Monday, September 30, 2013

OBITUARY - Remembering Parvez Kabir ..and more..

Remembering Parvez Kabir 
JohnyML remembers Parvez Kabir, the young art historian who passed away on 27th September 2013. 
(Parvez Kabir)
“Amongst serious looking faces, his was a smiling one, quite reassuring,” remembers R.Sivakumar, well-known art historian and professor of Art History at Kalabhavana, Santiniketan where Parvez Kabir, who passed away on 27th September 2013, was a faculty member. “Parvez was hardly thirty years old. And I would say he was a link between the young generation of students and old generation of teachers,” Sivakumar adds. Parvez Kabir is a promise that remains unfulfilled. Young people fondly called him Parvez Da, in the true traditional spirit of Santiniketan. Teachers and students liked him alike for the wide range of interests in Art History that he had nurtured. From Renaissance to the design traditions of 19th century India, from popular culture to caste and religion, from aesthetics of everyday to aesthetics of classics, Parvez took interest in too many things in art history and in all of them he was equally sincere. He was preparing for conducting a national seminar on Nandalal Bose and Design Traditions of India in Santiniketan. But Time claimed him.
The news of Parvez’ disappearance from earthly life came to me in the name of a text message. I was about to sleep. The news read out to me was confirmed further by a phone call. Reality of Parvez’ death and the temporary death in the form of sleep met in that one moment. Who says that we would get up from the sleep? Next morning, I found facebook was not flooded by the news of Parvez’ death as it was different in the case of Chinmoy Pramanik. Perhaps, Parvez was not so popular but he definitely was popular amongst the academic circuit. He attended several seminars both in India and abroad. He wrote research papers for journals and wrote light articles for magazines. He selected a path of political correctness. But at times political correctness would make you a non-human being; you become an adorable personality but others see you as someone who belongs to a group; a correct group. Parvez belonged to a correct group. May be that choice was right for him.
(L to R: Anshuman Dasgupta,Parvez Kabir,Sanjoy Mallik, R Sivakumar, Soumik Nandi Majumdar, Janak Jankar Narzari)

Parvez Kabir came to me first in the form an email when he was a student in Baroda. He showed his interest in writing in a journal that I was editing at that time. He wrote a few articles but then he got busy with his academic pursuits. When in May 2007, Baroda Fine Arts Faculty was vandalized by right wing fundamentalists he was at the forefront to oppose it. Then I met him person. I found a small time boy in him who was struggling to adopt himself to the urban ways. Those were the days of market boom. Everyone was shaking a leg even though they knew the movements were clumsy. Parvez appeared in a couple of parties in Delhi with a few young friends. I am sure that he impressed whoever he had met at that point of time. On the third time, I met him in Mumbai, in a seminar organized by the Mohile Parikh Centre. I remember it was a seminar on the use of regional languages in art criticism. I noticed the way Parvez articulated himself; he spoke with a lisp. I found it odd in the beginning and then it became a part of his style. The young crowd listened to him attentively. 
When Santiniketan offered a job in the art history department at Kalabhavana, he was happy to take it up. Most of his friends had moved to Delhi after the Baroda fiasco. But Parvez chose to go back to his alma mater, Santiniketan. According to Sivakumar, Parvez, amongst the young generation of art historians and art history teachers, was the true inheritor of the Santiniketan legacy. He did his schooling there at Pathabhavana and his BFA in art history at Kalabhavana. Baroda was a sojourn, a way to know the world outside. He was more at home in Santiniketan. His tenure as a resident critic at the Khoj International Artists Residency in Delhi or so many opportunities to present papers in national seminars in Delhi did not attract him to this place. He always wanted to go back to Santiniketan. Had he been alive, he would have become one of the very distinct voices from Santiniketan.
(Parvez Kabir during his lecture)
Last time Parvez communicated with me was when he sent me an article that he had written with a lot of enthusiasm on Rajni Kant, the film icon. I read it and I liked the way he had developed his ideas. But the problem with the article was lack of deep research; while it showed a new verve to locate the film icon it lacked in first-hand knowledge. I pointed out this to him. He accepted my criticism and promised to make further studies on that subject. 
Parvez was a healthy young man. It was viral fever that claimed his life. He was complaining stomach and chest pain and was under the spell of high fever. A week before, the local doctors advised him of advanced medical check ups. Friends and relatives took him to Durgapur, the nearest town with better medical facilities. Retention of water in lungs was detected and doctors found out that the area around his heart also had affected by water retention, which had made the pumping of heart difficult. Slowly it affected his kidneys. And a beautiful life was cut short.
When I look at my writing career, sadly I am reminded of the deaths of my friends and acquaintances and the obituaries I have written on them. I hate writing obituaries. I can write obituaries for those people who have made their marks and have become a part of history and establishment. I can write about their achievements dispassionately and even say that with the death of so and so an era comes to an end. Platitudes and clichés come to help me there. But when young people who are yet to bloom fully fade off at the prime of their lives, I feel helpless and each word that I write becomes an incision on my soul, and I bleed.
Parvez Kabir is no more. But his works remain. So he lives on. 

