Sarnath Banerjee: History is Written by Garment Exporters (4 stars)

Work of Indian graphic novelist presented in different context

Sarnath Banerjee: History is Written by Garment Exporters

Billed here ostensibly as a graphic novelist whose works haven’t yet penetrated the Western mainstream, the Delhi-based Sarnath Banerjee’s gallery show presents his art in a whole different context.

Freed from the homogenous experience of flipping a book’s pages, the viewer is almost invited to inhabit the work, reading from one panel to the next between separate framed and hung sequences or along long stretches of card lain horizontally and folded into jagged peaks at the edge of each frame.

His images are strong, and many conflate a sense of the political and the mythical in a manner that suggests a first-hand understanding of Indian society will perhaps enrich the experience. Yet the sheer visual invention of Banerjee’s work is resonant throughout, and most often in the simplest of formats: a series of mysterious, limited movement diptychs in which, for example, a lazing café hipster has a moment of revelation in the gutter between panels or a placid, wrench-holding mechanic sits in a blood-splashed suburban sitting room.

Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, until Sat 28 Jul

Sarnath Banerjee: History is Written by Garment Exporters

  • 4 stars

Drawings and films by the Indian artist and graphic novelist, whose work examines the daily tensions of Indian life.


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