Jagannath Panda

Contemporary Indian painter and sculptor Jagannath Panda creates intricate art that reconciles the mythical and technological, reflecting on India’s transition in an era of intense urbanisation. He records the tensions brought about by social change, often humanising animals to become actors in his ambiguous worlds which hover between reality, metaphor and dream.

Selected Works

The Being

Jagannath Panda

Fiberglass, rexine, fabric, acrylic, iron, glue

Immortalize

Jagannath Panda

Acrylic, fabric, glue on canvas

Cognitive Being

Jagannath Panda

Acrylic, fabric, mdf, glue on board

Biography

Indian, b. 1970

Contemporary Indian painter and sculptor Jagannath Panda creates intricate art that reconciles the mythical and technological, reflecting on India’s transition in an era of intense urbanisation. He records the tensions brought about by social change, often humanising animals to become actors in his ambiguous worlds which hover between reality, metaphor and dream.

Born in 1970 into a Brahmin family and the son of a temple priest, Panda grew up in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha (formerly Orissa) State in eastern India. His passion for art began in childhood; he remembers being inspired by the illustrations in the classic children’s magazine Chandamama and by the artisans making religious figurines near his home. After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Bhubaneswar’s B. K. College of Art & Crafts in 1991, he studied for a Masters in Sculpture at the M. S. University of Baroda, Gujarat, graduating in 1994. In 1997 he was invited to Fukuoka University of Education in Japan as a visiting research fellow; he then gained a further MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London (2002). During these years of study, Panda won many prestigious awards, including the All-India Award from the South Cultural Centre, Nagpur (1990, 1994), the Alice Boner Memorial Award (1991), the National Academy Award of the National Academy of Art, New Delhi (1995), and London’s C.I.I.C. Centre Prize (2002).

As well as being deeply affected by the traditional culture of Odisha, Panda cites as influences Conceptual artist On Kawara and the French-American Louise Bourgeois.  In his earliest works, he experimented with different media on paper, mixing collage and drawing techniques to explore the role of iconography in communication and to comment upon socio-political situations in contemporary India. His signature technique, used in both paintings and sculptures, is to incorporate into their surfaces traditional brocade fabrics, which often become the skins of beasts, the bark of trees or the garments of mythological figures. On both paper and canvas, his detailed drawings recall the palm-leaf manuscripts of Odisha, while the characters in his works are often lifted directly from the epic Hindu sagas of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

In 2005 Panda relocated his studio to Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi that has been built on former farmland in the past 20 years. The landscape of his immediate surroundings, dominated by arterial roads and continual construction projects, recurs in his subsequent works, complemented as before by timeless motifs of Indian life and traditional culture. Glass and steel office towers careen in multiple perspectives, often beginning to decay while they are still under construction. Figures from Hindu mythology and trees with undulating branches intrude into the ordered grid of the city, reflecting the mass migrations that are taking place, the clash between rural and urban societies and the chain of production and consumption so at odds with the environment. Such dichotomies are fundamental to Panda’s creativity, expressed through both his imagery and the materials he employs. In works with such titles as Scape-goat, Alpha Epic and Metropolis of Mirage, he returns to key issues such as the construction of identities (both personal and social), the conundrum of who belongs where in an age of transitions, and how each person searches for their own utopia.

Panda has exhibited widely, with solo gallery shows in Tokyo (1998), London (2006, 2009), Berlin (2011) and San Francisco (2012) as well as frequent exhibitions in New Delhi and Mumbai. Other prestigious venues that have exhibited his work include the Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (1997); the Royal College of Art, London (2001, 2002); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and the Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2008); Essl Museum, Vienna, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai (2009); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2010); Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art, France, and MAXXI Museum, Rome (2011); the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2012); and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2013).

Panda’s work has been exhibited at numerous art fairs, including the Armory Show, New York (2008), Art Basel in Basel and Miami (2008), the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC), Paris (2008), Art HK Hong Kong International Art Fair (2011) and Art Dubai (2012). Among the collections in which it is held are the Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the Fine Art Museum, Chandigarh; the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; and the Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi.

In 2011 Panda launched the Utsha Foundation for Contemporary Art with a project entitled Art and Ecology: Search for Sustainability, with new works by 15 artists in Bhubaneswar’s Buddha Jayanti Park. He plans to continue to take art out of the studio, bringing it to places that have yet to experience it. One recent placement was at the new international airport in Mumbai, as one of a number of contemporary artists commissioned to create works for permanent display there. Although he knew passengers would be rushing past, he made the work ‘in such a way that you have to spend hours and hours to understand it completely, to emphasize the fact that we are constantly missing out on a lot of things in the world’. The artist continues to live and work in Gurgaon, with his wife and one son. AVATAR, his first exhibition at London’s Halcyon Gallery, debuted in the autumn of 2014, and in November 2015 the gallery presented his first solo exhibition, The Trance Narratives.

