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Indepth Arts News:

"S T R E T C H by Nataraj Sharma"
2007-03-22 until 2007-05-05
Bodhi Art
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Bodhi Art is proud to bring to New York Nataraj Sharma’s traveling exhibition titled ‘S T R E T C H’, completed during his 2006 residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute [STPI]. In ‘S T R E T C H’, paintings and mixed media etchings in paper, pulp and prints, Nataraj Sharma continues to explore the relationships between urbanization, landscapes and the human presence at the interstices of modernity. The opening of ‘S T R E T C H’ coincides with New York’s Asia Week - the focal point for significant Asian art auctions and gallery shows.  The Asian Art Fair is widely lauded as the world’s leading Asian art fair and this year Bodhi Art is proud to participate and showcase the works of many Indian artists at this prestigious fair.

Bodhi Art’s mission is to give intensive exposure to its artists in solo exhibitions in Singapore, New Delhi, Mumbai and New York and also through its calendar of art fairs in America, Europe and Asia. Since 2005 Bodhi Art has been organising an annual residency at the STPI, providing a unique opportunity to the contemporary Indian artists. Atul Dodiya was the first artist-in-residence at STPI in 2005 whose works titled ‘The Wet Sleeves of My Paper Robe (Sabari in Her Youth: After Nandalal Bose)’ was the inaugural show for Bodhi Art, New York in September 2006. Nataraj Sharma was the second artist chosen for the residency. The result of this residency, his new body of works – collectively exhibited in the show ‘S T R E T C H’– is the product of six weeks of intensive effort by the artist along with the assistance of master print maker, Eitaro Ogawa and master paper maker, Richard Hungerford. The residency focused him on exploring and playing with the possibilities of print and paper pulp in a format and scale he had not previously worked with.

The works that form ‘S T R E T C H’, are nurtured by a richly hybrid genetic code – printmaking meets collage, topography meets abstraction. The seven suites of mixed-media work that Sharma created during his residency deal with groups of people, both scattered and orderly; images from urban built form and epic-scale machines; abstraction approached in several registers, either a drawing on visions of landscape or on visual output from digital media. Sharma demonstrates to consummate advantage his ability to straddle parallel universes of meaning. While ‘Above Detroit (Winter)’ is a hymn to serene abstraction, ‘System Error’ is an abstraction in high spirited, festive mood. ‘Structures’, in its several recensions, summons us into the presence of iconic built or colossal engineering devices, delivered either through the purity of etching or as etching modified and enriched by collage and painting inputs. ‘Playground’ and ‘Flagmarch’ deal with dynamics of individuals in communities, and are driven by deep questions of what motives bring people together into mass formations, into crowds or assemblies, mobs or armies. Sharma abandons himself to the seduction of color buzz, as he slides along a scale between muted and effulgent, transparent and hard-edged. The scope of individuality lost due to the mechanical reproduction raises an intentional agenda by the artist showing how the dominant forces at play in the current age reduces an individual to a faceless crowd, with potentially disastrous consequences. Sharma is constantly exploring, expanding, and evolving these images so they add new connotations and dimensions to that which was already familiar. This “stretching” is the relentless dynamic in his work. Sharma’s works play with scale in an intriguing and challenging manner for both himself and the onlooker.

‘S T R E T C H’ was first exhibited at Bodhi Art, Singapore and the Singapore Tyler Print Institution, and then Bodhi Art, Mumbai earlier this year. It now eventually travels to Bodhi Art, New York and will be on display till May 5th, 2007.  

Visit Bodhi Art at Stand B6 during the Asian Art Fair held at the Seventh Regiment Armory from March 23 – March 28, 2007. On display will be works by India’s finest established and upcoming contemporary artists such as Atul Dodiya, Arpita Singh, F.N. Souza, Jitish Kallat and Prabir Purkayastha to name a few.

Nataraj Sharma
System Error 4
Media: Multicolour Serigraph
Dimensions: 58.5 x 109
Year: 2006

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