About the Exhibition
Asit Kumar Patnaik skilfully captures figures amidst a constantly shifting and intricate backdrop of abstracted textures. His lines and brushstrokes are in constant exploration, never conveying a sense of finality. This juxtaposition of semi-realistic figures against abstract backgrounds challenges the conventional boundaries between realism and abstraction. It is as though the painter grapples with finding the finite amid the infinite, leading him to question the definitive, the established, and the conclusive concepts and perspectives in relationships between men and women, and ultimately, in all dualities.
Asit’s man and woman are not merely the proverbial yin and yang; they are also the memories and potentials, selves lost and reclaimed. The same looks exchanged between his figures could be alternatively read as nostalgic, pensive, introspective, and even futuristic. They could appear despondent at first sight, hopeful at the second and detached in the third.
Evolving Relations is Asit Patnaik’s most global and contemporary collection till date. Featuring two-dimensional works on canvas as well as three-dimensional sculptural paintings, the collection bears a greater imprint of cosmopolitanism compared to his earlier work. His core theme of man-woman relations has always contained a universal appeal, since interpersonal relations concern everyone, everywhere. The new series builds on that theme, but the works now embody an additional layer of diversity, vitality, energy, and enthusiasm in the lines, textures and the use of colours. The figures still dominate the canvas, but they now seem to be more agile, more animated, and more mobile.
With this series, Asit’s primary impulse is to reach out and look within at the same instance. He wants to initiate a conversation, find meaning and evolve together, taking the viewers into confidence and together generate a legacy of mutual engagement beyond dualities and towards shared multiplicities.
(text modified from write up by Anirban Bandyopadhyay)