How Perfect Perfection Can Be


Navjot Altaf


Preview on Thursday, 8 September, 2016,
7pm onwards

at Chemould Prescott Road
in collaboration with The Guild

Public days: 9 - 30 September, 2016


Chemould Prescott Road in collaboration with The Guild, Mumbai is pleased to announce its forthcoming solo exhibition How Perfect Perfection Can Be by Navjot Altaf

The show at Chemould Prescott Road showcases a set of 24 watercolours, a medium Navjot returns to after nearly two decades. Her watercolors are based on the visual pleasure received from the scale and intricate details of glass buildings and other monoliths in New York city, but over which she superimposes line graphs of climate change and its impacts. Some of these graphs reveal the damage, running into billions of dollars, caused by extreme weather events that are increasing in frequency. One of the works has the exact degree of the concentration of Kyoto greenhouse gases from 1850 - 2015, plotted over a steel support structure. Another has the energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the US and China between 1990 and 2012, snaking over an innocuous metal tipped gradient.

Navjot’s watercolours reveal our ironical desire for architectural splendor - the massive concrete jungle rises on the debris of our collective failure as preservers of the global environment

The title of the show How Perfect Perfection Can Be compels the viewers world over to contemplate their complicity in the aspirations for such structures.

The exhibition also includes a video titled Tana and parts of a loom installed as sculptural pieces.

The video is an edited record with the focus on perfection and installed parts of the loom structure, signify the perfection required in the process of sizing, warping (threads arranged length wise), of the threads and then weaving, for which each thread has to be perfectly arranged.

The exhibition can be viewed at, Chemould Prescott Road, Queens Mansion 3rd floor, G Talwatkar Marg, Fort, Mumbai on the dates mentioned above.

This exhibition was first shown in 2015-2016 at The Guild, Alibaug, 1028, Ranjanpada, Next to Sai Mandir, Mandwa Alibaug Road, Alibaug.

Brief Biography:

Navjot Altaf (b) 1949, Meerut

Navjot moved to Mumbai in 1967 where she studied both fine and applied arts at the Sir J. J. School of Art. Since 1972 her paintings, sculptures, installations, video and site-specific works negotiate various disciplinary boundaries, reflecting her long-term preoccupation with social justice, knowledge systems, ecology and indigenous cultures.   Her artistic imagery and conceptual concerns emerge from innovative syntheses of theoretical and methodological innovations, combined with deeply engaged readings of historical and contemporary art, film and cultural theory  - grounded in the context of her long-term participant observation research and collaborative public art interventions among indigenous communities in India’s tumultuous region of Bastar. She has also done site specific ecological art interventions in other locales, including work focused on innovating municipal practices for eco-consciousness and managing of urban roadside trees in New Delhi and elsewhere.

Navjot has held a number of solo shows including: How Perfect Perfection Can Be, The Guild, Alibaug (2016);  Horn in the Head, Talwar Gallery, New Delhi, India, (2013); Touch IV, 22 monitors video installation, Talwar Gallery, New Delhi, and The Guild, Mumbai, India (2010); A Place in New York, The Guild, Mumbai and New York (2009/2010); Lacuna in Testimony, Frost Art Museum, Florida, USA (2009); Touch 1, 2, 3 Remembering Altaf Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (2008); Bombay Shots, The Guild, Mumbai, India (2007); Water Weaving Talwar Gallery, New York, (2006); Junctions  1,2,3,  The Guild, Mumbai, (2006); Jagar Sakshi Gallery Mumbai, (2006); Mumbai Meri Jaan and Lacuna in Testimony Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, (2005); In Response To Talwar Gallery, New York, ( 2003); Three Halves and Displaced Self, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, (2004).

 Some of her recent participations include: 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016); Making Sense of Crisis - Art as

Schizoanalysis, KHOJ, New Delhi, India (2015); Whorled Explorations, Second Edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India (2014); Is it what you think?, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India ( 2014); Forms of Activism, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi India, (2014); Rewriting the Landscape: India and China: Contemporary Art from China and India, MMCA Korea (2013); Art Walk: Water, Europalia India, Liege, Belgium, (2013); Women In Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012 Japan (2012/13); Yamuna Elbe-Contemporary Flows,Fluid Times, Hamburg and Delhi; In Context: Public Art Ecology-Food, New Delhi; Public Places Private Spaces, Newark Museum New Jersey; Tiger By the Tail – Contemporary Indian Women Transforming Culture – The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, U.S.A. (2007); Bombay Maximum City, Lille, France; Zones of Contact 15th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2006); Groundworks Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, U.S.A; Zoom!  Art in Contemporary India at Culturegest, Lisbon; Passage to India, Geneva (2004); subTerrain: Indian Contemporary Art, House of World Culture, Berlin; Eigth Havana Biennale, Cuba (2003); Century City, Tate Modern London (2001) and First Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Japan (1999).

The artist lives and works in Mumbai, Bastar and Janjira   


© 2016 The Guild | All rights reserved

Find us on