Friday, January 31, 2014

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2014, Living Walls Book release and more..


Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2014

This year February 1st to 9th will herald the vibrancy, drama, excitement and the beautiful colours of culture. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, the annual event of art and culture will take place at several venues.  The festival is an invitation to the art lovers to experience a kaleidoscope of music, dance, theatre, literature, street stalls, films, workshops for adults and children, visual arts and heritage walks. Nine joyful days to refresh the mind, inspire the senses and more.

The KGAF is in its 16th year and this year it moves all over the art district, from Rampart Row to Horniman Circle for Theatre,  David Sassoon Library for Literature, Tarq for Literature, Kitab Khana for Children’s Literature, Arbour for Literature, the garden of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya for Children’s Workshops, Asiatic Library steps for Music Concerts, Coomaraswamy Hall for Cinema, National Gallery of Modern Art for theatre and children’s workshops, Max Mueller Bhavan for Theatre and Cinema,  BNHS for Cinema and Gallery Beyond for cinema.

Art Entrance, Artists’ Centre, Hacienda Gallery ICIA, Coomaraswamy Hall, Rampart Galleries, Traffic Island, CSMVS garden, Delhi Art Gallery, gallery 7 for Visual arts, Westside for food workshops, Artist’s centre, Artisans Gallery and Gallery ICIAA for workshops, Cross Maidan for dance and music. Visitor’s Centre ( CSMVS), Rampart Row galleries for Urban Design and Architecture walks.
Space Within Space 2014

Maya Art Space, Kolkata presents a show titled 'Space within Space 2014', the first annual show of paintings and sculptures by 25 eminent artists to celebrate completion of the first year of the art space.

Participating artists are Aditya Basak, Arindam Chatterjee, Atanu Bhattacharya, Atin Basak, Bimal Kundu, Debasish Biswas, Ganesh Haloi, Jogen Chowdhury, Manoj Dutta, Niranjan Pradhan, Partha Dasgupta, Partha Pratim Deb, Pradip Saha, Prasenjit Sengupta, Samir Aich, Sanatan Dinda, Sandip Roy, Sayak Mitra, Sourav Jana, Subhaprasanna, Subrata Chowdhury, Tapas Biswas.

The show is on view till 9th February 2014.

His Story of History
( work by Hindol Brahmbhatt)
Sarjan Art Gallery, Vadodara, presents a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Hindol Brahmbhatt. The show has imagery which deals with icons of society who have influenced the transformation of the world. Hindol’s works document historical realities in contemporary contexts. 
Employing a palette which is subdued and sepia toned, Hindol puts forth serious issues plaguing the society today in his exquisite art works which are relaitic and painterly all at once. There is a sensitivity and an almost human vulnerability to his works accentuating the effects of history.

The show was inaugurated by Jeram Patel and is on view till 5th February 2014.

‘Living Walls’ Release
( Living Walls: Where gallery walls become artist's canvas)

Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi will launch the publication titled ‘Living Walls: where gallery walls become artist’s canvas’ as a part of the India Art Fair 2014. There will be a special meet the artists session featuring, Krishen Khanna, Sakti Burman, Manu Parekh, Anjolie Ela Menon, Jogen Chowdhury, Madhvi Parekh, Paresh Maity, B.Manjunath Kamath, Jayasri Burman, Jagannath Panda, Mithu Sen, Chintan Upadhyay, G R Iranna, Gigi Scaria, Subba Ghosh, Sumedh Rajendran, Sharmi Chowdhury and Ram Singh Urveti. 