Mumbai and Banaras
( A work by Parmesh Paul)
The JS Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of paintings by  immensely talented artist Parmesh Paul. The exhibition is titled 'Mumbai and Banaras'. The artist has tried to present reality of the two varying cities through his artworks. 

The artist studied in 'International Society For Krishna Consciousness' from 1992 to 2002. He has presented various solo exhibitions and has also been a part of group exhibitions. 
The show displays his perspectives about the two cities in their landscapes and spiritual approaches to life.
The show is on view till 30th September 2013.

Salt: The Great March
(A work by Shelly Jyoti)
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, (IGNCA), New Delhi presents a solo show titled, ‘Salt: The Great March’. New Delhi-based artist and poet Shelly Jyoti brings forth a new body of work in a solo show by re-crafting contemporary quilt-making traditions in azrakh textiles. 
The show features a large khadi fabric site specific installation, sculptural installation of khadi yarn, 25 contemporary artworks using azrakh traditions of printing and dyeing on khadi fabric needle crafted by women amongst other things.
The show is on view till 20th October 2013.

(Pooja Kshatriya with her work)
Red Earth and artist Pooja Kshatriya have collaborated for a very special exhibition titled, ‘Blue’ showcasing ten of Pooja’s exclusive mix media works. 
The artist attempts to depict celebration of the monsoon season with the indomitable colour blue and in depicting her adaptations of the colour blue of Lord Krishna in her unique contemporary series.
This series celebrates the monsoon fiesta like never before.
The show is on till 4th October 2013.

Transcendental Dreams

(Avantika Mathur with her work)
Tangerine art space, Bangalore will feature an art exhibition by Mumbai based artist Avantika Mathur, titled 'Transcendental Dreams'. On display is a collection of bright and surreal works related to the spiritual realm. 
It provides the artist's interpretation of the mystical spiritual transcendence with her bold strokes and bright colours.
Avatika Mathur has studied fine arts in her graduation and visual arts in creative painting at the masters' level. She mostly works around feminine themes and uses various symbolisms in her paintings. 
The show is on view till 5th October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nari Shakti,The Body in Indian Art, Pyramids and Painting and more..


Nari Shakti: A story of women empowerment
(A work on display)
Azad Bhavan of Indian Centre for Cultural Relations(ICCR) presents an exhibition 'Nari Shakti: A Story of Women Empowerment'. The exhibition will showcase the Madhubhani and Patachitra Paintings. Four rural women artists will be displaying their work based on women empowerment. 

Khushbu Kumari and Anita Devi will be showcasing their paintings at the exhibition. Givahi, and Madhubani, Bihar based Khushbu Kumari will be exhibiting the paintings of Radha Krishna in a traditional style, and Anita Devi will be displaying her Godhna works and paintings on garments in vibrant colours.

The paintings from Patachitra, unique folk tradition of Bengal, will also be on the display. In this traditional style, mythological stories are painted on long scrolls with the natural colour and dyes. Mamoni Chitrakar and Rupsona Chitrakar are the artists who will be exhibiting some of their works.
The show is on view till 2nd October 2013.

Of Pyramids and Painting
(Work by Pramod Thakur)
The Artists’ Centre, Mumbai presents a unique show by two artists. The show titled ‘Pyramids and Painting’ displays the exclusive works of Pramod Thakur and Kavita Thakur.

