T. V. Santhosh
Nature Morte
A-1 Neeti Bagh, New Delhi
  24th  January - 16th February, 2008



T.V. Santhosh

Preview: 9th – 11th January 2008 at The Guild, Mumbai.

Reception with the artist – Wednesday 9th January 2008, 7.00 pm at The Guild  

The Guild Art Gallery is pleased to Preview a part of T V Santhosh’s latest oeuvre of works in Mumbai from January 9th to 11th 08’. The full exhibition will be held at Nature Morte, Delhi in collaboration with The Guild. T V Santhosh acquired his Bachelors in Painting from the Visva Bharati University at Shantiniketan in 1994 and his Masters in Sculpture from the MS University in Baroda in 1997. T.V.Santhosh has been part of several group shows in the United States, India, Italy, UK and New York. Some of his most promising and accomplished shows of the year 2007 are ‘YEAR 07’ London, SH Contemporary, ’Continuity and Transformation’ Museum show promoted by Provincia di Milano, Italy and Aftershock’ at Sainsbury Centre, Contemporary Art Norwich, England in 2007. 

T.V Santhosh’s paintings have earned him front-place amongst the generation of Indian artists that emerged during the late 1990’s. In the earlier years Santhosh produced drawings and than moved over to works with historical references. Then came images of war – photographs of war have played a very significant role in formulating Santhosh’s language and from there on he has also extended his craftsmanship to sculpture. What strikes us immediately about T.V.Santhosh is his grasp of the crises of our globalized present and his taste for translating current events, even as they unfold. His works can at first sight appear cryptic and contained, but a closer examination reveals its provocative use of images, laid out for viewing with seemingly deceptive ease. His art is attentive to the specific idioms of contemporary global conflict, to the diabolical pact between knowledge and terror and the skewed antagonism between puissant globality and weakened locality. One chooses to speak most extensively about the works of Santhosh because of the manner in which he subverts the individual and the received image to create a strong historical resonance.

About his present body of works T.V. Santhosh says “ I still remember vividly a dream that I had seen almost two decades before. Then, It seemed a strange and cryptic dream, wherein I see myself running frantically over a thick sea wall against the roaring sea, screaming all the way saying “run, run, the end of world is near!” I could see dark thunderclouds rolling over the horizon, turning the land darker. It was a sleepy and remote village; people were yet to sense the terrible heat of the breaking news .I could hear the clamor of public announcement by taxies fitted with mikes, cutting across the village cautioning a massive evacuation. I could see a tint of angst already cast in the eyes of my childhood friends who were playing pebbles in the street near the sea.  Now, this dream does not sound any more cryptic. I was probably playing a role of a weather forecast man. These works titled “countdown’ reflects visions of a weather man’s turbulent thoughts entangled with history of violence and environmental politics. It is about the Scars of radiations and Prophesies about an impending doom, where man’s real enemy is the man himself.”

His art is lucidly assertive and yet its significance is withheld, allowing it to pool and cloud over in mystery. One can treat his works as conceptualist devices intended to break down the simple binaries through which we perceive our complex and multi-layered environment. This distinctive stylistic treatment, which makes Santhosh’s paintings recognizable without being predictable, subsumes an incremental transfiguration of material, by degree and detail, which makes it all the more shocking for its unobtrusiveness. It is this mysterious undertone, which prevents Santhosh’s works from being generic. As global elegies, annotations to an era of epic-scale turbulence, his works are incomparably more resonant than reportage. While they share the same subject matter, the treatment of his works elevates them beyond limitations. Santhosh distances us from everydayness by characterizing the present with means of a stylistic treatment that plays up instabilities in his subject matter, accentuates the dramatic potential, amplifies the portentous charge of the events he describes and dreams of, thus invoking the unanticipated at the heart of the apparent. 

Santhosh’s art has the drama of lighting with deft, which is not an instantly discernible exaggeration of feature or situation, but helps define his cinematic hyperrealism and the mood of his works. His use of a panoramic and inclusive space partakes in melancholia and airiness, where both the epic sweep and the intimate gesture maintain their significance, without canceling each other out. T V Santhosh belongs to a generation that must ask urgent questions of history, if it is to survive a period intent on crushing the dissident spirit of inquiry and resistance. His works are a striking materialization of re-invigorated and vigilant history representations, which have emerged as one of the dominant genres of contemporary Indian art in recent years. 

At the turn of the 19th century, Baudelaire made a call to young artists “ il faut etre de son temps”, which means, “to be of their time”. T.V.Santhosh is one such artist. The artist lives and works in Mumbai 

The show takes place at Nature Morte, Delhi, from January 24th to February 16th in collaboration with The Guild.


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