Sharbani Das Gupta: In/Sight
October 26, 2019–April 5, 2020
Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell
Artist Sharbani Das Gupta is deeply concerned for the future of planet Earth. Her exhibition, In/Sight, on view at the Roswell Museum and Art Center through April 5, 2020, examines current environmental and cultural conundrums and asks the viewer to do the same.
Das Gupta’s primary medium is clay—the earth itself. Her focus is set toward the wake of humanity’s exploitation of, and disregard for, the natural world. Hothouse, a mixed-media installation, introduces the viewer to Das Gupta’s sensibility. Ceramic pipes branch upward from the floor, broadening to form tree-like armatures. Small paintings with domestic subject matter by artist Isadora Stowe adorn the structures. The diminutive paintings of robust color glow as the last leaves of autumn in an industrial forest of infrastructure, foreshadowing an oncoming season of depletion.
Three sculptures in the corridor of the exhibition space offer subtle explorations of perception, memory, and time. Field Notes from a Blue Planet features a sequence of wall-mounted capsule shapes. Their forms are surfaced with colorful patterning suggestive of mysterious, fossilized organic histories. Topology of Memory reads as topographical maps under glass lenses, evocative of the mind’s striving to bring form and focus to the landscapes of history.
The artist asks us to consider the fragility of ourselves and our world—before it’s too late.
Punctuating the exhibition is Look Both Ways, an imposing arrangement of monolithic masonry walls. Large ceramic “eyes” inset into the constructions confront and inspect the viewer. Minimal streaks of orange graffiti embellish the structures in subtle response to the scrutiny. The viewer is challenged by the defining question of our day: will the constructs and modalities of society ultimately separate us from nature, from one another, and from ourselves? The work stands as an appropriate conclusion to the show. The artist asks us to consider the fragility of ourselves and our world—before it’s too late.