Talwar Gallery is delighted to announce an exhibition of major sculptural works by Navjot. The sculptural ensemble on exhibit presents monumental but enigmatic human figures bathed in bright indigo.
The almost theatrical setting alludes to a performance in progress in which the female figures exude confidence, dynamism and authority in contrast to their leisurely passive male subjects. Carved from solid blocks of teak wood, their iconic presence and resolute gaze is instrumental in subverting the narrative of patriarchal dominance and transcending the modes of art practices. While drawing on India’s rich heritage of sculptural traditions, Navjot rejects the idealized female body persistent with the male view and imbues the unfeminine and brawny bodies of her women with stability, tenacity and power.
As eminent art historian and critic Geeta Kapur elicits, "Navjot has clearly retracked the familiar terrain of social injustice and violence, transmuting her concerns to the intimate, often hidden private lives of women. These works are clearly about the language of eroticism, of the male gaze that still relegates women to sexual object, of hollow, unfulfilled lives and of female sexuality as the site of as much pain as pleasure. …..Narrative controversy blends with regional themes and a naturalistic aesthetic in rough‐hewn, agile bodies that are awkwardly and attenuatedly voluptuous. The figures carved in huge chunks of wood return to and emerge from nature even as they entrust us with imaginative reassessment of German Expressionist sculpture and African and Oceanic Art. Original departures and lively open structural forms have been created as if in appreciation of the power and empathy of tribal art forms. This in turn lends itself well to the pictorial convention of communicating the complex thinking and emotion inherent in the feminine predicament – the subject of carvings. And to testing the limits of making pathos manifest. In this balance struck between the work as empathic representation and as autonomous formal creation, lies the essence of its expression.”