Solo show at the Centre d’Art Auroville

Article by By Christoph Kluetsch

Aabhas Mahindre’s exhibition “From my organized chaos” is currently on display at Centre d’Art in Auroville (until 3 Dec 2022). Aabhas Mahindre is showing works from the Covid Lockdown period. 

Over 600 works on 5×7 inch paper were created. On view in the exhibition are a selection of about 60 works. They are reflections, meditations, observations, exercises in composition and conception, homages, experiments, memories, feelings and moods. They form a web of artistic thought and go far beyond the format of a visual diary. 

Those familiar with works of Classical Modernism immediately recognize references to Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Franz Klein. Aabhas Mahindre was represented as a student at the 2014/15 Kochi Bienniale with a painting also inspired by Mark Rothko. In his blue work (3ft x 4ft acrylic on canvas) from the period he illustrates his fascination with the color blue and the spiritual power of Yves Klein. Klein is often reduced in the West to his conceptual purity, but he is a deeply spiritual artist. In his homage to Klein, Aabhas Mahindre therefore includes trapezoidal planes (planes): 4 triangles on 3 planes communicate in dialogue with three floating dots. Aabhas Mahindre already showed here his sense for subtle image composition and how complex mystical relationships can be visualized. “The lines are a reference to my grandmothers stitching, they go into the sky”, he says.

His Instagram account (@aabhas.m) includes photos of his work as well as enchanting snapshots of everyday life. His eye is trained in the narration of existential configurations of the material that points to its spiritual source.

The 60 works in the exhibition vary in intensity. Some are playful in their attempt to imitate Yves Klein’s works with fire. The idea of using cigarettes is probably due to the circumstance of the covid lockdown, as the materials were limited in lockdown. Other works, such as the homage to Warhol’s Banana, hint at the dreaming of exhibitions. Powerful are works like ‘I watched this paint dry’ or collages like ‘Crowned’ as well as poetic works like ’Can’t you just smell that old Rose?’

Aabhas Mahindre got his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Government Institute of Fine Arts, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, where he was also teaching as guest faculty from 2017-18. He has participated in over 20 group shows and half a dozen Art Camps. In 2019/20 he received the Madhya Pradesh Rajaya Rupankan Kala Award and the Exhibition – Lakshmi Shankar Rajput Award.

Inspired by John Baldesari, Aabhas Mahindre prepares a new series of works on Instagram, his conceptual images are a sarcastic play of the ever-same Instagram posts. “I enjoyed the freedom I was given by the Centre d’Art gallery to exhibit my works, but the Instagram work will be a challenge to show, I am working on it and already have some ideas….”