Pramod Thakur is a versatile artist who loves using various mediums like oil, acrylic, mix-media, pen and ink. He excels at creating figurative paintings and has been awarded with various prizes for his artworks.
Artist Kavita Thakur creates magic on the canvas each time she picks up her brush. The splash of colours she uses in her paintings border on abstraction and depict a movement of fleeting vibrantly coloured forms.
The show is on view till the 29th September 2013.

Of landscapes and abstraction
(Work by Vivia Valentina)
La Galerie D’Expression, Chennai, presents a painting exhibition of artist Vivia Valentina. The gallery has always encouraged solo and group exhibitions on a regular basis and this exhibition is another exquisite one.

Vivia Valentina is a self taught artist from Chennai. She has been an ardent lover of art since childhood, which was evident in her school, college and even in the corporate sector. Having a creative mind, she took to working in acrylic media for the past 2 years. 
The exhibition display articulates the beauty of nature through landscapes. Her work is mostly contemporary but she is also an experimentalist and tries out different forms of art from time to time using heavy textural work and vibrant colours.

The show is on view till 30th September 2013.

The Body in Indian Art

( A work to be displayed at the show )
The Bozar Galleries in Brussels, will be presenting a unique exhibition in their galleries. Titled, ‘The Body in Indian Art’, the show will mark the inauguration of ‘Europalia - India 2013’ on 4th October 2013.

The show with multiple venues, focuses on various ways in which the human body has inspired creativity, intrigue and enquiry into form. Curated by Naman Ahuja, Associate Professor of Ancient Indian Art and architecture at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in collaboration with the Indian Centre for Cultural Relations (ICCR), this show delves into seven specific thematics: Death, the end of the body, Birth and rebirth, the place of astrology and cosmology in determining the fortunes of the body; the nature of divine bodies; heroism and ideal bodies; asceticism and the development of practices of healing and yoga; it explores the body in rapture, possessed, by art, by nature. 

The exhibition comprises of 350 objects of art selected from 55 museums and private collections from all over the world displayed in a 22,500 sq ft area, focusing on the body as interpreted and surveyed in Indian culture.

The show is on till 5th January 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Art out-of-the-box
Subin Kalarickal uses unconventional and unexpected means for artistic expression
(One of Subin's work using dust)
It was during his third year of computer science engineering at the Government Engineering College in Thrissur that Subin Kalarickal decided that his real passion lay in art and design. The 24-year-old, who has been drawing and sketching since his school days, then decided to take up his interest in earnest and joined Saltmangotree, an advertising agency, to widen his portfolio, going on to create many unconventional works using materials ranging from salt and spices to coffee.
Subin, who hails from Kalloorkadu near Muvattupuzha, has always been open to new ideas, and it was a work that he did on a whim that launched him on his path of experimentation with materials. “I used to make artwork and upload them on Facebook as part of my job, and those would get a few likes, but the response would be lukewarm. Then one day, I spotted a vehicle belonging to one of my co-workers lying outside with its windows coated in dust. I used the dust as a canvas and made works depicting Che Guevara and Sachin Tendulkar, and when I shared those on Facebook the response was tremendous, so I started looking for more out-of-the box ideas,” says Subin.
(Artisit Subin Kalarickal with one of his graffiti projects.)
He then began considering sand art, but was dissuaded because stable sand art is best done on fine quality sand which in some cases has to be imported. This roadblock caused him to try another experiment, and the result was a portrait of actor Mammootty created entirely out of salt. Subin used the same principle again when he was required to come up with a promotion involving spices, and went on to make a portrait of Jawaharlal Nehru on the occasion of Nehru’s birth anniversary by laying out spices and rearranging them to create the likeness.
While coming up with creative campaigns and designs to promote products is something he loves, Subin wants to go further and work on product design, something he believes his degree in engineering will help with. “I have always loved advertising art and product designing. Someday I plan to take up a design course, and as the seats available for these courses in India are not too many, I’m trying to create as versatile a portfolio as I can,” says Subin before describing one of his ideas, an iron box with a strap on top that allows the user to slide their entire palm into it for more precise movements.
(Subin's work made from spices)
One of Subin’s more recent materials of choice is coffee, and he plans to create a work using coffee (the beverage sans milk) on a canvas the size of a large room. The query about how many bags of coffee beans this endeavour may require is answered with a smile, “I have already used coffee to make a sketch of Rajinikanth to commemorate his birthday, and that received great reviews on Youtube, so I’m definitely going ahead with my larger project when the circumstances are right,” he says. A quick search on YouTube is all it takes to bring up a video of the work being created; with coffee being poured from a spoon to create artistic stains that come together to make up the actor’s face.
Apart from the work done within office walls, (literally, as the walls of the office he works at are covered in Subin’s artwork), he has also worked on a graffiti project that decorates the parking lot of the Pai Dosa eatery in the city, a project he worked on with some friends. Despite his proclivity for art in its various forms, Subin says he has had no formal training in the craft, and hopes to get better at what he does by getting admitted to one of the design courses available in the country.
Now that he has dabbled in doodles, graffiti, salt, spice and beverages, does he have any new projects on the anvil? The answer is given after some contemplation, almost as if he is visualising the work take shape, “I am considering arranging colour paper, like sticky notes, into a large work. Something that makes no sense if you are standing close to it, but slowly materialises as you step back and look at the big picture,” he concludes.
Subin’s work can be followed on Facebook at
(Report by Sooraj Rajmohan, Photos by K K Mustafa for The Hindu)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Kala Ghoda Film Competition, Art Trisomy 21, From Myanmar with Love and more..


