Distanz Publishing, Berlin, 2011, 236 pp., English

Trained at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and based between there and Calcutta, Praneet Soi is an artist for a hybrid moment. His first major monograph, with texts by leading curators Charles Esche and Ranjit Hoskote (who showcased him prominently at the India pavilion of the recent Venice Biennale), outlines a practice that hinges on a range of strategies for processing and modifying images. The book takes nesting as a metaphor and a design solution, with four folios of descending thickness. The outer layer provides source images— a photo montage separated into stripes, say, then set against images of 9/11 jumpers against the WTC’s stripes. The second booklet contains the work proper, paintings that follow on his earlier miniatures, the same fine brushwork here applied to ambiguous assemblages of people carrying each other, or covering their ears. Inside that is a notebook of black line drawings on lissome white paper, alternating between friendly figures, ambiguous scenarios of veiled women and fallen soldiers, and everyday objects like a Puma sneaker. You can see the next image through the sheet holding the one before it, in a trick that evoked, for this reader at least, Huang Yong Ping’s textbook-inspired drawing “Mona-Vinci.”