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Now showing: Prussian Blue’s reservoir of inspiration

Immerse yourself in the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art's homage to the richness of Prussian Blue, a color that offers itself as a canvas for emotions

Now showing: Prussian Blue’s reservoir of inspiration
[Source photo: Shireen Khan/Press Insider]

A confluence of history, chemistry, and art, that’s what the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art’s latest exhibition offers.

At ‘Prussian Blue: A Serendipitous Colour that Altered the Trajectory of Art’, 19 artists delicately unfold the chromatic layers of a color that has transcended generations, beckoning artists and scientists to delve into the hue’s deep reservoirs of inspiration.

Under the discerning gaze of Arshia Lokhandwala, a historian with an intuitive understanding of art’s personal narratives, the exhibition unfurls a tribute to her late father.

An expert in the realm of industrial paints, Mansoor Lokhandwala’s lifelong experimentation with pigments, Lokhandwala said, found a heartfelt resonance in the profound depths of Prussian Blue.

The galleries host a mix of installations, videos, delicate sculptures weaving intricate narratives and evocative paintings.

This exhibition is not a product of chance, and neither was the color Prussian Blue; but a result of intricate chemical processes.

From its initial synthesis using potassium ferrocyanide to the transformation into the deep blue hue we know today, artists explored the scientific marvel that underpins the existence of this color in their own way.

Sheba Chhachhi’s ‘Ajab Karkhana’ (Strange Manufactory)

Sheba Chhachhi beckons viewers into a realm of scientific wonder with ‘Ajab Karkhana,’ a spherical manifestation of laboratory intricacies. A vivid amalgamation of glassware stands as a testament to the laboratory’s enigmatic allure, immersing the onlooker in a realm where art and science come together, unraveling the mysteries of Prussian Blue in an alchemical embrace.

Thukral and Tagra’s ‘Aftermath’

The synergic artistic force of Thukral and Tagra transports one to a reflective space with ‘Aftermath,’ a compelling narrative juxtaposing the poignant reality of farmer fatalities with the rhythmic spraying of Prussian Blue onto the artists’ drawings every 40 minutes with the ringing of an alarm, a timely reminder of the intertwining of beauty and tragedy.

Anju Dodiya’s ‘Sea Wind of the Night I & II’

The formal associations of the color were explored in the art of Anju Dodiya, whose paintings ‘Sea Wind of the Night I & II’ drew on the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’, which along with his other prints in his ‘Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji’ series, was also created back in 1830 using Prussian Blue.

Waqas Khan’s ‘Triad’

The elucidation of the ‘infinite blue’ and cosmology was explored by various artists, moresoever in Waqas Khan’s meditative creations, titled ‘Triad’ and ‘The White Rhytidome I & II’, where a canvas pulsates with rhythms of dots and dashes. The manuscripts resembled calligraphy with the use of a rapidograph and a blue pen, showcasing the labor of love that is his art.

Desmond Lazaro’s ‘The Hard Question’ that continues his exploration on cosmology.

As one stands amid the curated wonder, it becomes evident that Prussian Blue is more than a pigment; it is a living entity, a vibrant narrative that has woven itself into the fabric of artistic endeavors, offering itself as a canvas for emotions.

The exhibition at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, which is on till 10 December, is an invitation to lose oneself in the immersive narrative spun by Prussian Blue.


Shireen Khan is a Senior Correspondent at Press Insider. She covers lifestyle, culture, and health. More

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