A solo show by Sudarshan Shetty

Sudarshan Shetty, an avant-garde conceptual artist, consistently explores various sculptural media in his practice while, playing with scale, multiplicity and mechanization. His works reflect various facets of contemporary urban life superimposed with each other which forms an impressive combination of the representational and the abstract.

Love, a new solo show by the artist is an ambitious, attempt by the artist to explore one of the most culturally loaded concepts. The artist has produced some intriguing works in the past. His work during the 1980s comprised of found objects, which he stuck on his canvases and painted over. Over time he got interested in sculpture. During his fellowship at Kanoria Centre of Arts he learnt to handle materials like bronze, stone and fiberglass.

Though formally trained as a painter, he progressively became interested in sculpture and installation, and began to combine his paintings with found objects that he painted. He assembles objects and symbols that are deliberately cryptic in nature. Home (1998), consisting of a fiberglass Brahma bull on a rocking mechanism with a baby clinging to its neck and another balanced at the end of the rocking mechanism, displays poetry and humor.

As stated above, his art-world reflects contemporary urban life. By stimulating the memories of people's childhood and their playful-mind filled with curiosity, he cleverly escapes from the globalization that homogenizes the world and plots to overthrow existing value system.

Sudarshan Shetty has participated in a series of prestigious shows like at Singapore Art Museum (1997), Tate Modern, London (2001), Crosscurrents, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (2002), Paper Moon, Pundole Gallery, Mumbai, (1995) at the Holland Art Gallery, Rotterdam as a part of spirit of India celebrations in Holland (1993) and Embarkations, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (1999) among several others.

He has worked at the Scottish Sculpture workshop, Scotlandunder Mobil Visual Arts project (1996). He was awarded The Charles Wallace award to work at Art Space in Bristol, and has also been part of several group shows. His previous noteworthy show, titled Consanguinity portrayed assemblages of found objects like forceps and scissors, presented in a darkened hall illuminated by pools of light. Red paint, reminiscent of blood, is used in several of his works, highlighting the fragility of life. Evoking danger, violence and death, the works mark a new direction in the artist's work.

As is again evident from his latest show, the artist strives to escape from the social framework, and at the same time, tries to collect scattered fragments of daily life. Through the process of editing and applying these (fragments), he superimposes various facets of contemporary society.

The new show mixes large-scale, mechanized and digitized assemblages with, multiples of small objects that exist at the edge of a casual, almost, mass-produced aesthetic reference to the idea of love. Read as a, letter, signed with love as a closing salutation, the objects show, multiple arenas charged by a sense of love.

These objects explore contrasting and compelling aspects inherent in the utterance, love such as consanguineous connection and elements from multiplications of the self to mass, production, from prosthetic devices to erotic charge. These collectively constitute the inner contradictions associated with the sentiment. For Love is not only all, pervasive, it can also be all consuming, simultaneously creating a void, in place of meaning and creating plenitude in the place of void.

Sudarshan Shetty's show captures this oscillating motion between absence and, plenitude in a powerful way. The solo show titled Love continues at Bodhi Art, Gallery in Mumbai till October 28, 2006.

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