Artist/Curatorial Note

Akbar Padamsee’s drawings probe the raw human body for its containment of the subtle. The method, intuitively but on par with distanced analysis, oscillates between and blends a realistic basis and its aesthetic transformation. One may find in those images strong accents or residues of the descriptive and the flesh-like, through retain only to a degree necessary to grasp the essence. Usually both harsh and tender, they reverberate of an empathic acceptance. Aware of mundane flaws and awkwardness in the sitters, they might occasionally tilt the stress slightly towards a rough, expressionistic mode, yet remaining attuned to others humanity understood now in universal rather than individual terms. He receives it within himself with its warmth, sensuality, fragility, with its simple being, enduring, comfort and loving as well as its uncertainties, sadness and pain. The sensitivity of the artist is so intense that it sublimates the carnal almost into an institution of the spiritual. Here the figure softens and attenuates, breaks up and becomes fragmentary, hesitant under multiple approximating strokes or nearly dissolves. The artist’s alter ego as theorist metamorphoses the partly literal body into a grid-like mesh of lines which nevertheless largely merge back into it. The photograph seen next to the drawings can offer a glimpse into Padamsee’s formal ways. In his characteristically classic manner, from images of an actual, graceful voluptuous woman, they are goaded to turn into aesthetic compositions. Simultaneously abstracted somewhat as an evocation of femininity, they continue to be tactile, sensuous volumes, their sculptural qualities, however, having been overlaid by the graphic design of the falling light and shadows. The fluid duality within this aura holds a premonition and a potential of the immediate-analytical content of the drawings.

-Marta Jakimowicz

Exhibition Details


A. Balasubramaniam, Karl Antao, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Nicola Durvasula, N. S. Harsha, Prabhavati Meppayil, Ramesh Kalkur, Ranjani K. Shettar, Shukla Sawant, Suhasini Kejriwal, Surekha, Valsan Koorma Kolleri

Exhibition Dates

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Thursday, October 6, 2005


Shridharani gallery, New Delhi