Credit: P.Mansaram, Maharana Pratap, 1967, mixed media on paper, 64 cm x 79 cm. Photo courtesy of the estate of the artist.
P.Mansaram: The Medium is the Medium is the Medium
Travel through five decades of P.Mansaram’s artistic practice that revels in repetition.
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For the late P.Mansaram, repetition was art practice, repetition was meditation, repetition was spirituality, repetition was falling in love, and as he said, repetition was a way to finding god. Yet, for all this interest in repetition, Mansaram’s work is never repetitive. Figures and symbols appear and reappear in different spaces and configurations. Text and image play off each other. P.Mansaram: The Medium is the Medium is the Medium shows how the artist used recurrence and reproduction through a variety of mediums. Visitors will see drawings, paintings, collage, texts, sculptures, xerox, silkscreen prints, and films spanning more than five decades of the artist’s prolific career.
Mansaram’s art invokes unending feelings of travel: through time, dimension, and territory. Having travelled through India, Western Europe, Greece, and Egypt, Mansaram absorbed art from many cultures. The selection of works in this exhibit highlights both material and spiritual elements from his surroundings. Characters, symbols, and spaces convey the artist’s meditative and transcendent processes in form and content. In this regard, the ways in which Mansaram assembled different media and created a sense of place give a nuanced narrative of the diasporic experience.
P.Mansaram: The Medium is the Medium is the Medium is curated by Indu Vashist and Toleen Touq. It was originally presented at the Justina Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto Art Museum in 2019 and then the Art Gallery of Burlington in 2020.
The exhibition is co-organized by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and South Asian Visual Arts Centre with the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council.
About the Artist
Panchal Mansaram (1934–2020) grew up in Mount Abu, Rajasthan in India. He left his family home to fulfill his dream of becoming an artist. As a young art student, Mansaram was inspired by both the history of art and his everyday surroundings, which included billboards, advertising, posters, and early computer art. He also studied in Amsterdam where he began to make more experimental artwork. In 1966, Mansaram moved with his family to Canada, living in Toronto before settling in Burlington. For many years, he worked as both an artist, as well as a high school art teacher in Hamilton, Ontario. Mansaram had exhibitions at numerous galleries including the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Art Gallery of Hamilton, and the South Asian Gallery of Art in Oakville.
Curators: Indu Vashist and Toleen Touq
Origin of Exhibition: Justina Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto Art Museum
Community Partner: Indian Summer Festival