Surfaces that we constantly encounter – of architecture, of electronic signboards, of shadows and reflections and of moving images – and the density of experiences that such encounters unleash, inform the painterly practice of New Delhi-based artist Tanya Goel. After completing her MFA at Yale University, Goel relocated to a Brooklyn studio and in 2010 completed a series of large works where she looked at opaque screens, such as the material blue tarpaulin with its transnational function of covering up construction sites and obscuring urban grids. She looked at the rifts in its weave as a metaphor for ruptures in the concealed grid of production that binds urban life. Extending these concerns, Goel’s subsequent bodies of work have focused on virtual grids/monitors and screens – as being surfaces that overlap excessive imagery; that emit light/colour but can also absorb attention; that distract as much as they fascinate; that flicker during instances of error and can cause any intended register of colour to slightly displace. In this preoccupation with screens, the desire is to see if our eyes might become attentive to the disjunction between colour as light/sight and the material pigments/technologies that embody colour. For Goel, these moments obscure a kind of spectacle-oriented (and homogenized) presentation of cities in the global milieu and reflect a sense of ambiguity, dis-identification and homelessness that is now vested in the nature of all things as well as spaces, despite illusory familiarity.