Kartik Sood at Talwar Gallery | New York

Kartik Sood’s solo debut within the US, “Elusive Areas,” is an achievement of aching delicacy. Semitransparent, usually partial renderings of human figures hover amid smoky forests and haunting crepuscular interiors. In a departure from his earlier desire for mixed-media set up, the artist right here presents a imaginative and prescient of Surrealist interiority by the pared-down vocabulary of paint, graphite, and collage.

The works within the first gallery had been produced in response to situations of the pandemic lockdown. His topics are painted in muted tones of Whistler’s nightfall and appear to be plucked out of Gaganendranath Tagore’s mystical proto-Cubist tableaux. Such a lush hazy palette suggests the thick mists of Shimla, Sood’s hometown within the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on the foothills of the Himalayas. This atmospheric saturation can also nod to the lethal smog of New Delhi, a metropolis he now calls residence, along with the coastal state of Goa. The suite Being with oneself I–VI (all works 2022–23), reveals pairs of seated males, every one a close to mirror of the opposite, suggesting doubling, or a type of displacement as seen by a glass, darkly. There may be an ambiguous intimacy at play in these photos, a hyperlink between the twins that resists decision, like a dream half remembered.

Textural variation serves as a delicate reminder that every work is an object of reflection. A canvas’s floor is commonly disrupted by small scratches and errant flecks of paint. Elements of figures appear about to peel off, suggesting the afterimage of motion frozen on tintype. In different items, this three-dimensionality is amplified as parts of Sood’s characters actually hover above the image airplane, anchored by invisible helps. Contemplate Dilemma of being you (you might be however you aren’t) II. A faceless torso, probably sure, levitates simply above the ground, his truncated stomach curled barely up like a disconcerting comma. He’s flanked by a pair of vermilion-faced mirrors. Earlier than him are two crows in silhouette, linked by charcoal dashes suggesting a flight path aimed towards a refined fissure within the ground. In Sood’s elusive world, the road between reminiscence and dream could be smoke and mirrors, in any case.