Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Remembering Cartoonist Shankar on his 111th birthday, Art for young collectors-II, and more..


Nation Remembers Cartoonist Shankar on his 111th Birthday

Today India celebrates Cartoonist Shankar’s 111th birthday. Various programs have been organized by cartoon lovers, especially in Kerala, his birthplace. Government of Kerala has decided to open a dedicated museum at Kayamkulam, Shankar’s birth place. TAD remembers Cartoonist Shankar. 
(Cartoonist Kesava Shankara Pillai)
Kesava Shankara Pillai (1902-December 26, 1989), better known as Shankar, was a famous Indian cartoonist. He is considered as the father of political cartooning in India. He founded Shankar's Weekly, India's Punch for a long time. But the children of his times, be it in India or elsewhere in the world, see him as their uncle who did much to make them laugh and enjoy life. Shankar was born in 1902 at Kayamkulam, Kerala. He attended schools in Kayamkulam and Mavelikkara. 

The sleeping posture of one of his teachers was his first cartoon. He drew it in his classroom. This made the headmaster angry. But then he was encouraged by his uncle who saw in him great potential as a cartoonist. Shankar took keen interest in dramas, scouting, literary activities etc. He amazingly did good campaign for the collection of funds towards flood relief. This concern for the poor and the distressed people continued all through his life and reflected in his cartoons. He left for Bombay (now Mumbai) for higher studies after his degree but quit his law studies midway. Shankar's cartoons were published in the Free Press Journal and Bombay Chronicle.

 Pothen Joseph, the editor of The Hindustan Times brought him to Delhi as a staff cartoonist. Thus he and his family settled in Delhi finally. Shankar's cartoons attracted even Viceroys like Lord Willington and Lord Linlithgow. During this time, Shankar had a chance of training in London for about 14 months. He spent the period in various Art schools, utilising the opportunity to study the advanced techniques in cartooning. He also visited Berlin, Rome, Vienna, Geneva and Paris. When he returned to India, the country was in the thick of freedom struggle. The dawn of independence also favoured Shankar's dreams for a separate periodical. The idea came true when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru released Shankar's Weekly, edited by Shankar himself.

Shankar loved kids and organized annual painting and drawing competitions for them, which became very popular. It later began drawing children from all over the world. Annual awards from Shankar's Weekly were presented by prime ministers. He also founded the Children's Book Trust in Nehru House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi. Later the International Dolls Museum too came to be located here. Thus Nehru House became a 'must visit' item for kids going to New Delhi. It has now a children's library and reading room. Shankar's wife is called Thankam. He had two sons and three daughters. The Government of India released two postal stamps in 1991, depicting two of his cartoons.



Strokes of Soulful Thoughts
( A painting on display at the show)
Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata presents a two person show, displaying the works of Amitava Dhar and Sunil De. The duo is counted amongst the league of celebrated art veterans in the contemporary Indian art scenario. Their exhibition titled ‘Strokes of Soulful Thoughts‘ displays works which delve into the visual language of abstracts.

The works can be marked as a confluence of discourses that speak of both the eternal and the peripheral. Also their works blend socio-cultural ethos and the interactions between the individual self and the outside world. Though abstraction seems to be predominantly the forte of both the artists, the fortitude of their works is governed by the intense emoting synergy of time, beauty, agony, demise, love, loss, spirituality, angst, pain and pathos – all bound together to shape the lessons of life and living from the time eternal to the time real as it flows on and passes by. 

The show is on view from the 5th August to the 31st of August 2013.

Art For Young Collectors - II

( A painting on display by Anindita Chakraborty)
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai presents their second in the series exhibition, exclusively organised to encourage and inform young art collectors about collecting art. The show refers to the collectors as young, more as a nascent quality, and full of potential.

There are eleven artists in this show Abul Hisham, Amol Patil, Anand Kumar, Anindita chakraborty, Arundhati Saikia, P S Jalaja, Poorvesh Patel, Reshma Nair, Rupali Patil Shalaka  Patil and Viramgami Sanket. These artists are young in age but their works defy the fact clearly. They choose their individual art language, carefully developed in their respective studies, and impart to their works an authenticity which can be seen and verified.

The show previews on the 8th of August 2013 at 6:30 to 9:30 pm and will be on view till 21st of September 2013.

Lines of Light
( A painting by Sangeeta Gupta)
Azad Bhavan gallery of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, (ICCR), New Delhi presents a   solo titled, ‘ Lines of Light’ show of art works by eminent artist, poet and film maker Sangeeta Gupta.
The talented Delhi based artist, besides being a master at the art of painting, is also a fine poetess and film maker. She has received a lot of appreciation and awards for her artistic works including 69th annual award for drawing (1998) and 77th annual award for painting (2005) by All India Fine Arts & Craft Society, New Delhi. 
Her latest show includes abstract paintings that present a continuing artistic sojourn with a mood of reflections and ruminations. With intense colours and a range of textural effects to depict various ongoings of her mind, the collection is a must-see.
The show  inauguration will be presided over by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India and Bharat Ratna, followed by a short Hindustani classical music recital by Meeta Pandit, at 6 30 pm on 5th August 2013.

The show previews on 2nd August 2013 and will be on view till the 7th August 2013.

Revisiting Fantastical Realms 

(A work by Mahmud Husain Lasker)
The Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, presents a solo show of artist Mahmud Husain Lasker. The show is hosted by the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Kolkata. On display are the works by the artist made this year.

The works are primarily figurative and narrative in styles, depicting various stories which may have caught the attention of the artist. Addressing social issues with the unique figuration, and rendered in vibrant flat tones, the works have a beauty of their own.

The artist tries to correlate the fantastical world of stories and aligns it to today’s reality in a tapestry of colours, forms and figures. Mythology blends with reality creating a visual estuary so potent the characters float in and out of a dream like state.

The show is on view from the 14th of August 2013 to the 20th of August 2013.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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