Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review - An Aesthetic of Urban Grunge, A journey through Asia, and more..


An Aesthetic of Urban Grunge

There is an eventuality of nature that binds the living and non living entities with a single thread. The truth of death and decay. The Japanese call it the ‘Wabi Sabi’ nature of things. Wabi Sabi refers to the aesthetic beauty in the natural transience of anything from its birth, optimal existence to its death. Photographer and pediatrician Amrish Vaidya tries to capture this rare elusive moment where life subtly morphs into non-life and presents his ‘Frames of Reference’.

For pediatric surgeon, Amrish Vaidya, the transient nature of human life, constantly at cross roads, battling for survival, is a common visual. His lessons are learnt in the harsh realities of pain and actual death. Nothing gets more ‘real’ than that. There are a few ways in which people deal with it especially on a day to day basis, one is with absolute indifference, and the other, to dare to see the poetry in it. Amrish chooses the latter. 

Armed with a camera, he captures his surroundings with a need to find a sub layer of  impending decay. His photography show on at the Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai is proof of the triumph of the humane aesthetic. Amrish unearths beauty much like a miner drilling out oil from the belly of the earth, through the eons of putrefaction. His works are a testament to this delicate and sensitive outlook to nature. Extracting beauty from the ugly is not an easy task as the mind often plays tricks. 

Having a successful career in medicine, Amrish followed his natural inclination to photography over 15-20 years ago. Since then, every vacation is a concerted effort to capture those nuances and rare markers of life on the brink of decay. The absolute abstraction of textures of peeling walls, and structures, aging wood patterns, village walls and fences, dark spots left behind by water seepages, rock textures worn out by elements, the resilience of old houses, all this continues to inspire him. 

Living in Mumbai, the momentariness of urban living and degeneration, rusting of strong metal, bricks coming loose from a foundation of a structure, all point to the ephemeral state of human living. The perspectives of the surgeon’s precise eyes are seen in the way he captures the seemingly harsh and primal side of the city he lives in. There is an obvious rawness to the facet of his works and in this is embedded an underlying quiet serene aesthetic. Wiping the gloss off, in true clinical sense, he urges the viewer to experience,  more than just ‘see’ the beauty.

Amrish’s work also often serves as a ‘reminder’ of something as it used to be. In a way his images take the viewer on a walk into the backyard of memory. What once was, or what could it have been, are questions which arise in the inquisitive mind. Much like looking at an older generation of film stars called on stage to be awarded a life time achievement award, with the screen displaying a collage of images of all the movies they have acted in, played a part in. Most of Amrish’s images portray objects which have also played major parts in their own lives. Be it a gate that protects the insides of an estate or a window placed high on the wall with rusting iron barricade, they all played a part, a role, perhaps an important one.

‘Frames of Reference’ attempts to realign the human eye and mind to the less interesting, aging and discarded objects, thereby reminding one of the undefeated momentum of life itself.
‘Frames of Reference’ is on till the end of September 2013 at the Sakshi gallery, Mumbai.

( by Sushma Sabnis)


Michael Kenna -  A journey through Asia
( Photography work byMichael Kenna)
Tasveer, Bangalore, presents ‘Michael Kenna - A Journey Through Asia’  a photography exhibition by prolific landscape photographer Michael Kenna. 

The exhibition presents 48 black and white photographs, made from 2006 to 2013, that takes the viewer on a journey across the landscapes of India, Thailand, Vietnam, China, South Korea and Japan. 

This is Tasveer's first exhibition of the season in partnership with Vacheron Constantin.

The show is on view till the 30th of October 2013.

Marks and Markers
( Work by Samindranath Majumdar)
Gallerie Ganesha, New Delhi, presents an exhibition of paintings by artist Samindranath Majumdar, in a show titled ,‘Marks and Markers’.

The speciality of the primarily abstract artworks on display is that the artist prefers to work in layers. Be it layers of pigment and layers of experience it may be read as an attempt to make sense of the variant ways in which the cues of memory mark and unmark the evolving self, resulting in both erasure and overwriting. 

Memory encapsulates time, gives it specificity and therefore, a shape, thus initiating the artist's journey of reinterpretation.

The show is on view till the 12th of September 2013.

Harvest 2013 - Art in Testing Times
(A work on display)
Stainless Art Gallery, New Delhi presents a mammoth group show of 60 young and upcoming artists from the country. The show is titled, ‘Harvest- 2013 - Art in Testing Times’. The show has been curated by Payal Kapoor of Arushi Arts, Delhi.

The show displays the best talents in the country today. With the market upheavals and uncertain scenario, the show aims to focus on the stabilizing the art market by offering a variety of works for potential buyers and investors in art.

The works on display address various urban and rural issues, with a sprinkling of the right amount of romanticism. 

The show is on view till the 11th of September 2013.

The Collection
(work by K K Hebbar)

Galerie De Arts, Bangalore, presents an exhibition of a group of very well established  artists from the country. The works are on display in a show titled, ‘The Collection’. 
The collection displays traditional and contemporary art works, in a variety of figurative styles, realistic.

The participating artists are Shirley Mathew, Badrinarayan, KK Hebbar, Arpana Caur, Laxma Goud, Paritosh Sen, Leela Tyagi and Ramesh Terdal.

The show is on view till the 14th of September 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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