12.01.23 to 30.01.23

Visual Art has always taken inspiration from Architecture. The group exhibition showcases how today’s artists are reflecting this age-old alliance. Architectonics features artworks by artists - Joydip Acharjee, Sharad Sonkusale, Anil Thambai, & Narayan Biswas. Each artist presents a subtly different dynamic between the individual, art and architecture, as they invite you to imaginatively look at, walk around, and walk through their constructions. The inception of physical architecture often starts from the development of a two-dimensional visual language. The combination of materials, weight, light and form, are all potentials that can be greater than the sum of its parts leading to the creation of tension and mystery. It is in this mystery through which our imagination is activated, enabling us to relate, contextualize and go beyond our physical experience.


Born in 1980, Anil Thambai held his initial years of visual art praxis in the serene nature of Kerala. Hailing from a family of masons, Anil while studying Masters in Baroda further pursued his fascination with the human behavior to build something. Thambai’s work captures his nostalgic encounter through monumental spaces, Intricately rendered using graphite onto the surfaces such as paper and wood using slow and meditative pace. His series A Nap Under the Cloud depicts classical architectural elements followed by the details of an unusual perspective of the monuments. “My works are basically an investigation into the idea of what constitutes the idea of architecture in history.”- says Anil. For Thambai any architecture is a monument , memorializing the forgotten labour which defines our inhabitations.


Baroda based Narayan Biswas’s Virasat the history and the legacy of the craftsmanship engaged with living memories of the past in the present. Biswas’s sculptural work is an artistic response to the urban architectural developments which are contrary to the notions of formations, motifs, values and heritage. The sculpture compels us to consider whether architecture can be defined by its functionality: the experiencer's ability to interact with it. Even in its title, Virasat foregrounds this dialogue between viewer and experiencer, spectacle and environment, artistic and architectural design. “The works also bring the idea of personal and the uses of artistic labour to question various divisions of minor and major art from both colonial and post colonial context” - says Biswas.


Trained initially in Tripura & later in Kolkata, Joydip Acharjee conceives architectural elements in painting as a vehicle for playing with light and shadow. In the series Anatomy of Structures, the buildings in the artworks , reflect and absorb the atmospheric light. The sunlight in Charjee’s Sky & Heave series, albeit unseen, is a central presence in the work. Hence leaving behind the etched ostensible contours. Joydip’s work has been featured in CIMA (Centre of International Modern Art). His series is a creative expression of lines, shapes, colors, and architecture. Joydip embraces the process of emphasizing architectural details by reimagining whole or partial structures. His work captures the rhythmic shadows falling across a façade, the structures we build and what those structures can reveal about conditions and shifts in our culture over time.


While many of our artists create faithful representations of architectural structures, others use architecture as a springboard into abstraction. Sharad Sonkusale became fascinated with the urban landscape while training at JJ School of Art in Mumbai. His works in this selection, Connecting with the Unseen and Stillness II, explores how the individual creates and interacts with the metropolis. Urban Suspension deconstructs urbanism, presenting a chaotic assemblage of abstracted materials, where emerging shapes suggest the potential for future order, design and construction. Through his work, we come to understand that all architectural structures – all aspects of our built environment – are always, by necessity, in flux. Sharad’s works narrates about the spaces that are specifically designed to accommodate the temporary and embrace change as a constant state.


The collection speaks to dynamics in our built environment that we already understand and consider on a daily basis. The artists make these dynamics visible to the audience that does not think about architectural space in this way. Many people go about their lives, hardly considering the nature of the spaces in which they work, drive, sleep, and play. For those people, architecture becomes a sort of background, constantly impacting their experience, but invisibly. The architecture is the actual limit of the exhibition. It starts where the art ends. Dealing with architecture is probably a fantasy for many artists, because it holds a certain symmetry - a living environment, but also as an object that creates connections, generates energy or provides a certain service.


Davangi Pathak