Friday, August 9, 2013

Review- Bombay Landscape, The Kashmiri Pandits Show, Ragas on Canvas and more..


Bombay Landscape -  Tina Chandroji

We live in an age dominated by online shopping, mall culture and social media. We even have television channels dedicated to religion, where god-men/women transmit ‘divinity-at-your-doorstep’ lessons to us daily. Irrespective of the human race having reached the point of critical mass just before it disintegrates, some individuals still believe in taking time to smell the roses as life rushes past at the speed of a superior broadband connection.

(The Flower Stall)
Mumbai based Tina Chandroji is one such artist, as unique as her patiently painted, mammoth sized canvases. Titled, ‘Bombay Landscape’ her debut solo show at the Tao Art Gallery, Worli, is a testament to the artist’s sensitivity and observation of the blend of religion and materialism in a quintessential Indian society.

The paintings concentrate fully on ‘shops and shop facades’, and one could see the stark duality in the works.The initial, in -your-face-selling of materials, wares/ goods, as opposed to the singular element of an opted religious belief, placed in the centre of the image, as a determining factor implying not just the belief system of the shop owner, but also defining the process of functioning employed. Materialism and religion coexist symbiotically in her works, without either of them vying of attention as is evident in nature.

(The Bakery)
Tina has also addressed the greater issue of the diminishing retail shops in society today. The advent of malls and online markets, has forced small and retail sellers like the ones in her works to close down or diversify to stay afloat. Such diversification only depletes the charm and specificity of that ‘shop around the corner’. One could see the changing landscape of their own gully and lane, and wonder if its worth it.

The works are rendered in oils on canvases, and have taken the artist about 4- 5 months of careful composing and layering. She delves into intricate details of the goods on display, like the wiry lines of chillies in a spice store, the shading petals of lotuses in a flower shop, the complex and unique designs on carpets and latticed interiors of a carpet selling shop, the images of deities, older people(possibly previous owners) incense sticks, the stall numbers allotted and printed on the walls, plastic wrapped fruit cakes, all of these and more objects come to life in her canvases. 

(The Carpets Shop)
Tina manages to capture the details and the nuances of each of these shops that she says ‘..actually exist in Mumbai and give character to the city, and to the nation as well..’. She painstakingly captures them in images visiting the shops several times to get the details in order and composing the large canvas one piece at a time like a jigsaw puzzle of beauty.
Her works appeal not just for their vibrancy of colour and realistic style, but for the larger issues, social and political they subtly address.

Tina Chandroji’s ‘Bombay Landscape’ is not just a show of her skill, but also holds up a  mirror to the fading uniqueness of shops and landscape from mutating faces of metros and cities in India.

The show is on view till the 10th of August 2013.

(By Sushma Sabnis)


A Community in Exile - Kashmiri Pandits
(A collage of photographs on display)
India International Centre presents ‘A Community in Exile - A Vintage Album: Kashmiri Pandits - A Contribution to the making of Modern India’, an exhibition curated and conceptualised by Dr Manju Kak in collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) It traces the contribution of Kashmiri Pandits to the making of modern India, through archived prints and photographs. 

Manju Kak is a well known film - maker and author and has curated many exhibitions as an art and culture historian. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Salman Khurshid, Union Minister for External Affairs on Tuesday, 6th August 2013 in presence of Chief Guest, Dr. Karan Singh, President, ICCR.
A panel discussion will be held on 'The Kashmiri Pandits - A Question of Identity' as a part of the exhibition on the 12th August at 6:30 PM. It will take place at Annexe Lecture Room - II and the discussion panelists include Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Shri Vivek Katju, Shri M.K. Kaw and Shri M.K. Raina.
The exhibition is on view till the 14th of August 2013.

Beneath the Surface

Cima Art gallery, Kolkata presents a show of the faculty members and students of Kala Bhavan. Titled, ‘Beneath the Surface’, the show is a collaborative event, which displays works of about thirty nine artists. 
The works on display are graphic prints and images made from the process of engraving specifically. Engraving is the procedure of creating a design on a metal plate using acid. The representation is dented by acid with the resistant coating or etching ground with a needle. Later the plate is immersed in an acid bath, where the acid bites into the line of the design. 

Various types of engravings, etchings, prints, graphic designs can be viewed at the show. A workshop explaining the process of engraving has been organized by Kala Bhavan. This workshop is in honour of Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan to commemorate his birth anniversary.
The show is on view till the 17th of August 2013.

Ragas on Canvas
(Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch with Lalit Kala Akademi chairman Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty at the inaugural ceremony of “Ragas on Canvas” at the Akademi in New Delhi on Monday.- Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar)
The Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi presents a unique fusion show, in which art has been inspired and blended with music to create exquisite art works. Titled, ‘Ragas on Canvas’ the show is an exhibition of paintings, of raagas and raagini’s of Indian classical music. The show will also present classical music concerts in the same space where the paintings are on view.
The show becomes a fusion of the audio and the visual creating a never before experience for the viewer. The paintings are rendered in the traditional and the contemporary styles and accompanied with live performances by classical music singers.This is a unique platform for painters and musicians to interact and find out ways of bringing out the nuances of Ragas - their mood, sentiment and emotion through painting. Both the fields of art contribute equally to enrich the viewer’s sensory experiences.
The show is on view till the 11th of August 2013 and is part of the 59th anniversary celebrations of Lalit Kala Akademi.

Nature Abstractions
( A work by Hemant Rao)
Art Spice Gallery, New Delhi, presents a solo show of exquisite canvases by artist Hemant Rao. The show displays 40 of the artist’s works rendered in dry pastel on canvas.

Hemant Rao is a self taught artist, and his inspiration comes from nature and his country.
His work incorporates the softer tones of delicate petals of rose buds etc. his works are small formats mostly and mixed media. An impending sense of tranquillity persists in his near minimalistic and translucent creations.

Having participated in many shows in the country and abroad the artist has also received many awards and scholarships for his work.

The show is on view till the 3rd of September 2013. 

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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