About the Artist

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Born 1968, Orissa (INDIA). 

Radiant Relations

The greatest possibilities of Asit Kumar Patnaik’s work emerge from out of their productive equivocation. The appeal of Patnaik’s craft is embodied in his deft negotiations between, and across, several binaries—figurative and abstract, man and woman, background and foreground, lines and colors, singular and plural. In that sense, Patnaik’s work resonates with the increasing propensity among critics and popular audience alike to warm up to the potential of ambivalent sensibilities. For quite some time now, there has arisen among connoisseurs of art and literature, indeed of culture as a whole, a welcome discomfort with binaries and a corresponding openness to ambivalence. Nothing, it would appear, is any longer fit to be perceived as either black or white, either enlightening or obfuscating and so on.

It is a welcome sign that the world is increasingly warming up to tentativeness, provisionally and ambivalence. Patnaik’s work inhabits a grey zone. The popular perception about the significance of grey has changed over time. In the past, grey stood for something mysterious, something that common intelligence found hard to understand. The association of intrigue with greyness or ambivalence conferred on it a degree of inscrutability. Grey represented superior intelligence too, and old age and wisdom, as in grey hair and grey beard. at other instances, it hinted at superhuman power, speed and threat, as in greyhound. For better or worse, grey therefore stood in for the extraordinary and the mysterious, the exception, that is, to the normal. The normal, on the other hand, had to submit to binary models; it had to be male or female, light or dark, black or white and so on. as a matter of fact, duplicity, or divided loyalty, came to be seen as a vice within this binary framework of values. Subsequently, however, there has been expansion of categories.


Contemporary readers, viewers and interlocutors are manifestly more willing than their counterparts thirty years ago to appreciate works that resist tightly defined analytical categories. Films with ambiguous characters, books with unsettled protagonists and plays with unstable trajectory have over the last decades attracted greater popular acceptance. Indeed, there has been a correspondence between greater understanding of the inescapability of ethical ambivalence and popular accommodation of grey as a tolerable idea. it would not be an overstatement anymore to claim that these days grey, or analogous conceptual horizons such as ambivalence or unequivocation is no longer considered a negative attribute.

An equivocation that is particularly alluring about Patnaik’s men and women is the tension between the wide variety in their juxtaposition and their unchanging physical features. in their microcosmic expansiveness, they can alternatively convey impressions of joy, sorrow, love, indifference, familiarity as well as inscrutability. They relive potentialities, they entail pensive pasts, they call up imagined futures and they even interrogate their own selves and suppositions.

Patnaik has been working on the Relations series for quite some time now. It will be interesting, therefore, to explore the kind of selves articulated into the batch of works on the Relations series. To begin with, it is informed by a great deal of individuation. There is only one figure—male or female—claiming the central location in a majority of works. The other figure—or figures—hover in the background, in conjunction with characteristically dense networks of lines and shades or constituting the backgrounds themselves.

Intriguingly, the woman figure appears to claim greater attention in the new set of works. Critics and viewers have identified it as a salient feature in Patnaik’s work. As the painter once, it may well have stemmed from a subconscious impulse. He had once attributed it to a deep admiration for his mother, who had boldly taken charge of the family after his father’s premature death. It may have something to do also with his belief that women have the resilience to face any adversity, with their unique calibration of vulnerability and strength. The woman in this series is bold, colorful and forthright. She is ready to face any challenge, even as she celebrates her very existence. The thoughtful, pensive and introspective self for once is matched by an abandon and courage that calls for a direct engagement.

The greys in the frame are often overwritten by bold colors. The man and the woman now wear deeply colored selves. The cohabitation of depth and color appear to call forth a great deal of passion, intensity and vigour. Their strength is no longer implicit, but confidently visible, even if retrained. It is this easy shuffle between the full blooded and the restrained that makes these works some of the most mature in Patnaik’s oeuvre.
Yet, it is the openness of these works that makes them particularly articulate. Patnaik’s figures of man or woman exceed the boundaries of their immediate situation. Sparsely clothed, they appear universal in the appearance, against a highly textured background. The background itself is suggestive, and dense, with layers upon layers of lines mounted with immense passion and dexterity. The density of the background sits in contrast with the minimalist expressions of the figures themselves.

