A Closer Look with Jignesh Panchal

Erika b Hess | Daina Higgins | Dion Johnson | Jignesh Panchal | Nikos Fyodor Rutkowski

September 3rd – October 30th, 2020

Jignesh Panchal grew up in his native India surrounded by an intense vernacular linguistically, aesthetically and culturally. On a daily basis he is bombarded with images and objects of everyday life in a country with a rich and complex history, which is now the fabric of his work. Panchal started out making large scale paintings before turning his attention to this ongoing series of collages. Upon graduating with a painting degree in his hometown of Ahmedabad, India, Panchal has been participating in global artist residencies while further developing his unique artistic techniques. He currently lives and works in Ahmedabad, India.

In the summer of 2020 Panchal created a series titled Summer 2019, inspired by his time in Italy the previous year. He spent two months in Northern Italy, drinking in the culture and collecting materials that he uses in this body of work. He collects hand-crafted papers during his travels as they are beautiful objects that reflect the style of the places. In his studio, he works off of these papers with collage, building up layers off the flat surface while incorporating miniatures of icons representing the East and West.

Panchal explores Indian traditions with miniatures and iconic architectural symbols, integrating them with European styles, thereby reflecting on the shared cultural histories. These works are layered collages that involve three dimensional structures that appear as windows revealing religious motifs. The patterns are encased in gold leaf allowing light to bounce off of the piece, directing the eye towards the multiple contrasting windows of imagery. The juxtapositions of motifs and imagery from the differing countries offers an investigation into the significance of cultural identity and whether it truly exists as distinct features comparatively. His work not only points out the differences between cultures but rather more so exposes our similarities

“My work is a kaleidoscope of reality and fiction, history and present with various materials used in it and different approaches towards my ideas of culture.”

-Jignesh Panchal