Erasure | Curated by Susanta Mandal: D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi

2 March - 2 April 2021



Curated by Susanta Mandal

2 March – 2 April 2021
Monday – Saturday | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Vadehra Art Gallery
D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110049


Vadehra Art Gallery is pleased to announce a group show titled Erasure, curated by Susanta Mandal, featuring work by himself along with artists Atul Dodiya, Anju Dodiya, Sudhir Patwardhan, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Dayanita Singh, Ayisha Abraham, Mithu Sen and Ranbir Kaleka.



In Erasure, artist Susanta Mandal initiates an exchange of ideas around the thematics of the creative process through an exhibition format, inviting artists whom he respects and admires to weigh in on their artistic sources and cognitive triggers. Mandal identifies process as the crux of creation while considering how its relationship to art- making has evolved with as much precision and fervor as the diversifications in visual languages. From serving as an invisible structure in early art movements when artworks were posited as transcendental, author-less creations, to its present-day avatar as a fundamental feature or contextual aspect of post-modern art, he explores how ideas are formed in response to a range of fluxes through process, from assimilation and alienation to aggregation and erasure. As process becomes the catchword of content in the contemporary age, as how something is made gains more traction and weight in how one must feel about something, Mandal is interested in postulations of erasure – of a self-referential and self-editing intention that is in parts voluntary and involuntary – as an act of thinking.


Not only does the show explore the physicality of process as it culminates in a tangible end result, it also reflects on the discipline of history as an ideological tool that selectively structures the past and rewrites it at will, and the other more clinical and pathological process of dementia where the memory of the affected individual is tragically wiped out. In social and mass media,


For Mandal, actions of erasure are not only effected in the original strokes of creation but also in the revising and remembering of past acts, as is the case with an unstable mental prowess that attempts to re-construct its reality or a political maneuver to re-visualize identity, place and history while keeping certain objectives in focus. Moreover, historical erasure through the removal of traces has often been wielded as a tool for controlling the masses, by blurring collective memories and creating numbness thus resulting in a failure to recall our most vivid losses.


The illustrative breadth and thoughtful depth of Mandal’s point of view emerges as he complicates and engages with these core questions of process, which is multi-lateral and perfunctory yet authentically tied to ideology, in individual and collective contexts that are more importantly examined as tools of creation as well as of destruction. He asks: “Whose or what stories are being told? Whose or what pain is being acknowledged? Whose or what birth is celebrated? identities are finely erased and intolerances are layered as per old discriminatory practices on the basis of colour, caste, religion, gender and sexuality. Do we tend to forget some ideas, or is it required we forget for the comfort of our inner constitution? Who will decide, for the sake of truth, which version is unbiased?”


In contemplating creation as process over product, Mandal adds a valuable, interdisciplinary dimension to the show by including a myriad of contributions in the form of text, notes, drawings, images, video and sound from both creative and non- creative practitioners involved in their own kind of ‘making of’. This collective space serves as a discursive off-center amplifying the explorations undertaken by the

participating artists.


While the show is on view at the gallery, where we’re undertaking strict health, sanitization and social distancing measures to ensure the safety of our visitors, we’re happy to be able to make engaging with the show a virtual possibility as well. To do so, we’re embracing a new immersive 3D digital technology experience via Matterport on our website, which offers a multi-dimensional mapping of the show: An extended curatorial essay and a comprehensive exhibition PDF are also available on request. Please write to or call us at +911146103550 to set up an appointment prior to your visit.



Born in 1965 in Kolkata, SUSANTA MANDAL completed a BFA in painting from the Government College of Arts and Craft and an MFA in painting from the Benares Hindu University. His works have been shown in several exhibitions both in India and abroad. His most recent solo shows include Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2015); and Gallery SKE, Bangalore (2011). He has participated in several group shows, including Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2020); the Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa (2019, 2017); the Chennai Photo Biennale (2019); Gallery Odyssey, Mumbai (2017– 18); and Bikaner House, New Delhi (2017), to name a few. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.



