we are all islands is Sharmistha Ray’s sixth solo exhibition. Comprising painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and installations, Ray’s new body of work marks a new conceptual direction for the artist, unveiling a bold merger of concepts and practices she has been experimenting with over the last few years. Nine Fish Art Gallery, 1 October – 6 November 2016. Mumbai, India
On the Seashore of Endless Worlds is Sharmistha Ray’s first painted sculptural installation. Inspired by the eponymous poem by Rabindranath Tagore, Ray transforms the hard industrial metal of steel into a timeless work of art. Commissioned by JSW for the occasion of Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2015, 7-15 February, Mumbai.
The selection of La Mer (2014) and The Essence of a Rose #2 (2013) reveals a trajectory of Sharmistha Ray’s formal and conceptual concerns highlighting the connection between gendered and organic representations and their deeper philosophical roots that point to the transitory nature of experience. New Delhi, 29 January – 1 February, 2015.
In Search of Rainbows (2014) is a new painting in a rich impasto that employs the color spectrum to open up new aesthetic, formal and conceptual directions for the artist. Symbolizing unity in diversity, the rainbow is also a universal signifier of hope and freedom for people around the world. Studio painting, Mumbai, 2014.
Cursory Glances is a site-specific installation with painted elements in which the erotic body is magnified for display in a commercial shop window. In a direct, yet understated, challenge to the illusion of contemporary beauty – bound as it is with material culture of finery and fashion – is the erotic body, unadorned, with just its skin on display. Commissioned by Palladium Mall. Mumbai, 2014.
Return to Innocence is a 16-foot painting that interprets the theme of spiritual awakening akin to moving through a panorama of color and sensation: from a deep, dark forest of broad gestures and sombre hues to a bright, neon-esque color field of quick inflections of paint. Private Commission, Mumbai, 2014.
Higher State of Consciousness is a diptych oil on canvas painting in which the artist expresses a meditative state as one of complex polarities that coexist harmoniously, and in eternal balance. Sahasrāra and Svādhiṣṭhāna chakras are represented by an associative chromatic spectrum of indigo and yellow-orange, respectively.
Liberation is a 3 min video in which the artist renders a representation of the female body with charcoal and ink washes in a continuous, hypnotic 3-hour effort synthesized into 3 minutes. Capturing Sharmistha’s movement, a camera embeds you with her in the space as a viewer and voyeur to experience an artistic expression of feminine revival. Produced by Gaysi Family. Mumbai, August 2014.
Sweet Surrender comprises of recent paintings that canvas Ray’s concern with the interstitial spaces between abstraction and figuration, returning again to the idiomatic landscape as primary subject. A collective series of non-literal events, moods and spaces together form a mnemonic archive for the spirit of a place. Exhibition at Galerie Steph. Singapore, 14 January – 01 March 2014.
Touched by Bhupen is a group exhibition that commemorates the artist Bhupen Khakhar’s work and continuing relevance on the tenth anniversary of his death. It brings together works specially made for the occasion by 26 artists whose lives have been touched by Khakhar in some way. Exhibition at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke and Galerie Max Mueller. Mumbai, 30 November 2013 – 06 January 2014.
Reflections + Transformations is an exploration of the metaphysical emergence of the autonomous female in transitioning states between abstraction and the figure. Alternating between layers of ambiguity and suggestion, the reflexive voice emerges at times in the form of naked flesh, and at other times, it is fugitively buried under paint. Exhibition at Aicon Gallery. New York, 24 October – 30 November 2013.
States of Arousal mark the artist’s return to figuration after more than a decade. The ubiquitous and solitary female nude depicted in graphic tones departs from the overt sensuality of the paintings, laterally entering into zones of realism. Exhibited as part of Solo Exhibition at Aicon Gallery. New York, 24 October – 30 November 2013.
OUT/OFF, an alternative space group exhibition, exhibiting artists engaging with Indian textiles. The set of works by the artist, the original ‘Crushed Flowers’ (2012) and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (2012), blur the boundaries between painting and textiles with their color patterning, surface qualities and tactility. Exhibition organized by Chameleon Art Projects. Mumbai, 27 February – 31 March 2013.
The Valley of Eternal Blessings (2012) exists in the liminal space in which “Occidental” and “Oriental” philosophical and spiritual ideas of an afterlife, overlap. While a controversial subject both from the viewpoint of science and ethics, this painting re-imagines the afterlife domain as a valley landscape of ethereality and darkness, but infused with light-filled transcendence. New Delhi, 25-29 January 2013.
Their Blood Is On The Wall (2012) was a one-day site-specific project in a derelict warehouse. The concept driving the work was to insert ‘aesthetic’ into the post-functional, turning a weight-bearing structure into a momentary work of art. The horrific Connecticut shootings served as motivation for the piece, engaging the idea of painting as social metaphor. Organized by Godrej India Culture Lab. Mumbai, 5 December 2012.
The Infinite Dome (2012) takes the snow-laden landscape of the Alpine mountains as a starting point and transposes the Montblanc five-point star logo upon it in a way such that both layers synthesize into one plane, creating both a physical and metaphorical unity in form and meaning. This piece was commissioned by the Montblanc Young Artist Worldwide Patronage Programme and is now a part of their permanent collection.
The Erotic Impulse #2 (2012) plumbs the notion of sexuality through the idiom of abstraction, countering the figurative tradition. Oil paint stands in for living and breathing skin, that expands and contracts with each encounter. Group exhibition at Taj Lands End sponsored by Citibank. Mumbai, 31 March – 1 April 2012.
hidden geographies references historical styles like Romanticism and Impressionism and the lyrical agency of female vanguard painters, while positing a contrary paradigm to Western art historical ideals. Ray’s metascapes are suspended in time between mythos and reality exposing an intimate topography of the subconscious mind. Solo Exhibition at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke. Mumbai, 18 January – 18 February 2012.