Tara Sabharwal: F L O A T
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2018
From February 18 to March 31, 2018, the Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba is pleased to present the exhibition, Tara Sabharwal — FLOAT. Sixty paintings, watercolors, etchings, and drawing from 2003 to 2017 were on view.
Originally from Delhi, India, Sabharwal has been based in NYC since 1989. She graduated from MS University, Baroda and received a Master's degree at Royal College of Art, London. Over a career that spans 35 years she has held 40 solo shows in Japan, India, Germany, the UK and USA. Sabharwal has also received many awards, including: The British Council, Meehan, and Durham Cathedral fellowships in UK, the Joan Mitchell and Gottlieb Foundation in the USA. Her work is in the collection of the British, Victoria and Albert, DLI, Peabody Essex Museums and the Library of Congress. She has taught at the Guggenheim and Rubin Museums, The Cooper Union, City College of New York, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and the Women's Studio Workshop.
Sabharwal's recent works extend her painted vocabulary further to include the elusive transparent layers creating tension between leaves, bodies and objects scaled minutely or magnified in detail. They are about deep spaces, of mind, of the subconscious, undersea, night sky or about light itself. They are floating spaces with a horizon. They may resemble a meta-scape, but the sheer technical procedure of working through layers of image translation across surfaces and acts of mark-making disallow the mystical: instead they set into motion the poetics of paint and a dialectic between the familiar and the uncanny.
Heritage and influence are most interesting when an artist makes them open questions. In Sabharwal, the flattened perspective and the color palate harken to Mughl and Deccan miniature painting and its later reinterpretation from Baroda or, perhaps, Shanti Niketan Art Schools. The vegetation could be from an Indian jungle like a grove, such as in the Shivaliks. Sabharwal has also been interested in painting made by psychics in a state of trance, and her works posses dream-like qualities and transparent metaphors.
In Sabharwal's own words, "As an artist, my past figurative work has dealt largely with the dream-like interface between the conscious self and its subjective world. My latest non-figurative work returns to open awareness. As I paint, a floating world of colors and shapes emerge and dissolve, transcribing the unseen, unknown within." FLOAT showcases Sabharwal's large scale Monoprint-derived paintings, and includes intimate small watercolors, etchings, and Sumi-e ink drawings.
Kenkeleba programs are made possible, in part, by public funds from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and many generous friends.