BLOW HORN SIGNS AND LIFE IN INDIA
A solo exhibition by Natasha Kumar at Asia House, 63 New Cavendish St W1
March 4th – 17th 2010
‘BLOW HORN’ IS THE IMPERIOUS ADVICE to drivers painted on the back-end of Indian Lorries, buses and rickshaws. A warning and encouragement, its one illustration of a mindset that considers every flat surface a potential canvas. In India If it stays still long enough to be painted, it will be, with a graffiti of spiritual texts, underwear ads, personal and folk expression.
NATASHA KUMAR IS AN ESTABLISHED ANGLO-INDIAN ARTIST, from long line of noted English artists. In this solo show of oils and original prints, her award-winning talent for figurative art merges with her love of signs and life in India in a truly original departure. In ‘Blow Horn’ she has taken up the bold, fluorescing colours of Indian advertising art in its various forms to cut through the picturesque, giving a sharp contemporary twist to traditional Indian motifs.
THE SACRED HINDU BOVINE IN Holy Cow competes for attention with a brazen wall advert, oblivious to it. In Tuff Cemento a woman waits patiently, timelessly, the gaudy colours of her sari muted by the insistent green of the cement company’s message.
A SENSE OF PLACE IS AN ELUSIVE THING, but she shows her undoubted ability to capture it in these works, with simple, powerful images. It is there in the folds of the old man’s dhoti in Last Light, Nagaur, and the bright saris of the women in the soft dusty landscape of On the Road, and in the unique inward-turning ears of the iconic Rajasthani horse, in Marwari Horse and Boy.
THE PRINTED WORKS, a new collection, mingle Warhol-style repetition with Indian brands and ephemera. The humble matchbox label is reworked in a unique mixed-media work of print and oils, combining the best of both Natasha Kumar’s considerable talents. She takes too, the abstract Moghul fretwork of jali windows and zenana entrances as the central motif in print works that mix raw pigment with gold or silver leaf.
MORE THAN SIMPLY PICTURESQUE INDIA, Natasha Kumar paints the lived culture of India, its streets and villages. ‘Blow Horn’ is not just a command. Here, it's the cue for the visual cacophony that is modern India.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
ART AND INDIA ARE IN NATASHA KUMAR’S GENES. On her English side she comes from a line of established artists. Her Indian heritage she traces back to Kashmiri princes via tales of partition and lost family gold.
WITH A STRING OF SUCCESSFUL SHOWS, she has made her own name as an artist from the age of 17, when, earning a place by right in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition she found her work hanging on the same wall as her grandfather, and uncle's work.
Natasha Kumar initially excelled as a printmaker; going from a first class degree at Manchester to studying in Venice at the Accademia. She did her MA in London in 2000, winning the London Printmaking Prize that year. Since then she has been regularly selected for group shows that include The New English Art Club, The Discerning Eye, The National Print and Art Expo New York. She has a dedicated and growing following of collectors. Her work is represented in private and national collections worldwide. She lives and works in London.
‘Blow Horn’ will be at Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London, W1 from March 4th until 17th, 2010. Her last show in 2008 was a sell out.
For further information:
Natasha Kumar 0777 9590921
Cassleton Elliott & Co. Ltd. Tel: 07808 403 963
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