At the gallery, we are currently showing Kuzana Ogg’s series, Yasna. This series exemplifies the artists ability to create intricate patterns that both contradict and complement the more obviously bold and defined geometry that initially catches your eye.
As the Ogg told Canvas, a blog by Saatchi art, the primary influences of and major themes in her work are “botanical and biological entities, urban geometry, and pattern.” Botanical themes are particularly visible in the soft, organic patterns nestled among more harsh rigid shapes that reference the geometry and structure typical of major urban centers like her native Bombay.
Perhaps the most helpful and important facet of Kuzana’s work is that of her background and her ultimate inspiration: her childhood experience in Bombay. Born there in the 1970s and residing there with her grandparents until she moved to London as a child, the city left a permanent mark on Kuzana’s artwork even when she had long since moved away. Her childhood experience determined the principles that guide her work to this day. The artist puts it best:
My early years in India were flooded with noise, color, and fragrance. My grandparents’ home in Bombay was somewhat buffered from the outside chaos of people and cars by lush gardens. This paradise of quietly growing coconut trees, exotic lilies, and always newly turned wet red earth was invaded hourly by squalling parrots and barbarous crows. Their cries filtered through the foliage as though they were the softened echoes of the havoc on the streets.
Going anywhere in Bombay requires infinite patience and time. A simple errand to get a plastic bucket devolves into an all-day affair involving epic traffic jams and monsoon-huge waves crashing over the seawall. But, even as a very small child—I was easily distracted by the lurid Bollywood billboards rushing past the car window and promises of notebooks with endpapers of fuchsia block-printed flowers and new erasers in the shape of rabbits or fried eggs.
The general pandemonium of Bombay in the early 1970s serves as a visual alphabet. Through my travels and migrations, this alphabet continues to recombine, developing into a painterly language. In any form of communication, I have found the principles of restraint and balance to be the most formidable and eloquent.
Knowing this information about the artist, about her personal history, allows the viewer to understand the work on a deeper level (which, with abstract art, can often be hard to achieve). We are honored to present this work to Nashville audiences and to welcome viewers into a more colorful and (hopefully) balanced space.
Don’t forget to stop by the gallery Friday, March 29th, during the Art Crawl to see this fantastic show!
To see more of Kuzana’s work, visit her website here.