonism, this showcase of artworks leads us to the borders of human intervention and natural phenomenon—a preternatural disquietude where greed and violence carve out an impossibly hostile terrain of biological disaffections and disasters. In encountering such artistic practices, we find ourselves in the throes of an alienated surrounding that is keen to let us walk around, only barefoot.  

Mantle. With the formal and conceptual motifs of Dhaivat Shah, Kumar Misal, Nishchay  Thakur, Yash Desai, and Zainul Abdeen, we are sprung onto an artistic intent that inexhaustibly ploughs through the surface and depths of the Earth. It is a resilient marriage of form and  pigment speculating upon a tormented landscape that is slowly (yet surely) challenging the terrans and their anthropocentrism. We encounter an archive of gashes and marks—from Dhaivat’s aggressive yet mediated act of altering the representation of landscape in  photography, to Zainul’s nomado-artistic performance of interacting with seeds, dust, barley, worms, sand, and other agrarian ephemera—this is an ontological dance of graphite and pencil that acknowledges a planetary collapse; this is Titian’s unequivocal The Rape of Europa, an all  too familiar mythology of soil versus blood. Thrust upon a feral existentialism where natural rejuvenation is replaced with foreign hostility, Kumar’s expressive woodcuts—adversarial hybrid forms that are of the land, for the land—and Nishchay and Yash’s interpretive abstractions that grieve the loss of our pastoral memory understand the fraught, even militant aesthetic that defines our terran ecology today. It is the recognition of a tipping point, an indignant augury of environmental collapse lest we mend our ways. 

Core. These are artworks that therefore settle on a plane of immanence—an immersion, an  introspection that no longer refuses to realise the sullying touch humans have left on Terra.  Against our superficial and immediate conveniences, this exhibition instigates to decipher seismic shifts, ecological pasts, and inventive futures that remain undiluted in the passionate artistic visions on display here. This is a treasure hunter’s shipwreck; a glinting  pearl of hope hidden behind the pessimism of whirlpools and thunderstorms where Terra’s  artists embody Italo Calvino’s Mr. Palomar when he says:  

‘It is only after you have come to know the surface of things… that you can venture to  seek what is underneath. But the surface of things is inexhaustible.’  

Written by Shankar Tripathi


April 5 @ 11:00 am
April 12 @ 7:00 pm


Art Incept


Shridharani Gallery
Triveni Kala Sangam, Mandi House
New Delhi, 110001 India
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