Home Architect Kartik Sood at Talwar Gallery | new York

Kartik Sood at Talwar Gallery | new York

by godlove4241
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Kartik Sood’s first solo album in the United States, “Elusive Spaces”, is an achievement of painful delicacy. Semi-transparent, often partial, renderings of human figures soar amid smoky forests and haunting twilight interiors. Deviating from his earlier preference for multimedia installation, the artist here presents a vision of surreal interiority through the pared down vocabulary of paint, graphite and collage.

The works in the first gallery were produced in response to the conditions of pandemic confinement. His subjects are painted in muted whistler twilight tones and seem to be taken from the mystical proto-cubist paintings of Gaganendranath Tagore. Such a lush misty palette suggests the thick mists of Shimla, Sood’s hometown in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh at the foothills of the Himalayas. This atmospheric saturation may also nod to the deadly smog of New Delhi, a city he now calls home, in addition to the coastal state of Goa. The following Being with yourself I–VI (all works 2022-2023), shows pairs of seated men, each with a mirror close to the other, suggesting a doubling, or some form of displacement seen through glass, in the dark. There is an ambiguous intimacy at play in these images, a bond between the twins that resists resolution, like a half-remembered dream.

The variation in texture is a gentle reminder that each work is a object reflection. The surface of a canvas is often disturbed by small scratches and stray spots of paint. Parts of figures seem about to peel off, suggesting the afterimage of motion frozen on the tintype. In other pieces, this three-dimensionality is amplified when portions of Sood’s figures literally hover above the picture plane, anchored by invisible supports. Consider Dilemma of being you (you are but you are not) II. A faceless torso, possibly tied up, levitates just above the ground, its truncated abdomen slightly curved like a disconcerting comma. It is flanked by a pair of vermilion mirrors. Before him are two crows in silhouette, connected by dashes of charcoal suggesting a flight path directed toward a subtle crack in the ground. In the elusive world of Sood, the line between memory and dream may just be smoke and mirrors after all.

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