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Artist of the Day | Jagannath Panda

Jagannath Panda

Anatomy of the Soft Land


Mixed Media on Board

48 inch Diameter


Born in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, Jagannath Panda completed his Bachelor’s degree in sculpture at the B. K. College of Arts and Crafts there in 1991,and his Master’s degree in the same at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University, Baroda in 1994. He served as a visiting researcher at the Fukuoka University of Education, Fukuoka, Japan, in 1997, and also completed another master’s degree in fine sculpture from the Royal College of Art, London, 2002. The visual imagery of Jagannath Panda’s work is deceptively simple: it comprises of linear drawing and a rendered form or two, which seem to float on the surface. His drawings are very realistic, yet he does not offer the viewer a reference to the subject’s existence, or rather he does not recreate a sense of panorama in his paintings. At times he also employs the use of external material, such as silver foil, thread, tracing sheets, to stress upon the reality of the material. The role of color is limited, though used effectively to highlight form. It also sets off the drawings to their best advantage. Panda's style of painting is well suited to his concerns, which are with his immediate surroundings: Orissa, the state he hails from, and New Delhi the chaotic conurbation where he now lives. He is sensitive to the issues raised by urbanization and politics. He does not romanticize issues, but attempts to state them as objectively as possible. Though they seem extraordinary, these paintings are not derived from imagination or fantasy. Based on his personal experiences, both as a rural migrant and as a city dweller, they represent the artist's projections about the not-so-distant future. Panda's canvases, may seem light and unassailing, but they reflect the conflicts we create and face on a daily basis, originating, for the most part, in the contemporary and related phenomena of rural exodus, express urbanization, and the resulting crowding and dislocation of life. These conflicts, however, are not exclusive to humans. As Panda understands them, not only do they involve nature, they are pivoted on the constant tussle between environment and development, nature and technology. Panda’s solo shows include ‘Nothing is Solid’ at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, in 2007; Berkeley Square Gallery and Saffronart Online, London, in 2006; Nature Morte, New Delhi, in 2005; and Zamoca Foundation Gallery, Tokyo, 1998. His work has been included in many group shows like those at the Hockney Gallery, London, 2002; KHOJ International Exhibition at British Council, New Delhi, 2000; and Saffronart and the Guild Gallery, Mumbai, 2004. In 1990 he won the Lalit Kala Akademi Award, and was also honoured with the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Award, New Delhi, in 1996. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.

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