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Nikhil Purohit

Know More About Artist Nikhil Purohit

Born 2nd May 1985, Karnataka.

Academic Qualification:-

2016 – Research Data Management and Sharing by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill & The University of Edinburgh.

2012 – Museology & Conservation- CSMVS (Mumbai University)

2011 – M.A Indology- Tilak Maharashtra University, Pune

2008 – BFA, Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai University, Mumbai


Solo Exhibitions:-

2016 – Draw Drew Drawn, Sudarshan Art Gallery, Pune

2010 – Growth, at Russian Cultural Centre, Mumbai

Group Exhibitions:-

2018 – Text as Text II, curated by Shubhalakshmi Shukla, Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai

2018 – Out of the Box, curated by Ajinkya Patil, Gallery Rangdhanee, Ratnagiri.

2015 – The 377191 Wall, Gallery Beyond, Mumbai

2012 – United Art Fair 1st Ed |New Delhi

2010 – Scarecrow, Viewing Room Art Gallery, Mumbai,


Teaching Positions:-

2017- Present Assistant Professor Amity University Mumbai

2018 – Visiting Faculty, Sir. J J School of Art, Mumbai

2013 – ongoing Visiting Faculty, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai: Research Methodology

2012 Visiting Faculty NIFT Mumbai:

2010-2013 – Visiting Faculty, Sophia-B.K. Somani Polytechnic, Mumbai

Mohile Parikh Center
Program Executive
2016 – Ongoing – V-IDEO | Ideas Worth Sharing

2016 – “ Field Notes” 12 Artists Projects, 1 Student’s Project: Exercises in Imagination, Film Program and Annual Symposia.

2015 – Geographies of Consumption: Bombay/Mumbai

2014 – Social Sculpture: Sharing a Culture of Connectedness | Speaker: Shelley Sacks

2013 – Fields of Legibility Anthology Workshop II | in collaboration with Asia Art Archive

2013 – Open Minds | Integrating Visual Literacy in the Classroom, Mumbai, and Delhi

2013 – Printmaking Colloquium Pedagogy and Practice in the Studio with panellists RM Palaniappan, Rajan Fulari, Kavita Shah

2012 – Value of Culture in collaboration with CREARE Foundation, Netherlands

2008 – Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation
Research and Documentation Assistant


2019 –Visitors Accessibility in Current (Contemporary) Art Exhibitions and Art Programming of Mumbai Region Research project under the Gulestan Billimoria Junior Research Scholarship 2019 awarded by Asiatic Society of Mumbai. | Research Ongoing.

2019 – Becoming Responsible Artist(?) Art Society of India, Annual Catalogue Article on the role of artist and art mediation to reduce the gulf between art and its perception.

2018 – Warli Writers of the 21st Century Published in Vol 21, Indian Contemporary Art Journal

2018 – Biographical Essay on artist Madhav Imartey, Published in Khel periodical published in Marathi

2017-2016 – Art Mediation for Open Access, Art Mediation Tool Kit for Kochi Muziris Biennale

2016 – Vasudev Santu Gaitonde: Sonata Of Solitude, Translation of essential excerpts from original Marathi language into English. Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation, April 15, 2016, Author: Meera Menezes

2015 – International Print Exchange Program, Mumbai

2013 – The Blank Canvas, Biographical essay on the veteran artist Prabhakar Barwe. A translation of Kora Canvas from English to Marathi by Prabhakar Barwe. Translated by Shanta Gokhale, edited by Jerry Pinto & Introduction by Ranjit Hoskote

Drawing happens through the basic attitude to draw. Where to draw from, what and how are the parameters defining the medium and mode of expression, communication, and illustration.

Ontological Rhapsody is a series of drawings that register idiosyncrasies observed of people. They are pictorial congregations of human general attitudes observed both actively and passively of individuals independently and as collectives. The people seen on the roads, railway platforms, bus stands, in small groups or large gatherings sighted in sections, busy in banal actions. These drawings made of fluid lines accumulate people in different poses, undraped – overlapping but devoid of an identity. The identity that make demographic distinctions are abstracted to an extent of letting them just look human. The characters are obese, voluptuous; at times with absurd anatomy appearing cuddly and ignorant. These characters are suspended on the white void background separating each other due to the contours. The limbic formations create an irregular mesh triggering a sort of story that further gets lost abruptly. The suspension allows for short instances of dialogues, action-reaction sequences, causative postures for pre-told tales. The missing or unmarked shadows enable them to stay afloat without anchoring them to a particular ground.

The drawn line clearly states that they are not designed, but are occurrences of acquired habitual wrist movements that lead to figure formations. The stretched arms, legs, flexed palms, twisted trunks, upturned torsos, bent waists displaying buttocks, blank emotionless faces indicate common place gestures sort of celebrating the banality show. The arrangements of the figures happen to be mostly diagonal allowing for active movements amongst the figures making them restless. There is an infusion of lethargy in the movements yet they assume athletic postures contrasting their bulky, cottony bodies. The well fed bodies are icons of laze and ignorance living in the limbo of an unknown realm floating around colliding, pushing, rubbing, and intersecting, lifting, gazing, huffing, cascading, overpowering and such encounters possible to witness among the suspended balloon figures. The gatherings barely engage with the viewer, rather prefer to be dowsed in their own oblivion.

There are drawings (not part of the series) with occasional instances of humour, dominance, authority projecting one character to be hegemonic by shape, size and poise. At times those dominating characters are reflective of the dogmatic acceptances of authority in the world we live in. At rare instances the figures are my – auto representations but to merely state the presence and not to narrate.

Few drawings have partial surface decorations using stippling technique enhancing the spatial experience and connecting the suspended figures. The uses of aerial perspectives are meant to induce the spatial gestalt.

The title ontological rhapsody too has a sudden intuitive appropriation to the series of twenty one odd works combining a disciplined study with abstracted illustrations. The apparently random arrangement of figures presents the viewer with a variety of meaning making within the scope of their perception.

-Nikhil Purohit