- Arun Dev | Unknown Geometries
- House in a field
- The repetitive rationale
- The nostalgia of infinity after Giorgio de Chirico
- Closed Horizon
- A Universal Shipreck
- A fountain for an outer occurrence
- A gravitational fiction
- A probability in time
- In memory of all the vanished elephants
- The Apocryphal Heat
- The corpus hypercubus inconceived
- The random soft clouds of thought
Unknown Geometries– Arun Dev
For Delhi-based artist Arun Dev, there is more to the universe than what meets the eye. An avid reader and thinker, Dev draws from mathematics, physics, literature, and art history, particularly from the work of Agnes Martin, Nasreen Mohamedi, Haruki Murakami, and OV Vijayan. He is fascinated by the speculative fourth dimension of the world, a site of unknown mystery, imagined with an optical illusion or referred to as a black hole. Inspired by the modern master Pablo Picasso, who tried to access the unknown fourth dimension of a three-dimensional subject on 2D surfaces, Dev creates time-space compositions that resemble geometries and buildings in the making. They echo the popular perception of the fourth dimension as a block universe with blank grids.
These unknown geometries by Dev address the transitory nature of human consciousness and the perpetual invocation of rationality to feel in sync with the elements that are way beyond our imagination. What intrigues him is a space beyond rational projections of the universe, where time as we know it does not exist. There is only a fleeting sensation of depth and distance that remains. The work Probability in Time takes up this understanding of time and space and creates a tunnel on the two-dimensional surface. The process of painting for Dev is a meditative one, where one can fully align with the symphonic quality of one’s imagination.
Alongside introspecting the unknown, Dev is also intrigued by the potential extensions of the familiar. For instance, he refers to a particular understanding of gravity not as a force but as a curvature in space-time. The work A Gravitational Fiction portrays these perceptions through spatial prisms moving across different directions. One of the peculiar aspects of Arun Dev’s practice is his ability to seamlessly align his interests in science with the language of art. In this constant back and forth, the surface of the canvas transforms into a time-space continuum offering each viewer a unique point of departure.
While continuing to unpack the macro understandings of the universe, his work A Monument for All the Grand Occurrences speaks of how each micro happening is interlinked like a piece of a puzzle. He draws from the butterfly effect proposed by Edward Lorenz, where “small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system.” Such as the flapping of butterfly wings could lead to a typhoon. For Dev, none of these understandings are permanent; they are in a fleeting zone of perception that we term as reality. In this prism or on canvas, any encounter is a chance occurrence, and no matter how well you plan, something always overtakes the situation, like in a football game. If we let go of this unpredictability for rationality, life gets boring. Since life is something we stumble on while doing other things.
-Curatorial Text by Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi