In contemporary art, it is no longer easy to read the intentions of the artist, whose often opaque work carries with it a critique of social mores that is at least as important as the visual content of its imagery. Basu does not necessarily affiliate with such procedures; what he does instead is to comment neutrally on a society that is constantly moving, not always forward, but in some direction worth describing. His artistic strength stems from his willingness to accommodate many kinds of expression at once; in a nod toward traditional figuration, he even does sensitive self-portraits — pictures of a slender face seemingly in repose, contented with the world. His current landscapes are literally and figuratively charged with electric power — electronic circuitry, its industrial geometry, figures importantly in many of the paintings. Yet poised in opposition is his sense of historical time, which underlies his forays into a reality whose implications are both private and public — personal in their visual arrangement, but accessible in their reading of the present technological atmosphere. Basu's presentation of current realities is more whimsical than political, but he remains aware of the kinds of problems generated by the kinds of lives we lead today. As a result, his paintings, in their combination of archaic feeling with a sense of contemporary form oriented toward the future, read as maps of desire, in which nostalgia joins with a vision of a brave new world.
Born 1960 in Kerala, India
BFA in Painting, College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum
Post Diploma in Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda
Lives in Mumbai
V. N. Jyothi Basu Portraits and Landscapes on Paper, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai (upcoming)
Visionary Antiquities, Nature Morte, New Delhi and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
‘DWELLING’, 10th Anniversary Show (Part II), curated by Ranjit Hoskote, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai