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Since 1st March, 1999
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Highrise view

Galerie 88 brings back Samit Das after almost two years. He had shown his interesting video at the “terrorism” show a few months ago. His recent works titled “Eye Line” hark back to the grids and interlocking lines of modern cities that he has been showing quite obsessively for the past few years.

These small and large drawings and paintings are usually in greys, whites and blacks. A dense network of lines of different widths create the impression of contemporary built environment where highrise buildings stand cheek-by-jowl. Das daubs a part of some works with metallic paint, creating a striking contrast with the all-pervasive greyness. In another, he uses tissue paper to create papier collé .

In others, he uses photographs to break the monotony of lines and create a multiplicity of textures. These are mostly images of workers on scaffolding against a vast urbanscape. Das uses acrylic sheets, laser engraving and archival prints to produce the effect of a contemporary palimpsest where many levels of reality coexist in a certain given space. Das’s photographic essays, particularly the ones of deities, maybe timely but tend to be monotonous.

Ganges Art Gallery presents an exhibition of sculptures with too many participants, some of whom could easily have been excluded. For example, Debashish Bhattacharya’s work with painted board and odds and ends seemed a pointless exercise. Pritpal Singh Ladi’s cube with finger-like protuberant growths lacked the element of surprise. Saurav Roy Chowdhury’s equine figures in bronze with heads and hands sprouting from unlikely points have been seen before.

The pieces on the first floor of the gallery were more interesting. Pankaj Panwar’s boat lodged literally inside a house of metallic grids is a striking idea given a remarkable physical form. Prasun Ghosh’s tubewell wearing a cap of resin resembling the nasal bone is puzzling, to say the least. Most interesting are Rishi Barua’s sculptures made by assembling steel plates. The beauty splayed out on the floor has a cord of light with a pistol at its tailend sprouting from its stomach. The copulating figures with pistols sticking out had integrated form with idea.

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