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Mukesh Sharma
Abstract India Edition 5/8 Linocut Print Nature Orange Black Red Love

1999

About the Item

There is a natural and raw understanding in Mukesh Sharma’s prints that both depict, and are influenced by, the Rajastani communities of his home town in rural India. In these Limited Edition fine-art prints, made over a period of twenty years, we are offered the colours of India’s ancient land, the textures, light and the patterns that are everywhere. In the patterns of the arable fields to the jali's (carved screens) in the architecture. This work is however not romantic nor nostalgic but shows a deeper rooted need to offer a visual heritage of place, of where the artist is from and the journey that he is taking. The results are both compelling and honest. Mukesh Sharma, Voted Dyas II, Lino-cut/ chine colle, on German Ivory paper Edition: 5 of 8, 1999 Image size: 47 x 39 cm / Sheet size: 79 x 55 cm Unframed 'We belong where love finds us' Mukesh Sharma's work: It is often in childhood that paths are set for what we will become. Mukesh Sharma hails from a rural, agricultural village in Rajasthan, India. His Father is a craftsman who fixed and mended farm machinery and understood the working parts in the processes. Sharma followed in his Father’s footsteps, as is often the case in Indian families, but his was not the machines of the fields but the presses of the printing studio. Like his Father, Mukesh Sharma is fascinated with understanding how things work and how he can manipulate the metal in his hands. It is not surprising then that his medium of choice is printing. One of the most physically challenging of all the practices, it can often be physically challenging as well as technical and detailed. In his youth, Sharma would draw with stones on walls and floors. He was lucky his family encouraged this and he is grateful for his early art-training at the Jaipur School of Art but it was at the Baroda Art Department that he was introduced to the great printing traditions of Jyoti Bhatt and Jeram Patel and in books he saw and read about Krishna Reddy’s practice. The dye was most definitely set. Looking to Sharma’s works the first thing that strikes the viewer is the use of a minimal colour palette but in the choice of a reduced number of colours we can immediately see the artist's strength as a colourist. Inspired by Miniature paintings, images that were readily available in the area he grew up in, these artworks were infused with local colours from the natural pigments ground to make the colours for the paintings. In both his ideas and colours, Sharma replicates the landscape of his birth, the arable fields, the stone mountains and the browns of the Rajasthan desert with the occasional flash of an emerald green or a mirch red as seen in both the natural world and the textiles of his home. The size of the artist's artworks is also governed by more practical issues. Access to equipment to make these highly technical artworks is not straightforward. Permissions for print studios need to be taken and having the studio to yourself can be tricky. It is never as simple as taking a piece of paper and making a work. For Sharma the process is part of the piece so using a professional printer to make the work is never an option. Whilst he begins with an idea the nature of the very involved stages of the process ensure the work to some extent controls itself and the artist has to constantly make judgement calls at every stage based on experience and the vision for where the piece is going. This is performance art and every take produces a slightly different outcome. Each of the very small Editions is very much an original artwork. In more recent years, Sharma, always reflecting and never still, has had time to consider his practise. Like a scientist tweaking his formulae, the artist has turned his attention to another part of the process, paper. An integral part of printing, his current occupation is the handmade Wasli paper which has a long tradition in his home area. Very fine and acid free, this natural material makes sense in the overall scheme of his work and it is a new element he hopes to bring into his practice. Sharma continues to live in Delhi and use printing studios here, in Jaipur and in Vadodara. He is looking forward to working with some large zinc plates, up to 39” in length. It will be interesting to see how the fine Wasli paper and the hard metal plates come together. Laura Williams, April 2023 Artist Bio: Mukesh Sharma (b.1974, Rajasthan, India) is a full-time visual art practitioner based in New Delhi; he holds an MFA in Printmaking from MS University, Baroda (1998) and a BFA in Painting from Rajasthan School of Art, Jaipur (1996). On graduating in Baroda he continued his printmaking journey at the graphics studio, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. Sharma’s work has been recognised Internationally. His selected solo shows/projects includes “Orthography of a Recondite Past” A show of graphic prints at Quarentena Galería Santiago, Chile (2021); On-site collaboration with Amannath of Neemarana’s Tijra Fort-Palace on a bespoke suite called “Mukesh Mahal” (2017); "A Terabyte-ing Serpentine" a Site-specific project in New Delhi (2013); “The Keyboards of Small Things” Gallery Sumukha Bangalore (2011); “Another Geography curated by Dr.AlkaPande at VAG, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (2007); “World Without Boundaries” Galleria Corona, Mexico (2006); “(Re)visions” touring exhibition at the Long Gallery, curated by Judy Bourke University of Wollongong, New South Wales and at the Bay Press, Portland Arts Centre (CEMA), Victoria, Australia. His recent multiple group exhibitions/participations includes at the India Art Fair, New Delhi; Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore; Venice Architecture Biennale - Venice Italy; RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre; Edition Art Fair, Bussan, South Korea; Bonjour India festival Indo-French festival Le Musee Du Louvre, Paris; Gallery 27, London; Tokyo International Mini-Print Triennial, Tama Art University Museum, Tokyo, Japan; International Mini-Print Triennial EX-LIBRIS, Canada and has also participated in many residency programs within India and abroad such as the '5th Print Symposium' National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; 'Monotype' Print workshop with children of American School Bombay as part of the exhibition ‘works@work’ Qualcomm, Mumbai; 'Viscosity & Serigraphy workshop with members/printmakers of Warringah Printmakers Studio in Sydney and CEMA Art Centre, Portland, Victoria, Australia among others. Sharma has received many awards, grants and fellowship from various bodies and institutions of standing and also participated in many residency programs within India and abroad His work has been written about in The Wall Street Journal, Economics Times, India Today, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Mint, Time Out Delhi, The Australian, The Observer, Art India Magazine, and Art Etc. News And Views, Bay Vallarta - Riviera Nayarit Mexico, Moralmoda Magazine Geneva, CH. among others. Sharma’s work is held in public and private collections worldwide including The National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), RMIT University Museum, Swiss Re, Qualcomm to name a few.
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    Early 2000s Abstract Abstract Prints

    Materials

    Archival Ink, Archival Paper, Linocut, Archival Pigment

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