Chicago, Illinois: Mumbai-based artist, Reena Saini Kallat presents her
first US solo exhibition at Walsh Gallery. Kallat's works explore the
vulnerability of the human condition through sculptural paintings,
installation, video and photography, all dating from 2008. The opening
reception will take place Friday September 5th from 5 to 8 pm. The
artist will be present at the opening reception.
The main gallery will feature seven sculptural paintings entitled
Synonym. Composed of several hundred stamps featuring names of
people sandwiched between plexiglass panels, this large-scale portrait
series stands upright like a screen. Written on the stamps in twelve
different Indian languages are the names of people who are
missing—including those missing from natural calamities, riots, and
abductions throughout India. From a distance these painted
rubberstamps come together to form portraits.
Sharing the main space with the Synonym is Lunar Notes, a twelve foot
beaded screen depicting the Taj Mahal. Inspired by grafitti written on
public monuments by young lovers, Kallat creates hundreds of beads
made from bonded marble containing the names of such individuals.
Similar to theTaj Mahal itself, these names are a monument to love.
Another new work, White Heat, refers to the uncertain relationship
between India and Pakistan. Since the sculpture of the ironing board is
oversized, its functionality is questionable. The surface of the piece is
covered by densely packed weapon-like projections. Upon closer
observation, these prove to be—along with more traditional
weapons—truncated rooftops of religious monuments. The fabric
awaiting ironing is embroidered with names of those who have signed
the peace petition between India and Pakistan.
The exhibition will also include recent new media and photographic
work focusing on socio-political themes.
Reena Saini Kallat’s work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally, including important exhibitions of both Indian and
International contemporary art. Venues include the Shanghai Zendai
Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Cultural Center, ZKM (Kalrsruhe),
Beijing MOMA, Busan MoMA, the Culturgest Museum (Lisbon), the
Henie Onstad Kunstcenter (Oslo) among others.