Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monsters of Silence, Mixtape 2, My Cup of Tea and more..


Divine Doorways

( Photography work by Michael J Wright)
Lokayata Art Gallery, New Delhi presents a photo exhibition of the photo installations captured by Michael J Wright, an Australian national in love with divine Sufism. The exhibits showcase the daily aspects in and around some of the most visited and sacred holy Sufi dargahs located in North India. Accompanied by the soul stirring poetic verses of Julaluddin Rumi, these installations look amazing and conveys a true essence of Sufism. 

Wright was introduced to Sufism 25 years back and over the period of time he has traveled around many holy shrines and has witnessed various aspects of faith as well as divinity.  These installations are an effort to display various aspects of Sufi dargahs as Divine Doorways for many.

The show is on view till 31st October 2013.

Monsters of Silence

( Work by Martin Eder)
Gallery Isa presents a debut solo show of German artist Martin Eder. the show is titled, ‘Monsters of Silence’ and the artworks reveal the dichotomy existent in nature, especially with regard to beauty and the decadence associated with it.

His work is an interplay with rich symbolism associated with birds,owls, and flowers. The darker undercurrent surfaces in the backgrounds and the elements which are placed carefully int he painting subtly hinting at the corruption of a purity. He believes there is no ugliness until mankind anoints it as ugly, nature sees everything equally beautiful.

The show previews on 15th November at 6:30 pm and will be on view till 24th January 2014.

Mixtape 2

Atta Galatta, Bangalore presents, ‘Mixtape 2 - Meet the Creators’. Manta Ray, a leading indie comic book publishing house hosts ‘Meet The Creators’ for the second volume of their hit comic anthology series Mixtape. 

Mixtape is a platform for rising comic storytellers to showcase their short comic stories. This event, Mixtape 2 will bring together five stories from seven creators and each will belong to a different genre and drawn in a diverse art style. 

One can get a chance to meet some of the creators from Mixtape 2 and get copies of Mixtape 2 signed along with personal sketches from the artists themselves. There will also be an extensive showcase of short comic stories from the archives of Manta Ray.

The show is on view till 9th November 2013.

My Cup Of Tea

Kynkyny Art, Bangalore presents a show, 'My Cup of Tea' - a narration of eclectic experiences by young and budding illustrators and artists Bakula Nayak, Kalyani Ganapathy, Shreyas R Krishnan and Trusha Sawant. 

The artists showcase a collection of varying styles, techniques and interests, viewing life as it goes by through their different coloured glasses. The artworks displayed are interesting with a beautiful interplay of colours.

The show is on view till 31st October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Abounding in art

The first edition of Jaipur Art Summit is about to roll

( One of the works to be displayed)
Rajasthan has always had a deep connect with arts, boasting traditions like Shekhawati murals, phad scrolls, kavads and Rajasthani miniatures. Now taking the relationship forward is Jaipur Art Summit, where artists from different states practising varied mediums will showcase their work on a single platform. The Jaipur Art Summit is an initiative of the Progressive Artists Group (PAG) of Rajasthan and a few other like-minded artists, art enthusiasts like Timmie Kumar, Chairperson, an interior designer from the J.J School of Arts; Mridul Bhasin, writer, author and art critic based in Jaipur; R.B Gauttam, president of PAG, initiator of the summit and vice-president of the Rajasthan Lalit Kala Akademi; Vidyasagar Upadhay, a very senior artist.
(One of the works to be displayed)
The summit which will take place from November 7 to 11 will be held at Hotel Clarks Amer and Jawahar Kala Kendra. The summit will showcase creative expressions across many media and formats like canvas, visual and digital art, art installations, sculptures, interactive art and other contemporary and folk-centric expressions. Around 150 artists’ works will be showcased at the summit, and the list boasts senior names like Anjolie Ela Menon, Jatin Das, Jai Zharotia and Gopi Gajwani. An art camp, installation art works by Chintan Upadhyay, Mithu Sen and Surendra Pal Joshi, seminars, display of folk traditions like sanjhi art of Vrindavan, black earth terracotta work from Sawai Madhopur, ceramic art, enamelling and glass painting, and art haat are different elements of the first edition of the Jaipur Art Summit.

( Report from The Hindu)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reinventing Classical Tones, Sensoria, Imaging India show and more..


Reinventing Classical Tones

( Work by Sadaanandan)
Pearl Art Gallery, New Delhi, presents a unique show of works by eminent muralist from Kerala, Sadaanandan. The show is titled, ‘ Reinventing Classical Tones’ and on display are his vibrant art works , paintings, which have been part of prestigious collections on the walls of his patrons in India and all over the world.

