Monday, September 2, 2013

Sotheby's Footsteps of the Buddha, 100 years of Hussain and more..


Lectures by Iftikhar Dadi on Modernism

(Iftikhar Dadi)
The School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, Delhi presents a series of lectures about Modernism in Muslim South Asia, by eminent artist, curator, and academic, Iftikhar Dadi. 

The five lectures series is specifically designed upon his research on modernism in Pakistan.The series of lectures are as follows:
Modernism in South Asian Muslim Art  - on 2nd September at 5 :30 pm
Abdur Rahman Chugtai: Mughal Aesthetic in the Age of Print -  3rd September at 5:30 pm
Three Mid-century Modernists -  on 4th September at 5:30 pm
Sadequain and Calligraphy -  on 5th September at 5:30 pm
Ethnicity in Urdu Cinema -  on 6th September at 5:30 pm.

 Iftikhar Dadi is the author of ‘ Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Aisa’ and co-author of ‘Unpacking Europe’, and co-curator of ‘Lines of Control’ - an exhibition on partitions and borders. Also co-curator of Tarjama/ Translation showcased from the Middle East, Central Asia and other places.

Celebrating 50 years of Contemporary Art
(Work from the show)
Chemould Prescott Road' invites all art lovers to an exclusive art exhibition that has been scheduled as a part of celebration of 50 Years of Contemporary art. With the display of first five exhibitions curated by Geeta Kapur, titled,‘Aesthetic  Bind: Subject of Death’ the exhibition will have on display some of the finest works by the well-known artists like Bhupen Khakhar, Atul Dodiya, Mehlli Gobhai, Gieve Patel, Sudhir Patwardhan and others. 

Apart from this, the exclusive show will also have the works by Srinivas Prasad, Gargi Raina, Mithu Sen, Sudarshan Shetty and Aditi Singh on display. 
The preview will be on display on September 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm and is on view till the 3rd of October 2013.

100 years of Hussain
(Work on display)
The Institute of Contemporary Indian Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a retrospective show about legendary artist, M F Husain. The exhibition has been organized to celebrate 100 years of the artist. 
One would be fortunate to witness his works from various private collections, which will comprise 100 artworks spread over various series and periods of his life. Some of the paintings on display will include his works of British Raj, Sitar, Raag mala, Tribal, his very famous horses and many more.

This show is the best chance to witness the master’s legacy and creativity. The show is on from the 16th September 2013 to the 12th of October 2013.

Sotheby’s Footsteps of The Buddha

Coinciding with the auctions and events of Asia Week in September, Sotheby’s presents a selling exhibition titled ‘Footsteps of the Buddha: Masterworks from Across the Buddhist World’, the first of its kind. Offering an opportunity for collectors and connoisseurs, the exhibition traces the historical development and transformation of Buddhist art as it traveled throughout Asia from the 2nd century through the 21st century. 

This exhibition features pan-Asian Buddhist paintings and sculptures from the ancient regions of Gandhara, Nepal, Tibet, Korea, China and Japan. Organized jointly by Sotheby’s Asian art division, the exhibition aims to introduce important Buddhist artwork to a wider audience. 

The works will be on view in New York galleries from 3rd through 23rd September 2013.

For more information, please visit

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Sculpting characters to life
Suresh K.’s muse is Kathakali. The artiste chisels replicas of the characters on the Kathakali stage
(Some of Suresh K.'s completed Kathakali figurines)
While some bring characters to life on stage, Suresh K. brings mythological characters to life with pieces of wood.
Suresh is perhaps the only person in the state who is in the field of sculpting and carving Pacha, Kathi, Thaadi, Kari and Minukku characters in Kathakali.
It all began when Suresh and a relative of his, B. Thrivikraman were approached by an official in the Kerala State Handicrafts Development Corporation. The official wanted them to supply Kathakali figurines to the handicraft shops of the state as their previous craftsman had retired.
“Thrivikraman’s father, Bhaskaran Shasthrikal, was a Kathakali artiste. He was part of a Kathakali troupe in the city called Karikkakom Kathakali Yogam. From him, we learnt to love and appreciate the art form. My maternal side of the family are craftsmen and I learnt the trade from them. Thrivikraman helped me fine tune my skills after I completed my SSLC. We used to make handicrafts out of sandalwood. A Chutti artiste and a chenda artiste, he is currently concentrating in those fields,” says Suresh.
(Suresh K. busy at work)
Suresh’s day begins at the break of dawn when he steps into his little work studio beside his house at Karikkakom. Inside his studio is his workbench where he chisels replicas of the characters on the Kathakali stage.
The artiste is currently busy chiselling figurines of Krishna for the upcoming Onam season. “I have been commissioned by the SMSM Institute to create Kathakali sculptures in time for Onam. In fact, I have been making such figurines for them since 1992.”
Krishna, he says, is the easiest figurine to make. Figurines of Krishna are in demand and so are those of Bhima. “The toughest to make are the Kathi and Thadi (red) veshams as there are a lot of fine details in their chutti make up. Coming from the world of Kathakali, I can do justice to the sculptures as I can bring the right expression on the faces of the wooden statues. As each character has a varied temperament, I have to show it in the eyes,” says Suresh, who makes figures in various sizes, the smallest being 18 inch and the largest, around six feet tall.
While Suresh carves and paints the heroes and heroines of Kathakali, his sister-in-law Sheila J. Kumari helps him clothe the figures. His wife, Pushpa, occasionally helps with the stitching too. The sculptures, he says is complete only when the headgear, arm bands and waist belts are adorned.
(A half done figurine of Krishna)
However, chiselling out the figurines is no piece of cake says Suresh. “It requires an enormous amount of patience, something the younger generation lacks. Although several artistes have come asking to be taught, none have remained. And that is why the art of making Kathakali figurines will die. Gen X want a profession that will not eat much of their time, does not require much dedication…They also want something which will bring them a decent income, something this field will not guarantee.”
Although there is a lot of fine craftsmanship that goes into each Kathakali figure, Suresh says the remuneration is barely enough. And although he has been approached by various dealers from India and abroad, Suresh prefers supplying to various handicraft institutes in the city. “The dealers want large supplies within a short period of time and I can’t do so as I am only one man and can only do so much. Earlier, my son, Anish used to help out. His love is however, photography and is now employed in Sharjah,” says the 52-year-old as he picks up a figurine and goes back to work.
(Report and photos by Liza George for The Hindu)

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