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Lot Details

Signed, titled, dated and inscribed 'Gieve Patel / "Looking into a Well" / 2001 / acrylic' (on the reverse)

Gieve Patel, Gallery Chemould (Mumbai, 2003) & Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi, 2004)
Published on the cover of the exhibition catalogue

Private collection, Dubai.

Gieve Patel, Exhibition catalogue, Gallery Chemould (Mumbai, 2003) & Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi, 2004) p.6.

This work is sold with a copy of the above exhibition catalogue.

"Looking into a Well: Full Moon" was completed in 2001, exactly ten years down the line from when I started work on this series of paintings. It is the only work depicting a night scene, almost midnight at that, with the full moon at zenith reflected on the surface of the water.

This set of works owes its inspiration to a boyhood habit of never passing by a well without looking into it. These were modest, rural wells in my parents' village in south Gujarat, not the majestic, imposing step wells of the north. Yet for me they were magical, and continue to be so to this day. Almost from moment to moment the reflections on the water surface would change, as the light changed through the day, and clouds, birds and vegetation moved and flickered in and out. And the inner and outer sides of the well - inexhaustible variety!

This midnight well gave me the opportunity not only to attempt a rich grey-blue light, but also to explore how this light sets off objects inside and outside the well: twining roots reaching down to the water, chalky white pillars supporting the pulley rod, and the mossy, blue-green stones.

Looking into a well is a delight to the senses at any time of day or night. It is also a rehearsal for looking into the depths of oneself.

Gieve Patel

(b. 1940)
Born in Mumbai in 1940, Patel is a self-taught artist, a practising general physician, a poet and a playwright. Since the mid 1960s, several solo exhibitions of the artist’s work have been held in India and internationally. These include ‘Wells Clouds Skulls’ at Bose Pacia, New York, in 2011; ‘Gieve Patel: Select Works 1971-2006’ at Gallery Threshold, New Delhi and Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai in 2009-10; ‘Eklavya/Daphne’ at the Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2007; and ‘Gieve Patel’ at Gallery Chemould and Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, and Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 2003-04. His work has been featured in group shows including ‘ Multiple Modernities India, 1905-2005’ at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008; ‘Gateway Bombay’ at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, in 2007, and ‘Contemporary Indian Art’ at Grey Art Gallery and Study Centre, New York, in 1986. Patel lives and works in Mumbai.