Sadaanandan is a creator of a number of prestigious works on walls in India. His works on canvas are a perfect depiction of his acumen both in his execution and selection of themes. A worshipper of art and the organic world around him, the artist is obsessed with tradition, heritage and modernity. 

The show is on view till 16th November 2013.

Tradition and Spirituality in Art

( Work by Banita Hamirwasia)
All India Fine arts And Crafts Society, New Delhi presents a solo show by artist Banita Hamirwasia. The artists displays her thoughts on the canvas through this painting exhibition. The artist was born in Kolkata and is a self taught. She studied Home Science but painting was her first love and she turned her hobby into her career. A connoisseur in 'Vedic Yantras' in Tanjore form, her paintings depict her religious thoughts and she loves painting around the theme of spirituality.

Her collection of work presents a religious essence and she makes use of striking and vivacious colours. The artist gives the artwork a unique look by decorating it with semi - precious stones. She has been painting for 10 years now and has presented her paintings in various exhibitions.

The show is on view till 1st November 2013.

The Bull : An Aesthetics of Anxiety

Karnataka Chitrakala Parshath, Bangalore, presents a solo exhibition of art works by artist Sujith Kumar GS Mandya.

The show will be spread over all four galleries in Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath and is one of the unique one man shows. More than 100 paintings of “The Bull” series express the inner angst of the present human mind. These paintings are a spectacle of hurt, shock, violence, revolt in bull’s artistry and symbolism.“The Bull” symbolizes the metaphorical aesthetics of an anxious mind. The bull; the beast of power and ardor is charged with abundant feelings dramatically articulated in the deconstructed frame. Sujith Kumar’s anxious bull is multiplied with an amalgamation of the sensibilities meditatively.

It took 3 years for the painting to complete and to highlight these perceptions many of the paintings are painted with oil colours on canvas, some are charcoal on canvas, few are pencil on paper.

The show is on view till 4th November 2013.

( Work at the show)
Artworld Sarala’s Art Centre, Chennai presents a solo show of art works by artist Joydip Sengupta. The exhibition is titled 'Sensoria'. The artist has unleashed his talent and presented a mix of time, generation and emotions.

The artist was born in Delhi and attained the degree of MFA from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Scotland, UK. He has presented various solo exhibitions and has also been a part of group exhibitions and art fairs. He has been honoured with awards like 'Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant', 'Commonwealth Scholarship, UK M.F. Hussain Award, College of Art' and 'The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant' to name a few.

The show is on view till 31st October 2013.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Imaging India
A must-see exhibition of iconic photographers Shambhu Saha, Henri Cartier Bresson and Sunil Janah in the Capital captures the lives of our diverse people, the grandeur of our monumental structures and the richness of our sculpture and dance
(Empty Vessel and Old Woman by Shambhu Saha)
This week we are interrupting our on-going series on the abysmal condition of some of our water bodies to take a peek at a remarkable exhibition at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). Titled (Re) Discovering India -Then and Now, it is curated by architect and designer Shakeel Hossain who is also a consultant with the Agha Khan Trust for Culture. The exhibition, based upon IGNCA’s own photographic archives, draws from the breathtaking and at times greatly disturbing black and white photographs taken by three iconic photographers, Shambhu Saha (1905-1988). Henri Cartier Bresson (1908-2004) and Sunil Janah (1918-2012).
The first two were born in the first decade of the 20 Century and the third, Sunil Janah, was born towards the close of the second decade of the 20 Century. Creatively, the most productive period of their lives coincided with the time when an entire people were giving shape to their dream of freedom from colonial yoke.
(Men leaving their villages to walk to relief centres in Andhra Pradesh by Sunil Janah.)
These were happy times and sad times. They were happy and exciting times because after 200 years of thraldom and servitude we were preparing to breathe the air of freedom. Sad and heart breaking times because we were also struck with man-made calamities -- famines, rioting, Partition and the exodus of millions across newly drawn borders and of arson, loot and senseless killings. All this was bringing out into the open the best and the worst human beings are capable of.
These were also the times of great experiments. In education as in Shanti Niketan under the benign presence of Tagore, and in the arts and sciences and in efforts to explore, understand and redefine our cultural heritage and understand ourselves.
(The cortege carrying Mahatma Gandhi's body and the crowds that had gathered for the last glimpse)
Amidst this backdrop were the three photographers. Henri Cartier Bresson, a Frenchman whose photographs of the assassination of the Mahatma captured an entire nation in mourning and whose documentation of a nuclear plant being erected with bare hands captured the spirit of self-reliance that we have now sacrificed at the altar of neo liberalism. There was Shambhu Saha whose documentation of the extraordinary quotidian life at Shanti Niketan and whose portraits of Robi Thakur were to define an entire era and to present to India and to the world a new approach to education. And then there was Sunil Janah who captured and made real for every Indian, not only the tragedy of man-made famines and how want and hunger demean human existence, but also aspects of India that most Indians were unaware of -- the sorrows and joys of the lives of our diverse people, marginalised, branded and ignored, the grandeur of the monumental structures that we built and the richness of our sculpture and our dances. In short, the unending struggle of the common people for a decent life.
(The crowds that had gathered at Raj Ghat for the last glimpse of the Mahatma's cortege)
There is all this and more in the exhibition. Go with time on your hands as you need more than a couple of hours to appreciate it properly. As you pause before each photograph and let the subtle beauty of blacks, whites and shades of grey sink in, pay attention to the accompanying text. It has been written with care and needs as much attention and appreciation as the riveting snapshots.
Exhibitions like this one are not put together every day, so take as many people as you can. One hopes IGNCA will extend it beyond the last day, October 31, or put it up again and this time give it wider publicity.
( Report by Sohail Hashmi for The Hindu)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review - In an Amazonian Reverie, Amma Umma, The Journey Continues and more..


