Prabhavathi Meppayil’s work inevitably draws comparison to that of Nasreen Mohamedi. Born in 1965, the Bangalore-based artist practices a subtle, delicate form of geometric abstraction, as her late countrywoman did. But if Mohamedi made marks with an earthy rigor that emphasizes her implement’s encounter with the substrate, Meppayil creates results that feel miraculously ethereal. For eight/fifteen (2015) she laid even rows of copper and gold wires in fields of gesso. Metal threads both glint where they touch the surface and make shadows in its milky fog. In the six-panel work n/eighty two (2016), careful incisions in dried gesso produce a tenderly textured, evenly patterned skin. Meppayil’s handiwork vanishes from her smooth, floating surfaces, leaving only a sense of serenity.
Pictured: Prabhavathi Meppayil: eight/fifteen, 2015, gold wire embedded in gesso panel, 36 by 36 by 1½ inches. Courtesy Pace, New York. Photo Damian Griffiths.