Soumya Netrabile Between past and present/ Between appearance and memory, 2023
Mining memories from daily walks in nature, Soumya Netrabile’s works emerge from the phantasm of a breeze, the record of a cosmic wrinkle. Within flaming forests of green, amber, and peach, real space dissolves into mists of tenderness enfolded in mountains of longing. Occasional animals or figures appear from scrawled yet intentional flickering brushwork: haloed, dwarfed by their swirling surroundings.
Netrabile is a painter who thinks like a poet, using paint to suggest something larger, something deeper, sharper, enchanted, bewitching. Formal choices, light, color, and gesture, emerge from internalized locations beyond logic and justification. It’s her familiarity with her subject which allows her to unlock profound memories of being enveloped in nature’s canopy onto canvas and the simultaneity of all these elements compressed onto one surface.
Returning to the studio with these embodied memories, Netrabile emphasizes direct experience and intimacy rather than portals and vistas; show, don’t tell. Poetic and metaphysical connections are the result of steady drips of daydreams, painterly transmissions through a method of sustained focused noticing, one that is transformational, precise, and open.
Soumya Netrabile (b. 1966, Bangalore, India) received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University. Recent solo exhibitions include Pt.2 Gallery, Oakland, CA; Andrew Rafacz, Chicago, IL; and The Journal, New York, NY. Netrabile has exhibited in group exhibitions at galleries including Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA; Rachel Uffner, New York, NY; Trinta Gallery, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Indigo + Madder, London, UK; and Karma, New York, NY. Netrabile’s work has been acquired by public collections including Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, CA; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; and University Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Netrabile lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Reinvented Nature Visions Inform ‘New Landscapes Part II,’ at Santa Barbara City College’s Atkinson Gallery
Fabric art combines medium self-reference and landscape imagery in Jordan Nassar’s “A Sun Toward the Sea,” made of hand-embroidered cotton on cotton, covered with decorative leaf-like patterning, with a sly splash of landscape tucked into the far-right edge... Rougher stuff is also afoot, including Indian-born, Chicago-based artist Soumya Netrabile’s gruffly charming painting “2 p.m. in the Park.” A raw, color-infused view of a couple in an overgrown and unpopulated park is far from Renoir’s impressionistic park-based canvassing, with a folk-art-like and post-neo-expressionist sense of play. —Josef Woodard
5 Artists Share the Former Lives of Their Studios, From a Chicago Pipe Organ Factory to a U.S. Airforce Base
"My studio is in the old Hammond Organ Company plant in Chicago. The building has been fully rehabbed into multi-disciplinary makers’ space with all sorts of businesses: an event photographer, a candle-maker, a rooftop gardener, to name a few. Right now, I’m the only painter in the building. The eclectic mix of energy is nice." —Soumya Netrabile
Netrabile’s attraction to visual storytelling is palpable in her work—brightly colored, loosely rendered paintings that immerse the viewer in teeming landscapes. Because Netrabile paints by intuition, her scenes are mostly imaginary: Plants swirl, Dr. Seuss–like, up a hill, or gauzy flowers blend into one another in a thicket. And now, after quietly developing her practice for decades, the artist is finally finding recognition for this work. At a flurry of gallery shows and fair presentations over the past three years, Netrabile has, in turn, fed a growing audience with her own vivid imagery. —Kerry Cardoza
Nobody walks in Los Angeles but ducking out of the overheated concrete jungle and into “Between past and present/ Between appearance and memory,”—Soumya Netrabile’s vivid exhibition of wildlife, texture, line and color at Anat Ebgi—may inspire the urge to lace up your sneakers and take a meandering stroll through unexpected places. —Deborah Krieger
Soumya Netrabile's work doesn't aim to construct precise scenes like realism but rather showcases the process of finding the essence of nature through colors and forms from her memories. As the artist herself states, "Most of my plant forms are fictitious. Like landscapes, through plants, I can continue to accumulate experiences of painting and color, and from here, I can further explore the invisible threads that connect my emotions to the medium and form."
