In the late 1980's, Jagdish Swaminathan's paintings underwent a dramatic stylistic and technical shift. In these later works, texture plays an important role in the creation of the overall image, and it is arrived at through the skillful combination of staining and the interplay of horizontal and vertical bands. Moreover, "the surface of the canvas ceases to be a two-dimensional support system upon which is represented a world, whether abstract or figurative. The surface becomes an arena within which to act and from which the creative ace and material world arise." (K.B. Goel, 'The Other', J. Swaminathan, Vadehra Art Gallery, Exhibition Catalogue, New Delhi, 1993.)
From the beginning of his artistic career, Jagdish Swaminathan has concerned himself with the exploration of the tribal in modern art practices. His works draw "upon the collective assemblage of myths and symbols in folk, and other subterranean passages of culture that attempted to reach the unknown in a kind of blind intuitiveness." (G. Kapur, 'Reaching Out to the Past', Lalit Kala Contemporary 40, New Delhi, March 1995, p. 17.)
The later works are an amalgamation of various symbols and images that come together in interesting combinations. Individually, these symbols can be read as "non descriptive, partially associated images" that may not be recognizable, but when seen as a whole they take on a new and collective meaning. "Whatever specific context they may belong to, he uses images and icons of the past, that in a similar attempt at identification become evocative and remain so even at this point in time. Through the transformed context and relationships in his painting, they become one with traditional and contemporary, because they are born of a motivation that bridges the two in a continuum." (G. Kapur, ibid, p. 17.)
Geometric forms are common to these works and are vested with symbolic references and meanings. Swaminathan seeks not to create a discourse but instead to formulate a visual language or "text" that lends itself to numerous interpretations.
This work belongs to a group of paintings executed by the artist in the early 1990's as a special commission for the corporate headquarters of the Times of India Group.