About the Artist

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Born 1955, Dehradun                             

‘Art is the imagination’s proposal to normality in life as I see it. It affirms for me my imagination’s commitment to an order of consciousness that is parallel to, and also in a way more or less subversive of the explanatory structures. I have always felt that both social and cultural institutions are an adequate representation of the world. As a child, I remember there were 2 years when we lived in Jaunpur with the tribals very close to us. I watched them weave textiles with the yarn of sheep’s wool, the weave was so simple and so rustic you could count each warp and weft. That remained in my memory. It became a grid in my memory’.
‘I think culture becomes a context in an artist’s evolution, he uses elements from culture according to his inner responses. That is when the individual emerges. But now I also see that individuals are becoming institutions because of their sense of adventure and what they create in many years of a single evolution. I believe as a teacher as well as an artist that through art, the imagination re-worlds the world, generating itself as material presence’.

Folk and Fable
Surendra Joshi’s solo in the city of Delhi positions his works as a summary of his own memory in which images are latent images of folk idioms, images of elements from fables and the colors of the desert of Rajasthan which is almost a riot for what it presents us within this sense, the most compelling art always supersedes its present, in the very act of addressing it: that is to say, the most compelling and provocative art has always been an art of an amalgam of the past and present as well as the future. Only when it is domesticated by the social and cultural elements of its epoch does it gain its compelling and provocative poers and become an art of the present. This show then is an exercise in re-figuring itself against the fossilizing pressures of the everyday lived in reality.
In time, even the most revolutionary art practices become neutralized and absorbed by the apparatus of individuality: the same rustic forms that refused to become complicit with the reigning mores, now become the images that reign and you tend to think of that which conforms and conjoins to give us an evidence of the favored values of society, its idiomatic impressions that stay and get washed away and also contain within an economy of texture and taste.
Weaving texture and textile
This show by an artist, who has used texture and textile in the past to create his works, is then an attempt to re-dedicate itself continuously to a revolutionary  impulse that translates texture into the tonality of the canvas, even if this should involve it in a perennial cycle of breaking and re-shaping and recreating. Just like the timeless structures of the past that become a feature of the present, like monuments in history that become iconic references, the different tonalities in the works refuse to be quietly continuous with the present; they mark then within their own structure and the address it makes to its potential audience, we are then perhaps left with the rupture that distinguishes it from what went before and we are able to sift and sieve what will come thereafter.
If you look at the phases in this collection the elements first concentrate, they throb and crowd the canvasses and then they seem to vanish into thin air. After that act of vanishing what is left is the texture in its evanescent ephemeral feel. The art of the minimalist mood for Surendra is not a temporally inevitable phenomenon, but it is born of a transformative sojourn that must be consciously realized and maintained. 
In some ways Surendra’s work is an attempt to explore new modes of production and distribution, reflecting in some ways the conditions of artistic practice as currently defined within the studio and what results is that his penchant then becomes an art that shares with other image- making practices within the broader domain of expressive culture.
‘I think that when I create my intention is not only extend the range and reach of art, I think I also want to try and endeavor  a part in which I can enrich its formal possibilities and multiply the experiential contexts in which it can act and invite responses from the viewers’ says he. The latest canvasses I guess are the result of yogic energies and practices. The elements that I used for so many years are now distancing themselves and I am moving towards a minimalist mode, a sense of peace and detachment where only the texture and the color reign. I think for me this will be a symbolism of another nature. From the colors of the desert I have moved to black, a color that absorbs all, a color that speaks in a way nothing else does’.
This art then in large and small series seeks to celebrate the devices and spaces of the lived idiom it harkens to the age of digital and virtual technology in the repetition of ideology, and also in a way is able to cherish lived in-encounter situations and associations; it then also functions on a variety of scales, from the intimacy of individual aesthetics to the participatory performance in life.
It surely directs its critical and affirmative energies towards an ongoing engagement with the dominant certitudes of its era. ‘it aspires, not towards utopia or ‘no-place’, but towards the active construction of a space or ‘place-of-change’. The works then operate in a lattice of interfaces between belonging and being, open to influences both local and global, the skill of training and the color of contemporaneity.
Integrally linked to the search for new inclinations of sight, sound and touch placed on offer. The Leitmotif of the textural idioms arouses an unbridled pleasure; it leads, invariably, to an addictive idiom of continuous stimulation-by-image, a loss of correspondence between real-world imperatives and inner world fantasies.
The show orchestrates a major shift in the articulation of creation, it contains the energy of art, and weaves within the lingua franca of introspection and repose of reflection, and also nurtures it. Born under the rubric of rustic interactivity, works of art can turn into allegorical constructs.
The art of Surendra  Joshi is the understanding of bringing into the studio the field of aesthetic innovation, so that he analogy enriches; it cultivates retreat which nourishes the possibility of real communication and community by replenishing the inner contemplative silence.

