IAAC Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2013

Sangeeta Reddy
Sangeeta Reddy
Life cycles have a way of re-occurring. Only, they never return in perfect circles, but in wobbly, misshapen ellipses, unexpectedly, unpredictably, and yet with a certain rhythm. The shape has always been present in my work from the earliest tentative explorations into abstract shapes.

Monotypes are everything that is direct, spontaneous, unexamined, unbidden, and confident, gushing on their own, in that moment when creating is merely a channel for something beyond the conscious. The collage is everything the monotype is not: thoughtful, considered and meandering; it is what seeps quietly beneath the surface, conscious and aware. But above all, it is the thinnest of skins - fragile, absorbent and tenacious.

For this new body of work that I have come to think of the ellipse series, I worked back into the monotypes. In a careful, deliberative process, I laid down thin skins of tissue, of paper, of cloth, making marks, erasing, red-defining, re-aligning, sometimes with charcoal and paint, sometimes thick, sometimes, thin; transparent and opaque. The more I concealed, the more what was revealed became mysterious and charged. To heighten the contemplative quality of these collages, I superimposed a neutral palette on the vivid inks and active surface of the underlying monotype.
Born the 23rd of May, 1955, Sangeeta Reddy is a painter who lives and works in Denver, Colorado and in Hyderabad India. She's lived and breathed the arts from a very young age - her maternal grandmother was a contemporary of the classical vocalist Kesarbai Kerkar, her grandfather a connoisseur of the arts, her mother a long time disciple of Ravi Shankar and her father, a pictorial photographer. Sangeeta chose to follow her own path into the visual and literary arts.

With seven years of undergraduate work in fine art in India and the US, and a bachelor's from Bombay University in English literature and Philosophy, in 1985, Sangeeta's work has developed into a highly individual style of mixed media abstract expressionistic paintings and monotypes on both canvas and paper. The deconstructed calligraphy and vibrant and nuanced color ever present in her work gives the work the flavor of India in concert with a western restraint.

Known primarily for her mixed media collages on paper and canvas, her abstract work was conceived from a challenge to visually parallel Sankara's idea of Brahman in Advait philosophy and has now evolved into a formal language of deconstructed Devanagari calligraphy. Her artistic influences range widely from Indian weaving and textiles to Picasso, Rothko and De Kooning, Tapies and Diebenkorn and include a wide range from Impressionism, to Modernism, to Abstract Expressionism.
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