Eco conscience: Vibha Galhotra’s creations comment on New Delhi pollution

Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City
Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City's Chelsea district is currently staging ‘Vibha Galhotra: Absur-City-Pity-Dity’, in which the artist focuses on the heavily polluted Yamuna River, considered one of the world’s most contaminated rivers 
(Image credit: The artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery)

While it’s certainly the norm for world leaders to call attention to dire environmental issues, New Delhi-based artist Vibha Galhotra (opens in new tab) addresses similar concerns in her compelling oeuvre, which is currently on view at Jack Shainman Gallery (opens in new tab) in New York City.  Titled ‘Vibha Galhotra: Absur-City-Pity-Dity’, the exhibition focuses on the heavily polluted Yamuna River, considered one of the world’s most contaminated rivers as well as on severe urban sprawl through video, sculpture, tapestry, photography and installation art.

‘Vibha’s work is haunting as she reveals in a very real way the erosion related to that river as well as the extreme overcrowding in so many of India’s cities, yet at same time marked by sheer beauty,’ says Shainman. ‘Her work is a kind of visual reportage and document along with a meditative statement all at once.’

Even the materials Galhotra uses directly reference the river. For her 2015 installation project 365 days, she collected river sediment in approximately three hundred and sixty five small glass vials accompanied by both photographs and message related to the river.  Elsewhere are swathes of white cotton which when drenched in the river have turned to a morbid black, which she then encases in resin.

Then Galhotra’s complex tapestry Majanu ka tilla, is composed of ghungroos, small metal bells worn by women in traditional Indian dance. Arranged in an amorphous shape, the composition is crowded, almost claustrophobic speaking of the increasing density of cities.

‘I know of no other artist who conveys such a powerful message’ says Shainman.

Gallery includes video, sculpture, tapestry, photography and installation art

The exhibition also expresses New Delhi's severe urban sprawl through video, sculpture, tapestry, photography and installation art 

(Image credit: The artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery)

365 Small glass and photographs and message

A closer look at '365 days', in which the artist collected river sediment in approximately three hundred and sixty five small glass vials and installed them with both photographs and message related to the river

(Image credit: The artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery)

River sediment or white cotton soaked materials used

Galhotra uses materials that directly references the river, such as vials of river sediment or white cotton soaked in its muddy waters 

(Image credit: The artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery)

Majanu ka tilla is composed of ghungroos

Galhotra’s complex tapestry Majanu ka tilla, is composed of ghungroos, small metal bells worn by women in traditional Indian dance

(Image credit: The artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery)

Arranged in an amorphous shape

Arranged in an amorphous shape, the composition is crowded, almost claustrophobic speaking of the increasing density of cities

(Image credit: The artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery)

’Majnu Ka Tila and frame

‘Vibna’s work is haunting as she reveals in a very real way the erosion related to that river as well as the extreme overcrowding in so many of India’s cities, yet at same time marked by sheer beauty,’ says Shainman

(Image credit: The artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery)

Majnu Ka Tila made with nickel coated ghungroos, fabric, wood and polyurethane

A more detailed view of 'Majnu Ka Tila' (2015) - a piece made from nickel coated ghungroos, fabric, wood and polyurethane

(Image credit: The artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery)

INFORMATION

‘Vibha Galtrova: Abur-City-Pity-Dity’ iruns until 5 December

Photography courtesy of the artist and Jack Shaiman Gallery

ADDRESS

Jack Shainman Gallery (opens in new tab)
513 West 20th Street
New York

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