Galerie Isa is proud to welcome artist Ian Malhotra with his debut solo show titled ‘New Arcadia.’ The British-Indian Malhotra previously showcased at the gallery as a part of ‘In Landscape Mode’ (June 2022); his experience on that visit to Mumbai informing several aspects of this new series. Arcadia is defined as an idyllic pastoral state, a scene of simple pleasure, or in Greek mythology a utopia of mythical creatures. For Malhotra, whose work explores the experience and transmission of landscape imagery in the 21st century, ‘New Arcadia’ brings to the fore novel frontiers, resuming themes, references and encoded drawing systems from previous works. While the lockdown and the pandemic found Malhotra walking through the digital landscape of video games, 3D terrain mapping and climate modeling simulations in order to feel a sense of exploration, these newer works delve into the idea of a ‘natural landscape’ that has been idealized and immortalized on canvas through history. He alludes to the palettes, and even titles of paintings from artists such as MacDonald, part of the Canadian Group of Seven; the compositions of 18th century Romantic landscape painters like Freidrich and Turner; the perspective warping of Japanese woodblock printers like Hiroshige and Hokusai, noting their dedication in documenting rural landscapes, for the enjoyment of primarily urban populations. The artist’s aim was to mimic the laborious nature of these highly romanticized landscapes through a digital lens and Malhotra employs his equally intensive signature style to that end. Using Binary and Morse code and line drawings with pen and graphite pencils on archival printmaking paper, Malhotra’s works are a lesson in painstaking precision. The idea of looking continues this exploration—a look back at this Arcadian land; looking through and forward, in how art is framed; looking into glass (whether through a screen or a window) showing us another world, and reflecting back a view. This duality of seeing and reflecting, is expanded on in new diptych, triptych and quadtych works. The composition of the works alluding to the different architectural formats of windows from the artist's personal experience. Through this series, Malhotra continues to pose the question fundamental to his work–what is the medium and what is the message? Also reflecting in these works is the light the artist encountered in Mumbai–a sunset tinged sky, the gray of stormy clouds, clear and misty morning vistas along Marine Drive, all show up in the pieces, especially in Total Immersion. The technique of Bidri work, the ancient metal craft, with iridescent silver and gold inlays against black, appear in two etchings, Untitled and Fine Wind, Clouded Mountain, where white pigment is given a silvery tint, and in other works where bronze ink is mixed with gold pigment on black paper. The idea of reflection, both pictorially and metaphorically, form the crux of this expansive body of work. The hope is that this show helps you slow down, to linger, to see the images up close and also at a distance, and to reflect, on how we look, see and experience the landscapes around us, virtually and in real life.