Walsh Gallery

Reena Kallat


Dates: Sep 5 2008 - Oct 11 2008

Mumbai-based artist, Reena Saini Kallat presents her first US solo exhibition at Walsh Gallery. Kallat's works explore the vulnerability of the human condition through sculptural paintings, installation, video and photography, all dating from 2008. The opening reception will take place Friday September 5th from 5 to 8 pm. The artist will be present at the opening reception.

The main gallery will feature seven sculptural paintings entitled Synonym. Composed of several hundred stamps featuring names of people sandwiched between plexiglass panels, this large-scale portrait series stands upright like a screen. Written on the stamps in twelve different Indian languages are the names of people who are missing—including those missing from natural calamities, riots, and abductions throughout India. From a distance these painted rubberstamps come together to form portraits.

Sharing the main space with the Synonym is Lunar Notes, a twelve foot beaded screen depicting the Taj Mahal. Inspired by grafitti written on public monuments by young lovers, Kallat creates hundreds of beads made from bonded marble containing the names of such individuals. Similar to the Taj Mahal itself, these names are a monument to love.

Another new work, White Heat, refers to the uncertain relationship between India and Pakistan. Since the sculpture of the ironing board is oversized, its functionality is questionable. The surface of the piece is covered by densely packed weapon-like projections. Upon closer observation, these prove to be—along with more traditional weapons—truncated rooftops of religious monuments. The fabric awaiting ironing is embroidered with names of those who have signed the peace petition between India and Pakistan.

The exhibition will also include recent new media and photographic work focusing on socio-political themes.

Reena Saini Kallat’s work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally, including important exhibitions of both Indian and International contemporary art. Venues include the Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Cultural Center, ZKM (Kalrsruhe), Beijing MOMA, Busan MoMA, the Culturgest Museum (Lisbon), the Henie Onstad Kunstcenter (Oslo) among others.