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Untitled (Metascape)

Untitled (Metascape)
signed and dated ‘PADAMSEE 96’ (upper right)
oil on canvas
35 x 53 7/8 in. (88.9 x 136.8 cm.)
Painted in 1996
Acquired directly from the artist
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Lot Essay

Akbar Padamsee’s Metascapes, a series of paintings the artist began in the early 1970s, represent his long and distinctive involvement with the genre of landscape. As the word Metascape suggests, in these paintings Padamsee is concerned with the mythic or archetypal landscape, which is expressed visually by a stringent ordering of timeless elements, such as the earth, the sun and the moon, in temporal space. “Rather than an intent to describe the natural world per se, the artist’s object was the total conceptual and metaphysical ken of his visual environment, with his paintings impressing an immediate perceptual experience that relied on expression and sensation rather than realist recognition.” (B. Citron, Akbar Padamsee, Work in Language, Mumbai, 2010, p. 195)

The use of a bold palette, and the importance the artist places on texture and construction, complements his choice of landscape as subject, with earthy tones and vibrant reds, blues and yellows. The colours evoke a sense of movement in an unmoving space. Yashodhara Dalmia describes Padamsee’s metascapes as “[...] brilliantly choreographed planes of light and dark made in thick impasto which evoke mountains, field, sky and water. The controlled cadence of the colours breaks into a throbbing intensity as the artist in his most masterly works, evokes infinite time and space.” (Y. Dalmia, Indian Contemporary Art Post Independence, New Delhi, 1997, p. 17)

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