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Navjot Altaf, Pattern, 2015–16, rice seeds on floor. Installation view. Photo: Anil Rane.

Navjot Altaf

Chemould Prescott Road

Navjot Altaf, Pattern, 2015–16, rice seeds on floor. Installation view. Photo: Anil Rane.

Navjot Altaf’s recent exhibition “How Perfect Perfection Can Be” pitted earth against sky. Known for artworks anchored to social, gender, and ecological issues, Altaf here represented the earth through an installation of unmilled red rice, two videos, and three sculptures. Each of the last represents part of a traditional loom from the tribal region of Bastar in central India—if combined, the three works could form a single loom. Sky was symbolized by images of skyscrapers in a group of twenty-four watercolors based on photographs Altaf shot in New York. I beams, facade setbacks, aluminum and steel skins, glass-curtain walls: All appear oversize, at extreme close range. The combination of photorealistic precision and delicate chroma suspends the depicted architectural elements between ethereal fantasy and witnessed scene, suggesting a totalizing view of the skyscraper as

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