Ragini Bhow (b.1991) lives and works in New York and grew up in Bangalore, India. She works between painting and sculpture. She received her MFA from the University of New Mexico in 2020 and her BFA from the University of Minnesota in 2013. She has made work at Tamarind Institute and had solo presentations of her work in 1415 Gallery (Albuquerque), VITRINE (Albuquerque), 1.ShanthiRoad (Bangalore, India). Her work has participated in group exhibitions at Future Fair (New York City), Gallery (Albany, NY), Kleine-Humboldt Galerie (Berlin), Galerie Mirchandani & Steinruecke (Mumbai, India), UNM Art Museum (Albuquerque), Gallery SKE (Bangalore, India), Kunstpavillon im Alten Botanischen (Munich). She completed a residency at KHOJ (New Delhi) in 2014 and her MFA thesis work was showcased in Artforum June/July 2020.

Second Wind

May 14 to June 14, 2022
29c Ludlow Street NYC

Rubber Factory is pleased to present a solo exhibition with the artist Ragini Bhow, titled “Second Wind”.

Ragini’s process involves deeply meditative techniques where she applies pigments containing crushed crystal, letting her intuition guide her as forms begin to coalesce. During these prolonged periods of working on a piece she enters a lucid state of consciousness where visions and dreams influence her decisions. Ragini’s approach to abstraction refuses popular modes of knowing, de-centering intellectual ways of seeing and encourages the viewer to engage in broader scopes of relating to the world.

Many of the works in Second Wind exist in a state of superposition, negotiating negative and positive space, receiving and emitting energy. Nebulous boundaries start to form, past lives, after lives are evoked by the fluid shapes floating across the works. The symbols in the works have an agency that collapses temporal space, the ancient coincides with the present and future. The viewer is confronted with recurring forms that feel archetypal, murky and alluding to the subconscious. Starting with a black ground, Ragini applies layers of pigment; the process is intuitive with the strict parameters of black and blue. Navigating the darkness bears resemblance to her journeys in the desert dunes at night with distances skewed and the destination uncertain.

Works in the show are born from Ragini’s experiences in her home country of India, she was raised in Bangalore and spent time in the Thar desert on the border of Pakistan and India. Ragini’s time in desert landscapes has led to an exploration of energy and engagement with the primordial that pre-dates linguistic forms.

Smaller works with dense black backgrounds pull you in with organic, amoebic forms while larger compositions engulf viewers with their complex system of symbols. The deep black that grounds the paintings provides a base for the composition to emerge as the viewer’s optical sight adjusts to the dark surface. The artist as conduit, as conjurer of unseen images is evident in the way Ragini’s works shape pigment, metal, resin, and ash into vibrational forms. Her abstractions vibrate with force, transmuting painted surfaces and metallic bases into portals for viewers to enter.

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