Mario D’Souza

  • Louise Despont, Aconite, 2021, graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages, 74 1/2 x 94".
    picks March 09, 2022

    Louise Despont

    With “In Resonance,” Louise Despont continues to enmesh the botanical and the spiritual through meticulous, meditative drawings elegantly rendered with graphite and colored pencil in her signature pastel tones. The show’s centerpiece, the massive Aconite, 2021, hangs on a wall of its own between two of the gallery’s Corinthian columns. A poisonous plant that grows in rocky habitats, the aconite—also known as wolf’s bane—is widely used for medicinal purposes, even though scientific evidence has yet to confirm its exact healing properties. Delicately drawn hemispheric forms repeat like tiles over

  • View of “Shezad Dawood,” 2021. Works from the series “University of NonDualism,” 2019–20.

    Shezad Dawood

    On a humid December afternoon, I encountered a group of schoolchildren taking turns wearing a virtual-reality headset. Each of them slowly and distinctly moved their hands in space, attempting to touch what they saw. The phantasmic experience evoked amused laughter from the group of visitors to Shezad Dawood’s exhibition “House in a Garden,” in which VR became a loaded metaphor through which to examine ideas of sovereignty, soft diplomacy, and the politics of space. In his VR piece Encroachments, 2019, references gleaned from his time as a boy in Pakistan—arcade parlors in Karachi and anti-Soviet

  • Ladhki Devi, Mata, 2020–21, poster paint on mud-coated cloth, 18 1/2 x 14 1/2".
    picks December 28, 2021

    Gauri Gill, Vinnie Gill, and Ladhki Devi

    Protruding from the earth, a meteorlike rock gleams against the night sky. In the distance, the silhouette of a construction site looms behind a temporary tin-sheet wall. While the photograph reads like a vision from a terraformed future, it was taken in the city of its title, Kolkata 2009 (a), as part of Gauri Gill’s “Re-memory” series, 2003–. In the exhibition “Sheher, Prakriti, Devi” (City, Nature, and Goddess), the image hangs next to a pastel-and-watercolor work by the artist’s mother, Vinnie Gill. Densely painted with generous autumnal colors, the hills in Shyok River in Nubra Valley, at

  • Praneer Soi, The Olive Tree and the Bul-Bul, 2021, acrylic, silverpoint and graphite on canvas, 78 3/4 x 78 3/4".
    picks December 16, 2021

    Praneet Soi

    Spread over two floors of Vadehra Art Gallery, Praneet Soi’s “Migrations” marks the artist’s first show in New Delhi in five years. The title suggests the movement of images across time and circumstance may be akin to that of birds or bodies. The theme emerges from the artist’s own experience of being located between Kolkata and Amsterdam, as well as his family’s earlier exodus from Lahore to East India during the bloody partition of 1947. The exhibition showcases Soi’s sensitive eye for patterns—honed by ten years spent with craftsmen in the Kashmiri city of Srinagar—through a selection of

  • Mehlli Gobhai, Untitled, ca. 1970s, mixed media on canvas, 40 × 48".

    Mehlli Gobhai

    In the first works in Mehlli Gobhai’s exhibition “Epiphanies,” all of them untitled and dating to the 1970s, vibrant tones such as cobalt blue, mint green, scarlet red, and bright yellow constellated on dynamic abstract canvases. On closer inspection, human figures and objects reduced to geometric forms and lines emerged from the play of colors: Lord Krishna played the flute in one, while a female figure pleasured herself in another, dated 1974, and we made out a box lying flung open in a third. These rarely seen chromatic paintings—which Gobhai made when he was dividing his time between New

  • View of “All is Water, And to Water We Must Return,” 2021.
    picks July 22, 2021

    Sahil Naik

    Each summer as the waters of Goa’s Selaulim Dam recede, the village of Curdi emerges from a watery grave. Hundreds of former residents return to symbolically occupy their lost homes. They clean the ruins, place objects in them, and sing together. Goan artist Sahil Naik has been researching this phenomenon and charting an alternate history of the shifting landscape, drawing from anecdotes, folklore, rumors, and myth. The artist strives to preserve these memories as a means to resist erasure.  

    The work that gives the exhibition its name, “All Is Water, and to Water We Must Return” (all works 2021),