Tracing a cartographer’s trail

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Manish Pushkale, one of the finest abstractionists of contemporary time, has recently showcased his new series of paintings in ‘Tracing the Cartographer’s Trail’, an online exhibition hosted by Akar Prakar, New Delhi. Formulated during the gloomy days of the pandemic in the past year, the works reflect the artist’s interest in geology, cartography, archaeology and the history of a land that alters the maps again and again.
Pushkale, hailing from the land of Bhopal, has very closely known the pre-historic and historical sites of Bhimbethka and Sanchi among others, where an extensive span of historical timeline rubs shoulder with the evolving landscape of modern days. The paintings from this show create an impression of the aerial view of such places, painted meticulously in a style which is associated with the running stitch of embroidered quilt or Kantha. The abstract images thus trace the layered history of a land and trajectories of people who have dwelled in it.
Poet and curator Ranjit Hoskote writes about Pushkale’s works, “These drawings are the pensive memoirs of abstraction, which, as we know, both resists language and invites it into dialogue. In this spirit of paradox, Manish Pushkale is a subtle custodian of mysteries and also a sophisticated mapmaker and bridge-builder.”

Manish Pushkale is a New Delhi-based artist, who despite of having no formal training in arts, pursued his career as an abstract artist and succeed to carve a niche for himself. In the last twenty-five years, his works have been extensively exhibited worldwide including the Festival of India in France (2016), and the Venice Biennale (2010). He has also contributed to books and columns on art.

Image courtesy of akar prakar

 

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