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Item Description:

Engine oil and charcoal on paper


59 3/4 x 22 in. (152 x 56 cm.), diptych; each panel 29 3/4 x 22 in. (75.6 x 56 cm.)

Signed and dated '22-24 May 1991 / Vivan.' lower right and inscribed 'Vivan Sundaram / Limbs/Fragments 1991 / Engine oil and charcoal on paper' on reverse

Bearing a Sakshi Gallery label on reverse


Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai.

Part of the second-generation Modernists that graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, Vivan Sundaram started out as a narrative painter, choosing to depict current affairs and other topics that caught his attention. While he eventually moved on to conceptual art, his early works used a variety of mediums including used engine oil and charcoal.

The current work was painted in the days immediately following Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in May 1991. The artist and he attended the same boarding school and remained friends in an informal capacity even after. The elements in the work take inspiration from Leonardo Da Vinci's series of drawings titled Deluge, which were based upon a dam bursting, and form part of the Royal Collection Trust, Windsor Castle. Sundaram had seen these works on display at an exhibition in Germany and remained haunted by them long after. The drawings examine how and why effects of flow, force and turbulence, which Leonardo studied in pioneering analyses of fluid dynamics, are present in his art. What do his unprecedented descriptions of fleeting phenomena and imagining of natural disaster enable us to see?' (UCL Festival of Culture: Flow and Force in Leonardo da Vinci', The British Library, The turbulence present in these works translates into chaos of a different kind for Sundaram. Even though the work is titled Limbs / Fragments because of the direct reference to the nature of events of May 21, 1991, in a recent conversation, Sundaram says the work can also be titled Turbulence. This could be a reference to the disaster that occurred and the unsettling times that invariably would follow.

About The Artist:


₹ 400,000.00 ( Low est. )


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