Short Film Competition at KGAF

In preparation for the Kala Ghoda Art Festival, 2014, Mumbai, the Kala Ghoda Association, has called a submission of entries for their short film competition titled, ‘Chase’  as part of the art festival planned from February 1st to 9th, 2014.
The duration of the film has to be a maximum of 20 minutes and the dvd’s are to be send to this address:
Cinema at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2014.
Kala Ghoda Association, 
c/o A T E Enterprises Pvt Ltd.
4th floor, Dr V B Gandhi Marg,
Fort, Mumbai 400 101

For further details call on +91 22 65055034/22885972.

The last date for submission of the short films is 22nd December 2013.

Art Trisomy 21
(work on display)
Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai presents a unique show of art works by women with the condition of Down’s Syndrome. Medically termed as Trisomy 21, Downs syndrome is a chromosomal condition associated with varying degrees of intellectual disability.

This show titled, ‘Art Trisomy 21 - Edition II’ is the second in a row at the gallery where the works on display have been rendered by these women. The colourful canvases display a definitive soulful originality and vibrancy giving the show its quiet eloquence. Om Creations   is the work space where the art works of 66 cognitive and intellectually challenged women trained in Art and crafts present their works. This initiative is run by Dr Radhike Khanna with the help of the parents of these young adults for the past 22 years.

The show previews on 27th September 2013 6:00pm onwards and is on view till  3rd October 2013.
The ‘Rasa’ show

Mahua Art Gallery, Bangalore presents a show titled, ‘Rasa’ which is a show of a group of artists’ works, mainly paintings and prints of nine artists.
The participating artists are  Aishwaryan Kumar, Amrita Jha, Bhavani GS, Kurma Nadham, Naresh Paswan, Naveen Kumar, Niranjan HG, M Praveen Goud and Sanjay Manna. 

The works on display are a  rich visual experience and a treat to the eyes of all the art lovers. Exploring various contemporary and traditional styles, the artists have presented a multitude of works which traverse a range of subjects rural and urban. 
The show is on view till 5th October 2013.

Drama Of the Analyzed and Analyzer

( Detail of the work 'Drama of the Analyzed and Analyzer')
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai presents a solo of young artist Arun KS, titled, ‘Drama of the Analyzed and Analyzer’. 
Arun KS is a MS University, Baroda graduate and this is his first solo show. With a heavy leaning towards abstraction, Arun walks the fence between ritualistic and religious inspirations and combines them with the ethereal. 

His works though incorporate pages from the Bible in his works, they merely work as constructs and builds for his multi layered, multi medium works.

