By Taylor Tracy
The art has arrived on campus. It is “here,” the title of the current exhibition in the Korn Gallery featuring paintings and drawings by artist Sangram Majumdar.
Drewids reacted positively to Majumdar’s artwork in “here.” Vic Shepka (’17) found an immediate connection to Majumdar’s artwork, and said, “Being an art student, I was intrigued by Sangram’s work immediately. His abstraction of space and form is particularly interesting to me.” She added, “His work incorporates real objects in abstraction, and some qualities or shapes you can recognize. But it’s rendered in a different space.”
Shepka was also drawn to Majumdar’s style and said, “I love how abstract his work is. It really leaves it open for the viewer to draw her or his own conclusions.”
Abby Knight (’18) also had a positive reaction to Majumdar’s work and said, “My first reaction was one of awe. Majumdar uses large canvases, so it is incredibly easy to lose yourself in every fine line and detail he has created.”
Majumdar tailored his show towards its context on campus. About this, he said, “Since the exhibition’s primary audience would be students, I wanted to show four large paintings that depict a transition of my studio practice, while maintaining my recurring interest in perception, domestic and theatrical spaces, and imagery that hybridizes the ‘still life’, ‘landscape’ and the figure.”
With this focus studio practices, the works in the show are works from various parts of the artistic process. Works in the show include studies, sketches, drawings and large scale completed paintings.
About the various sketches for a single painting not on view called “underwater electric greenhouse” included on one wall of the show, Majumdar said, “It’s a painting that took a while to complete, and after it was done I had tons of sketches lying around. As I started to toss them, I thought maybe these could also be paintings by themselves. Hence, the variations.”
Knight reacted to being able to see the some of Majumdar’s studies and drawings. She said, “ I think it really allows insight into the artist’s creative process, which is really inspiring in itself. In the same vein, I wish there were more studies for other large works on display, or more finished versions of his ‘ueg study series.’”
Something else students will notice when they walk into the gallery is Majumdar’s vibrant color palette in his works. About his use of color, Majumdar said, “Color is one of the most intuitive elements in my work, and reflects the range of my interests and what I enjoy looking at, including everything from frescoes, Indian miniatures, textiles, places that I travel to, staring at the night sky, video games, movies etc.”
On the effect he hopes his colors will convey, he added, “In my paintings, I often think of trying to create a color atmosphere. To me, that creates a sense of place more than what is depicted most of the time.”
About the artist’s use of color, Shepka said, “The colors Sangram [Majumdar] uses are vibrant and rich. They evoke feeling and emotion in the viewer, and compliment each other well.”
Knight also responded to Majumdar’s use of color when she said, “I think the artist has a wonderful understanding of color and tonal values. Whether he was using an analogous color scheme, like in ‘two rooms,’ or the full color wheel, he is able to create a full and complete space ready for exploration.”
One might also note that the title of the show, “here,” is in all lowercase letters, a trait that carries over to the titles of the works in the show. About this choice, Sajumdar said, “The title ‘here’ is in lowercase to create a sense of informality, casualness or approachability.” He added, “I think of it as a whisper, calm and confident. It also refers to the various locations that each painting hints at and my overall intention to make work that welcomes the viewer.”
Knight considered the way in which the titles helped her to understand the abstracted subject matter when she said, “Since Majumdar is a more abstract artist, I find his titles play a huge role in the interpretation of the paintings.” She added, “You wouldn’t know ‘backstage’ was, well, backstage until you look at the title of the piece and begin to identify different elements. Props, curtains, everything becomes so much more clear when you consider the title of the work.”
Shepka encourages fellow Drewid’s to go see “here.” Regarding why, she said, “This show is incredible. Majumdar’s work is beautiful and is a great example of contemporary abstract art. If you have an appreciation for abstractions and enjoy works of art that are captivating and rendered beautifully, check out Majumdar’s exhibit!”
Like Shepka, Knight encourages fellow Drewids to attend the show. She said, “Majumdar has created wonderful scenes for anyone to explore. Whether you prefer to see a more representational painting, works in progress, or even pick apart the chaos in ‘backstage,’ ‘here’ is a gallery exhibition suited to satisfy everyones’ different tastes.”
“here” will be on display until Oct. 6 and the gallery is open Tues.-Fri. 12:30-4 p.m. For more information, call 973-408-3758 or click here.