Unfoldings: The Route Map Of Experience

by Jayashree Chakravarty

Presented by Akar Prakar, with Asia Week New York (Online, March 11 – 20)

Venue Partner: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
March 11 – April 15, 10:30 am – 6:30 pm, Mondays closed
KNMA-NOIDA, Sector-126
(Entry from Gate No. 1)

Roobina Karode, Director and Chief Curator of KNMA, who has previously curated the practice of Jayashree Chakravarty at the Musée des arts asiatiques, Nice, and at the Musee Guimet in Paris, writes, “Jayashree’s works are experiential – they invite touch, the immersion of the body and senses into the enveloping/unfolding monumental form. In this work done in 2002-3, she creates her handmade paper scroll stretched long to paint on an expansive continuous surface. The nearly sixty feet shape shifting wall-like structure made from the composite of different kinds of paper and fabric pieces, superimposed and glued, invites us, the viewers, into its enveloping space with an interior chamber. The work gradually reveals its various layers and overlapping imagery of the flux of life around us.”

Karode adds, “It is indeed fascinating to see her work with a mobile vantage point, animating the gestural flow of whirling spaces painted on both sides of the scroll. What is worth noting in this particular work is how she has assimilated raw textures and colours of building material – stone, brick and mortar as well as those of earth, soot, limonite and red ochre found in natural shelters.”

KNMA Chairperson Kiran Nadar says: “I really enjoy the way Jayashree responds and creates spaces in and around her work. Her imagery is evocative and affective. It draws the viewer into her multi-layered world. One is lost in the moving and swirling of images that seem to rise and collapse in her monumental scrolls, a remarkable invention in her distinct art practice.”

In the words of artist Jayashree Chakravarty, “This particular work, when I see it now, after almost eighteen years, I am pleasantly surprised because of the continuous imagery that I spread out in a very painterly way. The idea I worked with, was that I wanted to paint a land that can always stand in front of me. I was immersed in the act of painting and drawing simultaneously, indulging the over-all surface and its texture, overlapping close and distant views, memories echoing words in the encircling form. In making this, I wanted to create a kind of an interior space, an evocation of a sheltering cave or a womb.”

The exhibition is presented by Akar Prakar, India, in collaboration with Asia Week New York (online), and KNMA, as venue partner. Says Akar Prakar Director Reena Lath: “We are extremely thankful to Mrs. Kiran Nadar and KNMA for facilitating the showing and display of this monumental work of Jayashree Chakravarty. The sister work of the installation at KNMA (the artist has made only 2, a pair of such huge scrolls in her career) is currently being shown at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, USA.”

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is also featuring Jayashree Chakravarty in Memento, the inaugural exhibition of the museum’s new contemporary art permanent collection gallery. Speaking about Jayashree’s work, Abby Chen, Head of Contemporary Art, Asian Art Museum, comments: “The work in our collection, titled Personal Space, was created during the same period as Unfoldings: The Route Map of Experience, and similarly stands as a testament to Chakravarty’s ability to create richly-layered, map-like surfaces and radically transform our experience of the surrounding space. With these two works, Chakravarty crosses boundaries — the boundaries between artistic forms, between external and internal, as well as between times and places, near and far – reminding us that the world is full of possibility, even with the restrictions of COVID-19.”

About Jayashree Chakravarty

Jayashree Chakravarty (b. 1956) studied first at Visva Bharati, amidst the sprawling natural environs of Santiniketan, and then at the Faculty of Fine Arts at MS University, Baroda, where she was exposed to an urban sensibility. From 1993-95, she was artist-in-residence at Aix en Provence, where she was influenced in the formative years of her practice by the French movement Supports/Surfaces, especially the work of Claude Viallat.

Inventing her own creative techniques, using organic material and varied kinds of paper, her installations in the form of paper scrolls remain unique in their conceptions and execution.

The artist lives and works in Kolkata.

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