Friday, August 30, 2013

Dreams of Horizon show, In Quest of Green show and more..


Dreams of Horizon

( Work by Praful Sawant)
Hirji Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of exquisite portraiture by artist Praful Sawant. The show is titled, ‘ Dreams of Horizon’.

Rendered in the realistic style these paintings in oils on canvas feature the various roles played by an Indian woman in her life, blending nature and her own sensibilities.

Dreamy, emotional and lyrical, these paintings portray the artist’s understanding and regard for the women around him. The paintings depict along with the human figures, India’s rich cultural heritage and structures.

The show is on view till the 2nd of September 2013.

Mystic Expressions
( work by Neeti Agarwal)
Galaxy Hotel and Beanstalk Art space, Gurgaon presents ‘Mystic Expressions’, an exhibition of contemporary paintings by artist Neeti Aggarwal. 
In this exhibition, Neeti threads deep messages, an aura of positive vibes and pleasing aesthetics into interplay of figurative and abstract concepts in her unique style. Her paintings are expressive of invisible depths of human emotions and beliefs that are often spiritual and transcendental.
The show previews on 7th September 2013 and will be on view till 3rd October 2013

In Quest of Green
( Work by Rakhee Roy)
Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of artist Rakhee Roy. The show titled, ‘In Quest of Green’ features the deep understanding and interactions between the artist and her love for nature.

An almost spiritual compatibility is seen in her vibrant and evocative canvases as Rakhee takes the viewer on a journey of self exploration and the mystical planes with her works.
Two dimensional and geometrical shapes and figures dance in stark simplicity and in gay abandon on her canvases.

The show is on view till the 2nd of September 2013.

Someday is Today

(Work by Nikhil Raunak)
Clark House Initiative, Mumbai presents a debut solo show of artwork by artist Nikhil Raunak titled, ‘Someday is Today’. The show will preview on the 5th of September 2013.

Nikhil Raunak completed his graduation and masters in painting and printmaking from Sir JJ School of Art, Bombay in 2013, combining various mediums, and continuously challenging the boundaries between printmaking, sculpture, installation, painting, video and performative photography. 

He initially stepped out of the 2-dimensional painting or print, by using elements of origami. Later, he turned his prints into free-standing sculptures with the help of wax molds. He has rendered portraiture theatrical by building symbolically on situations in art history and biography. Nikhil Raunak has been associated with Clark House Initiative since its inception and together with other artists founded the Shunya Collective in 2011. 

The exhibition continues till 7th of October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

A Glass Apart
The history of Indian art abounds in different traditions. Mica and glass paintings of the Company period are two such unique practices, now on display at an exhibition
(Reviving old traditions: 'Rama and Sita worshipping the Shiva lingam' (Tamil Nadu, 19th century)
In the deluge of art exhibitions, it is likely for some quiet ones to go unnoticed. The exhibition of Company school paintings of the 19th Century going on at India International Centre could be one of them. But it is going to be our loss more than anybody else’s if we miss this one, for where else will you get to see mica paintings, a form of art we hardly see or hear about and also some brilliant glass paintings from the company period. The 94 exhibits belong to the Delhi-based Rasaja Foundation, founded by late Jaya Appasamy, an artist, author, critic and once a secretary of the Lalit Kala Akademi. She was keen on the Company Period and was an avid collector of drawings, portraits and folios of manuscripts executed in the Company style.
Creations in mica
(Reviving old traditions: 'Bullock cart with man and woman' (watercolour on mica, Patna, 1845)
While the exquisite glass paintings belong to Rasaja, the mica paintings have been acquired specially for the show. “They are very rare and hardly seen in India because they were commissioned by the British, who would then take them away as souvenirs. After the Mughals went away, artists were looking at the British for patronage and they encouraged them to paint on mica and British paper,” explains Vijay Kaushik, artist and one of the members of Rasaja. Delicate looking mica paintings are watercolours (mixed with an adhesive so that the colours stick to the mica surface) painted on mica, which is found in nature as sheet silicate minerals. Its composition ensures that it can be split or delaminated into extremely thin sheets. Mica paintings were miniatures, probably because of the difficulty in finding thin large undamaged sheets of mica.
Collected in London, most of the mica works displayed were executed in Varanasi, Patna, Awadh and Andhra Pradesh as these were the regions rich in the mineral. There are many works from Tiruchirapalli, which is also considered a very prolific school of mica painting.
The imagery portrayed in mica painting is mostly rural life along with scenes from Indian bazaars, groups of servants, dancing and singing girls, musicians, magicians, street acrobats, snake-charmers. With an emphasis on the human figure, it shows very little of the surroundings but even in that small frame the artist hasn’t done without the details. For instance, in the work titled ‘Palanquin Procession’ (Varanasi, 1860), the artist shows the minutest details of the palanquin, the outfits of the bride and the palanquin bearers. “The works are specially mounted on glass so that people can see the mica,” adds Kaushik. The practice thrived for 70-80 years after which it was discontinued and Rasaja now wants to revive the tradition of mica paintings.
Glass paintings
(Reviving old traditions: 'A European woman in gown and hat with pearls on throat' (Watercolour on glass, U.P., 19th century)
In another part of the exhibition are glass paintings culled from Jaya Appasamy’s collection. Kaushik says the last time Rasaja exhibited them on such a large scale in Delhi was in 1981. These works are laden with the imagery of gods and goddesses, soldiers, saints, European men and women and noblemen. It’s interesting to note that they bear a similarity to the miniature tradition only when it comes to size. While the facial features are child-like, patterns and borders are simpler and uncomplicated. In a work titled ‘Rama and Sita worshipping the Shiva linga’, Rama and Sita look no more than seven-year-old kids. On being commissioned, artists produced works of British men and women in Indian settings for them to take back home. In one work, while the woman’s European identity is established by her attire — gown, hat and pearls — her Kathak pose establishes the Indian setting.
Kaushik says the works on display are just a fraction of the collection. “Rasaja Foundation has about 4000 such works but no place to display them. Such a rich collection should be on display for people to come and see. We have been trying to start a museum, a cultural centre but it’s so difficult to get land of that size. Right now, a few are kept in our Chirag Dilli office and the rest have been loaned to the National Gallery of Modern Art. One whole chapter of history is recreated through this priceless heritage which will otherwise vanish.”
(The exhibition is on at Art Gallery, Kamaladevi Block, India International Centre, Lodi Estate, till September 1)
(Report by Shailaja Tripathi for The Hindu)

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