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“Suspended from the ceiling, the work seems to defy gravity; it casts a series of entrancing shadows, which from a distance evoke the sense of having stumbled on a surreal, hidden oasis. Yet the emphatically material quality of the work disrupts the lyrical illusion of undisturbed, dreamlike tranquility and perfection, quietly suggesting that other kinds of transformations are afoot.”

Shanay Jhaveri

text

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Usually composed of numerous nonrepresentational forms, Ranjani Shettar's immersive environments are inspired by her observations of the now-threatened natural environs of her native India. Shettar combines natural and industrial materials such as beeswax, wood, organic dyes, vegetable pastes, lacquer, steel, and cloth in her large-scale installations.  Each component is individually finished by the artist and has a deliberately roughhewn quality. The imperfect and irregular patinas of these materials draw attention to the artisanal nature of her practice, while also acknowledging the components' lived realities. Although Shettar's abstract sculptures are resonant of more familiar traditions of Western modernist and minimalist sculpture, they are distinctive due to the careful interplay of technique and materials, mostly drawn from local sources.

In Seven ponds and a few raindrops, Shettar has molded pieces of stainless steel into a series of sensual, curved, amoebic, shape-shifting elements that have been covered in muslin.  Her technique of staining the cloth with a natural paste of tamarind is derived from a craft tradition she observed in the small village of Kinnala.  Suspended from the ceiling, the work seems to defy gravity; it casts a series of entrancing shadows, which from a distance evoke the sense of having stumbled on a surreal, hidden oasis.  Yet the emphatically material quality of the work disrupts this lyrical illusion of undisturbed, dreamlike tranquility and perfection, quietly suggesting that other kinds of transformations are afoot. 

Exhibition Views

Exhibition Views Thumbnails

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Stainless steel, dyed muslin, tamarind

229″ x 223″ x 96″

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Stainless steel, dyed muslin, tamarind

229″ x 223″ x 96″

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Earth Songs for a Night Sky The Phillips Collection, Washington DC May 16 – August 25, 2019
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
On and on it goes on Talwar Gallery, New York March 10 - August 17, 2018
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Bubble trap and a double bow Talwar Gallery, New Delhi February 1 - December 30, 2017
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Night skies and daydreams Talwar Gallery, New York May 10 – October 4, 2014
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Between the sky and earth Talwar Gallery, New Delhi January 29 – August 9, 2014
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Dewdrops and Sunshine National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia November 4, 2011 - February 26, 2012
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Present Continuous Talwar Gallery, New Delhi January 19 - December 24, 2011
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Talwar Gallery, New York October 2, 2009 - March 5, 2010
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Inaugural Rooftop Sculpture Garden San Francisco Museum of Modern Art March 21 - July 7, 2009
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
New Work San Francisco Museum of Modern Art March 21 - July 7, 2009
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
FOCUS Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth December 14, 2008 - February 8, 2009
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Momentum 10 Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston March 19 - July 13, 2008
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Epiphanies Talwar Gallery, New Delhi October 27, 2007 - March 13, 2008
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
Recent Works Talwar Gallery, New York March 22 - May 13, 2006
RANJANI SHETTAR
RANJANI SHETTAR
The Indian Spring Talwar Gallery, New York June 5 - July 17, 2004
Ranjani Shettar
Ranjani Shettar
The Phillips Collection
The Phillips Collection
Ranjani Shettar The Phillips Collects for a New Century
The New York Times Style Magazine
The New York Times Style Magazine
Ranjani Shettar December 2018
Artforum
Artforum
Ranjani Shettar September 2018

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