NEW YORK, NY.- Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects
presents the first one person exhibition in New York City of paintings by Sangram Majumdar at Gallery Schlesinger. Majumdar is a young painterly realist whose work expands the perimeters of contemporary representation.
Sangram Majumdars paintings describe ostensibly traditional subject matter- still life, landscape and figure. Yet Majumdars paintings have grown progressively more radical in the way they try to encapsulate human perception. These paintings are densely layered with a range of marks, implicit narratives, and visual possibilities. In her essay for the exhibition catalog Jennifer Samet observes that Sangram Majumdars paintings reminds us of the potential and the achievement of transfixing simultaneity within a single visual image. He seems to slice open his worlds, cutting into them almost mercilessly to present an image rich with evocation. She also writes, his interiors show an accumulation of stuff: broken chairs, vases, shattered ceramics, electrical cords, and sometimes a figure. The shattered fragments not only take our mind to another time and place- how did it break, why, and what was it like before- but are also a direct metaphor to Majumdars distinct painterly style. As Majumdar says in an interview in the exhibition catalog, Ive been thinking about trying to find visual imagery that parallels my working process. My process involves adding, removing, often reworking a painting, but also trying to retain a transparency of decisions in the working process.
Majumdar begins work from elaborate backdrops that he constructs in his studio; sometimes hand painting decorative tiles or wallpaper to complete the environments for his paintings. Working from what he terms an impulse or sensation, Majumdar often begins working directly from the subject matter. Consequently, his paintings may go through radical compositional shifts. A figure might turn around or disappear, leaving only a shadow in its wake. A recent series describes accumulations of wood scraps in the artists studio. Peeking out from underneath the wood pile are what appear to be pockets of carpet or tile- micro worlds that seem to spring from Sienese and Indian miniature painting. The works gain their unique density from the stacking and layering of decorative and painterly elements that disappear and reappear in the working process. Majumdars final compositions house a multitude of hidden possibilities to create a complex, layered narrative of the physical process of painting.
Born in Calcutta, India, Majumdar received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Indiana University. Hes a current recipient of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Space Program Grant, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant and the Maryland State Art Council Individual Grant in Painting. He has been a visiting artist for many universities like Princeton University, the College of William and Mary, and the École Superieure des Beaux Art. He has been teaching at the Maryland Institute College of Art since 2003. In September of 2009 his work was surveyed in The Ettinger Gallery of the Laguna College of Art & Design. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Jennifer Samet and an interview with the artist. A related exhibition of the artists drawings may be seen at Coleman Bancroft LLC, 35 east 67th street, from November 19th to December 19th.