Monday, August 19, 2013

EDITORIAL - Solos That Fall Apart: A Mumbai Art Story, and more..

Solos That Fall Apart: A Mumbai Art Story

It happens with anthologies of short stories. You pick up an anthology of stories as you find one of them interesting and captivating during a cursory browsing. You pay for it and sooner than later you realise that you have done the usual mistake that readers generally do; you have bought an anthology with one or two good stories and the rest horrifyingly unreadable. So is the case of some solo exhibitions. In the invitations you see the best work of the featured artist and you take all the pain to go and see the show only to realise that there is only one good work and the rest is the sonorous repetitions of the same.
(Churchgate Station, Mumbai)
It happened to me recently. I was in Mumbai and whenever I am there I make it a point to visit a few galleries. On a normal day, from airport to Colaba, the art district of Mumbai, it takes minimum one and a half hour by road. By rail it should take less but then you should be exceptionally good at gymnastics and human resources management to travel by a Mumbai local. Consider a rainy day and then minus three hours from your life if you are in Mumbai airport and heading towards Colaba by road. But this time I take a local for a change. I reach Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai. Seeing Sakshi in a smaller space is a bit depressing but the shows so far in the new space have been good. That’s why I do not want to miss shows in Sakshi. This time it is by a Korean artist Kim Seola who lives in Baroda, under the special guidance of the renowned artist, Rekha Rodwittiya. Titled ‘Momentary Sonorant’, the invitation card had a really ‘inviting’ image. 
( Kim Seola's work at the Sakshi Gallery, Colaba)
As you genuinely asked yourself by now, I too asked myself for the meaning of ‘Sonorant’. Google search says that it is a sound made directly out of your sound tract that has the tone of a vowel, liquid or nasal syllable. It is always good to have a loaded name for an exhibition. And it has been the norm for several years. Kim Seola is a very sensitive artist. She repeatedly uses a semi abstract image that resembles a vagina. The work in the invitation card is an untitled one, a watercolour on paper and five feet by five and half feet in size. The work is on the main wall opposite the entrance. It captures your attention and takes you in. But then you expect the same from each and every other work in the exhibition. And you fail, fail absolutely. You search for that ‘something’ which is there in the first work and missing in the rest. What is that? I think the artist and the mentor should ask this question to themselves. A solo show that does not evoke and sustain the aesthetical impulses triggered by one work needs urgent ‘re-working’. 
( Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai)
Jehangir Gallery, the hub of all artistic hopes from all over our country closes by 7 pm. The fabulous restaurant ‘Samovar’ inside the Jehangir premises also closes by the same time. On a rainy day, with its lights off and the silhouettes of artists lining the steps of the building, Jehangir Gallery looks like a perfect visual metaphor of the general gloom fallen over our art scene. But then the private galleries that I visited on that day do not project a better picture either. But the general pictures are very contrasting. The pavement shops do brisk business; restaurants are full, so are the movie halls. Local trains overflowing with people. Churchgate station remains the ‘eternal solid flow of fragmented structures called human beings’. I sit silently in the train. Suddenly I feel HOPE filling in the packed compartment; hopes of the tired people who dream of a better tomorrow. With them, with the raindrops falling through the window net and refreshing my tired face, I too hope for a better tomorrow for art; a tomorrow with no hypocrites and no parasites. 


Shifting Ground -  Memory and Landscape
( Meghana Bisineer with her work)
Gallery Five Forty Five, Bangalore, presents the solo show of young artist, Meghana Bisineer. The show titled ‘Shifting Ground’ is a collection of her recent large scale paper works, which debuts in her hometown.
The works explore the themes of belonging and identity, memory and landscape from her days in London. Her earlier works have been set against an urban space, this new work draws connections with uninhabited places like the forests of Bulgaria and the moors of Lancashire. The show also features photographs of the landscapes taken through a pinhole camera, layered with animation using charcoal on paper. The animation film features imagery of swirling storms, winds, grey skies, dark green forests.
The show is on view till the 20th of September 2013.

Colours of Freedom
Greenmark Art Gallery, New Delhi presents an art exhibition to mark the Independence Day. The show displays art and graphic artworks by 10 contemporary artists of the country. Art is being used as a way to depict patriotic feeling by these artists who have used their imagination, colors and canvas. 

Participating in the show are artists and printmakers, Ankur Asvin Bhatt, Garima Rani, Juhu Kyal, Kumavat Chandrashekhar, Pandurang N. Deoghare, Preeti Khandelwal, Rajani Pothineni, Santosh Kumar Sharma, Seema Devi, Sonam Sikarwar.

For art enthusiasts in this capital, this show is going to be a wonderful experience not only of art works but also of graphics and prints.

The show is on view till the  22nd of August 2013.

How India got its boundaries

Ojas Art Gallery, New Delhi, presents a unique show in view of the 66th Independence Day of India. To bring to the fore the changes that have taken place in the country over a time period of so many years, geographical and historical, the show displays a large and rare collection of historical maps by famous cartographers and various engravings of significance that the country has gone through over the years. 

This is a visual presentation of the historical changes that founded the very base of this democratic, secular nation.

The show is on view till the 20th September 2013.

The Sahanubhuti Show

( A work by Sanat Kar)
Emami Chisel Art Gallery, Kolkata presents an exhibition of paintings and sculptures to raise funds for the floods affected victims and their families. The show is titled, ‘Sahanubhuti’ and displays works of 67 eminent and upcoming artists from all over the country. 

The exhibition has been curated by art consultant, Dr. Archana Roy and includes artists such as, Aditya Basak, Sanat Kar, Tapas Biswas, Ganesh Haloi. The sales proceeds will go towards rehabilitation of the Uttarakhand flood victims.

The show previews on the 19th of August 2013 and is on view till the 31st of August 2013. for further details, contact : +91 99033999068.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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