"Longing for Tomorrow"
With their latest group of works, Thukral & Tagra explore the bizarre mix of sentimentality, nostalgia and cliched futurisms that is epitomized by the rising Indian middle class and especially in the burgeoning new city of Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi where the artists live and work. Gurgaon, a rising hub of manufacturing and information technology, is also a sprawling residential community characterized by faux-classical mansions, towering apartment blocks decked out like colonial bungalows, mega-malls dominated by globalized food courts, and steel and glass behemoths connected by dirt roads.
Thukral & Tagra's frenetic mixture of high and low styles in paintings, sculptures and decorative accoutrements is an apt response to this bewildering and perverse urban reality typifying the "new India." As part of the exhibition, on display will be the very first works Thukral & Tagra have produced at the historic Meissen porcelain factory near Dresden. Starting with classical vases from the Meissen archives, T&T pile them up into comical towers and paint them with their trademark imagery in candy colors.
Furniture pedestals and wall-mounted backdrops frame the porcelain centerpieces, contrasting the rarified material with more down-market plastics and laminates. The results are seductive constructions that bring the work of the late 19th Century Italian designer Carlo Bugatti into the 21st Century, via the Memphis design group of 1980s Milan and with sly references to High Modernism as it was bastardized in Post-Independence India. Nature Morte will present more elaborate Meissen works produced by Thukral & Tagra at Art Basel in June.