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A minimalist Mumbai

Using geometric lines and planes, artist Niyeti Chadha’s latest installation, Drawing Notes, recreates the city’s physical spaces into constructs as observed by its dwellers

Starting today, one can experience a reconstructed city during the walkthrough of artist Niyeti Chadha’s latest installation, Drawing Notes, at south Mumbai’s Studio-X gallery. Borrowing from the philosophy of the French painter Maurice Denis, who once said, ‘a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude, an anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order’, Chadha’s artwork adorning the walls of the gallery is a minimalist construct featuring lines, planes and tones.

Drawing Notes exhibition
Drawing Notes exhibition

Though not a pure reconstruction of Mumbai, Chadha has attempted to recreate the images of buildings, parks, squares and promenades as seen by its inhabitants. She explains, “The fleeting landscape one observes through the local train, polished high rises that emerge behind the old wadis or the Victorian promenade lined with a spread of used books, often evoke a reaction and become the point of departure. The work is a spatial narrative that one builds through daily conversations with the city.”

Images from the Drawing Notes exhibition
Images from the Drawing Notes exhibition

Using materials like masking tape, pens and graphite, the artist has given a new form to the photographs that she clicked for the installation. “Often, I use a camera to freeze the arrangements. By selective focusing, the three dimensional spaces are abstracted into two-dimensional one. The abstracted image is reduced to pure constructs and its function in the work is formal with little or no association to its prior identity,” she says.

On: Till January 31
Time: 10 am to 7 pm (excluding Sundays and holidays)
At: Studio-X, fourth floor, Kitab Mahal, 192, DN Road, Fort.

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