The publication will be released at the Art Alive Gallery's Booth F13 on Saturday 1st February between 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Listen to Cassandra

An insight into the making of Nalini Malani

(Artist Nalini Malani)
There are artists who make and break records and then there are those who silently raising the bar. Nalini Malani belongs to the latter category. One of the most significant names in new media art, Nalini Malani is gracing the Delhi art scene after a long time. Busy showing worldwide — last September, the Mumbai-based artist opened three shows — Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, Centre de la Gravure, La Louviere, Belgium and Galerie Lelong in New York. Three continents within a month. With a retrospective at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), Saket, “You Can’t Keep Acid in a Paper Bag” (designed to take place in three parts spread through the year), a solo exhibition “Cassandra’s Gift” at Vadehra Art Gallery, a solo booth by Galerie Lelong at the IAF, we are having a Nalini Malani splash.
Edited excerpts from a chat with the artist:
There is no right time to have a retrospective
Time just presents itself. When a certain body of work has been done. When you feel you can go anytime soon. So let’s just enjoy the retrospective. I feel very bad for some of my colleagues. Somebody like Tyeb (Mehta), who would have loved to see his retrospective. For me, it is possible to have a retrospective because of a space like KNMA.
Yes, NGMA is hosting a retrospective but what are they starting with…The big boys! Zarina (Zarina Hashmi) had a show at Guggenheim. Why couldn’t they have her show? She is showing at (Gallery) Espace but I am saying why not the museum. Espace is a gallery show. It’s so tragic. I have so often been to China. They are opening 200 museums.
Choosing the new media and its challenges
I have always been interested in the filmic concept. There was huge resistance from senior male artists. The pioneers in the field — Navjot Altaf, Rummana Hussain to an extent, Pushpamala didn’t do video then but she started later on, and I. But our concerns were different. We wanted to reach a wider public and we were also afraid that if we don’t start to speak out loudly in the public then orthodoxy would reign. It would be the woman who would have to wear the accoutrements of that orthodoxy. We were helped out a lot by NGOs like Majlis. I didn’t have the camera. I didn’t have the money to ask a cameraperson to shoot it for me. So how to do it with poverty of means? People like Madhushree Dutta, Anand Patwardhan, documentary filmmakers, they were so kind and generous. They lent us footage.
I also did something called “Photograms” which are on display at KNMA. It is cameraless photography. I didn’t have a camera, so I would make my own object under the enlarger and create an image on photography paper without any negative.
Partition remains a concern
I was born in 1946, a year before India gained independence. My parents were victims. It was the best of times and the worst of times. For them, the tragedy was leaving their homeland. They were zamindars. That was a big wrench for my grandfather. The government offered him land in lieu of the land he left behind but it was in the place where he didn’t know the language, the people. He felt alienated. The atmosphere has for me been from where they came from — Hyderabad, Sindh, Karachi. It was almost as if they were in exile. Neither of my parents is Hindu. My mother is a Sikh and my father is a theosophist — believers in Annie Besant. Annie Besant brought up J. Krishnamurti. He broke away from the Theosophical movement saying that I have other ideas. And he had great ideas on education. I continued with my idealism of a new India through the concepts he proposed.
All encompassing environment at Bhulabhai
I knew Vasudeo Gaitonde very well…We all had our studios in Bhulabhai (Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai). There was Tyeb, Gaitonde, M.F. Husain, Bal Chhabra. It was a beautiful bungalow, a multi-disciplinary space. There was a theatre unit started by E. Alkazi. On the lawns of Bhulabhai, he made the first Husain installation under a shamiana. He did Chekhov’s plays there. Then there was Satyadev Dubey, who started the Hindi wing of the theatre unit after Alkazi left. He would practice on the terrace, above my studio. To publicise his plays, I would make posters and draw on postcards and then send them out to people.
My studio is a chamber of thought. I work every day for eight hours. For me it’s riyaaz, importance of which I learnt again from the musicians at Bhulabhai.
First major video installation “Toba Tek Singh”
In 1998, When India tested its nuclear device in Pokhran, there was so much jubilation as if now they have the weapon to eliminate their enemies. And then Pakistan tested its weapon. Somebody came out with statistics that time. If one missile is thrown from Karachi to Bombay, how many people will die and maximum number in so-and-so radius will be children under 15. We became like murderers of children. Is that we want? So I made this work “Toba Tek Singh”.
We showed it at the Coomaraswamy Hall in Prince of Wales Museum and we had 25,000 people. People got drawn to the sound and the moving image. People in India understand the moving image so well.
A work from her "Cassandra's Gift" series.)
The landmark shadow play “Medeamaterial” (1993)
I always wanted to do theatre but I am not a theatre director. With Alaknanda Samarth, we decided we would do a traditional jugalbandi. That was a good experience. In the work based on Heiner Muller’s “Medeamaterial”— a modern version of the Greek myth Medea — theatre, literature, everything came together in this immersive environment. I painted huge walls in the space, in Max Mueller in Bombay. The play began on the street. I had motorcycles going round and round the people in black clothes and helmets as if they were the kamikaze. And then the actress beckons the audience. She performs the first part against these painted walls. The play will be showcased in the second chapter of my retrospective at KNMA.
Medea to Cassandra – Greek myths a great pull
At the India Art Fair, my work “Sita Medea” is being shown by the Volte Gallery after ages and ages. There are certain works which become markers. I just kept it in my studio so that I can look at it again and again. It is that important. What does an art work do? You yourself are trying to find your way through a maze of questions and answers and you take the help of people around you like Veena Das or Mahashweta Devi, Gayatri Spivak, who facilitate certain kind of thoughts. So when I put that stroke down, I have memories of what all I have read and the stress of that recall makes my first thought and that thought makes my drawing.
On being a feminist artist and “Through The Looking Glass” an all woman’s show
The moment society labels you, it puts you in a box. I am a woman so I only work from the point of view of a woman. Do you ever ask a man what point of view he works from? I would love to hear a male artist to say that I am a feminist and I work from the point of view of a woman. I haven’t heard it so far. So far we haven’t heard women’s problems being discussed as our problems. I had a senior artist when I was doing Medea tell me “Beta what all are you doing? Get married.” I made a list of 50 women artists and sent a postcard to Arpita (Arpita Singh). She replied saying that we will have four artists — Nilima Sheikh, Madhvi Parekh, Arpita and I. We started from J. Swaminathan’s Rupankar Museum of Fine Art (Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal) in 1987. It went on till 1989 in five different states.
( Report and Photos by Shailaja Tripathi for The Hindu)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Through the Looking Glass, Remembrances of Voices Past..and more..


