London

View of “Prabhavathi Meppayil,” 2019. Foreground: sb/eighteen, 2018. Background, from left: l/hundred thirty six, 2018; l/hundred twenty eight, 2019.

View of “Prabhavathi Meppayil,” 2019. Foreground: sb/eighteen, 2018. Background, from left: l/hundred thirty six, 2018; l/hundred twenty eight, 2019.

Prabhavathi Meppayil

Pace | London

To gild is to transform, with intricate labor, the seemingly ordinary into the precious. Bangalore, India–based Prabhavathi Meppayil descends from a long line of goldsmiths, and she embeds the precise technical language of those craftspeople in her spare and stripped-back work, literally entrenching their processes in the work’s surfaces. Made of painstakingly applied layers of gesso, each of which takes hours to dry, her pieces feature the imprints of endless horizons of tiny geometric shapes made with a thinnam, an Indian goldsmithing tool traditionally used to embellish bangles. Many of the works are serial: Sixteen panels, eight panels, or two panels of enigmatic, barely textured white gaze back serenely as the eye adjusts and the details come into focus. Lines, ovals, corrugated rectangles, squares incised with smaller squares, diamonds, dots, and dashes: Each repeated component is

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