Soliloquy: Solo exhibition presenting the recent watercolours and prints by Indrapramit Roy

24 February - 15 April 2023


And there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world. The plain was there under one’s feet but what one looked about was that brilliant blue world of stinging air and morning cloud. The landscape one longed for when one was far away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in was the sky, the sky.        
Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

The set of watercolours and prints by Indrapramit Roy in this show is steeped in a shared irony of life, experienced and realized by almost all of us in recent times perhaps more intensely and deeply than ever before. This intensity, built into his painterly method coupled with the immersive nature of his works, is ineluctably contagious and at times overwhelming as viewing these works gradually becomes irresistibly engaging both visually and conceptually. Before it is realized, the viewers find themselves poised on the threshold of a seemingly tantalizing space waiting to unfold itself to the whispers of the unspoken tales. Seemingly, the tales are illegibly inscribed on the ethereal spaces embodied by the broadly painted, intermittently textured and tonally enhanced pictorial fields signifying sky, water, earth, and desolate streets. The enigmatic visual presence of the silent chronicles in these works is unmistakable. The impending silence, despite the suggestive movements of air and water, clouds and birds, amidst the stillness, is a distinctive quality evident in these works. This silence, however, is not given, it is born out of the twilight saga, witnessed in the solitary moments, so dear to the artist.  The artist quietly stands at the horizon, like a child, who reaches for the truths beyond the door.


‘The time we lived through would one day become history’ – a nearly clichéd statement like this reappeared as a significant one when we were made aware of the transient nature of life, once again. Indrapramit in many of these works, which at first glance suggests an attempt at imaging the apparitions of this lived time, transmutes the sense of transience into a tangible sensory experience. He makes the ephemeral a ‘paintable’ subject and in turn what is ‘paintable’ assumes a transitory reality. This has been his forte for a long time, a consistent hallmark of his works – scripting a silent dialogue between the palpable and the imperceptible. Anchored in his waking life, his drawn and painted images source their sustenance from the worldly visual experiences around and his remarkable interventions turn them from a generally unsuspecting and unassuming sight to a profoundly stimulating and compelling image.


The world of images has always served as a cornucopia of inspirations for Indrapramit Roy. A committed imagist, he relishes every aspect of image making, from the first layer of paint, through the buildup to the crescendo albeit often in muteness. Indeed, a certain sense of silence pervades all his works here. Silence is an essential prerequisite of soliloquy. However, in these works, it appears as a consequence, as an inevitable destiny propelled by the plethora of unsettling stories. A story seems to be born of each soliloquy the artist engages with. While the brush strokes blow across the grains of the paper and thin layers of paint caress them, stories remain unspoken until they disappear in the liminal moment, often caught unaware, leaving the artist, the painted world and the viewers in solitude – the inseparable companion of soliloquy.


- Soumik Nandy Majumdar