The series of paintings by Kalpana Shah represent a magical play of vivid pigments knife-bladed onto naked canvases – The canvases urge the viewer to decipher readings into Kalpana’s creative journey. Clearly, one could trace a voyage of infinite pleasure in the elements of nature and play with pigment: the sun bleeding through rust and amber sky or ochre mountains morphing into rugged faces; blue waves licking a thirsty shore or a shimmering river curving through forgotten terrain.

Kalpana’s process of application of brush strokes is meditative – a kind of recurring rhythm, like the repetitive reading of prayer beads. The use of metallic pigment in many of the works, make them multi-dimensional especially when viewed in changing textures of light. Thus, what appears as a landscape when seen in the day, transforms with the slow dance of light into a blaze of abstract metaphors by night.

In her installations, Kalpana’s handling of metals like steel and aluminum seeks to renounce the blandness and sturdy angularities more commonly identified with their industrial and largely utilitarian uses. In place of these hardy properties, we find undulating skeins of colour that enchant the eye with the music of pattern. We are reminded, when we view these works, of that marvelous trope of infinity playing in an eternal loop, dreamt up by mathematicians: the Möbius strip.


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