Beyond Surface showcases recent works by four contemporary women artists represented by Gallery Espace – Chitra Ganesh, Manisha Gera Baswani, Mekhala Bahl and Shobha Broota. It is a disparate group of artists with very different practices, mediums, concerns and visual languages. There is Ganesh whose drawings in pop colours interpolate Hindu and Buddhist iconography with imagery drawn from popular visual culture, in order to present an idiosyncratic, alternate, feminist mythology. Then there’re Broota’s meditative works made of woven wool stretched over canvas, forming folds and undulations reminiscent of the natural landscape; Bahl, who brings together photography, print-making, painting and drawing through a process of complex layering and mark-making; and Baswani, whose pin drawings are as much aesthetic process as they are a narrative of a personal journey of pain and healing. Each of these artists’ body of work is as different in style and mood from the other as can be. But there are also similarities – the preoccupation with texture, for one. And also, an adventurous and unconventional manipulation of media. In ‘Grown’, for instance, part of Bahl’s recent body of work, the artist wraps canvas around an indeterminate form fashioned out of synthetic foam, creating a work that is at once painting and sculpture.
Text and Photos: Gallery Espace. The exhibition is on view from April 24 — May 23, 2020.