In An Amazonian Reverie

A sharp streak of sun cuts the quiet dark pond into two, illuminating just about one portion of an open white lotus and the sensual curve of a lotus leaf, which shies away as if hiding a quiet erotic secret. Everything else in the overpowering visual is suspended in a dark latent silence of an awakening.  Amidst the calm, a streak of reality which shears the notion of assumed harmony and rose tinted pacifiers of pretty pictures, such is the power of artist Senaka Senanayake’s works, observes Sushma Sabnis

(Cycle of Life by Senaka Senanayake)
Yale educated Sri Lankan artist, Senaka Senanayake is known for his liberal use of colour. A Buddhist by choice, Senaka tries to bring nuances of balance and happiness into his work, even while most of his canvases, on deeper observation, address larger issues related to the environment and nature. In his solo ‘In an Iridescent Land’ on display at the Tao Art gallery, Mumbai, the artist brings forth his concern for the Sri Lankan rainforests and the rapid deforestation and decimation of entire ecosystems, geographically exclusive and rare. Senaka’s work highlights the beauty of the slowly diminishing species of plants, animals and birds which have been adversely affected by man made destructive devices and greed.

Most of his works on display in this collection focus on a profusion of richly coloured flora and fauna, plants animals and birds indigenous to the rainforests like parrots, macaws, cockatoos, various weaver birds, hornbills, underwater fishes, tropical plants, heliconia, pitcher plants etc. The lotus predominantly surfaces in his works. Perhaps the artist tries to affirm the strength of this beautiful bloom even though its roots are in murky ponds, the affirmation of nature’s triumphs yet again.

(Lotus Bloom by Senaka Senanayake)
Senaka anoints his canvases with repetitive motifs, yet there is a uniqueness in the rendition of each of these works. He illuminates and gives depth to an otherwise flat painted canvas surface, by layering the skin of the canvas with a multitude of ‘orb’ shaped roundels. The entire painting at times appears as if seen under numerous torch lights, with specific areas highlighted. The intensity of each of these orbs varies and hence the depth, foreground, middle ground and background is established ever so subtly, it almost feels like a movement on the stationary painted surface. In some canvases, he alternates these orbs with rays of sunlight. These are glazes of thinned paint, applied close to the painted image so as to give it three dimensional effects. As a result, the painting breathes, moves and comes ‘alive’. 

(Bright Flight by Senaka Senanayake)
For Senaka, the ‘orb’ by itself is a shape of significance. The circle of life which everything passes through, and hence his usage of it in most of his works. Also interesting is the composition of the elements of the paintings, where the artist uses one dominating bird or animal or flower as a centre of focus, and then builds the rest of the composition with elements which may or may not have any connection to it, but work together as an over all balance of the visual aesthetic. The viewer's eye does not rest only on one part of the painting.

