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Traversing time

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

This presentation brings together Jitish Kallat’s vast oeuvre spanning painting, photography, drawing, video and sculptural installations with some works dating back as far as 1992. The exhibition is spread across two buildings of the NGMA – the ornate Jaipur House, originally built as the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1936, and the museum’s new wing constructed in 2009. 
Kallat’s work over the last two-decades reveals his continual engagement with the ideas of time, sustenance, recursion and historical recall to recurrent deliberations on the cosmopolis and the distant cosmos. His works traverse varying focal lengths and time-scales. From close details of the skin of a fruit or the brimming shirt-pocket of a passerby, it might expand to register dense people-scapes, or voyage into inter-galactic vistas. Some works might be meditations on the transient present while others reach back into history and overlay the past onto the present through citations of momentous historical utterances.
The exhibition doesn’t follow a linear chronological trail; artworks from various moments in his career are brought into unlikely juxtapositions to source new meanings and forge fresh relationships. For instance in his very first solo exhibition back in 1997, a suite of large-format paintings and small drawings titled ‘P.T.O.’, already had enshrined in them the themes that would persist throughout his work in the years to come. The exhibition includes these as well as a selection of his earliest works made during his days as a student. These older works co-habit a larger conversation set up by some of his most important and widely exhibited works such as Epilogue, Covering Letter, the trilogy of Public Notice works, Aquasaurus and Circa amongst others. Many of these works will be seen in Delhi for the very first time.
Here After Here is the largest and most wide-ranging exhibition of Kallat’s work to date. It brings together works spanning a time frame of almost twenty-five years, exploring the many processes, themes and ideas that reappear throughout his artistic practice. 
To commemorate this significant juncture, a specially commissioned monograph (146 pages in English) published by the National Gallery of Modern Art will also serve as an anthology of essays on Kallat’s works. Contributors include: Catherine David, Ranjit Hoskote, Peter Nagy, Deepak Ananth, David Elliott, Susan Leask, Natalie King and Homi K. Bhabha. 

About the artist: Jitish Kallat was born in 1974 in Mumbai, the city where he continues to live and work. Kallat’s work has been exhibited and collected widely in public institutions and private collections. Recent solo exhibitions include the CSMVS Museum, Mumbai (2016); Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2015); San Jose Museum of Art (2013); the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2012); Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2011); and Art Institute of Chicago (2010). He has also exhibited in numerous group exhibitions at venues including Tate Modern, London (2001); ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe (2007); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2007); Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2008); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2008); Jean Tinguley Museum, Basel (2011); and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2016).  He has participated in a number of international biennale exhibitions including the Havana Biennale (2000) and the Gwangju Biennale (2006), and was the curator and artistic director of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014).  Kallat’s ongoing solo exhibition titled Covering Letter at the Philadelphia Museum of Art closes on March 5, 2017.
Kallat is represented by Nature Morte, Delhi and Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai in India and Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris. 
Catherine David is a leading French art historian, museum director and one of the most important curators working today. She studied Linguistics, Literature and History of Art at the Université de la Sorbonne and the École du Louvre in Paris. From 1982 to 1990 David was Curator at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou and from 1990 to 1994 Curator at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris. 
From 1994 to 1997 David served as Artistic Director for documenta X in Kassel, Germany (1997), and from 1998 she has been Director of the long-term project Contemporary Arab Representations which began at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona. Between 2002 and 2004 David was Director of the Witte de With Center of Contemporary Art in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. She currently works as Deputy Director of Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.