The Folded Page
Amrita Jhaveri 2011

Rana Begum’s inspiration is taken from the built and urban environment, taking cues from the intricate systems in her surroundings, translating the chaos of their broken down sequences and repetitions into abstract meditative sculptures. While hard and defined, in the gallery the subtlety of these works convey a sense of purposeful expansion, inviting the viewer to reflect not only on the city beyond, but also on how they find their own place within it.Belonging to the second generation of artists who turned Minimalism into something completely theirs, Rana Begum claims Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, and Islamic art and architecture as her influences. To this, she adds cues gathered from built and urban environments; from noticing patterns of color, line, form as they collide in a city. In The Folded Page, her first exhibition in India, Begum considers the personal epiphanies found through repetition and movement. A relief series of oblong shafts of aluminium, suspended at regular intervals, lends an immediate impression of precision: lines and slopes measured with forensic calculation, angles and edges juxtaposed with geometric care, scale and shape controlled with technical cunning: an apparent abolition of the arbitrary. However, when viewed from the side, works like No.266 and No.268 open up avenues of whimsical colour – pink, blue, yellow – and the strict geometric form ripples into life, revealing something far more subtle and inviting, more alive and beautiful, at the heart of Rana Begum’s art.


Installation at Bungalow 8