In an Exuberant & Profuse Manner

Curated by Peter Nagy
June 14 - July 28, 2001
New York

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June 2001 New York - Bose Pacia Modern presents "In An Exuberant And Profuse manner", a group exhibition by artists from and inspired by greater India. The show will run from June 14 through July 28.

The exhibition examines the richness of painting traditions that have come out of the Indian sub-continent. Each of the artists mixes multiple strands of influence within their works, creating images that speak of centuries of cultural hybridizations.

Bari Kumar grew up in the southern Indian capital of Hyderabad and has lived for most of his adult life in Los Angeles, where he attended the Otis Art Institute and works in the film industry. His paintings utilize techniques associated with the Italian Renaissance, 19th Century Romanticism, American Neo-Expressionism and linguistic devices prominent within post-conceptual art practice. These layered, pseudo-antique paintings consciously posit free-floating images against ambiguous texts. Figures which seem to derive from the Catholic traditions of Mexico or Goa (both being the residues of colonization) accompany cryptic word play in the multiple languages of India (which can include Hindi, Telugu and English). Bari Kumar has held two solo exhibitions at the Patricia Correia Gallery in Los Angeles and was most recently featured in the inaugural exhibition of The India Center of Art and Culture in New York City.

Shibu Natesan grew up in Kerala, attended the M.S. University in Baroda and currently divides his time between London and India. His photo-realistic paintings derive from mass-media images and historical documents in order to question our notions of veracity and recognition. Grand in scale and often complex in their detailing, Natesan's works are a contemporary version of history painting, albeit one for a globalized culture which experiences events primarily through television. The recipient of a scholarship to study at Amsterdam's prestigious Riks Akademie, Natesan refuses to paint only Indian subjects. He participates in discourses of painting we would associate with Europe, forcing us to question our own definitions of Indian contemporary art. Natesan has held numerous solo exhibitions of his works in New Delhi, Mumbai and Amsterdam during the past decade.

Talha Rathore, currently a resident of Queens, New York, hails from Lahore where she studied miniature painting at .the College of Fine Arts. Part of a generation of artists who have exploited the format of traditional miniature painting from the sub-continent, her works are distinctive for their reductive, rather than additive, approach. The traditional support of wasli paper is collaged with maps of the New York City subway system to reflect the artist's own confused identity which, as she puts it, is "in transit." Abstracted, highly decorative trees are isolated as icons and become surrogates for the figure, taking on multiple personalities and poses. The artist was a resident at the Sanskriti Kala Kendra in New Delhi in 1997, after which she exhibited her works at Galerie Espace, also in New Delhi. This is her first exhibition in the United States.

Abby Robinson's photographs capture the painterly idioms of India within panoramic interiors. These images, shot during Robinson's tenure on a Fulbright Fellowship, come from different parts of the country, presenting a singular point of view. Architectural interiors are photographed in an extreme wide-angle, resulting in spaces that twist in on themselves and confuse interpretation. Devoid of figures, Robinson's attention to
India's bizarre juxtapositions of saturated colors and mottled, weathered surfaces results in images of a painterly atmosphere. In 2002, she will mount a solo exhibition of her photographs at Mumbai's National Centre for Performing Arts.

Originally from Bangalore, Nataraj Sharmalives and works in Baroda. A recipient of the most recent Sotheby's prize given annually to a contemporary Indian artist, Sharma's works fuse his expert draftsmanship with an extremely controlled palette. His signature imagery of the 1990s is the industrial landscape surrounding his hometown: a portrait of India as it struggles with development. These paintings of out-moded technologies remind us of the Surrealists' anthropomorphosized machines and the Precisionism of Charles Sheeler. Solo exhibitions of his works have been mounted at the Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai and Nature Morte in New Delhi. In 2000, Sharma was awarded a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant.

Ram Singh Urvedi is an artist from Bhopal who has exhibited his works at the Bharat Bhavan there and at New Delhi's Crafts Museum. Coming out of the tribal traditions of Madhya Pradesh, he has developed a distinctive style of painting which combines the folk with the urban contemporary. Bold and cartoon-like, his works are humorous and playful, garishly colored and almost sci-fi. Urvedi occupies an important position within contemporary India's burgeoning art scene, where distinctions between the urban and the rural, the naive and the sophisticated, are rapidly becoming obsolete.

Peter Nagy, the exhibition's curator, is an artist and the director of the New Delhi gallery Nature Morte. Since 1997, Nature Morte has been exhibiting a wide range of art: promoting experimental work by Indian artists, fostering dialogues between Indian and international artists, and disregarding established boundaries between disciplines and generations. Most recently, he organized an exhibition of site-specific installations for the Museum of Fine Arts at Chandigarh's Panjab University and this summer in New York he will be organizing a large exhibition of works which have been inspired by different sacred traditions at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.