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Manish Nai

Manish Nai, Untitled I, 2016

June 14 - October 8, 2017
Fondation Fernet Branca, Saint-Louis, France
 
The abstract, formally spare and physically compacted work of Manish Nai marks him
out as an exception in the current context of Indian art, given the representational bias
so salient in diverse ways in the work of many of his contemporaries. In a culture of
iconophilia where the symbolic as such continues to hold the collective imagination in
thrall, the work of a young artist concentrated almost exclusively on the material
qualities of the different substances that he has elected to deploy must appear as an
anomaly. But in the circumstances, this seeming incongruity is precisely a gauge of his
independence, a token of the faith he keeps in the dictates of his own sensibility and
tastes. His abiding interest has been in discovering the abstract dimensions of form
through the physical manipulation of matter (jute or burlap, newspapers, old clothes,
used cardboard), in exploring how process is intimately and visibly part and parcel of the
making and the end result, how control in the handling is continually countered by the
vagaries of chance.
 
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