Work description

Indian artist Jitish Kallat manipulates the languages of pop and agitprop in order to address, both aesthetically and intellectually, issues of human struggle and survival in modern India. In his paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations, Kallat presents imagery which deliberately undermines the perceived ‘slickness’ of the advertisement and graphic design pervading today’s visual landscape, instead showcasing a gritty realism lifted from the crowded streets and rain-streaked facades of Mumbai. Taking as subjects people whose dreams of a better life have given way to apathy and anger, he presents an unflinching look at the widening gulf between the good intentions of the powers-that-be and the bitter realities of ordinary folk. In doing so, he captures the psychological stress of life in a mega-city, combining a contemporary style of presentation with eternal questions of existence.
Work description

Indian artist Jitish Kallat manipulates the languages of pop and agitprop in order to address, both aesthetically and intellectually, issues of human struggle and survival in modern India. In his paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations, Kallat presents imagery which deliberately undermines the perceived ‘slickness’ of the advertisement and graphic design pervading today’s visual landscape, instead showcasing a gritty realism lifted from the crowded streets and rain-streaked facades of Mumbai. Taking as subjects people whose dreams of a better life have given way to apathy and anger, he presents an unflinching look at the widening gulf between the good intentions of the powers-that-be and the bitter realities of ordinary folk. In doing so, he captures the psychological stress of life in a mega-city, combining a contemporary style of presentation with eternal questions of existence.
“The city street is my university. One finds all the themes of life and art – pain, happiness, anger, violence and compassion – played out here in full volume. Scale is merely one of the many tools one can deploy in the creation of meaning, and decisions such as big, small, lifesize, etc., are as much acts of meaning creation as they may be retinal or aesthetic considerations.” (Jitish Kallat, quoted in The Asian Art Newspaper, February 2010)


“The city street is my university. One finds all the themes of life and art – pain, happiness, anger, violence and compassion – played out here in full volume. Scale is merely one of the many tools one can deploy in the creation of meaning, and decisions such as big, small, lifesize, etc., are as much acts of meaning creation as they may be retinal or aesthetic considerations.” (Jitish Kallat, quoted in The Asian Art Newspaper, February 2010)
Jitish KALLAT, Allegory of an Endless Morning, 2012, Oil, acrylic, household gloss and pencil on canvas, dental plaster, 236.5×1051cm. Collection of Foundation Guy & Myriam Ullens.

Jitish KALLAT, Allegory of an Endless Morning, 2012, Oil, acrylic, household gloss and pencil on canvas, dental plaster, 236.5×1051cm. Collection of Foundation Guy & Myriam Ullens.
Detail of Allegory of an Endless Morning.

Detail of Allegory of an Endless Morning.