Light, brightness and diversity appear to be a major leitmotif in this series. The pleasantly aggressive brightness— yellow, red, ochre—and the bold, often charged postures, is an unabashed celebration of energy, youth and freedom. There is a spring in the steps of the figures; they enjoy every possibility they imagine and weigh with consideration. This ode to life however is no uncomplicated tribute to raw passion but careful sifting away of excess baggage after long and hard meditations. The figures still struggle with possibilities unexplored, and pasts unrealized, but there is greater abandon in the way they measure each other these days, a delightful disregard to the externalities glowing through the complicated, but bold, background abstractions. The brightness is best seen resonating with a soft autumnal glow, born out of an appreciation for the good things of life without having to compromise on quality.

Written by


M.F.A. in painting (Gold Medalist) from BHU Varanasi, 1995. 


1991 to 1993    National Cultural Scholarship from Ministry of Human Resource, Development, Deptt. of Culture, Govt, of India, New Delhi.
1991    Gold medal from National Youth Festival. 
1991    Silver medal in East Zone Youth Festival, Santiniketan. 
1991    Annual Art Exhibition faculty of Visual Art BHU Varanasi. 
1991    Ganjam District Drawing Master's Association. 
1994    All U.P. State Fine Arts Exhibition organized by W.W.A of Varanasi. 
1995    All Orissa Fine Arts Exhibition organized by Lalit Kala Academy. 
1995    Junior Fellowship from Ministry of Human Resource Development 
1995-1997     Deptt. Of Culture Govt., of India, New Delhi. 
1997    All U.P. Fine Art Exhibition organized by AIFACS, New Delhi. 
2000    Panth-Ratan Dr. Inderjit Singh Award on 4th BOP Annual Art Exhibition at Chandigarh.


2002    Chawla Art Gallery, at Marriot Welcome Hotel, New Delhi. 
2002    CREATION 2002 at Gallery Leela Kampinski, Mumbai. 
2005    Chawla Art Gallery, at 1 MG Road, New Delhi-2003 « Gallery Art Land, Mumbai. 
2006    Chawla Art Gallery, at Open Palm Court, IHC, New Delhi. 
2007    Chawla Art Gallery, at Square One Mall, Saket, New Delhi. 
2008    Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. 
2010    Tulika Art Gallery, Mumbai. 
2011    Chawla Art Gallery, at Square one Mall, Saket, New Delhi. 
2012    ROA Art Gallery, Pal Mall Street, London. 
2013    Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. 
2013    Chawla Art Gallery, at square one mall, Saket, New Delhi.
2015    Global Art Fair Dubai.
2016    Art Expo, New York.


1990 to 1995 & 1997     Annual Art Exhibition of Orissa Lalit Kala Academy.
1990 & 1992    All India Fine Arts Exhibition by Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta. 
1993    Annual Art Exhibition organized by Rajasthan Lalit Kala Academy, Jaipur. 
1990 & 1994    Rashtriya Kala Mela Organized by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi. 
1995    38th National Exhibition of Contemporary Art. 
1994 & 1995    All U. P. State Fine art Exhibition organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, Lucknow. 
1996     5th Zonal Art Exhibition on occasion of 125th birthday of Rashtra Pita Mahatma Gandhi, Lalit Kala Academy, Lucknow. 
1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2010 & 2011     Annual All India Art Exhibition of AIFACS.
1996     10th All India Art Exhibition at Nagpur. 
1997     All India Fine Art Exhibition Organized by Academy of Arts, Amritsar. 
1997    All India Fine Art Exhibition organized by AIFACS on occasion of 50 years of Independence Day 
1997    10th Harmony show, Mumbai 
2009    India Art Summit. 
2011    Florence Biennale- Italy.
2012      India Art Fair- Mumbai. 
2011 & 2012      Art Chennai-2011 & 2012 « Art Bengaluru.
2012 & 2013      India Art Fair -New Delhi. 
2014     International Art Fair, Singapore. 
2014      Sasaran International Art Fair, Malaysia. 
2015    The Luxury Festival with Chawla art gallery, New Delhi. 
2016    Whispers of our Soul'An Art Exhibition in Taj litreture Festival 2016 at Hotel Clarks Shiraz, Agra.
2016    Art Hamptons. New York 
2016     Spectrum Miami 


