In Response to the City

Abir Mukherjee recipient of the Inlaks Fine Art Award 2016, was in residence at the WAA studio’s for the month of June.

Abir Mukherjee’s practice is an enquiry into the basic act of looking and to provide the audience the opportunity to experience the world in a new way. During his time at the WAA residency he chose to paint portraits of people from the locality of Bandra and around the city of Mumbai. He let the works develop organically, interacting with people from the local area around the studio, and developing portrait sketches which told stories of their personal interactions and backgrounds.

By keeping his initial process flexible Abir allowed participation that then made the work collaboration between the model and the artist. To have a dialogue with the rich tradition of painting, Abir layered his works with references to his engagement with the people that he painted.

Portrait of Abir’s Photographer friend.
Working at the WAA studio.

As part of the residency with us we organised a few meaningful interactions and studio visits with artists such as Sudhir Patwardhan, Gieve patel, Atul Dodiya, Akbar Padamsee, Sharmista Ray and Gallerist Hena Kapadia of Tarq.

Abir unwrapped his canvases for further insight and critique on his work and processes.

Visit to Sudhir Patwardhan’s studio.
Visit to Sudhir Patwardhan’s studio.
Visit to Atul Dodiya’s studio.
WAA studio visit by Hena Kapadia.

Having completed his education with Bachelors in Fine Arts (B.F.A.) and an M.F.A. first class from Kala-Bhavana Santiniketan, Abir expands his practice into learning and unlearning the methods of traditional painting.

“What I seek in my work is to assimilate information from all my senses and create a response for it. Hence my painting becomes a personal record of the act of looking. In this situation some indefinable lively quality seeps in the work which surpasses mere representation.”


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