Exhibition Highlights

TRAINING
2002 MA Sculpture, Royal College of Art, London
1994 MFA Sculpture, M. S. University of Baroda, Gujarat
1991 BFA Sculpture, B. K. College of Art and Crafts, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

RESIDENCIES
2003 KHOJ International Artists’ Association, New Delhi
2001 Cité internationale des Arts, Paris

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017, Crystal Cities,  Lad Mumbai City Museum, Mumbai
2015 The Trance Narratives, Halcyon Gallery, London
2012 Opaque, Vadehra Art Gallery, M. S. University of Baroda, Gujarat
2012 Cults of Serendipity, Frey Norris Contemporary and Modern, San Francisco, California
2011 Metropolis of Mirage, Gallery Nature Morte, Berlin
2011 Metropolis of Mirage, Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi
2009 The Action of Nowhere, Alexia Goethe Gallery, London
2009 The Action of Nowhere, Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi
2007 Nothing is Solid, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, Maharashtra
2006 Berkeley Square Gallery, London
2006 Saffronart Online, London
2005 Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi
2000 Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, Maharashtra
2000 Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre, New Delhi
1998 Za Moca Foundation, Tokyo


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015 The Art of Creating, Halcyon Gallery, London
2014 AVATAR, Halcyon Gallery, London
2014 Degenerate, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
2013 Island, Dairy Art Centre, London
2013 The Possibility of Being, Exhibit320, New Delhi
2013 SKODA Prize Show, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
2012 War Zone, Kunstmuseum Artemons, Hellmonsödt, Austria
2012 Further Global Encounter, Grosvenor Vadehra, London
2012 Indian Highway VI, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing
2012 Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, California
2012 Terrestrial Bodies, 1x1 Art Gallery, Dubai
2012 Slipping through the Cracks, Latitude 28, New Delhi
2011 Indian Highway V, MAXXI Museum, Rome
2011 Home Spun, Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, New Delhi
2011 American Dream, Bonomo Gallery, Rome
2011 Indian Highway IV, Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art, France
2011 Of Gods and Goddesses, Cinema, Cricket: The New Cultural Icons of India, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, Maharashtra
2010 Inside India, Palazzo Saluzzo di Paesana, Turin, Italy
2010 Tokyo Art Meeting: Transformation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
2010 Finding India: Art for the New Century, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
2010 Looking Glass: The Existence of Difference, Religare Art, New Delhi
2010 Commonwealth Games Exhibition, National Academy of Art (Lalit Kala Akademi), New Delhi
2010 Midnight’s Children, Studio la Città, Verona, Italy
2010 Indian Highway III, Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen
2009 Lo Real Maravilloso: Marvelous Reality, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2009 Astonishment of Being, Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata, West Bengal
2009 Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art, Essl Museum, Vienna
2009 Expressions at Tihar, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi
2009 India Xianzai, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China
2009 Contemporary Indian Art: Open Your Third Eye, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
2009 Beyond Globalization, Beyond Art Space, Beijing
2009 Contemporary Art from India, Palais Bénédictine, Fécamp, France
2008 Where in the World, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi
2008 Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
2008 Sub-Architecture Continental, Alain le Gaillard Gallery, Paris
2008 Urgent Conversations, Art Alive, New Delhi
2008 Harvest 2008, Arushi Arts at the Stainless Gallery, New Delhi
2008 Indian Art at the Swarovski ‘Crystal World’, second exhibition, Tyrol, Austria
2007 Frame, Grid, Room, Cell, Bodhi Art, Mumbai, Maharashtra
2007 Hear and Now, Young Voices from India, Grosvenor Vadehra, London
2007 Private/Corporate IV, Daimler Chrysler Contemporary, Berlin
2006 Shadow Lines, Grosvenor Vadehra, New Delhi
2006 India on Canvas, Khushi, New Delhi
2005 Palette 2005, Part II, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi
2005 Paths of Progression, Bodhi Art, New Delhi
2005 Are we like this only?, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
2005 Negotiating Matters, Anant Art Gallery, New Delhi
2004 Galleri 27, Oslo
2004 Generation I, Saffronart, Mumbai, Maharashtra
2004 Generation I, The Guild, Mumbai, Maharashtra
2004 Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi
2003 Dots and Pixels, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2002 Royal College of Art Graduate Show, London
2001 Royal College of Art, London
2000 KHOJ International Exhibition, British Council, New Delhi
2000 National Academy of Art, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
1999 Edge of the Century, Art Inc., New Delhi
1997 The Sight of Asia, Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
1996 Punjab National Academy of Art, Chandigarh
1995 Beyond the Shores, National Academy of Art, New Delhi
1994 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, Maharashtra
1993 Bal Bhawan, Daman
1990 National Academy of Art, New Delhi
1989 Museum of Fine Arts, Chandigarh

ART FAIRS
2015 Art Basel Hong Kong
2012 Art Dubai
2012 India Art Fair, New Delhi
2011 Art HK, Hong Kong International Art Fair
2008 Art Basel Miami, Florida
2008 SH Contemporary, The Asia Pacific Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai
2008 International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC), Paris
2008 Art Basel, Switzerland
2008 Armory Show, New York
2007 SH Contemporary, The Asia Pacific Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai

COLLECTIONS

Centre Insurance International Company, London
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
Asian Contemporary Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi
State Lalit Kala Akademi, Orissa
Fine Art Museum, Chandighar
Regional Research Laboratory, Bhubaneswar
S.C.Z.C.C Nagpur
Kala Bithika, Gwalior
West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur

Exhibitions

Jagannath Panda, The Trance Narratives

4 Nov 2015 - 18 Nov 2015

144-146 New Bond Street, London

AVATAR

6 Sep 2014 - 4 Oct 2014

144-146 New Bond Street, London

Catalogues

AVATAR

News & Press

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Jagannath Panda The Trance Narratives, Press Coverage

AVATAR Exhibition Film