After the initial awe of the obvious beauty of these works, Senaka pushes the viewer closer to the actual problem at hand. An African parrot, with its wings open, displays its underside which is browned and on the verge of decay, the polyps of a coral no longer form the multiple pronged life sustaining coral reefs, the Octopus garden underwater shows butterfly fish and lost clownfish, the curling leaves of the banana plantation speak of contaminated soil. Such subtle and some direct implications are the artist’s concern for the environment. He believes there is a lot to be saved and prevented from being lost, and instead of painting the ugliness of it, he prefers to paint its beauty, in all its multifarious splendour.
(Plantain Paradise by Senaka Senanayake)
 The other feature that one would be completely drawn to in Senaka’s works are the hues of colours one encounters. Moving from simply pinks, reds, greens and yellows, Senaka the master blender of colour generates a palette that can only be comparable to nature herself. The musical golds and yellows, the array of luminous whites in a white lotus bloom never seemed so exquisite. The greens are vibrant and fluorescent and the images transport the viewer into a landscape reminiscent of the Henri Rousseau's paintings, ‘The Dream’ or ‘The Equatorial Forest’. While Rousseau’s paintings had a more panoramic view of the scene, Senaka hones in on the subject, each brush stroke enhances the texture and colour making a petal more ‘real’, a coral reef more ‘touchable’, a fruit more ‘juicy’. This usage of colour and blends or hues to enhance an object to make it three dimensional, induces in the viewer a cohesive sensorial experience. One could hear the sounds of rainforest, smell the flowers, be vary of the notorious pitcher plants, tread carefully across the bog of lotuses, look up at the sky as the bunch of parrots fly past, and one would be a part of this artist’s unique iridescent  reverie, rich in colours, happy and fragile.

The show, ‘In an Iridescent Land’ is on view till 10th November 2013.

Amma, Umma!

India International Centre, New Delhi presents an art exhibition with the theme of Mother’s love. Titled ‘Amma, Umma!’, the two words are synonyms and implies mother as a metaphor for essence, basic, and beginning in Tamil and Korean. Displayed by a number of Korean and Indian artists, the art exhibition includes a variety of contemporary art works.

The exhibition includes the works by artists from Korea - Shin Sun Mi, Lee Lee Nam, Lee Kwang Ho, Oh Su Fan, Ha Taeim, Lee Hosin, Hong Jiyoon, Lee Jesam, Byen Ungpil and Kang Kwan Wook. The works of Indian artists like Amitava Das, Dileep Sharma, Farhad Hussain, Gigi Scaria, Harsha Vardhana Swaminathan, Jin Sook Shinde, Sham Pahapalkar, Tanmoy Samanta, Vanita Gupta and Zakkir Hussain will also be on display. 

The show is on view till 7th November 2013.

Citizen Artist: Forms of Address
(Work by Rashid Rana at the show)
Chemould Prescott Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a show, ‘Citizen Artist: Forms of Address’. 
The exhibition is organised as part of celebrating 50 Years of the gallery and is curated by Geeta Kapur. On the display will be the works of various artists like Jitish Kallat, Rashid Rana, Shilpa Gupta, Pushpamala N, Gigi Scaria and Tushar Joag. 

Also, included in the show are Raqs Media Collective, Arun Kumar and Inder Salim.
The artists displaying their work have a political approach and their work represents revolutionary ideas, anarchist, anti-fascist, anti-colonial and issues related with feminism.
The show is on view till 15th November 2013.

Own An Original
( Work at the show)
Art and Aesthetic Gallery, New Delhi, presents, ‘Own An Original’ is a unique concept that aims at making contemporary art more available to all art enthusiasts. It aims to promote art collectorship among new and young collectors as well as emerging art lovers.

The exhibits are available in a postcard format, redefining the boundaries of conventional painting formats. These exhibits are available in water colours, drawings and mix media paintings by a diverse group of artists ranging in style, form and expression.

The participating artists include Amitava Das, Anjum Khan, Hans Shinde, Jai Zharotia, Kanchan Chander, Manjunath Kamath, Mantu Das, Mitali Shah and several others.

The show is on view till 4th November 2013.

The Journey Continues

( Work by Vinita Karim at the show)
Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai presents a solo show of exquisite works by artist Vinita Karim. The immensely talented artist is all set to capture the hearts of all the art lovers through her range of artworks titled 'The Journey Continues'. The artist has presented her journey of self discovery and her thoughts on the canvas. 

The artist holds a degree in Masters of Fine Arts from University of Philippines. She loves traveling and applies her observations in her paintings. She has presented various solo exhibitions and has also been a part of several group exhibitions. 

The show is on view till 17th November 2013.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Monday, October 28, 2013

EDITORIAL - Collapse of Structured Art Market and the Emergence of a New One and more..

