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November 06, 2016

Take A Peek Inside Edouard Baribeaud’s Nocturnal Vault

Text by Huzan Tata

French artist Edouard Baribeaud presents a surreal take on miniatures at his debut solo show in the country

(Click on any image to view in larger gallery.)

The first thing that strikes anyone who looks at a Mughal miniature is its perfect amalgamation of motifs, moods, stories and scenes. For his latest exhibition The Nocturnal Vault, Edouard Baribeaud brings in a dose of science fiction and 19th-century book illustration to create a series that contemplates the hours from sunset to sunrise. His paintings are a fusion of Indian and Western art styles, telling stories that are “half-told, leaving the audience to discover the broader context”.

The Nocturnal Vault is on display at Gallery Isa, Mumbai until November 22, 2016.

Q/A with Edouard Baribeaud

On the exhibition…
“I wanted to represent different facets of the night. I imagined it as a journey from dusk to dawn — where mundane life contrasts with mythical elements.”

On his inspiration…
“Two years ago, I visited India and fell in love with miniatures. I am interested in the styles and schools, from vibrant paintings from Rajasthan to the delicate creations from Kangra. Several Western artists used to collect Persian and Indian miniatures, and this tradition reached its peak during the 19th century. I’ve continued this dialogue between Western and Indian art by bringing contemporary elements and motifs into my work.”

On Indian artists he admires…
“In 2014, I saw a retrospective of Amrita Sher-Gil at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi and was moved by her paintings. The way she expresses the elegance and sensuality of Indians is amazing. At the last Venice Biennale, I discovered artworks by Gigi Scaria. I also like Zarina Hashmi’s minimalist creations and sculptures by Subodh Gupta. At home, I have drawings by artist friends and some Indian miniatures by Rajasthani painters.”

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