Abstract painting in the Indian subcontinent has so far chosen not to divorce itself from the Progressive Artists’ Group, the collective that first gave an intellectually backed character to the stream of abstraction in visual art. Even today, abstract painters cannot be discussed without significantly referring to the ideas of the Progressive Artists. By extension, courtesy of the medium of photography being interpreted as a language growing out of painting, the European-Modern ideas which informed the Progressive Artists also became the foundation for abstraction in photography.
Walls have been featured as subjects, or at least as integral parts of broader subjects, by many artists across various media, owing to its metaphorical significance, its role as a visual and spatial block, and also what its surface holds. Shanthi Kashi’s concern is the surface of these walls, on which the artist observes patterns, forms, and colours and composes them to achieve – not necessarily literal – meaning. Shot in Mumbai and Bangalore, Shanthi also merges an abstract language with some very real phenomena related to the individual, geography and society through the presence of moisture, decay, erasure and abandonment.