Untitled

Pen and Ink on Acid Free Paper
74 cm x 54 cm, 2012

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Untitled

Pen and Ink on Acid Free Paper
54 cm x 74 cm, 2013

Untitled

Pen and Ink on Acid Free Paper
54 cm x 74 cm , 2012

Untitled

Pen and Ink on Acid Free Paper
74 cm x 54 cm , 2012

Through the medium of drawings, sculptural installations , video art or photographic print  , Suman Kabiraj uses satire to enable comparison, understanding and insight and holds up the flaws in our institutions, our leaders, our nations, our species and, indeed, ourselves.   The works combine history, politics and current events with levity and witty irreverence.  Humour, a relatively rare presence in contemporary art, is treated with considerable suspicion by most viewers and critics but Kabiraj’s treatment of his subject is perceptive as well as funny.  In these works, he is able to explore the earthy and quotidian as a reproach to the lofty and a negation of the ideal.  He is able to perceive incongruous relationships and express them in a pointed manner.

Anirudh Chari

Curator and distinguished art critic

 

 

Untitled

Pen and Ink on Acid Free Paper
28 cm x 55 cm, 2012

Untitled

Pen and Ink on Acid Free Paper
74 cm x 54 cm, 2012

Untitled

Pen and Ink on Acid Free Paper
74 cm x 54 cm ,2013

Suman’s work is subversive and a comment on the human condition itself offering the viewer a behind-the-scenes look at the heroic and the rational.  Most of his subjects are familiar but recontextualized.  In what they encompass or allude to, these works transcend the merely comically grotesque or the quest for objectivity.  They are a relentless scrutiny of the world ranging from scathing social commentary to opulent ornamentalism.  On all scores, though, the artistic attention is both contemplative as well as confrontational.   Assessing these works in terms of their insight, interest, coherence, complexity, depth or intelligibility involves a cluster of notions which are interdependent.  The grotesque element in Kabiraj’s art greatly adds to its value.  It does not, however, descend into perverse nihilism which is not an artistically legitimate instance of the grotesque.  There also appears to be an obsession with aberration which matches his pessimism about humanity and everywhere one looks, one is treated to the most unexpected visual wit.  It is easy, though, to get caught up in the subjects and humour and miss the great technical proficiency on display.

 Anirudh Chari

 

Curator and distinguished art critic

 

 

 

Untitled

Pen and Ink on Acid Free Paper
26 cm x 54 cm