Ranjani Shettar: Seven ponds and a few raindrops at The Met Fifth Avenue, through September 16, 2018

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

“Suspended from the ceiling, Seven ponds and a few raindrops is composed of stainless steel elements that have been molded into a series of sensual, curved, amoeba-like forms covered in tamarind-stained muslin—a technique derived from a craft tradition Shettar observed in the small village of Kinnala, India. The shadows cast by the suspended elements give the viewer a sense of having stumbled upon a hidden-away oasis.

Born in 1977, Shettar is based in the South India state of Karnataka. The inspiration for her large-scale installation comes from her observations of the now-threatened natural environs of rural India. She combines natural and industrial materials like beeswax, wood, organic dyes, vegetal pastes, lacquer, steel, and cloth in her work. All of the components in Shettar’s installations are carefully created and have a deliberately imperfect quality. The hued, rough patinas of the materials emphasize the artisanal nature of her practice, while also acknowledging the lives of the materials themselves. While Shettar’s abstract sculptures are resonant with familiar traditions of Western modernist and minimalist sculpture, it is the interplay of techniques and materials, mostly drawn from local sources, that make them distinctive.” — The Met

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017. Muslin, stainless steel, tamarind, natural dyes, 19 ft. 1 in. x 18 ft. 7 in. x 96 in. (581.7 x 566.4 x 243.8 cm). Courtesy Talwar Gallery, New York/New Delhi.

Indian sculptor Ranjani Shettar’s immersive installation Seven ponds and a few raindrops (2017), a recent gift to The Met from the Tia Collection, marks the beginning of the Tia Collection’s two year commitment to support the acquisition of works by South Asian female artists for The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Ranjani Shettar: Seven ponds and a few raindrops is organized by Shanay Jhaveri, Assistant Curator of South Asian Art in The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.