A History Of Gestures
Nai’s iconic vision for socially-conscious minimalism has earned him global attention as a crucial voice for Indian art today. Paying mind towards the complex intersections of material culture, art history, class relations, and autobiography, Nai’s geometrically simple forms distill the essence of contemporary Mumbai. Known best for employing indigo-dyed jute, used clothes, and the diverse newspapers of India as the raw material for his practice, Nai’s newest bodies of work expand to include whole used books and mosquito nets. Whether stacked like the layers of sedimentary rock or compressed into rippling whorls, the sculptures comprised of used books refuse legibility. Their former status as books is immediately accessible, but their content as text is arrested in time, frozen inside the sculpture. The mosquito net paintings similarly crystallize time, acrylic stains passing through their thin membrane, laying out a history of gestures. These new bodies of work, making their American debut in this exhibition, present new entry points for understanding Nai’s multifaceted but unified practice.