Praneet Soi: Media fragments and Landscapes
In the solo exhibition Media fragments and Landscapes, Soi shows two interlacing series of paintings which draw on his immense personal archive of images, to offer a reworked and renewed vision of our physical and political environment.
Soi’s paintings on canvas reiterate the way images of vastly different registers come together in personal contemplation. Global news media images and packaging design inhabit Soi’s tightly assembled compositions amongst traditional motifs from Kashmir and art historical references. Precisely rendered scenes, viewed from the artist’s workspaces, are seen through silhouettes, integrated with quotations from architecture that the artist has experienced upon his travels. Soi gathers moments where familiarity coupled with intuition imbue an image with beauty. He then proceeds to abstract these images through manipulations of scale, proximity, texture and color.
A close attention to his physical environment betrays Soi’s attunement to the contemporary media landscape, where print and digital media push highly politicized images of human conflict into a flow of more prosaic imagery. This entanglement of public image and private life is articulated further in a series of smaller paintings on thick tiles. These panels, made of papier-mâché and smoothened over with fine clay, are the result of Soi’s ongoing partnership with craftsmen in the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar. The finely painted miniature motifs are traditionally used on decorative domestic items or shrine architecture. Engaging the craftsmen in a process of experimentation, Soi has stripped away the traditional colors and all-over composition. Here, the patterns are limited to silhouetted shapes that Soi has chosen from his image repertoire.
Praneet Soi completed his BA and MA in painting at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India. In 2001 he completed a Masters Degree in Visual Arts at University of California at San Diego, and from 2002-2003 held a studio at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. His installation Srinagar was exhibited at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL) in 2016. Selected recent group exhibitions include: Indian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (IT) 2011; Manifesta 9, Genk (BE) 2012; 3rd Kochi-Muziris Biennale (IN) 2016-17. Recent solo exhibitions include Notes on Labour, Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (IN) 2017 and Pattern – The Falling Figure and other stories at CCA Derry-Londonderry (UK), 2017.