Collapse of Structured Art Market and the Emergence of a New One
(Sushmita Sen with artist Ratan Saha at his show)
Ratan Saha is not Subodh Gupta. He is not Sudarshan Shetty either. But he is a sculptor, a post graduate in sculpture from the Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda. After his education, that was around 19 years back, he travelled to many places looking for an opportunity to establish himself as a sculptor. He could barely survive doing his art. Saha had problems at home like many other artists; so he started doing commission works. That helped him stand on his own legs, set up a family and raise his kids. However, he never left his art. He went on doing sculptures, showing in small group shows, selling a piece here and another one there. But ‘success’ did not come to him the way it had blessed so many others during the boom years. Saha did not lose his faith in his art and in himself. He makes ‘bull’ sculptures; bulls in a variety of ways, formally interesting and conceptually strong. They are not just decorative, nor are they just the representations of the ‘male power’ (as bulls in art often do), they are the lost self of the migrant in a big city, raring to go but tamed by times, yet concerned about one and all. In them aesthetic sensitivity and artistic skill blend in the right way. 
(Ratan Saha with his sculptures)
This is not a review of Ratan Saha’s works. For the first time, he mustered up all his courage to have a large scale solo show at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai in early October. He exhibited around 22 works including one interactive assemblage and a huge installation. His wife, my friend and classical singer, Ranjana Saha told me on the last day that it was his wish to have a solo, whatever might be the outcome. They had taken out their last reserve of financial resources to make the show happen. In these days of ‘no-market’ for art, even his friends had felt that he was attempting something foolish. But things turned out to be different. By the last day of the show sixteen out of the 22 sculptures had already been sold. Ranjana was very happy. Ratan was busy packing sculptures with his friends and sending them to the respective collectors. Now hold on, you may say that it happens in Jehangir Art Gallery. On the last day, the ‘collectors’ come and buy in bulk for throw away prices. But here Ratan’s case is different. His works were not collected by the bulk buyers, but the important collectors from Mumbai, who in fact had invested a lot in the so called ‘contemporary art’ in the boom years. When I recounted this incident (as I was happy for Ratan, Ranjana and their kids) to another ‘rich’ artist friend in Mumbai, he said slightly in a dismissive fashion, ‘He is lucky.’
I, however thought it otherwise. If we attribute Ratan’s commercial success to ‘sheer’ luck, we would be just writing off his works as some lucky charm with no aesthetic value. But the profiles of the collectors who took his works do not endorse this ‘luck theory.’ I believe that they bought it because they liked it. They might not have thought of selling them in the secondary market on the very next day the way they used to do during the boom years. As I mentioned before, Ratan is not a big name in the market. His name does not attract big time investors. If people have collected his works today, then they must have done it with a purpose of ‘living’ with it in their drawing rooms or offices. In short, they all have liked his works. What I am trying to say is the emergence of a new market where art is sold and bought for their merit (of whatever kind) in satisfying the soul needs of the collectors.
( Aura Art Show 2013 opening day)
At the other end of the Jehangir Art Gallery, on 15th October, Aura Art Developers presented their ‘Aura Art Show 2013’; a heady mix of moderns, contemporary and emerging artists. If you go by the ‘normal and accepted’ standards of the art market which was in place during the boom years, most of the works exhibited in the show were not of ‘that’ kind. But on the opening day itself Aura could sell a lot of works. And towards the end of the show they could almost sell seventy per cent of the works and the organisers are still confident to make it a hundred per cent ‘sold out’ show. In the opening of Aura Show I met Shashikant Dhotre, an artist based in Mumbai, who does super realistic renderings of rural Maharashtra people in oil pastel. I know Shashikant well because I had the opportunity to adjudge him as the winner of the India Art Festival Award of Rs.100,000/- in 2010. He was a lean thin boy and he went on to the stage to receive the award from a Maharashtra minister, his only cheerleaders were the young rural boys who had accompanied him from Kolhapur. Many brows went up in doubt as he was ‘not of the contemporary lot’. Today, Shashikant looks cool in his urban dress code and a BMW car. That means he is selling quite well. Ganesh Gohain, an artist based Baroda, who was a participant in the Aura show, upon my query on the Baroda scene informed me that though the ‘contemporaries’ were struggling, the youngsters are ‘doing well’ as their works are bought by some ‘invisible’ collectors.
Now, look at the other side of the spectrum. Big galleries in Mumbai and Delhi are struggling to find money for their day to day operations. In Mumbai, Guild Gallery and Volte gallery are closed down till they open next in some other location. Sakshi has moved to a smaller place. In Delhi, Lado Sarai street where around twenty galleries are located remain deserted. At night you get an eerie feeling while walking along the street as the galleries like temples well kept but without devotees. What has happened to our structured art market? During the boom years, galleries were behaving more professionally, with good shows, well produced catalogues, sophisticated client relations and publicity. What has happened to all those activities? It is not that today shows are not happening; they are happening but nothing much is happening in the selling front. Even if they are selling, no details are revealed. It is like a market that sells contraband wares.
( Opening of Aura Art Show 2013)
While the structured market suffers from its own past misdeeds, the unstructured market still thrives. Artists still sell but they are not treated as stars or investment points. From another end, art developers like Aura put in their energy to create a different set of collectors not based on speculative rise of the artists and their prices but solely based on the taste of the potential collectors. Unstructured market and a market based on the clients’ taste are not really bad as we used to think during the boom years. Or perhaps, this market was always there, but was considered ‘shameful’ in some ways. But today, as this type of market helps the artists to survive, we cannot be cynical anymore. And there are all the reasons to believe that at least a few artists from these lots would develop themselves as really good artists who would become investment points.
Doesn’t this ask for a restructuring of our art market? While the galleries create a demand, especially for the contemporary and emerging artists, the unstructured market addresses its own demands and finds the right kind of wares from the shops. In that sense, I feel, it is high time that our galleries exhibit works of the artists and let the clients decide their demands. Once the clients’ tastes and demands are identified, after satisfying them, they could be led to new avenues of aesthetic experience. It would take time and we need to be patient. The present scenario also reveals that our future art collection is going to be of a different kind, extremely different from the ones that our galleries have been promoting, as the collecting pattern is going in a different direction. The gallerists and a structured market is expected to wake up to this reality and change their course.


