Srijon Chowdhury “A Divine Dance” at Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles
Anat Ebgi is proud to announce “A Divine Dance”, a solo exhibition by Srijon Chowdhury.
A Divine Image
Cruelty has a Human Heart
And Jealousy a Human Face
Terror the Human Form Divine
And Secrecy, the Human Dress
The Human Dress, is forged Iron
The Human Form, a fiery Forge.
The Human Face, a Furnace seal’d
The Human Heart, its hungry Gorge.
By William Blake (1789)
Srijon Chowdhury’s paintings are characterized by moody symbolist compositions of richly colored floral and domestic settings. He conjures poetic and allegorical narratives through the use of myth, memory, and repetition.
The works in “A Divine Dance” are charged with the emotions of new fatherhood, anxiety of looming apocalypse, and a romantic appreciation for life. Inspiration is drawn from a variety of sources such as daydreams, personal photos, sketches, and art history. The titular painting depicts a woman in a crimson robe holding a young child in one arm, while her other arm cradles her pregnant belly. They are engulfed in flames, encircled by fiery dancing figures, and framed by two hands forming an arch, a recurring device Chowdhury uses.
Pale Rider, the largest painting in the exhibition, depicts an angelic woman with flowing hair riding horseback; its monumental scale envelopes viewers in a mystical narrative. The rider appears translucent and wields a scythe as she moves across a meadow of blooming flowers—an allusion to death and birth. In the foreground, there is a fence composed from a poem by William Blake titled “A Divine Image” that Chowdhury has turned into a sigil—an ancient practice of transforming pictorial text into a symbol that is considered to have magical powers. The poem speaks about destructive abstracts of human nature: cruelty, jealousy, terror, and secrecy.
Chowdhury’s work confronts universal physical and emotional themes. Soft aura of moonlight, glow of flowers, and dancing flames invite quiet contemplation. He sensitively vacillates between despair and hopelessness at the human condition, while brightening at joy, beauty, and hope that like flowers, life will go on.
At Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles
until 14 December 2019