The show previews on 1st October 2013, 6:30 -8:30 pm and is on view till 15th November 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

A slice of culture
From Myanmar With Love is an intriguing glimpse of life set in an isolated land
(Maung Aw's turban Kid)
`From Myanmar With Love, the exhibition currently on display at Vinnyasa Premier Art Galery, brings a slice of Burmese life to Chennai. Featuring the works of five contemporary artists from the region, the collection provides an intriguing glimpse of an ancient culture, and a sometimes difficult life set in an isolated land.
The most arresting works would have to be those of Zaw Win Pe. His abstract landscapes of the North Eastern Shan State in Burma are an evocative blaze of colour. The use of almost-neon tones gives the works a strikingly surreal feel, with jagged grey mountains outlined in bright pink, roads and forests in psychedelic orange, and fields bathed brilliant shades of aquamarine.
In bright hues
(Maung Aw's Private Moment)
The bold use of colour is one of the hallmarks of the exhibition. Than Kyaw Htay’s large, spare canvases of rural Burma might touch upon issues of displacement and isolation, but here too the hues are bright, the vast, open farmlands painted in vivid, textured strokes of red, yellow, and green. The workers stand alone, their backs to you, staring out at the distance and into their future, troubled but hopeful.
Maung Aw uses similarly vibrant blocks of colour to depict the ‘Private Moments’ in the lives of Burmese women. In this charming series, the artist captures women in the private act of tying the ‘longyi’, the traditional sarong-like garment, their heads bent and arms stretched outward as they focus on getting it just right. The result is a set of dancer-like images that are graceful and introspective at once. The ‘Turban Kids’ series is equally appealing, featuring portraits of children from the Shan State wearing the traditional turban.
(Than Kyaw Htay's To The Brightness)
In contrast, K. Kyaw’s busy, chaotic canvases capture the hubbub of the crowded marketplace, its sellers and their wares, buyers and passersby. The attention to detail and use of light and shade give these works a wonderful ‘photo real’ quality. Even more powerful is his ‘Unfolding News’ series, juxtaposing lifelike images of Buddhist monks against the backdrop of the printed word, a metaphor, perhaps, for the contrasts between the country’s cultural past and present.
Also part of the exhibition (though not on display at present) are two pieces by Aung Myint, the senior-most artist in the collection. The works are a departure from the others, featuring minimalist, curving line drawings that depict the bond between mother and child.
From Myanmar With Love is a travelling exhibition put together by the Calcutta Art Club. The first exhibition of its kind in the country, the show has already been to New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, and will be heading to Bangalore next. It is on in the city until September 28.
( Report by Divya Kumar for The Hindu)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rhythms of Life, Sacred Saffron, The City as Site lecture and more..


Social Media Week

National Centre for Performing arts, Mumbai presents a range of events titled the Social Media Week. The week starting from 22nd to the 27th of September 2013  have the following programs planned.

An art workshop was conducted by Amol Pawar on the 23rd September, Photo Talk by Kalyan Varma and Mobile Photography Master class by Pranav Shroff and Anuroop Krishnan on 24th September,  Art Masterclass by Kavitha Kale on 24th September, Art Workshop by Neena Singh on 25th September, Visual artists, Ignite by Sanjeev Khandekar and Anuja Lath on 25th September,  Art Masterclass by Devyani Parikh on 26th September at 3:00 - 5:00pm, The use of Photography as a medium to spread awareness about the situation of Children in India by Kaushal Parikh and Kreeanne Rabadi on26th September 2013, 6:00 to 7:00pm, Art Workshop by Rahul Dangat on 27th September 2013 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

Along with this seminar, are qorks on show in exhibitions, ‘Mumbai On canvas: Art Exhibition’, ‘Click Rights: Photography Exhibition’, on all the 6 days till 8:00pm

The festival is a first of its kind in Mumbai and will be on view till 27th September 2013.

The City as Site
(Pooja Sood)

Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai presents a lecture titled ‘The City as Site: the 48C. Public. Art. Ecology experiment’ by Pooja Sood on Saturday, 28th September, 2013 at 6:30 pm.

48C. Public. Art. Ecology was an experiment aimed at interrogating the teetering ecology of the capital metropolitan city of Delhi through the prism of contemporary art. Through 25 art interventions across 10 public sites in the city, the festival attempted to draw a diverse public into the world of this critical imaginary. The project brought together Indian and International artists around the thematic of art and ecology, the title of the project itself evoking Delhi’s famed heat waves a result of the exigencies of global warming. Curated by Pooja in 2008, and supported by the Goethe Institut and the GTZ, this presentation will walk the audience through this unique project highlighting issues of site specificity and the instrumentalisation of art. 

