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MATERIAL CONCERN: THE ART OF SHEELA GOWDA

Sheela Gowda, Of All People (detail), 2010–11, wood, metal, enamel, oil paint, ink-jet print on paper. Installation view, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 2013. Photo: Peter Cox.

SHEELA GOWDA is always weighing her options: literally—insofar as her sculptural works are often suspended, their hanging substance demonstrating their heft—but also figuratively, as the found images she uses are assessed for potential content, both obvious and latent. “I find it impossible to look at anything around me without thinking about the processes behind it,” the artist has said.1

The material consciousness of a sustained sculptural practice does not commonly accompany the two-dimensional scrutiny of our image-obsessed culture, a scrutiny increasingly filtered through technological distance. Yet the Bangalore, India–based Gowda makes a case for the necessity of all dimensions to work in coexistence. Exploring the tactility and mutations of many media, Gowda’s art physically demonstrates how meaning circulates, breaks down, and re-forms: Her abstract sculptures

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