METAPHORICAL ABSTRACTION

Review by Amrita Varma
March 15, 2015

 

Something Else
Solo show of Dhruva Mistry
February 21, 2015
Art District XIII, Lado Sarai, New Delhi

The exhibition at Lado Sarai of Dhruva’s long awaited works have a synchronicity with the title of the show itself. Dhruva is one of the few artists from Baroda who have given the sculptural language a new form. As an exhibit his works have an historical validity for Indian contemporary art as well.

As one approaches the works one is in Dhruva’s comfort zone of his figures that are not a far departure from his traditional style. There is however a moving away from the routundness of the human form to a more linear, lighter figure. The medium of water jet cut steel brings in acertain preciseness to the feel of the form with the series of works titled ‘something else’. The works, which have neither head nor limbs, feel very cosmopolitan in their outlook. Though the artist may have meant to negotiate and blend the lines created between sexuality and sacredness as is seen in the Indian context, these works leave the visual image in its negative space as pounds of female flesh with a hint of sexuality and grace lingering underneath where the viewer is still to negotiate that ‘something else’. The effect is a certain numbness with regard to the engagement with the works.

What is however impressive is the skill and dexterity of the use of material and its melting into a fluid yet angular form in the other sculptural works where the minimalist sketch like sculptures bring in the fluidity of form, movement and sensuality. Here, Dhurva has made a statement and his philosophy is definitely expounded in the feel of the form of the figures especially in ‘seated [yellow edge]’, ‘seated’ and ‘recline’. The three works are the ones that perhaps carry the dialogue, which Dhurva wanted to delve in, beautifully. Each of these figures seem celebratory in form with the blend of sanctity and freeness in their embedded connotations of man/woman and his/her nature where the pronounced sexuality of the figure is blended with the nuances of the form being more than just the body and filled with the myriad aspirations and rasas of life.

For its engagement with style, form and medium and its view into the creative eye  of one of the finer minds in sculpture, this show is a good idea.