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1:2500 A UGUS T 2 4 T O S EP T EM B ER 21, 2 019 . NEW DELH I MARTANO KHOSLA
by Rahul Kumar
Th at M artand Khosla is an architect by education and pr actice is very evident from the works at his second solo-exhibit at N ature M orte gallery in N ew Delhi . 'W hen I design a building or space, th ere are many external constraints to work with, and wi thi n. The fun ction of the built space, vision of the clien t, availabili ty of material and rules and laws that specify what must be done ... M y art practice allows for a sense of formal freedom, in ma ny ways it begins wh ere architecture ends, ' explained Kh osla as we walk ed through the exhibition .Th e title itself, 1:2500 referenc es the typical scale of survey maps where even the tiniest gesture of a dot and dash sta nds for some thing much larger in real life.
The entire show, across the three levels of the gallery, had five formal themes of rendition ing th at could be classified into two conceptual bodies of work. First were M art and 's freehand drawings th at are disbursed th rough out the show. Small-format ink-on-paper works are often made as three dimensional vision s of a busy cityscape. Built towers reaching for th e sky and occasionally collapsing. Large format works on paper use colour for the background of th e work th at is made using brick dust, and metaphorically refer to the air polluti on of urban life. The work titled Upw ards is a cluster of sculptures that look like housing towers with basic structu res made in steel and 'h ouse' walls made with laser-cut woo d. Th e wood pattern uses th e freehand dra wings, with three types of woo d of varying thi ckn esses leadin g to contrasting patterns as they are placed back together, as though it were a mix-and-ma tch jigsaw puzzle. The work, titled 1:2500, had wall-mounted, relief city- scape patterns similar to the walls of the 'towers '. Neatly placed on th e outer corne r of a walkway,they evoked a sense of a dense city skyline. The life-size wooden doo rs are the final works that revolved around th e city dwelling units as a concept. This time, tho ugh, not at a ma~ro level of th e city, but rather as a single compo nent of it. The dramatic surrealistic gesture, twisted and bent woo d, creates a wo nderment of both th e material and th e process. Wall-mount ed and free- stand ing sculptu res carefully refer to a modern-day patte rn of a door. While no information is shared to deciphe r th e front and back (rather inside or outside) face of th e door, Martand consciously leaves the nails visible, reminding th e viewer of the medium.
Th e second series, titl ed Maximum cap acity , is th e mos t abstract wor k in the show. Metaph orically, it forces th e cont rast of state versus migrant, or illegal versus citizen, in the context of contemporary urb an cities. T aking a minimalistic app roach, th e works suggest a sense of chaos filled beyond the limit, although within th e cons truc t of a delica te balance. M artand aspires for multipl e readings of his wor ks. And while he does not intend to cross-p ollinate his architectural works based on his art, it would be intriguing to see a real-life tower akin to his Up w ards!
20 Arts Illustrate d Oc tober & November 20 19 1NEWS &
•Pascal 2, Wood, 50.37" x
•Pascal l, Wood, 42.12" x 43.75 " x
61.12" x 22. 87", 2019.
24 .37", 2019.
Installation view of 1:2500 on display at Nature Marte. New Delhi.
Upward s II, Ste e l and reclaimed wood. Dime nsions Variable. 2019.
Maximum Capacity 3 . Metal and reclaimed wood . 37.12" x 26.75 " x 8.62". 2019.
Phot ogr aph s by S hova n Ga nd hi. All Images Courtesy of Martand Khosla an d Na ture Morte , New Delhi.
NEWS & EVENTS I Artslllusrrarcd October & November 2111 1)