A duet on figuration

Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, presents a show of two artists, with paintings and drawings on display. The participating artists Kishore Roy and Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal display their exquisite narrative works in this exhibit.

While both the artists have employed the use of figuration to depict their own narrative elements, the styles differ in the degree of realism. While one employs hyper realism the other chooses a more narrative folk art like visual language.

The show previews on1st November 2013 and is on view till 8th november 2013.

The Workshop Model

(A work on display)
Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai presents a unique retrospective of renowned printmaking legend, Dr Krishna Reddy. The retrospective, titled ‘The Workshop Model’ traces the life of the legendary artist, printmaker, some of his techniques and his conversations with the art world legends of yesteryears. 
The retrospective also displays some of his prints, photographs and writings of his interactions and journeys around the world. The show is to be inaugurated by printmaker Jyoti Bhatt on 28th October 2013 between 4:00 to 7:00pm at the main hall of the Drawing and Painting department of J J School of Arts.

Curated by Prof Anant Nikam HOD JJ Printmaking Studio, and Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma of Clark House Initiative, Mumbai this show is on view till 5th December 2013.

A quiet harmony
( A work on display)
Gallery Pradarshak, Mumbai presents a solo show of young artist Rahul Mhetre. The show displays the unique and serene realistic figurative works of the artists rendered in acrylic on canvas.

Rahul as an artist prefers to depict a certain calmness in his works through his intense observations. His works, though replete with vibrant colours depict the protagonists in very calm and collected stances almost meditative and one with nature.

The harmony is brought by an exquisite balance of colour form composition and thought.

The show on view from 28th October to 9th November 2013.


Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, presents a solo show of Installation works, sculptures, garments and sound created for installations by eminent artist Vivan Sundaram. The show titled, ‘Postmortem (after Gagawaka).

Vivaan is known for his immense works in various mediums and often use of multiple mediums in the same work, having explored a variety of isms in his art works.

The show is to preview on the 5th November 2013 at 5:30pm  and will be on view till 4th December 2013.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Gift, India Song, Ode to the Sea and more..


The Gift

Art Konsult gallery, New Delhi presents a group show of small scale bronze sculptures. The show displays works of eminent sculptors from the country and the works on display are touted to be from a very affordable range to entice the buyer and collector alike, especially for the Diwali festive season.

The sculptures on show are by Chandan Roy, Somnath Chakraborty, Tapas Sarkar, Subrata Paul, Shankar Ghosh and Srilekha Sarkar.

The show previews on 26th October 2013 at 6:00pm, andwillbe on view till 5th November 2013.

Stories in Art
(Work by Ravi Kattakuri)
Kamalnayan Bajaj Hall & Art  Gallery, Mumbai presents a group show featuring some sculptures and paintings by eminent and upcoming artists of the country. 

The show displays the unique works of artists Surendra Sonar, Ravi Kattakuri, Santosh Engurtiwar,  Boby Abraham, Prakash Engurtiwar, K V Prasad, G S Vasu, K Srinivas Rao and P Brahma.

The show displays works which are figuratives primarily, and based on an array of narratives which capture the imagination of the viewer.