1991     Rashtriya Kala Kendra, Bhubaneswar.
1994    WAA of Varanasi at Ravindra Bhawan, Delhi. 
1994 & 1996     ABC Art Gallery, Varanasi. 
2002     Organized by Delhi Tamil Sangam at IHC, New Delhi. 
2002    Organized by Aniha Art Gallery at Habitat Center, New Delhi. 
2004     Kala Sangam at Nehru Center Mumbai. 
2004    Organized by ARTLAND at Hotel Ashok & Hotel Intercontinental. Sponsored by Chivas Regal at ITC Hotel Maurya Sheraton. 
2004    Galleria, at Laburnum Club House, Sushant Lok, Gurgaon. 
2005    EMBRACE The inclusive art event presented by Chawla Art Gallery and Delhi round table at Hotel Intercontinental Eros, New Delhi. 
2005    Sponsored by ABN-AMRO & Ati Art Gallery at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitate Center, New Delhi. 
2005, 2006 & 2013    COLORS presented by Gallery Art Land at The Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai. 
2006     Presented by EASA & Chawla Art Gallery at Kamal Mahal, Hotel Mourya Sheraton, New Delhi. 
2006    Absolute Abstract organized by Ati Art Gallery at ISTANA, Bangalore. 
2006    Gimme Red sponsored by Polka Art Gallery, New Delhi. 
2007    Sponsored by Gallery Crimsion Hues at MICAArtrium, Singapore. 
2007 & 2008    All Indian Art Exhibition on occasion of Republic Day celebration by his Excellency The President of India at RASHTRAPATI BHAVAN. 
2007    Modern & Contemporary Indian Art Show presented by Gallery Art Land at Majestic Hotel Tower, Dubai. 
2007    Art for Prabhat organized a group show at New Delhi. 
2007    Independent India sponsored by Ati Art Gallery at Alliance Francaise Delhi. 
2007    60 Milestone an exhibition of 60 years of Independent Indian art at Travancore Art Gallery, New Delhi. 
2008    The Sacred Sponsored by Galleria at Visual Art Gallery IHC, New Delhi. 
2008    Indo-Russia Contemporary Art Exhibition at the Russian Centre of Science & Culture, New Delhi. 
2008    Continuum a special art exhibition in support of Udayan Care at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. 
2008    Indian strokes (a myriad of art) sponsored by KHUSHII. 
2008    ANANYA an overview of contemporary Indian art sponsored by Bajaj Capital Art House at Visual Art Gallery, IHC, New Delhi. 
2008    India on canvas -Junior sponsored by KHUSHII at Embassy of France, New Delhi. 
2009    Group show organized by 'Art for Prabhat' at Open Palm Court, IHC, New Delhi. 
2009    FUSION a group show organized by Pink Ginger Arts at Gallery 'G' at Bangalore. 
2010    Group Show Sponsored by Alankrita Art Gallery, Hyderabad - 2009. -Annual art show of Pink Ginger Arts at Jehangir Art Gallery.
2010    Maestros XIV at Dhoomimal City Gallery, New Delhi, April. 
2009, 2010 & 2011     The Spring Art Loot Organized by Khushii - 2010. -Annual art show of Chawla Art Gallery at IHC, New Delhi.
2010    Rhythm of color a group Show Sponsored by Painted Rhythem Art Gallery, at Jehangir Art Gallery. 
2010    Vibgyor a group show sponsored by Gallery Grandeur at Birla Academy, Kolkata. 
2010    DEVOTION Transformation Curated by Shushma Bahl at gallery Art Positive, New Delhi. 
2010    Nai Ummeed The Art Festival at Plaza Terrace Gardens, The Lalit - New Delhi. 
2010    The Capital a group show sponsored by Ray Art Gallery, Pune, at Open Palm Court, IHC, New Delhi. 
2011    CENTURION-2011 a group show organized by 'VOICE ON ART'at Visual Art Gallery, 
2011    IHC. -Canvases for change organized by Modicare Foundation at Stainless Art Gallery, New Delhi. 
2011    Uttar Purab an Exhibition of Contemporary art, Curated by Dr. Archana Roy and sponsored by Emami Chisel at Kolkata. 
2012    Evolve organized by Dhoomimal Contemporary Art Gallery, at Mercedes-Benz and at Shridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi. 
2012 &2013      India Art Fair, New Delhi.
2011, 2012 & 2013    Group show organized by CADD(Community against Drunken Driving). 
2013    Group show organized by Gallery Art Land at Shridharni Art Gallery, New Delhi. 
2013    Sixth sense organized a Group show at Kumara Swami Gallery, Mumbai. 
2013    Group show organized by Gallery Art Positive. 
2013    Group show organized by City Gallery, New Delhi. 
2012 to 2015    Group show organized by Gallery Art Zest at Dubai.
2016    The Epic Journey of Indian Art- Festival of India in Kyrgyzsthan & Kazhakistan, Curated by Gargi Seth 
2015    ‘Art Walk’ Show by Juneja Art Gallery, Jaipur 
2016    Group Show at Juneja Art Gallery, Jaipur, 
2016    Group Show by Gallery Artchill, Amber Fort, Jaipur 
2018    ‘‘ART IDIOMS - STRAY & MOULDED' Group Show at Juneja Art Gallery, Jaipur.
2019    'Inner voices - outer masks' Group show at Gallery Artchill, Amer Fort, Jaipur.


