My practice explores the performative intersection between sculpture and installation and is informed by my consistent engagement with the sensuous materiality of clay. My focus predicates the possibilities and challenges of meditative multiples and immersive installations, through which I contemplate the ever-changing concepts of space and place.-Madhvi Subrahmanian
b. 1962, in Mumbai, India
Madhvi Subrahmanian received her Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas Texas in 1993. Prior to that she studied ceramics with Ray Meeker in Pondicherry, India. Her first solo show at Gallery Chemould was in 2003. Madhvi is a founding member and curator of the Indian Ceramics Triennale.
Madhvi's practice responds to her immediate enviornment and is informed by her migratory life- the opportunities and challenges of her constant relocations. Madhvi investigates different perspectives in her works evoking both collective and personal memories. Her installations are often made up of multiples and tend to be immersive and experiential. Madhvi, lives and works between India and Singapore.
Nancy Adajania describes her practice in her 2017 exhibition catalogue essay:
In her evolving practice, Madhvi has endeavoured to disturb formalist abstraction (of an object maker). She has experimented with a range of processes, both formal and informal, and allowed the factor of chance to gamble against set protocols; she is a partisan of low firing, hand-building, smoke marks, cracks, holes, cavities and surface impurities. She favours mandala-shaped assemblages, those fail-safe guarantees of holistic selfhood, but is also keen on spirals that spin away from the centre and find their own trajectories. She does not differentiate between clay and skin. She kneads and ‘grows’ seeds, pods, cones, trees; she once made a mould of her pregnant belly.
Madhvi is a comrade and co-conspirator of clay; time and gravity are her adversaries. She records the shadows of arrow-shaped roads; time wipes them out. She challenges gravity; she builds high, higher, not out of hubris, but because she knows that “if you push clay against its will, it pushes right back”.