In the second gallery, Julie Saul is pleased to present Cowdust, a series of collaborative paintings by New York artist Julie Evans and Indian miniature painter Ajay Sharma. Evans and Sharma met in 2003 while Evans was researching miniature painting in India on a Fulbright Scholarship and they became close friends. He is recognized there as Master of miniature painting. Despite the enormous cultural differences between them, their shared involvement with miniature painting caused Evans to suggest a collaborative project creating work together over a period of time.
In 2009 Evans went to Jaipur where she and Sharma worked long days for eight weeks, passing paintings back and forth until each was completed. The resulting eight works are neither abstract nor narrative. They each contain a floating central form – a surprising amalgam that combines the subtlety of Evans’ poured, ephemeral grounds and close attention to detail with the exquisite refinement of Sharma’s precise hand. Carrying themes over from their own personal works, and challenging the other to re-contextualize them, the process reflected their very diverse cultural backgrounds and artistic sensibilities. They were able to negotiate the artistic gaps in their differing styles to stunning effect, with their separate voices distinctly evident in most places, while in others they are fluidly fused.