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May 08, 2017

Delve Into Samit Das’ Bibliography In Progress

Text by Huzan Tata

The Delhi-based artist is back for a solo show in Mumbai after a ten-year hiatus

Click on any image to view in larger gallery

Art, many a time, is a merging of genres, fields, and concepts to create works of wonder. In this very vein, Delhi-based artist Samit Das blends archaeology, history, ethnography and legends in his mixed-media works on board, to create a unique visual language. These works, the artist says, look at the broader picture, of how ‘archives’ interact with space. ‘Holding the most extensive archive on Santiniketan (from where the artist graduated) and being one of the foremost scholars on the histories of art from South Asia, Das’ art practice conceptually lies with these histories of exchange between material mediums. His exhibition thus amalgamates this possibility without rarefying the materiality or the form as a commodity,’ says curator Sumesh Sharma in his note on the show.

5 Questions with the artist, Samit Das

  1. Artistic Motivations “I think I can express some thoughts better through visual media than through words — or they may not appropriate in words. Searching for visual vocabulary has been a deep passion for many years.”
  2. Inspirations “Impression of life. It could be anything in the living world, including the non-living!”
  3. On the wall at home “Of course my own works, and then those of many others like Gordon Matta-Clark, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gerhard Richter, Nandalal Bose, Abanindranath Tagore. Also many folk artists’ works.”
  4. Concerns that find a place in your art “Contemporary art should communicate to all kinds of people. We artists should take responsibility for that. In my works, space is a key factor around which I would like to invite everyone to have a dialogue.”
  5. If not an artist, you would be… “A cook with a good knowledge of history. I love to take tourists through the history of a city, and its monuments and unusual places to discover.”

Bibliography In Progress is on display at Tarq, Mumbai (F35/36 Dhanraj Mahal, C.S.M. Marg, Apollo Bunder, Colaba) until May 20, 2017

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