Saurabh Mohan’s take on abstraction doesn’t preclude the more figurative shapes that sometimes emerge in the course of realizing a painting. Those two perspectival tools — figure and ground — which the representational artist clings to, but which the abstract artist usually claims to have eschewed, are lucidly present in Mohan’s work. This doesn’t make his work any less abstract; rather, it enriches the tradition of abstraction to include unfamiliar elements.
It’s no surprise that so many of Mohan’s canvases are titled after terms that connote time. Creation, Emergence, Resurrection, Anticipation — all of which suggest that there’s a sort of union between the time of the painting, as gradually realized by the artist, and the time of the viewer, who sees only the finished product. The majority of Mohan’s works invoke movement: the dynamism of creation, of waiting, to seeing a transcendental activity attained through the mundane labor of applying textured pigments onto canvas. In Mohan’s oeuvre, abstraction lands itself to a kind of community, guiding the viewer to witness how the perception of a painting emerges out of a particular creative process