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Jitish Kallat (Indian, b.1974)
LOT ID: 97915
Covering Letter 5, 2004

Acrylic, Mixed Media, on canvas
72 х 48 in. (182.88 x 121.92 cm.)
Signed, and dated, verso.
Lot description
"Covering Letter 5" (2004) is a stunning example of the large-scale paintings that have made Jitish Kallat one of the most famous and internationally recognized Indian Contemporary artists working today. The use of acrylic and mixed media here is a signature of Kallat, as is the conflation of graffiti style figural representation, combined with the use of neo-pop colors, and outlines of black and abstract patterns. The image of a man at center is repeated four times, each image larger than the next, in a heavy black outline and surrounded by red and white check pattern that fills the negative space. A floating gasoline pump in purple also makes an appearance, a direct commentary on the world's oil and gasoline consumption that is responsible for much of the war and aggression in the Middle East.

At the lower right corner a small white rectangle contains an outline of the iconic photo of Satar Jabar, one of the prisoners subjected to torture at Abu Ghraib prison.This is just a small touch to the painting, almost unnoticeable, yet its ghost-like appearance in such an otherwise visually intense painting is the type of detail and subject matter that makes Kallat such a talented artist.

This work measures 72 x 48 inches (182.9 x 121.9 cm) and is custom framed in a steel frame made specifically for the work in India. Please Note: the seller agrees to pay $500 toward shipping costs in the event of a sale.


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Jitish Kallat (b.1974) uses a multitude of media to represent, observe, and honor his hometown of Mumbai, India. Through painting, sculpture, photography, and installation, Kallat produces intricate portraits of the city’s urban environment that simultaneously reflect the spirit and culture of its inhabitants. Kallat graduated in 1996 with a BFA in painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. Since then, Kallat has garnered international critical acclaim, winning the Indo-American Society’s Young Achiever’s Award and the Provogue Society Young Achiever’s Award. His work has been featured in museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the world, with recent solo shows being held at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, India (2011); the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2010); Haunch of Venison, London, UK (2010); Galerie Arndt, Berlin, Germany (2010); Haunch of Venison, Zurich, Switzerland (2008); and Arario Beijing, China (2007). The artist was just shortlisted January 2012 to be amongst the top 3 finalists for the 2012 SKODA prize, an award of 1 Million INR, recognizing the top Indian Contemporary artists and their recent works.
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Covering Letter 5 by Jitish Kallat
  • Covering Letter 5 by Jitish Kallat
  • Covering Letter 5 by Jitish Kallat
  • Covering Letter 5 by Jitish Kallat
  • Covering Letter 5 by Jitish Kallat
  • Covering Letter 5 by Jitish Kallat
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