Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mapping Memories to What Galleries Should Do


Mapping Memories for Tomorrow’s Generation

(Reena Kallat's work at Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai)

Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai attempts to ignite the interest and curiosity towards their city, Mumbai, in youngsters this summer. A children’s workshop titled, “ Mapping Memories”,  inspired by Reena Kallat’s artwork ‘Cobweb/ Crossings, which is on show at the moment at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad City Museum gallery, plans to take the concept further to the younger generation.

With references from Kallat’s installation art, about Mumbai’s old forgotten streets, roads and monuments is the point of departure for the workshop. Also it is an attempt to make the participants record their own personalized memories regarding places in the city by taking photos and mementos attached to the place. The workshop attempts to instill a love for the nuances of Mumbai city in the younger generation and a respect for its rich history.

This workshop is for children above the age of 8, and will go on till the 14th of May 2013, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.

For registration the email address is or call on 23731234.

Cut & Paste - When tradition meets imagination

(A Shekhavati style painting)

Chatterjee & Lal Gallery, Mumbai, in collaboration with Aditya Ruia, presents a show of small format works rendered in the Shekhawati style, patronized by the Marwari community of the North Eastern Rajasthan. These works are assemblages from the 1930s and apply a cut-and-paste technique. The show aptly called, ‘ Cut & Paste - Popular Mid 20th Century Art’  displays this particular group of works which are Chromo  lithographs produced either in Europe and America, overlaid by by indigenous prints printed in Bengal at the time.

The sources of imagery for these works are so diverse that they impart a magical quality to the works. Delving mostly into Hindu mythology and the Vaishnavite traditions, the narratives remain true to the epics but the variety is seen in the environments and backgrounds depicted in the works, implying the aspirations and imagination of the creator and that of the patrons.

These collages display great attention to detail creating unique vignettes within the compositional structures of the assemblages. The show is on view from the 10th of May 2013 to the 29th of June 2013.

Flavours of the City of Joy -  Kolkata

(Ceramics celebrating Kolkata)

Kolkata based Gallery Sanskriti presents an exclusive show of Ceramic Sculptures. The show is titled, ‘Kolkata -  A Tale of a City’ and is on view till the 16th of May 2013. The artists in this show hail from different parts of the country and bring in their own perspectives and artistic flavour and essence in their works.

The show is part of a traveling series of shows of ceramic sculptures which will be displayed in various cities of India. Each of these shows is an attempt to bring forth the speciality of that particular city through sculptures and ceramic art. The show attempts to involve the viewers to view their beloved city of residence through the eyes of sculptors.

The participating artists for this show are Aditi Saraogi, Ashish Chowdhury, Falguni Bhatt Sanghvi, Partho Das Gupta from Kolkata, Niharika Dave from Vadodara, Rekha Bajpe Agarwal  and Usha Garodia from Delhi, Shampa Shah from Bhopal.

Islands of optical illusion - Aakash Nihalani

(Akash Nihalai with his work)

Aakash Nihalani displays his recent site specific art works at the Signal Art Gallery, New York. The show titled, ‘Islands’ and is a series of site specific works done in contrasting monochromatic, black and white tapes, unlike the artist’s usual vibrant use of colour in his earlier works.

The work, simple geometrical shapes, tend to create an illusion of space and the distortions therein.  Along one wall, there are two distinct black masses which seem like some jigsaw puzzle formations which are submerged into the architecture, elsewhere a row of geometrical black forms emerge and dissolve simultaneously, depending on the perspective of the viewer.

Aakash has a recognizable style and he works in a  wide variety of mediums. For these installations, he has used black and white coloured tape, which usually features in his works. The effect is that of precision and movement in his works, giving the two dimensional objects a third and deeper dimension.

The show is on till the 14th of May 2013.

(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)

FIRST PERSON- Sabrina Osborne

Dislocation, Relocation and Isolation 
(Sabrina Osborne)
Sabrina Osborne, an Indian artist who lives in London speaks of her ideas about dislocation, relocation and isolation felt by the migrant communities. She gives them visual manifestations in her photographic works. 

We live in an era of perpetual dislocation. In today’s world of globalization we can experience London in New Delhi and New Delhi in London. This makes the meaning of location more complex. How it really affects the emotional struggle of migrating communities that try to relocate themselves in new environments and cultural spaces where a lot is familiar and yet unknown.
(Photograph by Sabrina Osborne)

(photographs by Sabrina Osborne)
I moved from New Delhi to London in 2007.Since then dislocation, relocation and isolation have become main subjects in my work. I try to records the unconscious stair of the human mind, which randomly captures and stores. These works are beguiling amalgamations of fragmented constructions of juxtaposed spaces and times, creating a non-narrative, disorientating experience for the viewer. It is like piecing together a puzzle by running through a maze of memory lanes. These images were captured on my visits to India and European countries: gardens, museums, mansion houses, streets, beaches, churches and market places etc., still somehow the images have a generic feel along with a complex sense of belonging. These places become A Place: which could be some place, one place or any place. How do we negotiate and navigate the readings of these juxtaposed images which carry within them threads of connections.Through this montage, I aim to make the viewer struggle to locate, make connections, assimilate meanings and get immersed in the process of identifying the familiar and building associations. My self-referential works are tinted with concerns of identity, memory, melancholia, loss and home.


Galleries Could Do This: A Moral Story

(Image for representational purpose only)

This is a small story about a gallerist. Perhaps, all the gallerists should follow her foot steps. In this story I too am a part. It starts like this. One day...

One day I was walking hurriedly towards one of the galleries in Laddo Sarai, where many of the galleries are located these days. This gallerist, an elderly lady was standing outside her gallery and was watching me walking under the sharp sunlight. She came to me with a broad smile on her face and invited me into her gallery. To tell you the truth, her choice of art is not my choice of art. But I respect her for the simple reason that she calls herself a commercial gallerist, buys works from the artists directly and sells them adding a gallery commission to the original price. As she buys her wares she has the freedom to offer as much discount as the clients want from her.

She comes to the gallery at 11 am and stays there till 6 pm. She sells works of art which she calls ‘Behind the sofa’ pieces. “People want soothing pictures, happy paintings and pleasant sculptures.” The works on display in her gallery cater to the clients’ mindset and aesthetical approach. “What is the problem in that?” I ask her. In fact a gallerist should sell what her clients need. Each gallery should cater to the demands of their niche clients. Besides, if the gallerists could buy the works directly from the artists and sell them to their clients it would have been great. But art market has become a place for gambling.

Then she told me a story. In a crowded market near her home, there were four medical shops in a row. She used to wonder why they were located at the same place. Had it been in different corners  wouldn’t they have got more patrons? But her husband had told her the real reason. When there are four shops in row, all the shops do good business because all the patrons come to the same place and choose the shop of their liking.

In that sense, having all the galleries in one street is a good idea. Potential clients need not run around a city to find their kind of gallery. They just need to drop into the same street, browse through the art works on display in various galleries and find their kind of art, purchase and go. It helps in a great way. But the problem is most of the galleries are pretentious places. The owners of these galleries pose themselves as intellectuals. They call our lady ‘commercial’. But everyone is here to sell. It all depends on the taste of the buyer. Why can’t then all the galleries be just commercial? Why do they pretend that they are intellectual galleries?

May be all the galleries could do what this lady does. Buy the works from the artists for a good but cheap price and sell it as per demand. In this way artists would get their money and the limited amount of it would keep their ego under check. Promote only those artists who have the ability to go further. Also promote those artists who do happy paintings/works. But every gallery need not do everything. Fix the priorities and work accordingly. Then things will be alright in the art market.

(by JohnyML) 

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