Ranbir Kaleka

Across the four and a half decades of his artistic activity, Ranbir Kaleka (b.1953) has produced both a remarkable body of paintings, vibrant with phantasmagoria and epic disquiet, as well as a body of trans-media works that combine conceptualist sophistication with a calibrated opulence of image. During the last twenty years, Kaleka has orchestrated a number of arrangements of the painted image and the projected image, arranged so as to cohabit in the same space. However, he does not embrace the simple juxtaposition, superimposition, or mixed-use of media to achieve a pluralizing effect. On the contrary, he produces a meticulously calibrated adjacency of media, with which to disrupt the civilities of the layered image. Kaleka’s images are only apparently simultaneous and palimpsestuous. In actuality, they are asynchronous: they lag behind one another, snag at one another, and hold together in a spectral shimmer only to split apart in brief bursts before regaining deceptive stability. In the subtle gap between the manifestations of these images, Kaleka breaks open a difference of spatiality, temporality, sensation, and significance, making us intensely alive to the condition of viewerly reception.


[Excerpts from “The Poetics of the Liminal Moment: Notes on Ranbir Kaleka’s Art” by Ranjit Hoskote,]