Drawing and sculpture are making resurgence and coming into increasing public view. This exhibition is testimony to the fact that drawing and sculpture need not be bland, preachy or prim. The three artists shown here treat their subjects in a speculative, thought-provoking, nicely-nervy manner. We have moved ahead from drawing as a ‘verb’ as Richard Serra called it in 1977 — referring to art that is primarily about process, materials, surfaces, or tools — to drawing that is fundamentally a noun standing on its own. This exhibition combines fantasy and imagination with romanticism, conceptualism, graphic novels and illustration. It is where drawing and sculpture come together as a whole.
Rotterdam-based Juul Kraijer nests her figures in different situations. Almost mirroring her self, her charcoal and ink drawings shift in and out of the environment they inhabit — in one of her drawings the body merges with a tree as if revealing the artist's own yearning to be one with the ecology. Kraijer has committed herself to the discipline of drawing and much of her philosophy towards life is expressed in that medium. But she also explores the possibilities of transferring her thought process to sculpture — particularly heads — such as the bronze shown here, on which several smaller almost almond-shaped heads rest. Are these ghosts or cancerous growths? The artist attempts to create a dialogue between fullness, emptiness and Mythology.
N.N. Rimzon pays obeisance to the worker — the one who turns earth into gold. His imagery, with suggestions of an elliptical story woven within a circle, is always potent, always incisive, but never inappropriate or exaggerated. At the centre of his circle stands a figure praying or offering thanks for his harvest. A harvest not necessarily of the tools that constitute the circle but that have been instrumental in blessing him with a safe booty. With the liberal use of sharp instruments, it won’t be far fetched to say that Rimzon’s renderings are inscytheful, cutting through our defenses. The artist originates from Kerala, one of the first states in the world to democratically elect a Communist government. And so it is natural that the political charge is reflected in his work and narrative. It would be interesting to see how the works in the current exhibition — which were made in the early ‘90s — would have been done now. For instance, would the artist’s tools of nature be replaced by mechanical ones? Not necessarily, because Rimzon's concerns are primordial and that can only be expressed through the use of basic objects and elements.
Tushar Joag's suite of nine detailed pen and ink imperial drawings are the direct reflection of a despondent individual who sees his world disappearing before him. For someone who has had a fondness for comic books it is only natural that Joag’s drawings draw inspiration from graphic novels and are rendered in that style. And although most of the objects in the works may be situated in desolate surroundings, they are entirely from our urban detritus. These drawings — which embody parts of sculptural ‘sets’ which were made and later destroyed by the artist — are apocalyptic, reminding one of Tarkovsky's films, particularly Solaris and The Sacrifice. Like Tarkovsky, Joag too has his doubts about the progress Mankind is making — particularly in the use of technology. His landscapes seem to be distraught by war, even though there aren't any dead bodies strewn around. There is, however, an eerie calm typical of a posthumous battlefield. The drawings almost seem to suggest that in space there is place for an argument. But that that space may be elusive to ambitious Mankind.
Juul Kraijer, N.n. Rimzon, Tushar Joag