Pooja Sood is the Director of KHOJ International Artists’ Association

The lecture will be held in the Origins of Mumbai Gallery at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum.  

Sacred Saffron
(A work on display)
Aalankritha Art Gallery, Hyderabad presents an exhibition of paintings titled ‘Sacred Saffron’ by the artists Sanjay N Raut and Suryanarayan J.

Sanjay N Raut holds a diploma in arts from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, with an easy approach towards art, that reflects his personal enthusiasm. Suryanarayan J has a diverse experience in the field of art. He has had many solo and group shows to his credit.

The show is on view till 5th October 2013.

Rhythms of Life

Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, Thrissur presents a solo show of eminent artist, sculptor Usha Ramachandran. The show is titled, ‘Rhythms of Life’ and on display will be sculptures and paintings made by the eminent artist.

The show is to be held at the Durbar Hall Art Centre, Ernakulam, and previews on 30th September 2013 at 6:00pm.

Usha Ramachandran has been having shows each year with her passion towards her art. Her works are thought-provoking and capture the mundane in a rural or urban milieu. 
Some of her sculptures have an interactive quality to them, inviting the viewer to touch and experience texture, form and movement.

The show, Rhythms of Life is on view till 6th October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Playfully yours
Kadambari Mehta explores the joy of colour in her exhibition
The joy of colour is evident in Kadambari Mehta’s exhibition, Serendipity, on view at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
(a work on display)
Kadambari’s paintings are largely pure abstracts, splashes of colour on canvas that blend together to create various effects, sometimes representing a theme and at other times becoming just a play of colour on canvas. Most of her themes, like Forest, Sky and Storm largely draw from nature, bringing out the energy of the subject or phenomenon simply through colour and their application on canvas.
Forest appears glazed and deep, in shades of blue, orange, white and shades of greens that not obviously associated with a forest, but the painting still communicates the rainy damp of a forest over thick, dense vegetation. Her Sky is simply composed of a gradient of blue, while Storm is wilder and fiery, depicted in shades of purple-grey, deep blue and unusually, red, white and yellow that seems to convey a certain potent stillness betraying a hidden power. Kadambari as is the wont of a young artist simply works with colours, playfully mixing them simply to explore. To the viewer, it appears as though Kadambari is at the beginning of a journey to find her own voice in colour, as perhaps is apparent in the work Pink, where she simply works with the colour.
“My works are all about the portrayal and use of colours. Over the years I have worked with many mediums and styles, but I took to abstracts a few years ago. I am comfortable with abstracts. I like splashing colour and trying out new things using a knife or a sponge. I express myself through colour in abstracts,” says the student of art. “I don’t plan my work and I don’t try to communicate through the painting because I don’t want to speak for it. I want to see if my work communicates to other people. I simply enjoy working with colour.”
Serendipity in association with Manjira Foundation will be on view today at the Bhavan’s Art Gallery, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Race Course Road. For details, contact 9743733560.
(Report by Harshini Vakkalanka for The Hindu)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Re-View - Ketaki Sheth's Response, Contours and Volumes, Privation and more..


Ketaki Sheth Responds to TAD Review of Her Show

(Photographer Ketaki Sheth with her book 'A Certain Grace - The Sidi - Indians of African Descent')

I am writing to say that neither NGMA nor Photoink nor I have consciously omitted the word Muslim in my wall text. If you read Mahmood Mamdani's outstanding introduction in my book published by Photoink or the text in the NGMA booklet distributed at the Gallery you will see that the Sidi of Gujarat who are the main subjects of my photographs, are Sufi by faith. Their ancestral Saint is Bava Gor (he is said to have studied with Rifa'i Sufis earning from their leader the honorific title Baba Ghaur (Arabic: "revered master of deep meditation") around whom their lives circulate.  I quote Mahmood both above and here when he says: "The Sidi have retained something of their African spiritual world in the form of musical instruments, dances and spirit possession cults. At the same time, this spiritual heritage has been their point of entry into the world of Sufism." Mahmood Mamdani as you know is an authority on African studies both at Makrere University in Kampala where he is director and at Columbia University where he teaches anthropology, political science and African studies.  Respected both in India and overseas, he is an African of Indian descent and a leading authority on the subject.
( A photograph on display at the show)
The Sidi Royalty who have married out of the community and into prominent Muslim families have not been photographed by me because there is already a book that exists on them(African Elites in India/ Kenneth Rogers/Mapin Publishing). However, Mahmood has interviewed them for the introduction as any history on the Sidi would be incomplete without them. (the intro has images by me of the Janjira and Sachin royal family members) The Sidi of Goa and Karnataka are mainly of Christian faith and there are some Hindus too.
From my travels over the past five years I have learned that  the majority of contemporary Sidi live between Gujarat (mainly Sufi) and Karnataka(mostly Christian and some Hindu).

