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End of Nature II Arunkumar H.G., G.R. Iranna, Dhara Mehrotra, Viraj Mithani, Priyantha Udagedara -  - Exhibitions - Aicon Contemporary

G.R. Iranna, Under the Planet 1, 2022. Mixed media on paper, 30h x 22w in

On the occasion of Earth Day 2024, Aicon Contemporary is pleased to present a group exhibition, End of Nature II, featuring the work of artists whose practices are inextricably, if subtly, imbued with a concern for the biogenic climate and environmental disaster facing us. As the gallery’s previous show End of Nature presented a forward-looking, environmentally concerned exhibition, we now present a sequel: End of Nature II. 

As a second step in our investigation and portrayal of the “End of Nature,” the show delves deeper into the foundations set up by the last show: the concept of an end of the environment in a “pure” form, intergenerational dynamics at play in the climate crisis, how labor practice and identity politics manifest in our current environmental predicament. The artists in this show tackle not just representations of the “natural” but evaluate whether these categories (natural/cultural) are as impenetrable as they were once seen to be. The show observes practices that are steeped in materiality and how it is derived from or contributes to the cycles of the environment.

G.R. Iranna’s work showcases how our own subjectivities are tied to the nature around us, through his varied forms of blossoms and trees. Iranna both looks outward into the world, and gives his own interiority form and language.

Priyantha Udagedara approaches the environment from an essential point of view - depiction of colonial histories of extraction through 17th century Dutch botanical painting. He creates a complex dynamic of pain and beauty, pointing to an important source of the current climate crisis - global power dynamics of extraction. 

Arunkumar H.G.’s investigates the forces of global production, urban expansion and the ecological toll of material consumption. His body of work - animal sculptures - convey a pressing need to embrace recuperative husbandry. In his deliberate repurposing of solid waste materials collected from rubbish bins, roadsides or abandoned mounds of building scraps to create art, Arunkumar conquers both the physical and conceptual.

Viraj Mithani is an interdisciplinary contemporary artist and educator. His practice floats between painting, print and sculpture. They are morphed with dichotomies that include abstraction versus representation, traditional versus progressive, the epic versus the everyday, organic versus technological and are sporadically loaded with personal life anecdotes 

Dhara Mehrotra demonstrates intricate linkages and connections in her painting, her work deems isolated consciousness a falsehood, rupturing contemporary individualist tendencies. Once we are willing to acknowledge the relational dynamics of the natural and cultural realms, there are possibilities of understanding complex processes and deeper synergy. 

End of Nature II Arunkumar H.G., G.R. Iranna, Dhara Mehrotra, Viraj Mithani, Priyantha Udagedara -  - Exhibitions - Aicon Contemporary

Arunkumar H.G., Bear, 2018. Paper pulp, cement, wood glue, aluminum, floor paint and clear coat, 20.50h x 18w x 17.50d in

G.R. Iranna (b. 1970; Karnataka, India) During his youth, Iranna studied in a Gurukul (a system of education where the student resides with the teacher) and lived in an ashram for almost seven years. This helped to form a strong connection to his cultural roots, which enters his work alongside his exploration of the antitheses of inherent dualities of the world. Iranna endeavors to translate an internal landscape onto tactile surfaces and aspects of Buddhist art influences are evident. Although he began painting oil on canvases, Iranna later developed his range of mediums, embarking on his now primary use of tarpaulin. The artist lives and works in New Delhi, India.

Arunkumar H. G. (b. 1968; Karnataka, India) received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fine Arts from MS University of Baroda in 1995. By using a method of industrial reproduction to create his animal figures, Arunkumar explores the effects of mass production and recuperative husbandry. His work seamlessly blends the historical legacy of animal imagery with a critique on consumerist culture and environmental change. In our global present, development is promoted as the hallmark of progress and it is often cited as a panacea for many social problems; however, the materials, methods and visual metaphors used by Arunkumar in his works poignantly strip bare the promise of development to hint at the nature of its existential threat.

Priyantha Udagedara (b. 1975; Kandy, Sri Lanka) Priyantha Udagedara’s art through the years has been marked by the socio-political reality of conflict, violence, invasion, plunder, occupation, suppression and civil unrest. He juxtaposes the troubling realities of our existence with aesthetically pleasing motifs. Udagedara is currently a senior lecturer of the Department of History and Art Theory, University of the Visual and Performing Arts. He graduated from the University of Visual and Performing Arts in 2006. 

Dhara Mehrotra (b. 1979; Delhi, India) is a visual artist, based in Bangalore in India. She has an M.F.A in Painting from College of Art, Delhi University, India. Currently she is a Visiting Artist Fellow at Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University. Dhara is the recipient of Swapan Biswas award for academic excellence in India, and also the junior fellowship award from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR-NCBS) Bangalore 2018-19, resulting in an exhibition titled ‘Through Clusters and Networks’. She has also been a Meta artist-in-residence culminating in ‘Flux’, at the Meta campus in Hyderabad 2021 India. Other exhibitions and installation projects include: India Art Fair, New Delhi 2022, FMI Goethe Institut New Delhi and Kolkata in collaboration with Raqs Media Collective 2019, Aicon Contemporary New York 2020, The Anant Art New Delhi 2021-22. Mehrotra has showcased works at the ‘Museum Of Sacred Arts’ (MOSA) Belgium, at The China Art Museum in Shanghai; at the University of California.