2008    India on canvas-Junior sponsored by KHUSHII at Embassy of France, New Delhi. 
2008    Helpage India. 
2009    India on canvas organized by 'Khushii' New Delhi. 
2012    There is a plan for every child at Pune. 
2011, 2012 & 2013     Art Bangaluru a Contemporary Art festival.
2015    Charity Auction for plan India by Burgundy, Pune.


1989    CCRT Workshop, at Bangalore. 
1991    All Orissa Artist's Camp Organized by Lalit Kala Academy, Orissa. 
1992    Batik Camp and demonstration, Organized by GCACKhallilote. 
1998    All India Fine Arts Workshop Organized by National Bal Bhawan, New Delhi. 
2002    All India artist's camp organized by Sanskar Bharati, at IGNCAC, New Delhi. 
2002 & 2009    All India young Artist camp organized by AIFACS. 
2002    Participated in 4 day Artist Camp dedicated to Human "QUEST FOR PEACE" at Secular house Vastu Kala Academy, New Delhi. 
2004    Artist camp organized by Urasvati Art Gallery at Kasaulli, H.P. 
2005    Participated in VIRASAT 05 held at Dehradun. 
2006    All India Artist camp organized by RIF New Delhi. 
2007    All India Artist camp organized by Roy Foundation, New Delhi at Jim Corbet National Park.
2007    All India artist camp (ARTISTIC JOURNEY Mumbai to Lakshadweep) by Varna Art Gallery, Hyderabad in Star cruises.
2007    All India Artist camp at Bangkok, Thailand. 
2008    All India Artist camp organized by ICA Gallery, Jaipore at Prague. 
2008    Sunrise in Italy' all India artist camp organized by Pinkginger Arts, in Italy.
2008     All India Artist camp Organized by G.C.A.C, Baleswar, Orissa-
2009    All India Artist camp, organized by 'Roy Foundation' at Vhimtal. 
2010    All India Artist camp, organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi at Shillong. 
2010    All India Artist camp, organized by D. P. Dhar Foundation, at Srinagar.
2010    All India Artist camp organized by Voice on Art at Goa. 
2012    All India Artist camp Organized by Dhoomimal city gallery at China, 
2014     All India Artist camp on Puri Jagannath by Orissa Lalit Kala Academy, at Puri Orissa. 
2014     All India Artist camp at India House, Nepal.
2015     'Confluence-15' all India artist camp, Rishikesh-2015 -All India Artist Camp Organized by Madhya Pradesh Tribal Museum, Bhopal
2015     International Art Workshop, Bodrum, Turkey. 
2015     Yogyakarta International art festival Indonesia. 
2015-2016    Global Art Fair, Dubai.
2016    International Art Mart in Khajuraho Dance Festival 
2016    'D.P .Dhar International Art camp, Srinagar, Kashmir. 
2016    'Art For Impact' All India Artist camp, Hyderabad. 
2016    International art camp, Solo, Indonesia, 
2016    KKB International Art Festival, Malaysia.