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(PDF 37 K) September 1999 New York
- Bose Pacia Modern presents Private Limited I
, an exhibition of paintings by Jitish Kallat
. The show will run from October 26 through November 24, 1999. The gallery is located at 580 Broadway, 2nd floor, in SoHo. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12-6 p.m. and by appointment. A reception with the artist will be held on Tuesday, October 26 from 6-8 p.m.
All of Kallat's work to date has been of and about self-portraiture. His own image has usually been the focus of each painting and even when he is not present literally he represents himself with a stand-in. He then constructs, rebus-like, assortments of pictures in which, around this central core, swirl identities of masquerade, mythology and diverse psychology. Precocious and ambitious, Kallat has usually sought to paint himself as India's everyman; one of a billion who is usually accompanied by dizzying patterns, chaotic city plans and pulsing crowd scenes.
While a student of painting at Bombay's Sir JJ School of Art, Kallat's works oscillated between abstraction and realism. Not a self-conscious critique of representational modes inspired by the oeuvre of the German painter Gerhard Richter, but rather as the nervous twitches of a confused young man. He was well aware of the debate surrounding the domestication of abstract art by Indian artists, one which strove to relinquish the anxiety of Western influence with the acknowledgement of ancestral traditions, yet felt compelled to paint the world he saw around him. This was a world rapidly becoming media-savvy and consumer-conscious, a world being violated by satellite television, video technologies and advanced advertising techniques. His formal education failed even to mention the name of Andy Warhol. It has only been in the 1990s that Indian artists have domesticated Pop Art for themselves en masse. Comfortable with the multiple-image montages he found on the screens of both TV and PC, Kallat's paintings were soon able to synthesize both the image-glut and the lyrical abstractions in which he was submerged. The popularity of his paintings can be attributed to the 24/7 all-you-can-eat buffet they present to the viewer, something for everybody, all of the time.
Picture, sign, symbol and word coalesce into something that exceeds the boundaries of language, locale, nation or heritage. That which is specifically Indian is treated no differently than the images that have been imported. The result is a self-portrait that accepts contradiction, hybridization and foreign influence without a trace of anxiety.
Jitish Kallat is considered one of the most prominent rising stars in India's burgeoning art world. In 1996 he received the K.K. Hebbar Art Foundation Award and the Govt. First Prize at the Sir J.J. School of Art. This marks the artist's first solo exhibition in the United States. Mr. Kallat has participated in numerous prestigious exhibitions internationally .