Abir Karmakar became known for his voyeuristic self-portraits that saw him place his body in intimate settings. His oil paintings evoked an
Karmakar’s interiors are sumptuous and mysterious; and even when they are sometimes tawdry, he elevates them with the burnished light glowing through a yellow curtain. Sources of deep, recessive light—warm and mellow, luminous behind shades—are ubiquitous in these paintings, marking Karmakar’s homage to the Old Masters, to Rembrandt and Vermeer. But the masters are not trapped in reverent emulation; instead, they are brought back into the currency of living exchange through citation and adaptation.
Karmakar is clearly drawn to the primacy of idea; the vehicle of realism and specifics of technique, though honed to a craft-like skill, are secondary. His paintings of single, life-sized doors are based on the conceptualization of the door as an autonomous entity, extracted from the wider narrative and compositional syntax of the interior. He covers the surface of the door with meticulously painted stains, scratches, and traces of dirt, numerous marks that not only speak of the door’s
Text courtesy Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke.
For the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2016, Abir Karmakar covered the interior walls of Kashi Art Gallery, a restored colonial Dutch house, with seven floor-to-ceiling paintings.
While the residents of this home, evidently furnished according to middle-class taste, are never to be seen, the paintings do not seem de-peopled. In fact, there is a sense of intimacy that Karmakar c
Guest curated by artist Sudarshan Shetty, the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), titled Forming in the pupil of an eye, is an assembly of artist-created realities. Shetty outlines hi
Working from photos of domestic spaces, Abir Karmakar studies the traditions of painting and its varying forms of spatial construction. Creating a photorealistic installation reminiscent of trompe l'o