Kallat, Jitish b.1974 / Untitled (Stations of Pause)
about this work
Portrait of a city and its doppel ganger. A vast terrain forged of people, their heads flourishing – quite literally – with the bustle of daily life. Haircuts, composed of bicycles and live stock, dump-trucks and school houses, pedestrians and merchants, sprout like corn ucopias of ambition and imagination, binding all together, sustaining the sky line of a great metropolis. It’s a celebration of community, a kind of hippie mural or album cover design, tripping on the vibe of grass roots righteousness and psychedelic utopia. Kallat constructs this vision with a home boy’s pride, the minutiae of detail sharing his own clannish camaraderie. Each and every figure a real person, faithfully rendered from photos taken outside a train station, their transient exist encevalidated and monumentalised, nameless heroes of a cyclical (r)evolution. Kallat’s social realism encapsulates the very spirit of locality, its history and aspirations, with unnerving accuracy; for this is a painting of a city out of place. The thing with folklore is it exists out of synch; not in a time, but many. It offers asense of magic, a generational collapse, where copy after copy, retold and diluted, distils from ‘once upon a time’ an enduring and resolute truth. There’s no coincidence that Kallat approaches painting as erasure. His colours bleed and dapple, assert ghostly form, play tricks of light; concocted from watery elixirs, applied and scraped off, misted with corrosive liquids, each layer melting seam lessly into the next inbiological and alchemical continuity. Their physicality isn’t in their substance, but rather the complete lack of it – a conception of place as indelible stain, palimpsests of uncountable intimate gestures. His canvases are less surfaces than screens: image receptors and transmitters, broad casting fact and fiction in indistinguishable correlation.

Jitish Kallat (b.1974, India)

Untitled (Stations of Pause), 2011

Acrylic on canvas & bronze sculpture
175 x 274 cm
68 7/8 x 107 7/8 in.
Chemould Prescott Road Gallery, Mumbai, India Current Location:
UK - London - G4Si PaintingSouth Asia


Chemould Prescott Booth
India Art Summit, New Delhi, India
January 2011

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