The show is on view till 26th October 2013.

India Song

Tasveer, Bangalore and Vacheron Constantin present the landmark photographic series, ‘India Song’, by London-based artist Karen Knorr in Bangalore. The exhibition will include previously unseen and unexhibited photographs from this internationally acclaimed body of work, and will be accompanied by a new monograph on the series, published by Tasveer. 

Knorr began the India Song series in 2008, after what she describes as a life-changing trip to India. The work takes inspiration from Indian mythology, exploring both cultural heritage and wildlife, referencing the western appreciation/ appropriation of eastern culture and form, and the Indian tradition of representing and personifying animals in literature and art. From the Panchatantra to the miniature paintings of the Mughal court, these photographs depict scenarios that are at once otherworldly and surreal, the animals are intruders, and their presence playfully subverts the cultural space. The architectural settings are captured with a large format analogue camera, while the animal subjects are photographed separately and inserted using digital imaging – a very slow process is combined with a fast one, that heightens our experience of colour, line, the details of both the structural and living subjects which paradoxically merge, and are yet separate from one another.

The show previews on 8th November 2013 and is on view till 30th November 2013.

Ode to the Sea
( Work by Sumer Verma)
Gallery 7, Mumbai, presentsa solo show titled "Ode to the Sea"of exquisite photographs.

The show displays photography works of Sumer Verma, an underwater photographer. The collection of photographs on display traverses through an exciting and rare photographic journey of the vivid and exquisitely beautiful life underwater.

The show is on view from 26th October to 10th November 2013.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Casting Class
Kolkata-based glass artist Uma Singh continues to take on the challenges of the medium. She is having her first solo show of glass sculptures.
(Sculptor Uma Singh with her sculpture)
Among the handful of glass artists that we have, Uma Singh is one of them. Unavailability of material, labour intensive techniques, requirement of a spacious studio and absence of very many institutes offering courses in glass art coupled with supremacy that the medium of painting still wields in our country, are some of the factors that have confined the reach of the discipline which is ironical given our thriving glass industry in Firozabad. With such few artists working in the field, we are rather lucky that within a span of three months, Delhiites are getting to see a second exhibition of a glass artist and that too of such a senior one. Though practitioners of the same medium, both Srila Mookherjee’s (who exhibited this past August at Art Heritage gallery) and Uma Singh’s work are so different with respect to technique and content. Seeing that the glass artists undaunted by the challenges are continuing to innovate is what brings even more joy to an enthusiast.
“Once you are bitten by the glass bug, it is difficult to stay away from it. I always say it’s not I who chose the medium but it’s the medium that chose me,” says Uma Singh, a 72-year-old glass artist from Kolkata who is having her first ever solo of glass sculptures, “The Gods in Glass”, in Delhi. In her 49 works in glass displayed at the Visual Arts Gallery, Uma depicts various gods and goddesses of Hindu mythology, which look resplendent in light. “I have had to lit them up because white wall just kills a glass work but at home you can do so much with a glass work provided where and how you place it,” explains the senior artist, who was a fashion designer before she turned to glass. She had the first fashion show in 1962 but growing up in Kolkata — full of colonial structures and churches of which stained glass is an important part — she fell for it.
(A glass sculpture)
From 2000 onwards, she felt compelled to experiment with different glass working processes. This took her to Pilchuck Glass School, WA, USA, where she studied various techniques between 2000 and 2004. In 2004, she received a scholarship to study kiln casting at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. “We were told in the workshop that glass is the cruellest medium to work with not because of the injuries it can cause you but because you don’t know what happens to it inside a kiln. I have learnt it by trial and error and that’s why it has taken me so long to put together my first solo show.” Out of 30 castings that she did, 15 of them had to be done twice.
“Most artists love bubbles to interfere with their work but at which point does it happen is crucial as it can make or break your work,” says Uma, who says, producing works practicing techniques like kiln casting in lost wax process and cold carving in Indian glass, takes her months.
( work at the show)
In the exhibition, she has created works using both these techniques, which is sculptural cast glass object using the lost wax process and sheets of carved glass, one atop another, forming languid figures. She works with two kinds of glass — Bullseye Glass of Oregon and Gaffers Glass of New Zealand.
The exhibition is dotted with realistic and stylised pieces priced between Rs.3 lakh and Rs.7 lakh. While her realistic pieces are for those who don’t like deviations, her abstracts, where she freely experiments with form and lines, will attract somebody whose mind is attuned to innovation. The works of Buddha, Krishna, Parvati, Trishul, Kali rendered in cold carving belies the fragile medium it is sculpted in yet there is no loss on its fluidity. In other works created using the lost wax process, she combines the material with metal and fibre glass. The delicate pieces evoking a feeling of transcendence transform into sheer magic when light falling on different spots enter into a dialogue with the work. For her shapes, Uma says she has borrowed from varied traditions, like the murals of Ajanta, the Patachitra tradition of West Bengal and temples in Bhubaneswar.
(The exhibition is on till October 31 at the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi)
( Report by Shailaja Tripathi, Photos by Meeta Ahlawat for The Hindu)

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Writing Room -II, Eye of the Father and the Son, Visual Fusion and more..


