I can’t say enough good things about Jagannath Panda’s solo exhibition at Frey Norris. Full disclosure, I wrote the essay for the exhibition’s catalogue, but that doesn’t preclude me from waxing poetic about some of the excellent works that this young and exceedingly charming artist has produced for the show.
First of all, the space at Frey Norris is really quite wonderful. Expansive but not aloof, and very conducive for some close looking. In the essay I focused on the references to Gurgaon that are apparent in much of Panda’s work – the uneasy juxtaposition of more traditional ways of living alongside the unchecked development that characterizes many experiences of the city. And that is all there, to be sure.
What I failed to spend time on, however, is how incredibly beautiful and rich the surfaces of Jagannath’s works are. His canvases showcase layer upon layer of paint, textile, found objects, more paint, figures, forms, more paint, more textiles… it’s visually captivating and all quite fantastic.
As this last month has been a bit of a Jagannath-fest for me (and for the City of SF in a way), I must urge all who haven’t yet seen Phantoms of Asia at the Asian Art Museum to bike, walk, run, drive, hurry, scoot, etc. your way there as soon as possible: Jagannath’s painting Cult of Appearance III is on view and is superlative in every way!