NEUMARKT, Hall 11.3 | Stand B17
April 19 – 22
Thomas Erben Gallery is pleased to present new and recent works on paper by Mumbai-based artist Aditi Singh, the first time her work will be on display in Germany.
A meditative and meticulously skilled artist, Singh’s work in ink, graphite, and charcoal are “about extremes, of allowing paint to speak of densities and vulnerabilities, of illusion and presence.”[i] The works on display are mostly executed in ink, a medium the artist embraces for its mutability, both in terms of materiality as well as its possibility to carry content. Planned and executed over extended periods of time, Singh layers, drips, and builds ink in exacting, aqueous tableaus—their seemingly improvisational and accidental appearances being an illusion. The artist keeps a log of each work, scheduling and charting daily applications of ink as the drawings grow in size, color, density, and luminosity.
In contrast to East Asian Ink painting, which has developed from writing and representation, freeing itself only recently from this tradition by emphasizing materiality and exploring non-representation, Singh’s practice has always been abstract. Using cumulative and repetitive processes, Singh is working towards building light through density, achieving an abstraction that is not just visual in the Western sense, but carries the affect of Eastern disciplines that inform her: philosophical texts, Vedic hymns, yoga practice. It is this interdependence between thought and material expression which marks Singh’s work as unique, even in the wider context of contemporary ink painting.
Despite their modest means—ink on paper–the exhibited works allow for a vast range of responses. “Perhaps painting from all time and all cultures has only every had one theme, that of mutability. Love and loss, innocence and experience, appearance and reality, devotion and desperation, attention and absence; all these themes are nothing less-or more- than mutability. And that is precisely what ink allows me to do. Change direction.”[ii]
Born 1976 in Assam, India, Aditi Singh’s works have been exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions. This gallery showed Singh’s solo exhibition, All that is left behind, in 2016, and most recently presented her in a collaboration with German artist Olaf Holzapfel at Art Cologne 2018. Other exhibitions include: DECK, Singapore; Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, India; SOMA Drawing Center, Seoul, South Korea; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia; and Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. Singh’s works are held in several private and public collections, including the Bob Davoli Collection and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. She studied painting at the New York Studio School, subsequently earning an M.F.A. at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. Singh currently lives and works in Mumbai.
[i] Aditi Singh. In an email to the gallery, April 11, 2018.