From the Solo Show titled: 'Recent Works' by Aditi Aggarwal
Curated by Amal Allana, at Art Heritage II, New Delhi.
Text by Prof. (Dr.) Nuzhat Kazmi,
Dean, Faculty of Fine Art, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Aditi Aggarwal, educated at the Delhi College of Art, is an artist with a strong visual language. She has been working with a variety of mediums and techniques, exploring these to her expressive advantage. One responds to her art, structured as it is around colours. Using their vibrancy, Aditi’s palette focuses on the intensity inherent in certain shades and hues. The young artist engages the eye and the intellect primarily through colour, reminding one of the Fauvists of twentieth-century modernity.
In speaking about the work Multitude Aditi says, “I work with enamel paint on left-over Sunmica sheet pieces. I like the nature of enamel paints on a surface that is highly reflective/ glossy. I attempt to try the impasto technique with enamel that results in high density and volume of the paint on the surface. I work on different pieces together as one combined image. The ink used is a metallic one. Hence the colour of the text that is written comes across in different colours when viewed from different angles.”
This work is pure abstraction, total nihilism, without any reference to, perceptively, anything with the colours laid out as areas rather than forms. However, when the artist gives this work the title—Multitude– a host of ideas and references immediately come to mind, allowing the visual vista she has created to reflect on multiple meanings.
Of another work Specimen, 2015, Aditi states, “The challenge was to create mirroring strokes on both sides with a brush onto the base. The work has been created with the use of multiple layers of colours. While painting within these layers, I come across at many different stages a plethora of visuals that appear and then subsequently, disappear. The process of painting itself gives birth to forms that themselves dictate dimensional spaces…. The form itself then becomes a take-off point for me to begin. As a continuation of the Specimen series… I have used pigments that tend to glow in the dark, thereby giving an almost skeleton-like image to the form.”
It is clear then that Aditi Aggarwal’s artworks are not premeditated; instead, she leaves herself open to what spontaneously occurs during the very process of applying or squeezing paint onto the surface of acrylic sheets. Preferring acrylic to canvas, Aditi enjoys the non-absorbent quality that allows the paint to either remain on the surface or roll across it. The paint, untouched by a brush, tends to dry in thick impasto-like blobs, giving the entire surface a glossy, tactile feel.
By contrast, in the Book of Templates, a more recent work, Aditi creates an object—a book– resorting to a stark black and white colour scheme. Describing her process she says, “Pastel sheets have been pasted together and then woven with Handmade Paper. The patterns that emerge on both sides of the paper, for me, become a kind of coded language, similar to hieroglyphics that were used in ancient times. The strong tactile quality of these geometric forms, woven into the paper, could also be a type of braille language wherein the reader deciphers the text by running his hand over the surface. In visual terms, I have tried to create balance and harmony through my weaving of black strips over white handmade paper or vice-versa. The weaving creates alternating patterns on both sides of the sheet…. a kind of negative /positive. The final work has assumed the form of an exercise book. These ‘pages’ have become templates for me to create new work in the future that I am planning to conceive of as video installations.”
One finds Aditi unique and engaging, as she leaves herself open to creative exploration that at times may be thought out, at other times, left to spontaneity and impulsive playfulness. She uses a wide range of material, exploring them in the cultivation of her own, individual, visual language. As one looks back to her earlier works from around 2012, one realizes that Aditi Aggarwal is consistently working on her vocabulary towards constructing even stronger visual formulations that communicate her ideas while fulfilling her individual creative needs.
Professor & Head
Department of Art History & Art Appreciation
Jamia Millia Islamia