2 Jan 2019

‘Real and Ethereal’ by Krishna Setty


Metaphorical Narratives


‘Real and Ethereal’, a solo exhibition of recent works by the senior artist C.S. Krishna Setty is currently on in Bangalore. Exploring notions of desire, sexuality and tradition in context with human experiences and stories, Setty’s works weave a fantastical realm where intensely private worlds are projected unrelentingly. The catalogue text describes, “Profound and powerful, the representations here are vastly metaphorical; yet are still grounded within concepts of politics, literature and the more nuanced understanding of a human life, our basic necessities, livelihoods and our deepest and the most secret desires.”
‘Real and Ethereal’ by Krishna Setty
Untitled, ink and pastel on paper
The works are mostly ink and pastel on paper in a small format, which accentuates the exaggeration and distortion in his imagery. Setty layers multiple motifs to build the narrative, and the contiguous juxtaposition of elements and strong lines results in forceful visuals. There is a latent aggression and anxious tenor which is palpable in many of his works, a comment on contemporary society and emotional turmoil lurking under the surface.

Left deliberately untitled, the works are open to interpretation and manifold readings by the viewer. Reflecting the transitory times, Setty uses a compelling metaphorical language to highlight the existing conflicts, stresses and desires that conjoin, warp and amalgamate on the canvas. Using animal and floral motifs along with geometric patterns, and adopting repetition as a pictorial tool, Setty constructs the narrative. Hybrid creatures - mythical and unreal, emerge, blurring lines of fact, fiction and fantasy. A sense of unreality, which is disturbing, prevails, and lingers on. 
‘Real and Ethereal’ by Krishna Setty, photograph by Nalini Malaviya
Untitled, ink and pastel on paper
Born in 1952, Setty hails from Thirthahalli, Shivamogga district, Karnataka. He pursued Fine Arts from the University College of Art, Davangere. He is the former Chairman and Administrator of Central Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, during his tenure he played a key role in vitalizing the art activities at the centre and ensured significant participation and involvement of the art community from Karnataka too. He has also served as the Chairman of Karnataka Lalithakala Academy in the past. He is the third artist from India to be awarded the honorary membership of Russian Academy in Moscow, 2017.

Krishna Setty has been an active contributor to the art scene, this exhibition of his works offers insights into his art practice as well.

The exhibition ‘Real and Ethereal’ is on at Art Houz, Bangalore till January 3
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