Art Critic



I spent formative years of my life in Uttrakhand, foot hills of Himalayas. The main involvement of the folks was spinning sheep wool. Almost every home had a handloom to weave cloth. It was great fun to observe wool being processed and died in striking colours. I was hardly seven or eight years old. Life as such was hard but the direct contact with nature made it quite comfortable. As the time passed by I had to move away from this beautiful adobe of nature for my education and future prospects. Finally I landed up being a painter. Although I had received the formal training of art but for exposure to wide spectrum of visual arts I started travelling. I studied the creations of great masters of art, their style, manner & technique but there was something inherent in me. I was unaware when the wool fibre, thread & texture of course woollen cloth got deeply imbedded in me. It was after many years a sudden touch of course cloth created a strange sense of pleasure. I felt, as if I got back something which I had lost earlier. I was literally alienated into my past. The feel of the soil and the touch ruff textured cloth gradually started creating spaces on my blank canvases.

Rajasthan now being my residence and work place had shaped my personality. The wide open spaces and vibrant colours of Rajasthan are integral part of my canvases. Blending with the elements of my past memories of the images emerging from the hilly rocks, the bark of the pine tree and the dried leaves transcended into a world of my abstract imagery.

Surendra Pal Joshi


Art Education

1985  B.F.A from Arts & Crafts college, Lucknow



2013   Rajeev Gandhi Excellence Award, New Delhi.

2005   Honoured by the College Education, Rajasthan Govt. 

2004   National Award, Kendriya Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi.

2004   All India Award, U.P. Lalit Kala Academy.

2001   All India Award, Tilak Smarak Trust, Pune.

2000   Gold Medal UNESCO, Repalli.

1997   Fellowship for Mural Design by the British Arts Council & Charles Wallace Trust Wales, in Cardiff U.K.

1994   All India Award, Rajasthan Lalit Kala Academy.

1992   Rajasthan Lalit Kala Academy Award.

1991   All India Award, South Central Cultural Zone, Nagpur.

1990   Asian Cultural Centre for UNESCO, Japan.

1986,88  Scholarship of U.P. State Lalit Kala Academy, Lucknow.

1980,85  Merit Scholarship to College of Art, Lucknow.




2013  Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Center sponsored by Art Konsult, New Delhi.                           

2012   London, Sponsored by ICCR, New Delhi.

2009   ICA Gallery, Jaipur.

2009   Jahangir Art Gallery, sponsored by Tao Art Foundation, Mumbai.

2007   Central Lalit Kala Academy, Sponsored by Nvya Art Galleria, New Delhi.

2006   International Heritage Festival, Sponsored by TaBlu Art Gallery, Clarks Amer Hotel, Jaipur.

2005   In aid of Tsunami Victims, Sponsored by Dainik Bhaskar & Rambagh Palace Hotel, Jaipur.

2004   International Festival Virasat, Rajputana Sheraton, Jaipur.

1994,99,2003  Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.

1997,2000  Taj Art Gallery, Mumbai.

1999   Academy of fine art & Literature, New Delhi.

1999   Invited Painting, Exhibition & Mural Workshop, Art Folio, Chandigarh.

1997   ABC Academy Varanasi, U.P.

1997   Rhonda, Wales (U.K.)

1997   Berllanderi, (Cardiff) U.K.

1994   Invited Painting Exhibition, U.P. State Lalit Kala Academy Lucknow.

1994   Shridharani  Art Gallery, New Delhi.

1989   Delhi Shilpi Chakra, New Delhi.

1988   Rajasthan State Lalit Kala Academy, Jaipur.

1984   U.P. State Lalit Kala Academy, Lucknow.


PARTICIPATIONS (National & International)

2014   'India - The Revealed Mysteries' in Conjunction with Venice Biennale 2014 , Venice , curated by Sandro Orlandi.

2013   Venice Biennale, Italy.

2013   'Confluence des Arts'  a group show of 100 artists at Gallery Artchill, Amber Fort , jaipur.

2013   Birla Academy of Art & Culture Kolkata.

2013   Group show , Jaipur Art Summit.

2013   Group show, New York  sponsored by Prakrit Art Gallery.

2013   Auction at Taj Hotel, Bangalore organized by Art Chutney.

2012   Beijing Biennale, China.

2012   United Art Fair, New Delhi.

2011   Group Show by Kalaneri Art Gallery, Jaipur.

2011   Master’s Corner Group Show in Mumbai Art Fair, Mumbai.

2011   Contemporary Art Exhibition at Jaipur & Seoul (South Korea).

2011   Wales Rajasthan Exchange Exhibition by British Council, New Delhi.

2010   Group Show by Bougainvillea Art Gallery, Ivory Coast, Africa.                          

2010   Group Show by ICA Gallery, Jaipur.

2010   Group Show by Point of View Art Gallery, Mumbai.

2009   All  India Group Show by Gallery Artchill at Le Meridien Jaipur.

2009   Bougainvillea Gallery, Udaipur.

2009   Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai.

