Kavi Gupta is pleased to present Manish Nai’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, opening September 14th. Nai’s iconic vision for socially-conscious minimalism has earned him global attention as a crucial voice for Indian art today. Paying mind towards the complex intersections of material culture, art history, class relations, and autobiography, Nai’s geometrically simple forms distill the essence of contemporary Mumbai. Known best for employing indigo-dyed jute, used clothes, and the diverse newspapers of India as the raw material for his practice, Nai’s newest bodies of work expand to include whole used books and mosquito nets. Whether stacked like the layers of sedimentary rock or compressed into rippling whorls, the sculptures comprised of used books refuse legibility. Their former status as books is immediately accessible, but their content as text is arrested in time, frozen inside the sculpture. The mosquito net paintings similarly crystallize time, acrylic stains passing through their thin membrane, laying out a history of gestures. These new bodies of work, making their American debut in this exhibition, present new entry points for understanding Nai’s multifaceted but unified practice.
Manish Nai was born in 1980 in Gujarat, India. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Het Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch, The Netherlands (2018), Fondation Fernet Branca, St. Louis, France (2017), and Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France (2016), among others. His work has been shown in group exhibitions including the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, India (2018), the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Singapore (2018), and the Dhaka Art Summit, Para Site Hong Kong, Hong Kong (2018), among many others. He has participated in the 2nd edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kerala (2014) and The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Rajasthan (2017-18). Nai has won numerous awards including the Prudential Eye Award, Singapore, Royal Over-Seas League Visual Arts Scholarship for a month-long Residency at Hospitalfield House, Scotland, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, New York. Nai lives and works in Mumbai.