Signature denotes authority along with a sense of responsibility. It’s always intriguing to introspect on the narrative whether it entails the restrictions on the possible diversity of creative imaginations and explorations. Do artists develop their specific style to make them unique with a way of creating work that acts as a signifier, much like establishing a brand that sets them apart and make them instantly recognizable?
The exhibition ‘The Signature in the Image’ intends to put forth some broad questions related to a signed image or to a set presentation by an artist. How does a signature style connect the characteristics, values, and attributes of an artwork? How important is it to have a signature style for an artist in conceptual or contemporary art in our times? How does the work atomically connect words, phrases, ideas or beliefs on the basis of its creation? Can an artist find his/her own definition without relying on a consistent medium or material execution? How crucial is it in establishing one’s image in the market or being a treasure trove for the clients? Or, does it lead to generalization and typecasting?
Here, in this exhibition the artists have freely explored, experimented, or relooked at their creation to reinforce or challenge the idea of signature, what it means to them and how consciously or unconsciously sometimes its presence is inevitable.
This exhibition examines the implications of a signed image. Does the signature in a work generate preconceived ideas?
Can we say with absolute certainty that each work is a typical work or could the artist have also created art intentionally in defiance of this ownership? The world recognizes an artist’s signature from a ‘limited’ body of work whereas an artist may have several phases, experiments, influences and renewals during the long span of his/her career. Does the first crystallized thought make it a so called ‘signature’ work or does the culmination and reassertion of that thought over decades of work make it so?
In fact, as we interviewed the participating artists, not only did we discover many hitherto ‘unseen-unshown’ works in our visits to their studios, we also figured that a diverse body of work may, very likely be an assertion of independence; to create regardless of expectation or predictability. It may well be that a revelation of only an entire portfolio can be a well-attested authoritative testimony to a true signature. Through this exhibition thus, we offer but a mere glimpse of the painted image as the ‘signed/written’ testimony.
We wait with baited breath for what may come next from their studios. Will it carry the known, the familiar or will we take you along on a journey of discovery into the deeper realms of the artists’ psyche and find a signature without the signature?