(Ketaki Sheth’s response to TAD review of her show, The Sidi - Indians of African Descent on at the NGMA, New Delhi) 


Contours and Volumes
( A work on display at the show)
National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai presents a show of two legendary sculptors. Last year was the centenary year of sculptor Prodosh Das Gupta and the eightieth year of sculptor Sarbari Roy Choudhury. The Ministry of Culture, Akar Prakar and Piramal Foundation for the Arts jointly present the show ‘Contours and Volumes’ to bring to the fore the unique works of the sculptors.

The show pays homage to the bronze works on display which range across a variety of dimensions from classical human-figures of Prodosh Das Gupta’s 'Surya Mukhi' to table-sized formats in the works of Sarbari Roy Choudhury.

The duo, Prodosh Dasgupta and Sarbari Roy Choudhury are known for their ingenuity in creating engaging sculptures with plasticity of form. Their show derives its name from the essential start point of the creative force behind the sculptures. 
The show is on view from 25th of September 2013 to the 23rd October 2013.

Colours of Hinterland
( A work on display at the show)
Crimson -the art Resource presents a group art show titled, ‘ Colours of Hinterland’. This exhibition showcases paintings by a number of eminent contemporary artists, like Avinash Thaker, Baqlu Sadalge, Dhan Prasad,  Jasu Rawal, JMS Mani and KC Murukesan among many others.
All these artists have displayed their different and distinct styles of creative expression on canvas and paper. There are passionate portraitures of stark realities and there are haunting imageries of realities and urban existential living and the artists’ interpretations of life.

The show is on view till 5th October 2013.

Horn in the Head

( A work by sculptor Navjot Altaf)
Talwar art gallery, New Delhi presents an exhibition of exquisite works of eminent sculptor Navjot Altaf. The collection on display is titled,‘Horn in the Head’ and is a collection of Navjot’s new and recent works foraying into wooden sculptures.

Navjot has been working for over a decade on this one project and the show promises some exclusively sculpted works.

Navjot is known for her large multi medium works, which are interactive and video works and installations based on socio political subject matters.

The show is on from 27th September 2013 to the 7th of December 2013.

The Privation Show
(A work by Ajay Kurian on display)
Jhaveri Contemporary art gallery, Mumbai, presents an exhibition titled 'Privation' displaying the works of artist  Ajay Kurian. 
On show are the works of the artist made using various materials like ghee, linen and gold. Also, there will be discs of burnt bread with the fire - gnarled face of Janus along with the boxes of a local curry of Kerala. 
Ajay Kurian is a BA in visual art and art history from Columbia University. He is known for organising various solo as well as group exhibitions around the world.

The show is on till 13th October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Grace, Home Street Home, Mohan Samant : Paintings..and more


(Photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta)
The Nazar Foundation, has collaborated with three gallery spaces and venues to bing a well deserved tribute to the legendary master photography artist, Prabuddha Dasgupta. Titled, ‘Grace’, the show will be displayed at three separate venues, the Visual arts Gallery, New Delhi, Open Palm Court Gallery, and Experimental Art Gallery, New Delhi.

This tribute is part of the main feature of the Delhi Photo Festival 2013 , which will commence on 27th September and on till 11th October 2013.

Mohan Samant : Paintings

(Work by Mohan Samant)
The Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai presents in collaboration with the Estate of Mohan Samant a solo show titled, ‘ Mohan Samant : Paintings’  by renowned artist Mohan Samant.

