I want to extend the end of a material: Vanita Gupta

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The artist’s mixed media works are exhibited at the Kalakriti Art Gallery in Hyderabad

The artist’s mixed media works are exhibited at the Kalakriti Art Gallery in Hyderabad

Artist Vanita Gupta’s first solo exhibition, The Floating Cloud, is a collection of her latest paintings, sculptures, installations and videos developed over two years. Currently on display at the Kalakriti Art Gallery in Hyderabad, they reflect his work in different media.

The title, The Floating Cloud, comes from a poem she wrote in her mother tongue, Hindi. “I just put my thoughts down and the title came out.”

Minimal forms

Artist Vanita Gupta

Artist Vanita Gupta | Photo credit: special arrangement

His ink drawings have compelling, well-defined forms depicting symmetrical balance on acid-free handmade paper. “My aesthetic is defined by precise and minimal forms. I don’t want to have an extra line in my work. I believe in a burning need to create neither more nor less, allowing my forms to remain in an adequate and appropriate existence”, explains the artist, originally from Mumbai but based in Bangalore. Speaking about the sense of movement and balance in her paintings, she says, “While I am in the creative process, the whole effort is to arrive at an indisputable finished form. My canvases are made with a single stroke, the brush only leaves the canvas if the shape is complete; there is no margin for correction. I feel like I’m on the edge of the abyss, like an acrobat trying to jump through a ring to grab the rope. Even a small imbalance could be fatal.

Works by Vanita Gupta

Works by Vanita Gupta | Photo credit: special arrangement

For someone who has always worked in black and white (“I feel like they are strong, independent, self-contained colors”), Vanita’s sculptures with a touch of gold have a hypnotic quality. She likes gold as a monolithic object. “I tried to bring this sensibility to this show where solid gold objects intersect with my black shapes. They seem to bring out the best in each other,” she says. Her foray into sculpture occurred while she was sculpting with paper. “I want to stretch the extremity of the material and explore it to its limits.”

In the gallery (the exhibition is in place until September 10) are models beautifully draped in silk saris that she painted and created exclusively for the Kalakriti Art Gallery. Speaking of this “wearable art,” she says, “Each saree is a unique, signed edition. I want the person draping it to feel that exclusivity. “

functional art

Paintings and sculptures by Vanita Gupta on display at the gallery

Paintings and sculptures by Vanita Gupta exhibited at the gallery | Photo credit: special arrangement

On her date with functional art, Vanita reveals that she is moved by different materials and “tempted to try things.” She had this ‘deep desire to transform her paintings into a drapery’. Calling it a natural journey that an artist goes through, she says, ‘The shapes of these sarees were first painted on canvas. These paints had a capacity for transformation. These floating shapes on my canvas sometimes teased me, as if they wanted to come out of my canvas and drape themselves over me. She did a lot of experimentation in textile printing technology to “study what kind of fabric her shapes would like to adhere to.”

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