Press Office Exhibition


Released: February 25, 2009 · Download (47.6 KB PDF)

Ranjani Shettar, Sing along, 2008-9; Stainless steel, muslin cloth dyed in kasimi, gum arabic and lacquer; Dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist and Talwar Gallery New York / New Delhi

From March 21, 2009 to July 7, 2009, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present New Work: Ranjani Shettar, the first exhibition on the West Coast of internationally recognized Indian artist Ranjani Shettar.

Organized by SFMOMA Assistant Curator of Collections, Exhibitions, and Commissions, John Zarobell, the exhibition will include two works crafted specifically for SFMOMA. Waiting for June (2008-9) is made of wrought iron, and Sing along (2008-9) is composed of a steel armature wrapped in a dyed black muslin cloth and glued with tamarind kernel powder paste. Three large-scale woodcut prints made in 2006-7 will be on view. Additionally, a group of five sculptures reminiscent of basketry and woven from strips of used auto bodies will be installed in the SFMOMA Rooftop Garden when it opens on May 10.

Thirty-one-year old Shettar, based in Bangalore, India, has already received much international exposure, participating in biennials in Lyon, France; Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates; and Sydney, Australia—as well as at the Carnegie International. Exhibitions devoted to her work have been launched by the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), in Boston, and by the Museum of Modern Art of Fort Worth.

Shettar's oeuvre is made up primarily of sculptural installations that juxtapose traditional craft and modernity. She employs a number of time-honored traditions in her work, such as kasimi (black dye) and tamarind kernel powder paste. Though such practices are rooted in tradition, the art itself is undeniably contemporary, both in the approach to sculpture and in her subject matter. Shettar's works thus generate an open-ended physical experience for the viewer and question the fundamental principles of sculpture through stunning yet sensual forms.

According to Zarobell, "While her work has come from distant shores, the remarkable aspect of Shettar's installations and sculptures is their immediacy and accessibility. These objects suggest natural harmonies and forms that seem to speak to the viewer, no matter what language she understands."

The New Work series is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and is generously supported by Collectors Forum, the founding patron of the series. Major funding is also provided by Martha and Bruce Atwater, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, and Robin Wright and Ian Reeves. Media support provided by San Francisco magazine.

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