Prithpal S Ladi returns after a decade

Gallery Threshold, Prithpal Singh Ladi, Logic IL Logic

New Delhi: Prithpal Singh Ladi returns after a decade with sculptures that still have the power to shock and awe in a solo exhibition titled 'Logic IL Logic' at Gallery Threshold

Art Exhibition previously on in India.
From Wednesday 15 October 2008 to Wednesday 12 November 2008
Launch Wednesday 15 October 2008, 7 .00 p.m. (IST)

Replotted image

Published by anonymous on Wednesday 08 October 2008.
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In an artistic statement as powerful as the work that alienated him from his sculpture teacher in M.S. University, Baroda, Shillong-based Prithpal Singh Ladi is back with his recent sculptures in a solo show that marks his emergence from a long hiatus of almost a decade. Presented by Gallery Threshold, the show will present sculptures in gemstones, glass, metal and other found material at Gallery Threshold, F-213 A, Lado Sarai, New Delhi from October 15, 2008 till November 12, 2008. The show can be simultaneously viewed at www.gallerythreshold.com

Says Tunty Chauhan, Director, Gallery Threshold: “Prithpal Singh Ladi was quite the shooting star when he appeared on the horizon around a decade ago, then wasn’t heard of much, and has recently come back into the reckoning with his new works. Ladi makes sculptures that are restlessly rooted in a pervasive multitude of life’s transforming manifestations. The art world awaits his return with curiosity, anticipation and bated breath.”

At 53, Ladi’s works continue to exhibit his penchant for the eccentric and strange and reflect his constant struggle to come to terms with personal loss far beyond the ordinary. Almost every work is a tribute to the suffering of a family member but it is the artist’s masterly imagination at using material that redeems the work from being merely a personal indulgence. Though each sculpture is almost a condensed narrative that begins with an autobiographical tinge, it soon grows into a larger picture. Through intricately detailed dragonflies and hindless frogs, mechanical devices like an antique Mercedes typewriter, limp human figures in postures of obeisance, Ladi infuses his sculptures with a queer humor that enables the viewer to access them, moving effortlessly from the familiar to the fantastic, or from the apparent to the suggested.

Take his series Jewel Insects for instance. Large dragonflies made of glass, gemstones and metal are reference to his childhood years spent in Shillong replete with freedom of creativity and innocence which now he feels are “under siege”. Or the sculpture titled Replotted (fibre glass) where a bemused man tries to hold down a fossilized butterfly that has almost escaped his grasp. Says Ladi: “My father was a famed jeweller who was modern in outlook and gave me the freedom to choose art when the rest of the family was either doctors or engineers. When I lost him to cancer, I almost went into hiding fighting my own internal demons. I think I’m now ready to face the art world with work which will tell not only my story but also of so many others who we call the ‘common man’.”

In another sculpture tiled Type Muskan, Ladi has used an antique typewriter from the makers of Mercedes to create what he calls a ‘jungle story’ for his 10-year-old son Muskan. So, one can find desolate animal figures all telling their tale of nature being lost to deforestation and commercialisation. “I am revisiting my childhood years through my son. Just like a child, I learn everyday to resurrect dead material that is no longer of any use. Glass of whiskey bottles, broken tube-lights, fused bulbs, old chandeliers and scraps of old trophies all find their way into my work one way or the other. Sometimes, I get carried way too,” he smiles. What’s interesting is one can dismantle the sculpture to use the typewriter as an original, a technique the sculptor could master because of his science background in college.

Just as he had broken all norms of sculptural attitude during his student days in Baroda (“All our teachers could teach us was to make buffaloes and elephants,” he complains”), Ladi still retains the rebellious streak in him. As is evident in his work titled “And Look Who Walks The Ramp” and “Judicious” where he makes a comment both on fashion and judiciary!

Certainly, a much-awaited show that’s a must-visit!