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“They are moody but with a black humour that crackles at the margins. They appear to speak about states of loneliness and isolation, remoteness, anxiety and withdrawal and are dense with the atmosphere of threat and intrigue.”

(From Grant Watson’s essay for “Classified, For Your Eyes Only”, on the paintings of C.K. Rajan)

The curation of 12 small paintings by C.K. Rajan that we present here, although painted between the years 2013-17, could not be more relevant today.

Rajan has always been an artist who has worked modestly with whatever is at hand. The current paintings too achieve an affective intensity with limited means. Sometimes the application of the background is rough, expressive and improvised while at other times it is carefully executed in layers to produce an opaque depth and richness of tone. The figurative elements consist mostly of singular details, beautifully rendered, sketchy, but at the same time just about legible as something: a figure, a structure, or a word. Within these simply executed but evocative scenes, human activity appears to be singular and diminutive but nevertheless resonant.

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