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Ranbir Kaleka, House of Ibaan

Bose Pacia Gallery
508 West 26th Street, 11th Floor, 212-989-7074
March 20 - March 26, 2008
Reception: Thursday, March 20, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

March 2008 New York – Bose Pacia presents Fables from the House of Ibaan: stage –1, an exhibition of new work by Ranbir Kaleka. The gallery is located at 508 West 26th Street on the 11th Floor, in the Chelsea district of New York City. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 to 6 pm and Saturday 12 to 6 pm. The artist will be in attendance at the opening reception on Thursday, March 20 from 6 to 8 pm. The public is invited.

Ranbir Kaleka’s work has been described as “creating a seemingly living tableau on a canvas and screen.” Kaleka’s new work continues this project of producing art in a third, liminal space between painting and video, which is not as much a hybrid as a transmutation. The first part of Kaleka’s 2008 exhibition at Bose Pacia New York includes three installations comprised of video projections onto painted canvases. The second installment, commencing in September 2008, will include a large multi-media painting installation entitled Reading Man.

The title work of the current exhibition, Fables from the House of Ibaan: stage 1, depicts a man seated at a table in his home. As the scene unfolds the viewer gets the sense of the passage of time as the central figure’s life carries on around him while he sits contemplatively. As time passes the large jug (both proverbial and literal) of milk is filled and emptied. For Kaleka, the work itself can be seen as a suspended entity whose teleological function is one of spacio-temporal relations. As an artist whose earlier career was met with much acclaim for his painting, Kaleka has challenged the typical demarcations of media by developing a medium which contains elements of both video and painting. He is able to animate the otherwise still surface of a painting while simultaneously giving form and space to the light and fleeting presence of video.

Kaleka’s interest in cinema is the impetus behind his initial work in video. His works contain elements of neorealist cinematographers such as Michelangelo Antonio and Vittorio De Sica. Kaleka’s lexicon of visual and audio iconography harkens to this form of realism that makes tangible the essence of being in the present; in a moment of action. It is this phenomenological exploration that gives Kaleka’s video and painting installations the aura of experiencing something almost hyperreal. Viewing Ranbir Kaleka’s work is like a manipulation of time in which one may both experience the moment of action as well as view it from above.

Ranbir Kaleka was born in 1953 in Patiala, Punjab, India. He studied at The College of Art, Punjab University and the Royal College of Art, London. Fables from the House of Ibaan: stage –1 is Ranbir Kaleka’s second solo exhibition with Bose Pacia. The artist has participated in many solo and group exhibitions internationally including a multi-media installation commissioned to permanent collection (Spertus Museum, Chicago 2007); Urban Manners (Hangar Bicocca, Milan 2007) New Narratives: Contemporary Art from India (Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago 2007); HORN PLEASE: The Narrative in Contemporary Indian Art (Museum of Fine Arts, Berne 2007); Art Video Lounge (Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami 2006); Hungry God: Indian Contemporary Art (Busan Museum of Modern Art, South Korea 2006); iCon: India Contemporary (Venice Biennale, 2005); Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India (Asia Society, New York 2005); Culturgest-Lisbon (Lisbon, 2004); Zoom! Art in Contemporary India (Lisbon, 2004); subTerrain: Indian Contemporary Art (House of World Culture, Berlin, 2003).Ranbir Kaleka currently lives and works in New Delhi.
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