Associate Professor of Art Gautam Rao will exhibit his work in a show called Unblocked, Sept. 6-27 at Gallery 924, 924 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis.
Admission is free. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.
For more information, call (317) 631-3301.
The exhibit, which consists of a series of large-scale paintings, represents a journey of rediscovering the creative process. Rao’s previous paintings were figurative, but in 2011 he took a square canvas, divided it into a grid and filled each square with a unique color. This simple act marked the beginning of an exploration of color that has led to complex and unexpected destinations.
Over the past two years Rao has made large-scale paintings exploring color relationships, pattern, typography, and landscape. One painting in the exhibit is inspired by the sequential named colors in the novel The Great Gatsby, while another group of 26 paintings make up a typographic exploration—a painted alphabet.
The paintings rely on a grid of color squares. The squares of color in these paintings allude to pixels or fabric patterns. They play on the human tendency to recognize images in patterns everywhere- in the intervals of cracks on the sidewalk, faces found in the clouds. The paintings function like puzzles: each viewer sees something different, recognizing something new about themselves.
Increasingly, mathematical patterns play a role in the structure of the paintings. Rao alternates colors in syncopated patterns, grouping them by hue, color temperature and value. These paintings remind us of the color choices we make every day, from choosing which clothes to wear, to deciding to slow down or speed up for an amber traffic light. They highlight the joy to be found in color choices and the excitement of the creative process – of creativity rediscovered and unblocked.