Geary is pleased to present “once, and twice”, a new series of paintings by Sangram Majumdar. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
These new paintings expose Majumdar’s continued investment in the body in space and points to his recent engagement with the archetype of hands as tools for creating, touching, claiming, and exclaiming. Using an 18th-century Indian illustration of the epic tale the Ramayana, which depicts Prince Rama killing the misunderstood princess-turned-demoness Tatakā for standing her ground as a foundation, Majumdar’s paintings explore the body and its (in)visibility in the world and propose a series of questions: How do bodies, so real and material, appear or disappear in a work of art, and by extension, in the world? What does it mean for a body to matter, and what relationship does that have to the materiality—the matter-ing—of painting? In what ways can painting reach and touch as bodies can?
(Dr. Jordan Amirkhani)
Majumdar’s paintings are like people. They reveal a contradiction inherent in all of us, at times rational and in the next moment full of doubt. Resonating with recurring forms and gestures, each work in the show is made along its own trajectory. In works such as “a loud sun blinds” and “Cassandra’s siren”, tracings and hints of a figure moves through space, its gestures repeating from one painting to another. In other paintings, an open palmed hand becomes a surrogate for the body arriving as a pair in “hidden” or its more multiplied counterpart in “call and response.” Many of them contain evidence of recorded time, lost moments, and new discoveries, while other works are a bit more matter of fact.
The exhibition title refers to this double-edged nature of repetition and its simultaneous ability to strengthen and diffuse meaning.
Born in Kolkata, India, Majumdar has a MFA from Indiana University and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Recent solo exhibition venues include Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, Barbara Davis Gallery, and Asia Society Texas Center. Recent group exhibition venues include The Landing Gallery, James Cohan Gallery, and Gallery Zürcher. Selected awards include a 2018 NYFA Grant in Painting, Purchase Award from the 2010 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY, residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Space Program. Majumdar lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Baltimore, MD.