Jitish Kallat

The socio-political works of celebrated Indian artist Jitish Kallat draw on the strategies of advertising and agitprop to give voice to the underprivileged of Mumbai. Primarily known as a painter, Kallat began making sculptures in 2003.

Aquasaurus, 2008, is a monumental seven-metre long skeletal sculpture of a water-tanker morphing to become prehistoric creature that personifies the radical transformation of Indian city life.

According to Deeksha Nath: ‘Aquasaurus’ and its two predecessors – Autosaurus Tripous, 2007, an indigenous three-wheel taxi, and Collidonthus, 2007, a life-size car – forge unfamiliar territory. Missing are the trappings of urbanism, the cacophony of stacked cars, text and people that have populated our vision as viewers of Kallat’s work. Here we are met with silence, a silence that is frightening in its foreignness but one that is also enabling. The cleansing of the sensory palate and the taxed mind allows space for observation, a measure of playfulness and the surfacing of certain anxieties. Aquasaurus marks a turning point, not only in Kallat’s journey but also in contemporary Indian sculpture.’


Published by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 2008

32 pages, 260 x 180 mm, full-colour, saddle-stitched paperback

ISBN 978-0-9577382-2-5


Essay by Deeksha Nath, New Delhi-based visual arts writer and curator

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