Monday, November 30, 2009

He keenly observes the highs and lows of a fast changing society and expresses them either on canvas or other media


London’s Alexia Goethe Gallery presents a solo exhibition of recent works by Jagannath Panda. His realism tends to believe and reside in the existence of Fantasy. In a single creation, the artist within the high rise apartment blocks of the burgeoning India can posit the existence of stylized gods, apparently culled from the old palm leaf manuscripts of his home state.

Assemblage and Collage get divorced from their Surrealist patrimony. His subject matter and ideas are often sourced from the events that unfold around him. As part of his creative churning, the commonplace object acquires symbolic stature, representing aspirations or even rigid dogmas. Environmental and social issues greatly concern this socially aware artist.

Elaborating on his art practice, he mentions: “I’m aware of the fragility of coexistence and also the fact that physical and emotional spaces sometimes act like quicksand.” The ironies of life visible in his surroundings greatly interest him and the unanswered questions arouse his curiosity.

Acting as both mirror and memory, they store preconceived meanings and reflect a contradictory reality that has always intrigued him. He keenly observes the highs and lows of a fast changing society and expresses them either on canvas or other media, drawing on the ambiguities of contemporary life. He states, “You can understand life in many different directions, and that is what I want to paint.”

His deceptively simple visual imagery consists of linear drawing and/or a rendered form or two that appear to float on the surface. Though his drawings are realistic, he refrains from offering a direct reference to the subject’s existence. On occasions he employs tracing sheets, silver foil and thread, to emphasis the reality of the material he uses. Color plays a limited albeit vital role of highlighting form.

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