I’m looking out for Mumbai’s Chemould Prescott Road collaboration with New York based Thomas Erben Gallery. Together they are bringing a solo exhibition of Aditi Singh –‘so much the less complete’ to the upcoming India Art Fair 2019. Born 1976 in Assam, the emerging artist studied painting at the New York Studio School and subsequently earned a M.F.A. at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001.
Currently residing in Mumbai, she elucidates “In all my work, I begin with drawing a circle first, repeating it layer after layer, moving from transparency to density. It is this unending layering that catches and holds me in its grip. Often there is no inner or outer surface of the picture plane, there is simply a pulse, a vibration if you may. I think essentially what painting wants is a connection. It needs to matter to you personally, intuitively, sensually, before there is any question of meaning.”
MD: You were a Humanities student in school, what drew you to Art?
AS: What drew me to Art was how it could weave all my interests, be it in philosophy, the natural world, poetry, literature – into one. For me, making art isn’t just about constructing images, it’s a way of being, of allowing oneself to remain open to possibility.
MD: You spoke about a teacher whose method of teaching and work you fell in love with. Tell us about her.
AS: Lynette Lombard – my college professor is someone I met on the day I turned 18. An absurdly generous teacher, she taught me to fully appreciate the picture plane as a diving board into imagination. Nothing was impossible as long as one remained authentic to experience.
MD: And what drew you to Abstract?
AS: Precision draws me to Abstract. Again something Lynettte taught me – that abstraction wasn’t some nebulous idea of thoughts hovering but an emotion that could express and expose the intimacy of seeing.
MD: Explain the interdependence of Eastern and Western influences in your work ?
AS: Having studied in the West and practiced in the East. What influenced me the most are spiritual texts, Bible and the Upanishads. I find tremendous energy and solace in such texts.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. [Matt 5:4]”You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny” – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Graphite on parchment paper
Wax and Crayon on parchment paper
Wax on paper
Ink on paper
MD: Till now you have worked with ink, graphite and charcoal. What next and why?
AS: Ink on paper has been my primary medium for almost 15 years now. What changes is the paper, with every change of paper the hand works differently. Almost like it activates a different part of the brain.
MD: How have you grown as an artist – in terms of work and self?
AS: That’s a big question, there are somethings that will always remain the same- solitude being one. What shifts is consciousness and how it flows; how with every body of work one finds a resonance with the unknown.
MD: Who are/were your art icons?
“My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind.”- Agnes Martin.
It’s press release by the gallery reads….Minimal yet not minimalist…. her pieces are crystalline, organic forms insinuating a struggle between balance, stasis and continuity, where meaning is not a singular, fixed entity. They unearth a kaleidoscope of vulnerabilities, uncertainties and contradictions. Cumulative, methodical and patient Singh does not so much build onto paper as into it, laying down an observe domain of line, color, space and contemplation.
Do take out time to view this reflective art at the 11th edition of India Art Fair, NSIC Ground, Okhla, New Delhi between 31st January -3rd February’19.