mumbai

Roshan Chhabria, Weight of a Brain (detail), 2013, watercolor on paper, 22 1/2 x 31".

Roshan Chhabria

Gallery Maskara

Roshan Chhabria, Weight of a Brain (detail), 2013, watercolor on paper, 22 1/2 x 31".

“Just what is it,” asked Roshan Chhabria via cut-up text pasted on a wall in his debut solo exhibition, “that makes today’s Mothers so different so appealing?” Just above this cheeky question—a revised quotation from Richard Hamilton—were three graphite-and-watercolor drawings, all dated 2011, depicting an upper-middle-class Indian housewife engaged in stereotypical activities. She works out with a personal trainer. She lounges in bed watching a soap opera while instructing a servant. In a pink-and-ocher dress and with two children in tow, she plods down the runway of a “mother and children’s fashion show competition,” presumably at one of the country’s new malls.

If you know the Indian middle class, this is familiar territory. What is peculiar about Chhabria’s approach is that he has given the subject an antique-y patina, made to glow with a post-Cubist palette of

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