2008   Opening show of Artchill Gallery at Amber fort, Jaipur.

2008   Group show, Grand Hyatt, Dubai, Organized by Art Select.

2008   Group show Leonardo Hotel, London, Organized by Art Select.

2008   Group show Passage Art Gallery, New Delhi.

2008   Directed a Art symposium at Dubai, organized by B.C.T., Jaipur.

2008   Group Show, Palo Alto, California, USA organized by Aicon Gallery.

2007   Three Men show, London. Curated by Ms. Uma Nair.

2007   25 Contemporary Indian Artist, organized by Russian Academy of Arts At the Zurab Tsereteli art gallery, Moscow, Curated by Ravi Kumar,Paris

2007   Group Show by Apparao Gallery, New Delhi.

2006   Indo-German Residency in Berlin, curated by Ms. Sushma Bahl.

2005   Contemporary Art Exhibition in Rangoon, Myanmar organized by Central Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi.

2005   XI th TRIENNALE-INDIA, Organized by Central Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi.

2004   Harmony Show, Sponsored by Reliance Pvt. Ltd., Nehru Centre, Mumbai.

2004,01,96,94,93, 92, 91, 90 & 1984 National Exhibition, Organized by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi.

2003  ‘Performative Textures’ Exhibition organized by India Habitat Centre & Apparao Gallery, New Delhi.

2002   Indian Art Exhibition, Germany.

1989   International Biennial of Prints Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal.

1985   India Festival of India (U.S.A.).



2012   Executed commissioned work for Leela Hotel at Chennai & Goa.

2012   Executed an Installation at Jaipur International Airport.

2005   Designed & Executed Mosaic Mural on J.N.T.U. College of fine art, Hyderabad.

2000   Designed & Executed Mosaic Mural at Hindustan Lever, Head Office, Church Gate, Mumbai.

1999   Glass Tile Mural for Shipping Corporation of India on “Swaraj” Ship, Visakhapatnam, A.P.

1998   Two Mosaic Mural in St. Anselm’s School, Malviya Nagar, Jaipur.

1997   Large Wooden Mural on Indian Oil Corporation’s Head Office in Yusuf Sarai, New Delhi.

1997   Mosaic Mural on Cawbridge Secondary School with Pioneers, Cardiff,

1997   Mosaic Mural on Greenfield Secondary School with Pioneers, Cardiff, U.K.

1994   I.I.H.M.R. (665 Sq. ft. Area), Sanganer, Jaipur.

1991   Rajasthan pavilion in I.I.T.F., New Delhi.

1989   Adult Education, New Delhi.  



2013   All India Painter’s Camp, Bhorugram, Churu, Rajasthan.

2013   All India Painter’s Camp, Auroville, Tamil Nadu.

2013   All India Painter’s Camp, Rajgir Nalanda, Bihar.

2011   All India Painter’s Camp “UTTRAYAN” in Baroda.

2011   All India Painter’s Camp in Srinagar (Kashmir).

2011   All India Painter’s Camp in Gwalior.

2011   Painter’s Camp in Myanmar organized by Point of View Gallery.

2011   Painter’s Camp in Shimla organized by Tellus Art Gallery.

2011   Painter’s Camp in Tansen kala Vithika Gwalior.

2010   Curated an International Artist Workshop organized by Bhoruka  Charitable Trust, Jaipur.

2009   All India Painters’ Camp at Le Meridian, Jaipur organized by Art Chill Gallery, Jaipur.

2008   All India Painters’ Camp, Jaipur organized by Neerja Modi School, Jaipur.

2008   Painters’ camp, Hong Kong, organized by Camlin Art Foundation.

2008   Painters’ camp, Russia.

2008   Painters’ camp, Dubai Organized by Bhoruka Charitable Trust, Jaipur.

2007   All India Painters’ Camp Organized by Art Indus, Mysore.

2007   All India Painters’ Camp Organized by T.G.V Group, Lakshadweep.

2007   All India Painters’ Camp Organized by Rai Foundation, Jim Corbett Park 

2007   All India Painters’ Camp Organized by Samanvai Art Gallery, Goa.

2007   Coordinated the All India Painters’ Camp sponsored by B.C.T at I.H.M.R, Jaipur

2007   All India Painters’ Camp in Bangkok, Thailand.

2006   All India Painters’ Camp organized Mr. Charan Sharma, Udaipur.

2005   All India Painter’s Camp, organized by Juneja Art Gallery, Jaipur.

2005   Directed a Mural Workshop at M.G.D. School, Organized by RAJASTHAN PATRIKA, Jaipur.

1999   All India Painter’s Camp, organized by Surajkund Authority.

1999   Directed a Mural Workshop at Art Folio, Chandigarh.

1994   Print Making Camp organized U.P. Lalit Kala Academy, Lucknow.

1993   All India Painter’s Camp, organized by Hastakshar, Jaipur.

1992   All India Painter’s Camp, organized by R.L.K.A. at Jaisalmer.

1992   Painter’s Camp, organized by R.L.K.A. at Sarnath, Varanasi.


Study travels in U.K., France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, USSR, Dubai, Thailand, China,Hong Kong, Myanmar & New Zealand etc.

From 1988 – 2008, Assistant Professor in the Fine Art Faculty, Rajasthan School of Art, Jaipur.

At Present:  Advisor  Art & Culture, Bhorukha Charitable Trust, Jaipur, India