London Art Reviews

Magazine of art press and reviews from London

The Sinta Tantra chromatics exhibition at the fantastic gallery of Kristin Hjellegjerde, London.

On Being Blue, A Philosophical Enquiry (No5/3), 2015, co. Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery © Sinta Tantra

On Being Blue, A Philosophical Enquiry (No5/3), 2015, co. Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery © Sinta Tantra

David Franchi, Sunday, 1st November 2015.

It has been an amazing exhibition “Fantastic/ Chromatic” by Sinta Tantra, at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

The exhibition of Sinta Tantra focused on chromatics of colour and geometry, and created a fantastic artistic environment by using structural elements of the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London.

The gallery itself is composed by three spaces where normally the exhibitions are set up. Therefore, Tantra considered using colours on the front space, where the main entrance is. She applied clear pink vinyl on the front window of the gallery and also hung up there coloured paintings. This sort of preparation created games of colours when the lights (and the occasional sun of the UK) were up, casting pinkish forms over the front wall and mixing with the paintings. The constant changing of sun and lights created new interaction between the colours.

The second room was focused on the colour blue, inspired by “On Being Blue: A Philosophical Enquiry” by William Glass. While reading the book, Sinta Tantra produced the paintings. These canvases presented a contrast between the painted elements and the unpainted ones. Colours are layered in fields, inspired by the work of the Action Painting and Colour Field Painting movements, including Lewitt, Stella, and Buren. There is a distinction between the covered and the coloured parts of canvas, stressing the employ of tessellation and pattern and textile portion characteristics of decoration and craft as each work is hand painted.

The last space is the most intimate of the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London. The works displayed here are collages or assemblages of wall paintings, canvases and found prints, including prints from James Audubon’s famous Birds in America folio. This room puts together a studio and Victorian parlour, with pink decoration. Sinta Tantra explains: “I wanted this room to have a different feel to the previous one. This is more intimate, experimental, domestic – reflecting more on studio activity rather than a finished project.”

Fantastic/Chromatic was an exhibition of high quality, devoted more to decoration and design, where colour played the leading role. Sinta Tantra said: “Colour exists as an integral aspect to my work and I am drawn to it as a material which lies between the language of art and industry. Colour exists within its own structure: it is densely packed, hermetically sealed, contained. My work takes on a sculptural approach to ‘colour collage’ where colour is ‘cut’ as opposed to filled, ‘layered’ as opposed to mixed, ‘constructed’ as opposed to emerged. Geometric boundaries are definitive and illusionary highs ‘snap’ into place as you walk around the work.”

Sinta Tantra is a British artist of Balinese descent. She was born in New York in 1979. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London 1999–2003 and at the Royal Academy Schools 2004–06. Her site-specific murals and installations have been exhibited at the Southbank Centre, Liverpool Biennial, the Royal British Society of Sculptors and Transport for London. Tantra’s most notable work includes a permanent landmark commission for Canary Wharf completed for the Olympics in 2012 – a 300-metre long painted bridge. She exhibited in Cologne (2015), Yogyakarta and New York (2014), Hong Kong, (2013) and The Hague (2012). She has been awarded numerous times, including the Deutsche Bank Award, British Council’s International Development Award and the shortlist for the Jerwood Painting Prize, Tantra’s work has been featured in both UK and international press including Tate Shots, FAD Magazine, The Evening Standard’s Hot List 100, Nylon Magazine USA, the Jakarta Post and BBC Radio Indonesia. Tantra’s work is in the collections of the UK’s Government Art Collection as well as private international collections.

The exhibition “Fantastic /Chromatic” by Sinta Tantra was at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, from 11th September until 10th October 2015.


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