Sinta Tantra: Fantastic/Chromatic at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery
Kristin Hjellegjerde’s gallery in leafy Wandsworth Town usually blends in with its surroundings, but Sinta Tantra’s new exhibition makes the space jump out at the passer-by. The bright and bold window installation is the first glimpse of the fantastic (hot exotic pink) and chromatic (metallic gold).
Born in New York, British-Balinese Tantra is an artist whose cultural heritage seeps out into every work. Exotic colours are contained in rigid geometric patterns, and neat blocks of colour are repeated across, and precisely applied to, the rough-textured linens. The artist juxtaposes smooth and rough – the cultivated and the natural. This tension is a continuation of Tantra’s practice of using colour to meld her artwork with the viewer, seen in the prestigious 300m piece completed in 2012, which spans the Thames at Canary Wharf: computer-aided, angular, and abstract, colour wraps the viewer within the artwork, softening the impact of such a large-scale painting.
This is a trick echoed in the murals that spill across the gallery walls from floor to ceiling: as the architecture is immersed in colour, the viewer too is submerged in a riot of pigmentation, a “playful yet rigorous exploration” of the etymology of the word “chroma”.
Developed while Tantra read William Gass’ On Being Blue: A Philosophical Enquiry, most of the works take their name from the book, evoking a conflict between colours which suggest joy, and titles which imply the opposite. By including prints from James Audubon’s famous Birds in America folio in the final section of the exhibition, Tantra places the wild, unknown and untamed next to the controlled, familiar and commodified, making the viewer wonder which they (should) prefer.
Sinta Tantra: Fantastic/Chromatic is at Kristen Hjellegjerde Gallery from 11th September until 10th October 2015, for further information visit here.
For further information about Sinta Tantra visit here.