Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mumbai Modern Show, Somnath Hore Lithographs, Vibrancies of Third Eye and more..


Mumbai Modern: Progressive Artists Group
( Work by F N Souza at the show)
Delhi Art Gallery announces the opening of its Mumbai gallery with its pioneering exhibition titled, ‘Mumbai Modern: Progressive Artists Group, 1947-2013’. 

The show includes art works of six legends and  Progressive artists, F N Souza, S H Raza, M F Husain, K H Ara, H A Gade and S K Bakre, as the founding members as well as Tyeb Mehta, V S Gaitonde, Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar, Krishen Khanna, Bal Chhabda and Mohan Samant. 

Important works of all these artists have been well documented in a 503 pages book that accompanies the exhibition. The publication also includes essays by eminent scholars and a foreword by Raza. 

The show is on view till 25th December 2013.

Somnath Hore’s Lithographs
(Lithography work by Somnath Hore)
Art Heritage art Gallery, New Delhi presents the exclusive drawings, watercolors and lithographs of legendary artist Somnath Hore in a solo exhibition.  

Somnath Hore was an Indian sculptor and printmaker. His sketches, sculptures and prints were a reaction to major historical crises and events of 20th century Bengal, such as the Bengal Famine of 1943 and the Tebhaga movement.

From 1974, Hore began doing bronze sculptures. "Mother with Child", a large sculpture that paid homage to the people's struggle in Vietnam, was stolen from the Kala Bhavan soon after it was done and has never been traced since. The anguished human form has widely been reflected in Hore's figuration. The visual appeal of his work is increased by the rough surfaces, slits, holes and exposed channels.

The show is to preview on 15th November and is on view till 20th December 2013.

Rhythm Of Life
( Work on display)
Chawla Art Gallery, New Delhi presents a solo show of sculptures by sculptor, Tapas Sarkar. The show displays his sculptures mostly in small formats and is titled, ‘Rhythm of Life’.

Tapas prefers to work in the bronze medium for his sculptural practices and this show displays some of his exquisite works. From religious imagery to contemporary sculptures, the show is a healthy mix of the traditional and contemporary.

The show is on view till 30th November 2013.

Vibrancies of Third Eye
( A work by Rajpal Sharma)
D D Neroy Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of art works by artist Rajpal Sharma.
The works are rendered in watercolours and acrylic on canvas and depict the artist’s exploration of the spiritual side.

The show titled, ‘Vibrancies of Third Eye’, mostly displays works rendered in figuration and the works exude a calm and tranquil effect on the viewer. 

The show is on view till 15th November 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Malayali woman as muse
Rajiv Peethambaran’s paintings on show at Durbar Hall capture the beauty of Kerala’s woman
( Feminine Inspiration by Rajiv Peethambaran)
There is an old-Kerala charm to the gallery at Durbar Hall Art Centre. With its tall walls and wooden floors, dim lights and gentle drone from a shruti box, the setting is perfect for Rajiv Peethambaran’s art show of traditional Malayali women — ‘Keralee’. Dressed in chatta-and-mundu, or in white-and-gold saris, Rajiv’s women are often in temples or by paddy fields; one plays a sitar at a nalukettu courtyard, and another dreams into the distance from a balcony.
The Malayali woman has always been his muse, says Rajiv. He began painting while in school, at first with water colours and later with oils, mostly trying to recreate Raja Ravi Varma’s works. “His paintings were printed in magazines and newspapers, and I used to cut them out and collect them. I learnt the basics of painting from observing Ravi Varma’s work; he has always been my inspiration,” says Rajiv.
Alongside painting, Rajiv held a regular job as a web designer but quit last year, at 30, to focus on this exhibition, which is his first.
(Artist Rajiv Peethambaran)
He began work for the show last November, starting with photoshoots of models in traditional attire at places such as Hill Palace, and Cherthala, his hometown. “A friend and I styled the costumes we wanted each woman to wear, and we composed the frame well before the shoot,” says Rajiv.
Each painting takes several weeks to complete; the larger ones several months even, adds Rajiv. “I begin with a rough sketch, followed by the base colours, over which the rest is completed. It is important for me to finish the face first. I can progress to the rest of the canvas only if the beauty of the face has come out just right,” he says.
A quick glance at the photographs Rajiv has based his work on, will tell you that the final product has often deviated from the original idea, especially in the background detailing. “For example, we shot the woman at the balcony in mid afternoon, but while I was painting it, I realised the gaze in her eyes seemed like one you would see at dusk.” In another instance, a woman walking up the stairs of a pond after her bath was photographed beside a disused well with moss-laden stairs. The painting however depicts well-frequented steps with clear stones, free of weeds.
(Feminine Inspiration by Rajiv Peethambaran)
One of the most striking paintings on display is of a woman lighting lamps at a temple whose walls are lined with diyas. The sheer depth of the work is arresting. “I drew that painting several times over before I got it right,” says Rajiv. He adds that being a self-taught artist has come with its share of challenges, which hard work has helped him overcome. “Every time I open a fresh canvas, I feel like I’m starting a new experiment.”
The painting which took the longest to complete, is also the one Rajiv is most fond of at this exhibition. It depicts a woman with a basket walking away into fields, with a questioning glance shot over her shoulder at the observer. “Women working the soil is a sight I’ve grown up with in my hometown. Yet it took time to get the picture right,” says Rajiv.
In the future, he hopes to hold similar exhibitions of his work in Cherthala, Trivandrum and Kozhikode. He says his subjects will always remain Kerala’s women. “From Ravi Varma’s time, such paintings have been around. Few people do them now though, and this is where I’m most comfortable.” 
(Report by Esther Elias, photos by Thulasi Kakkat for The Hindu)

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