The Writing Room 2nd Edition
Abadi Art Space, New Delhi and The Ambassador of Ecuador present an exhibition,   ‘Cartography of New Impressions & Traveling Notes’ by the Ecuadorian artist in residence, Diana Valarezo.
Diana has concluded her residence at The Writing Room. A review on her nomadic life and experiences has come with outcome of A Solo show that reflects on her first impression and new cartographies of her body, soul and mind.
This is a lifetime line exhibition, showing works from last 10 years on mix media, photography, ceramics, and paintings, from China, Ecuador, Senegal, Belgium, Peru and New Delhi.
You can find further information about the artists on
The show is on from 28th October 2013 to 5th November 2013.
The Eye of the Father and the Son
(Work on display)
Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi presents a unique show of two people from Ecuador.
The exhibition will show the artwork of Hugo Cifuentes, who is considered the ‘father of Ecuadorian contemporary photography’, although he dedicated most of his life to drawing and painting. He is also considered to be one of the most important Ecuadorian plastic artists of the 60s and 70s. 
Diego Cifuentes, his father, was a complex and complete artist, working in different artistic genres. Photography and drawing took centre stage in his work, but he also composed music.
The show is on view till 24th November 2013.

Visual Fusion
(work at the show)
Beanstalk, Gurgaon presents a group show of artworks by eminent artists from the country. The show titled, ‘Visual Fusion’ has on display the paintings by artists Basanth Peringode, Manikandan, M Ishaq, Padmakar Santape, Promod MV, Ramesh Gorjala, and Shyamal Mukharjee, Swaraj Das.

The works vary from figurative and fantastical to abstraction in vibrant colours.

The show is on from 25th October to 8th November 2013

Parallel Intersection

(Work at the show)
Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a unique brother and sister, artists show titled, ‘Parallel Intersection’. the show is being held for the cause of helping the critically ill children of an NGO they support.

The works on display vary from paintings to ceramic sculptures by the two artists, Manisha and Rahul Kumar.

The show is on till 9th november 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

The tradition of devotion
(Work at the show)
Ritu Gupta interprets Indian miniatures and the Radha and Krishna motif in her latest exhibition
The iconography of Krishna and Radha and their idealism has survived and inspired art for hundreds of years through Indian folk art, notably through the tradition of miniatures and murals. And it still continues to inspire, as the Kanpur-based artist Ritu Gupta shows in her exhibition “Radha Raman” that is on view at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. The overarching theme of her works is the relationship between Radha and Krishna. “I am basically a spiritual painter. After working on a series on Ganesha and the Sri Yantra, I decided to paint Krishna and Radha. I have always been intrigued by their relationship because they never married. Yet their love was real, pure and nischal, where both of them gave up so much,” says Ritu.
Respect and worship
“People look upon their relationship with so much respect and till today, worship the couple. So I was clear that I wanted to depict their relationship.”
Ritu’s paintings are inspired by different styles of Indian folk art, predominantly miniatures such as those of the Kangra school or even Chola bronzes.
“I was inspired by the Rajasthan miniatures too, but my paintings do not imitate these styles. I have taken elements from these works and interpreted them in my vision.” She retains the flat imagery, the composition, typically set against a natural backdrop, as well as the style of figuration.But her works are larger than the traditional miniatures and vary in the use of colour. Ritu employs bold, vibrant, sometimes unusual (for miniatures) colours both in her backgrounds as well as in her figures, using shades of red, cobalt or inky blue, mustard yellow or beige along with shades of pistachio or lime green.
“But I have played around in the way I depict the various elements, for instance I have played around with the composition of the trees and flowers. The idea behind my works is to merge traditional art with contemporary art, I want to popularise traditional art because it is dying.” Ritu’s imagery, is both similar to and different from the traditional miniatures but she retains the intricacy, delicacy and vibrancy that characterises the art form.
“Radha Raman” will be on view until October 26 at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Kumara Krupa Road. For details, contact 09415067901.
(Report by Harshini Vakkalanka for The Hindu)