We are delighted to present Youdhisthir Maharjan’s first solo exhibition, An Unquiet Mind at TARQ. As a part of Mumbai Gallery Weekend 2018, the exhibition brings together a body of work that underscores the artist’s meticulous practice which explores the materiality of text. Maharjan does this by using reclaimed text and painstakingly obliterating alphabets and word through a range of techniques. The result is a sculptural entity that is freed from the signifying purpose of words.
Influenced by Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Maharjan explores the idea of futility through a painstaking and repetitive process of carving out and erasing words and alphabets from their original, embedded position in the text. What remains is a composition of textures and patterns that turn the flat surface of a page into a dynamic entity. These sculptural pieces, with their unique visual language, are intuitively decipherable and bafflingly elusive in equal parts.
In his text, curator Amit Kumar Jain writes “For me, this solo exhibition is a series of works that culminate from a three year exploration of Maharjan’s work, as it showcases the multiple techniques that he has experimented with, doodles, ink work, cutting, pasting and more recently burning - each portraying a different emotion. For him, his substance of imagery stems from the twenty-six Roman alphabets of the English language and their potential to be re-contextualized. Though there is no intention to link the process of his work to the title of the page, the final artwork sub-consciously blends in a harmonious dialogue with its title and its form. For instance, the circle made of cut alphabets features in his recent works such as Before Women had Wings, Woman in Love and An Unquiet Mind. While the circle aligns with femininity in the first two works, it represents the act of repetition, the feeling of eternity, making it seem futile and inescapable in An Unquiet Mind. Maharjan connects this work to the fate of Sisyphus, who was condemned to the laborious and meaningless punishment of rolling a rock up a hill, only to find it roll down every time.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, Youdhisthir Maharjan (b. 1984) began his journey in the art with a B.A. in Creative Writing & Art History from the New England College, New Hampshire (USA). He went on to pursue his M.F.A. at the University of Idaho in 2012. He has since exhibited extensively in India, Nepal, the United States and the UK. Some of his solo shows of note include Nothing Repeated at Prichard Gallery, Idaho (2012); The Art of Not Making at the New England College Gallery, New Hampshire (2012) and Nite Light at Indigo Gallery, Nepal (2004).
Maharjan has also been a part of several group shows including Himalayan Contemporary, Desai/Matta Gallery, San Francisco (2017); Deep Cuts at Contemporary Paper Cutting, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire (2017); In Letter and Spirit at TARQ, Mumbai (2016); Reading Room, Saffron Art, New York (2016); Reading Room: Leaves, Threads, and Traces, Winchester Gallery, UK (2016) and Emerging Talent, Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia (2016). His work has been a part of large scale exhibitions such as the Kathmandu Triennale (2017) and the Boston International Fine Art Show, Boston Center for the Arts (2015). The artist currently lives and works in Boston.