The show displays the paintings of Mohan Samant and an array of accompanying programs titled, ‘Echoes of a living loft’ with film screenings, photography and music to create an ambience of the artist’s loft where he created music and painting. The works on display reflect the whole range of subjects and styles he has explored over the years and depict a mix of traditional and contemporary art practices.

The show will be inaugurated by Pt. Ram Narayan, renowned sarangi artist on 10th October 2013 at 6:00 pm.

The Inbetweeners : In the Shadows in Tokyo and New Delhi

(A work on display at the show)
The Japan Foundation, New Delhi presents a unique solo photo exhibition of photographer Ishan Tankha. The show is titled, ‘The Inbetweeners : In the Shadows in Tokyo and New Delhi’.  

The show which is also a part of Delhi Photo Festival showcases the intense captures of Ishan, a well known Indian photojournalist, and traces his journey as he captures the mood of the two cities, Delhi and Tokyo through a common man’s activities. The photographs work as his own monologue of experiences and observations of urban spaces and people.

The show is on view till  26th October 2013.

Home Street Home

Ojas Art, New Delhi presents a solo by young photographer Vicky Roy. The show titled, ‘Home Street Home’ displays monographs by Vicky and the show is a part of the Delhi Photo Festival 2013, commencing on 27th September 2013.

Hailing from humble beginnings Vicky’s inspiring story of grit never ceases to instill faith in struggling artists of all genre. Vicky’s works are primarily based on street photography, capturing the lives of the homeless and those who call the streets their home.

As part of the Delhi Photo Festival 2013, the Nazar Foundation a not-for-profit organization, will also be launching a debut book  by the same title of the photography monographs of Vicky.

The show opens on 28th September 2013, between 6:00 pm to 10:30pm. The show is on view till the 13th October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Art attack
A show by two artists hits out at the injustices in society
The angst of the working class best defines the art works titled ‘Shades of Darkness’ on show at Buddha Gallery, Greenix village, in Fort Kochi.
(Work at the show)
The artists, Baiju Neendoor and Prasadkumar K.S. who are jointly hosting the show are alumni of Raja Ravi Varma College of Fine Arts, Mavelikara, and have more than a decade of experience as artists, exhibiting solo and group shows across the country. Both had recently exhibited in a collateral show during the Kochi Muzuris Biennale. Prasadkumar’s works are in mixed media. His paper collages are detailed, made adroitly from “magazine bits”. ‘Relics’ is a mosaic of paper cuttings that expounds the narrative of decadence. The artist uses text effectively in his works in oil. Though the language used is grammatically incorrect, devoid of élan of the speakers of fluent English it communicates directly. ‘What for should we recite the national anthem?’ asks Prasadkumar in text further voicing his torment by writing—‘Am I a dead man? Because I am incapable to react to injustice.’
The artist says that he looks at life from the eyes of the “lower class, the marginalised people”, and that such questions arise in the minds of the have-nots. Some of his other diatribes written along with images are ‘Emerging Kerala, Eternal Follies’, ‘Rascal Rules’, ‘Equal Justice-Joke’. The scathing texts convey the cumulative anger of the artist at the injustices that he witnesses in daily life. Some of the other subjects that the collages deal with are housing dreams of the poor, distortion of truth via history, shaping environment to suit the greed of man.

(Work at the show) 
In a diptych (part of a series of three) Prasadkumar makes a wonderful comparison between a work by KCS Panicker, from the ‘Birds and Symbols’ series, and his current day image of a dog. “I am accepting Panicker’s interpretation and simultaneously rejecting some aspects of it,” says the artist who has explored art history too through his work. But if Prasadkumar has given some leeway to the other aspects of class divide, Baiju Neendoor has intensified his narrative with strikingly honest images. His story telling is direct and scathing. His canvas is large and dark. Black, brown, red, russet in broad, heavy strokes draw out the life changing situations that the poor face.
“Ï break the chocolate beauty,” he says adding that “nobody writes the history of the marginalised people. So we have to tell that in pictures.” Baiju too uses text to hit out, using strongly the four letter word to spit out his torment.
His smaller works are “scribbles” of the research that went into the large works about the chaos in the lives of the poor. These scribbles in black make interesting frames. The single gentle picture in the exhibition is of his friend, a mild face amidst the churning lives of the working class. The show is on till the end of September.
(Report by Priyadershini S for The Hindu)