Monday, July 6, 2009

'With a Pinch of Salt' by K.P. Reji

The Guild Art Gallery is pleased to present With a Pinch of Salt, by K P Reji from July 3rd, 2009 to July 18th, 2009 at The Guild.

“It’s a delight to find paintings in the common and everyday...”

K.P. Reji

The present body of works by Baroda based artist K. P. Reji are a continuation of his explorations into the organization of community life in India and the manner in which this has become a political issue in contemporary India. However, what makes the present set of works distinct from some of his more recent works on community is the way he has pushed the conceptual thresholds of his visual language in order to probe further into the areas of community life in India, particularly the ways in which the Indian nation state has arranged the lives of its people. He focuses on the way the nation state has set up a seemingly coherent bio political order for its own legitimacy as a sovereign power. The sites where Reji has chosen to work for the mapping of the ‘national’ and ‘modern’ in India are of course the paradigmatic sites of the family and the state, the domains of the private and the public. What one sees across these set of works is a collapsing of these seemingly separate spheres of life with their distinctions becoming historically irrelevant in the face of an emerging biopolitical order in India. Reji’s works map this order of life and the ways in which the lives of various communities are imagined in it.

Reji’s representations of this new order are structured around an incisive examination of the category family. The family, as it emerges in this body of work, is caught in the interstices of nation and capital. Rendered at moments of the intensely personal—during sleep, at play, setting up a house or making love—the family nevertheless is shown relentlessly tied to governmental forces that shape its very contours. There is a sustained hint in these dramatic, even melodramatic depictions, that these figures are hardly individuated, in fact, they call to mind populations and demographics, the subjects of a national order.

Born in Kerala, K.P. Reji has done his graduation and post-graduation in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda. He has had three solo exhibitions with ‘Just Above My Head’ being the latest, held in The Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2006. He has widely participated in many significant group exhibitions, camps and workshops in India and abroad, including the Shanghai Art Fair (2008), Miami Art Fair (2008), Miart 2008 in Milano, ‘OK Horn Please’ curated by Suman Gopinath at Bern Museum, Switzerland (2007), ‘Beyond Credos’ curated by Shivaji K. Panikkar at Birla Academy, Kolkata (2007), ‘Double Enders’ a travelling exhibition curated by Bose Krishnamachari (2005-6), ‘Are We Like This Only’ curated by Vidya Shivadas at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2005) among many others. He has recently been the recipient of the Sanskriti Award for the Young Artist by the Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi in 2007. He lives and works in Baroda.

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