• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1975

    South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

    20 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 109

    JITISH KALLAT (B. 1974)

    Untitled (Conditions Apply)

    Price Realised  


    JITISH KALLAT (B. 1974)
    Untitled (Conditions Apply)
    signed and dated '2004 JITISH KALLAT' (on the reverse)
    acrylic on canvas
    48 x 72 in. (122 x 182.8 cm.)
    Painted in 2004

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    Jitish Kallat resurrects the strewn debris of mass media, piecing together old photographs, faxes and photocopies to create a visual collage from which he paints his canvases. Splashing words like truncated slogans across his paintings, Kallat exposes the idiosyncrasies of mechanical reproduction by revealing the grainy resolutions and cropped compositions of his news clippings and internet printouts. Following the aesthetic sensibilities of Pop Art, Kallat has collapsed the picture plane giving his viewer no refuge from his images of child labourers, urchins and street waifs. His subaltern subject matter, flickers between the genial imagery of the everyday billboard and the violence of the agit-prop posters as it confronts its audience.
    In discussing his works, Kallat explains the sources of his inspiration. The ideas permeating in number of his paintings were, "conceived almost a year ago when the US was carpet bombing Afghanistan following the terror attacks. The sky in these works is the carrier of the images. Weapons replace the sun, the moon and the stars. I was thinking of how most forms of violence these days actually arrive from the sky. Neither the victim nor the perpetrator is shown in these works."

    Kallat's cities and subjects are constantly under attack and he addresses the current war-torn political climate not only in his subject matter but in his technique. Blasting away at the surface of his paintings, Kallat ages these works suggesting the destruction that warfare has wreaked on cities and people. In this work, Kallat returns to the image of the plane, an object latent with political messages. The plane, both an object of warfare, travel and now the subject of incessant national security issues, contains the outline of a human body splayed on its back like a corpse. Its body, which contains the concentric circles of a marksman's target, seems to be caught in the crosshairs of a political drama, its only warning precisely stated in an unemotional fine print as "conditions apply". Kallat seems to be questioning the conditions surrounding our current litany of global issues, including but not exclusively globalization, war religious unrest and oppression. At what point do the conditions outweigh any possible benefit from our actions?


    Christie's, 26 November 2006, Asian Contemporary Art, Lot 426