Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pallavi Singh, Japanese Poster show, Poonam Agarwal and more


A Lady Knight among Metrosexuals - Pallavi Singh

We have lady knights living amongst us in today’s times. They do not wield the sword and go slaying dragons needlessly. They sport a mind shinier than an armor. Subtle satire is their weapon of choice and the impact is as severe as any sword cut, like the works of Pallavi Singh, satirical and sharp, says Sushma Sabnis.

(Pallavi Singh)

Humour is a necessary human element, especially when it is incorporated so effortlessly and artistically to engage with a subject of gravity. Pallavi’s paintings arrest the viewer’s glance initially, for their bright and colourful vibrancy and humour, but on further observation, the seriousness of not just the subject, but the bigger picture comes to the fore. Odd or funny faced male protagonists, and docile looking female protagonists bring forth the obvious gender discrimination without breaking open reams of historical baggage.
(A work of the series Desire to be desired -  Mirror mirror on the wall)

Pallavi is a Master of Fine Arts Painting from the College of Art, New Delhi graduate and her understanding and approach to a subject of her choice, mainly, ‘human/ physical desire’ is very unlike the cliches of artistic interpretation. Her figurative style walks the fence of naive art, only as far as the style is concerned, but the concept and the thoughts are so presented as to create distinct visual narratives.

(The Darkroom Installation)

In her earlier work done for the KHOJ residency, an installation titled, ‘Darkroom’, the artist portrays images of a family album, as photographs hung out to dry on a line, post processing, in the centre of the dark room. There are negatives arranged in a row just below these positives. At first the photographs look like a mere progression of a family from the photo of a couple and then with children and then again as an older version of the same couple as the last picture. It is a time line of two individuals running right across the room. The darkness of the room is an estuary of possibilities and meeting point of all kinds of negative and positive human emotions breathing the same air. In this darkness, there is no judgement carried out about the fantasies or desires of the people in the pictures or in the negatives below them. This dark room acts as a redeeming space for  the protagonists. The dark room also forms a bridge between the conscious and the sub conscious of mankind. The norms of society run parallel to the secret unspoken desires of those very individuals fearlessly.
(One of the works from the series Desire to be desired -  Mirror Man)

The three works titled, ‘desire lust’ also depict similar visuals which show the male lusting after the female protagonist, in most of the paintings, the lustful look is mirrored and the secret fantasies are evident in the male unflinching gaze.
(A work of the Desire Lust series-  Auto Ride)
Most of the works in the series are rendered in acrylic on canvas and the figures are stylised very uniquely by the artist. One can straight away see the artist make a subtle mockery of the ‘self-obsessed’ male protagonist of today’s society. Her work uses satire as a catalyst to present and interpret a much graver issue of gender inequality rampant in today’s society. Pallavi also invites the viewer to dare to look into their own selves, and reveal the not so groomed ‘self’ lying dormant shrouded by eons of etiquette and social customs and norms. In her own way she makes the viewer address and undress the sheaths of social conditioning to reveal the true human being.
With bold  subjects to work on and a style exclusively her own, this lady knight succeeds in holding a mirror up to the viewer’s face. What one sees in that mirror is what the artist intends to make the viewer readdress.

Pallavi Singh lives and works in New Delhi.


The Bong Connecxn show

(The Bong Connecxn show)
The Visual Arts Gallery of India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, presents a group show of Bengali artists, titled, ‘Bong Connecxn’, raising their voices against the din of social issues in the form of art.The art work on display is a creative expression of the cultural resonance of Bengal.

On display at the show are works of 15 painters and 2 sculptors in an overwhelming range of themes and mediums, This five days exhibition seeks to challenge art lovers and viewers to address their sensitivity. In this, inaugural show, Bong Connecxn aspires to evolve as an intimate platform of interaction among artists, connoisseurs enthusiasts and buyers alike, in an attempt to bring Bengali art to the fore front of the country

The show is on view from 29th June 2013 till the 3rd of July 2013.

Bubble Economy through Contemporary Posters

(A poster on display at the Japan Foundation Show)
The Japan Foundation, New Delhi, presents an exhibition of a collection of contemporary graphic posters from the 80s and the 90s, depicting all the economical and social changes that took place in the country of Japan at that time. 

The works are graphic posters, indigenous to the provinces of Japan made by 15 well known graphic designers of the country. The participating graphic artists are, Yusaku kamekura Kiyoshi awazu Kazumasa Nagai Ikko Tanaka Makoto Nakamura Mitsuo Katsui Shigeo Fukuda Masayoshi Nakajo Tadanori Yokoo Keisuke Nagatomo Koichi Sato Shin Matsunaga Yukimasa Okumura Masatoshi Itoda Makoto Saito. 

The above mentioned time period was very extremely conducive for business and it reflected in the works of the artists.  Various enterprises invested a lot of money on advertising and publicity which allowed the proliferation of graphic designers and graphic design with their own unique styles of designs. This period is often referred to this day as the period of the Bubble Economy.

The show s on view till the 31st of July 2013.

Transformation : The Kiss of Life

(A painting by Poonam Agarwal)
The Leela Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of works of artist, Poonam Agarwal, in a show titled, ‘Transformation: The Kiss of Life’.

The show displays works which focus exclusively on spiritual pursuits by the artists and her interaction with such forces. Her works embody the five elements of nature and how she  or the protagonists relate to them. Her works exemplify the true nature of the human spirit which is in continuous evolution and is eternally questing to rejoin with its maker.

The works are in acrylic and oils on canvas and rendered in a decorative figurative style using a dreamy lyrical dream like quality. The artists work glorifies the sacred feminine and brings to fore the beauty of the creative nature. The ever changing nature of things and their transformations are put into focus in the show.

The show starts on 21st of June 2013 and is on view till the 27th of June 2013.

The Rang Rasia Show

(A painting from the Rang Rasia show)
Art Houz Art Gallery, Chennai presents the 37th solo show of works by artist Chelian. The show titled, ‘Rang Rasia’ displays a vibrant array of art works, rendered in oils and acrylic on canvas. 
The show primarily focuses on the use of colour and displays the control of the artist on the skill of making art.  The images appear serene, and composed. 

Hovering over topics ranging from Buddha to dancing girl of Mohenjo Daro and Harrappa, the artist brings out his dream like imagery on to the canvases. The subjects of the works on display are varied but the style is quite siilar. The textured backgrounds form a base layer over which the elements of the painting are carefully placed and shaded to give the depth.

The show is on view till the 25th of June 2013 at Art Houz.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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