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Bolt Residency

Gods Do Handstands; Spices Simmer

Kaveri Raina, "Gateway to Pleasures (Detail)", 2017, Acrylic, burlap, 70" x 40"
Friday, March 31, 2017 to Thursday, April 20, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, March 31, 6-9pm

The Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Gods Do Handstands; Spices Simmer, a solo exhibition by BOLT Resident, Kaveri Raina.

“To paint as Raina paints is to build worlds, at least in the form of propositions. Her canvases are mostly scaled to the artist’s own body, often dyed with rich violets and greens, and occupied with flatly painted signs scrambled into effusive narratives about their own making. Her worlds are collapsed across the fronts and backs of loosely woven burlap supports, stretched over wooden frames—underlying structures that border the final compositions. Tectonic shapes are painted from the backside, pressing through the fabric’s weave, mapping the site of Raina’s ensuing fantasies. The paintings resist being coded into overly stabilized dichotomies; east is not always the back, nor west the front. Rather, the works model the flipsides of open-ended arguments with attention to where one locates a point of view. Spicy, earthy hues puddle juicily into post-industrial plastic (sub) continents that drift across all sides, embedding the burlap grid into sensuous formal arrangements.”

Matt Morris (Hyperreal Hanuman: Painting into Global Flows, 2016, Hammond Harkins Gallery)

Matter and material serve as the principle metaphors in Kaveri Raina’s work. Her paintings explore the often conflicting aspects of her hybrid identity and the pictorial push-and-pull of Western Modernism. Raina connotes the complex experience of being located between two cultures by highlighting the permeable surface of burlap as she paints from both the back and front of the textured fabric. As a result, this technique challenges the viewer to discern if the painting is behind, in front, or absorbed into the surface. For Raina, painting on the backside of the burlap creates a level of uncertainty, in which the reward is ultimately recognized by the striking outcome when one releases control.

Artist Talk

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Exhibiting artist, Kaveri Raina will discuss her new paintings in her solo show, Gods do Handstands; Spices Simmer with Megha Ralapati, Residency and Special Projects Manager at the Hyde Park Art Center. Raina is joined by Ralapati in conversation about the subjects of her paintings and what thought processes and ideas motivate her artistic choices.


artist bio

Kaveri Raina is an artist working in Chicago, IL. She was born and raised in New Delhi, India and moved to the States at the age of eleven. In 2011 she received her BFA in Painting and Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and in 2016 her MFA in Painting and Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Raina was a 2016 recipient of the James Nelson Raymond Fellowship, Fred and Joanna Lazarus Scholarship, amongst others. In fall 2016 she completed a five-week residency at Ox-Bow, in Saugatuck, MI. Raina has exhibited in Chicago, New York, Ohio, among others. She has upcoming exhibitions at Devening Projects, Comfort Station, and Demo Project Space. She is represented by Hammond Harkins Gallery in Columbus, OH.