In a welcome and important initiative, curator Susan Aurinko has brought two masterful Indian photographers to Chicago, introducing us to a rising creative center that will surely have an increasing impact on global art. Nandita Raman’s somber black-and-white chiaroscuro images of derelict movie theaters are exquisitely composed and exert a fascination that is heightened by their placement among fresh, glowing and elegantly patterned silk tapestries woven by Haseen Bhai and his family. The same intense sensitivity is evinced in Prabyr Purkyastha’s ultra-precise and complex black-and-white and toned landscapes, which synthesize all the photographic values—light, composition and texture—in scenes that rivet our attention. In their very different ways, Raman and Purkyastha are up to serious business, providing an essential corrective to the wave of conceptual art from East Asia that has captured today’s art world—they provoke us to feel to our depths. (Michael Weinstein)
Through Feb 22 at Flatfile Galleries, 217 N. Carpenter, (312)491-1190.