NINE PAINTERS FROM KERALA
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai | March 9 – May 3, 2018
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke is delighted to present an exhibition of nine painters from Kerala, who form a significant part of the gallery’s program. The artists have held solo exhibitions at the gallery, however this is the first time their works are being shown together. We believe the exhibition will evince links and also facilitate readings of their individual practices.
ABUL HISHAM (b. 1987)
Abul Hisham develops a sequence of portraits and tableaux that are uncanny, riddling, and phantasmagorical. In his paintings, we celebrate the fabular universe of such story cycles as the Vetala Panchavimshati and the Panchatantra, which continue to reside in our imagination and may be activated as pointers to the challenges and dilemmas of our present. Abul earned a BFA at the Government College of Fine Arts in Thrissur and an MFA at the S.N. School of Arts & Communication in Hyderabad. He is a recipient of the Inlaks Fine Arts Award (2013), and has held solo exhibitions at Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi (2010) and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai (2014). He lives and works in Kerala.
AJI V.N. (b. 1968)
Aji V.N. locates his images both in a specific sense of locality, that of Kerala or the southwest coast of India, and in an understanding of the landscape that embraces mystery, delicacy and lyricism. Their irresistible fascination lies somewhere between high imagination and psychological states of being. Aji attained a BFA at the College of Fine Arts in Trivandrum and an MFA at the College of Art, Delhi. He is a recipient of the Werkbeurs Grant and the Basisstipendium from the Foundation for Visual Arts in The Netherlands. Aji has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai, Nature Morte, New Delhi, and the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. He lives and works in The Netherlands.
ARUN K.S. (b. 1984)
Arun K.S.’s works are composed of barely discernable miniscule figures on layers of rice paper and paper pulp, which the artist has sanded down to a gleaming smoothness. Measuring up to 3 meters across, his works are enriched by their various and simultaneous affinities with sculpture, painting, scribal occasion and ritual performance. Arun K.S. attained a BFA at the Government College of Fine Arts in Thrissur, and an MFA at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda. He is a recipient of the Nasreen Mohamedi Award 2012 and the Inlaks Scholarship 2013. Arun held his first solo exhibition at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai in 2013. He lives and works in Baroda.
C.K. RAJAN (b. 1960)
C.K. Rajan conjures compelling worlds in intimately scaled paintings, which brim with significance and luminosity. He studied Painting at the M. S. University, Baroda, and the S. N. School of Arts, Hyderabad, and has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in 2010 and 2015. Rajan’s collages were shown at Documenta XII in Kassel in 2007. In 2016 a comprehensive body of his work from the collection of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art was presented at the Kerala Museum in Kochi. He lives and works in Hyderabad.
JYOTHI BASU (b. 1960)
Jyothi Basu commemorates brilliantly, and in the same moment, a sense of time, that is both historical and futuristic. His art has always been deeply influenced by his home state of Kerala, with its dense palm tree jungles and aquatic horizons. Jyothi attained a BFA from the College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum and a Post Diploma in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. His first solo exhibition in Mumbai, “Healing Properties: V.N. Jyothi Basu’s Landscapes of the Self” was organized by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke at the Artists’ Center in 2003. Subsequently, he has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, Nature Morte, New Delhi, and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York. He lives and works in Baroda.
RATHEESH T. (b. 1980)
In large paintings that are intensely moving and powerful, Ratheesh T. fiercely examines the self, death, family, untamed nature and life. The geographical source of his imagery is undoubtedly Kerala, the lush green vegetation of this tropical state of west coast India, and the dark complexion of its people. Ratheesh earned a BFA in Painting at the College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum. In 2004 he was awarded the Royal Over-Seas League Scholarship. Ratheesh has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai and Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin.
SIJI KRISHNAN (b. 1983)
For her highly sophisticated watercolour paintings, Siji Krishnan uses sheets of rice paper of varying textures, building up a thickness that absorbs the numerous washings. The singular patina of the surface sometimes compares to organic material such as dried leaves but also bears the semblance of vintage textiles or ancient parchment rolls. The artist creates a space for the subconscious to unfold, allowing her technique to adapt. Siji attained a BFA from the Raja Ravi Varma College of Fine Arts, University of Kerala, and an MFA from the S.N. School of Fine Arts, Hyderabad. She has held solo exhibitions at Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi, and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai. She lives and works in Kochi.
SOSA JOSEPH (b. 1971)
Sosa Joseph attained a Diploma in Painting from the Raja Ravi Varma College of Fine Arts in Kerala and a Post Graduate Diploma in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. Her return to her native Kerala – and more specifically to Mattancherry – the populous enclave with the complex cultural mix of its inhabitants – proved to be a homecoming in pictorial terms. Sosa has held two solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai. Her works have been shown in the exhibition “Mémoires des Futurs | Modernités Indiennes”, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2017-18) and will be on view at the 21st Biennale of Sydney from March to June, 2018. She lives and works in Kochi.
VINOD BALAK (b. 1982)
Vinod Balak’s art engages with the aesthetics of the street and the temple, and the politics of his region. Vinod attained a BFA in Painting at the Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur, Kerala and MFA in Painting at the S.N. School of Fine Arts, Hyderabad. He held his first solo exhibition at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai in 2010. He lives and works in New Delhi.