Born in Pune, Maharashtra, in 1949, SUDHIR PATWARDHAN is a practicing radiologist and a self-taught artist. He has held more than fifteen solo exhibitions in all major galleries, including Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi (2017); Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (2017); Sakshi Gallery, Banglore and Mumbai (2001, 2002), to name a few, as well as several international exhibitions. His paintings are included in many public and private collections, including the National of Modern Art, New Delhi; Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi; Punjab University Museum, Chandigarh; Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal; Gallery of Contemporary Art, Kochi; Peabody Essex Museum, USA; and the Herwitz Family Collection, USA. The artist lives and works in Mumbai.



Born in Mumbai in 1940, GIEVE PATEL is a renowned playwright, poet, artist and a practicing physician. Patel has participated in numerous major exhibitions in India and abroad. Some of his major exhibitions include a solo show of paintings at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai (2017); National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, (2016); Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (2007); Bose Pacia, New York (2006); and Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2004). He has been awarded the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in 1984; the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1992, and been the C.R. Parekh Writer-in-Residence, Norman Foundation Grant at the University of Pennsylvania, in 2003. The artist lives and works in Mumbai.

Born in 1937 in Gujarat, GULAMMOHAMMED SHEIKH completed a master’s of fine arts in painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Baroda. He has participated in various prominent exhibitions, including the Kochi–Muziris Biennale (2014); Lalit Kala Akademi Galleries, New Delhi (2014, 2013, 2011); and the Triveni Kala Sangam (2014) to name just a few. His artworks are featured in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; the Peabody Essex Museum, Virginia, USA; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan as well as several private collections in India and abroad. The artist lives and works between Delhi and Baroda.



Born in 1971 in West Bengal, MITHU SEN works in a variety of media to explore and subvert hierarchical codes and rules, with particular reference to the ‘myth’ of sexuality, language, market, and marginalization. She has exhibited and performed widely at museums, institutions, galleries and biennales including, the Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, Queens Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, Palais De Tokyo, Art Unlimited: Basel, Kochi–Muziris Biennale, among others. Most recently, she was recognized as Performance Artist of the Year by India Today in 2020. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.



Born in 1953, RANBIR KALEKA is a multi-media artist based in New Delhi. Kaleka was trained at the College of Art, Chandigarh, and the Royal College of Art, London. Kaleka has been exhibited in a range of major international galleries museums. Kaleka was awarded the National Award by the President of India at the 22nd National Exhibition of Art organized by the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1979 in Delhi. His has participated in several solo and group exhibitions, including Volte Gallery & Saffron Art Gallery, Delhi (2012); Bose Pacia Gallery, New York (2009, 2008, 2005); Spertus Museum, Chicago (2007); Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2012); Singapore Art Museum (2011); Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2011); and MOCA Taipei, Taiwan (2010), to name a few. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.


Born in 1963, AYISHA ABRAHAM is an installation artist and short filmmaker. She studied painting at M.S. University, Baroda, in India as well as Rutgers University, new Jersey, United States (1995), and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York City (1992). Her work has been shown at numerous international exhibitions and festivals, including Samuha Artists Collective; Heart, Herning Museum of Contemporary Art in Herning, Denmark; Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore; Caixa Forum, Barcelona; Pompidou Center, Paris; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, to name a few. The artist lives and works in Bangalore.



Born in 1961, DAYANITA SINGH studied visual communication at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and photojournalism and documentary photography at the International Center of Photography, New York. Singh has had a number of noteworthy solo exhibitions, more recently including Frith Street Gallery, London; Callicoon Fine Arts, New York; Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo; Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai; the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Goethe- Institut, New Delhi; and MAST, Bologna, to name a few, in addition to a host of group exhibitions in India and abroad. Among other recognition, she received the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2014. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.