Anat Ebgi now represents Indian artist Soumya Netrabile
Tastemaking gallery Anat Ebgi has announced representation of the Indian artist Soumya Netrabile. The artist currently has a solo show, “Between past and present/ Between appearance and memory” at one of the gallery’s three Los Angeles locations, on view until October 21st. —Arun Kakar
"The Anat Ebgi show is about how walking leads to reverie. The paintings are explorations of how the physical act of wandering is tied to the mental activity of wandering... I think most of the Anat Ebgi show was painted while listening to opera." —Soumya Netrabile
Earthly Pleasures: A Review of Soumya Netrabile’s Searching for Stars
In viewing Netrabile’s canvases, it feels as though we are forced to have this roving eye, to journey through the work. The motion of each work takes you in like a riptide, impossible to break away once you begin to follow the urgency of the brushstroke, the flow of Netrabile’s hand. —Annie Dauber
What artists are really doing when they take up residencies
‘This is my first residency ever,’ says one of this year’s artists, the Indian-born, Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist Soumya Netrabile. ‘I even came to my art career later in life because I had to put family first.’ Since the artist paints pieces that mediate between abstraction and representation, exploring how the body relates to natural terrain, the Tuscan forest surrounding the studios has been significant to her. —Christina Makris
Netrabile’s feature takes the viewer through the looking glass in a beautiful and lusciously brushed display of immersive landscapes. With painterly touches that echo Monet to Gorky, we see man not as the master of his world, but as an integral part of it. —Alan Pocaro
"My recent work is mainly semi-abstract and connected to my evolving relationship with the forest near my home. Over the last few years, I have been spending a lot of time inside a local forest preserve, observing and absorbing phenomenological experiences and studying the numerous relationships inside its ecosystem." —Soumya Netrabile
In Between the Greens: A Review of Soumya Netrabile at Andrew Rafacz
Viewing the exhibition, it becomes clear that Netrabile’s preoccupation with compositional structures and the movement of the gaze sits comfortably side by side with her careful study of color chemistry and the natural phenomenon of light. —Pia Singh
The Art of Soumya Netrabile, Lush, Apolitical, Ambiguous
Though bright reds and greens dominate in her recent works, each piece retains a unique sense of lucidity and motion through varying proportions of light and dark, the thickness of paint, and the continuity of brushstrokes. —Suzanna Murawski
"I try to switch up how I approach the canvas, just to keep myself excited and moving forward. One of my goals is to learn as much as I can about the medium and the surface, and what I can do with the surface." —Soumya Netrabile
"I take a walk in the woods everyday, look at the river, and try to slow down. A lot of these connections that I build with nature come out subconsciously when I'm drawing or painting." —Soumya Netrabile
Interview: Soumya Netrabile, A Contemporary Abstract Painter
With her ceramic sculptures, she takes recognizable, familiar forms and reinvents them to take on new identities. Soumya has always had a strong sense of herself as a maker and she can’t remember a time when she didn’t think of herself as an artist. —Marga Patterson
"Maybe an arm will turn into a flower petal, and it feels right for a moment so I leave it be. The next moment that petal changes into a uterus or an elephant head and so forth. I try hard not to judge whatever flows in and out." —Soumya Netrabile
"I’m currently working on paintings and sculptures that are informed by the body, both externally and internally. My process is basically intuitive, whether I’m working with clay or paint." —Soumya Netrabile
"A good part of my youth was a typical American immigrant experience. I had to learn to balance two cultural identities and work out a place for myself. Making art helped me through this." —Soumya Netrabile
Williamsburg Art & Historical Center | Soumya Netrabile
The gestural line drawings in her composition are beautiful and distinctive. The large blocks of color in her work are ambiguous yet very intentional and descriptive. Netribile leads the viewer with descriptive realistic gestures, leaving room for observation of her puzzling abstractions. —Audrey Meehan