Remembrances of Voices Past

Threshold Art Gallery, New Delhi and National Gallery of Modern Art, (NGMA), presents a solo show of eminent artist V Ramesh.  The show titled, ‘Remembrances of Voices Past’ will display a special selection of works done by the artist in the decade, from 2003 to 2013.

The show commences on 5th February and will be on view till 25th March 2014 at National Gallery Of Modern Art, Bangalore.

Through The Looking Glass

( Work by Devdatta Padekar)
Kynkyny Art Gallery, Bangalore presents a solo exhibition which features the artworks of Mumbai based artist Devdatta Padekar.   The show is titled, ‘ Through the Looking Glass’.

The subject of Padekar’s paintings is part of a surreal fairy tale that depicts curiosity and innocence.  The paintings are an ode to the fragile connection between the human and natural world in the ecologically challenging times.

The show is on view till 18th February 2014.
Palette Art at IAF 2014

( Work by George Martin PJ on display)
Palette Art Gallery presents a group of artists works at the India Art Fair -2014. The sixth edition of the IAF will see the gallery display art works by leading contemporary artists of today, in the form of installation works and more. 

Some of the works of artists Aishwarya Sultania, Gurusidappa, Anupam Sud, Sonia Mehra Chawla. George Martin PJ and Pooja Iranna among several others will have their works on show at Booth No A -06.

The India Art Fair previews on 30th January and is on view for public from 31st January to 2nd February 2014 at the NSIC Exhibition grounds, New Delhi.

An exploration of the contemporary
(  Work by Chandra Bhattacharya)
Sanchit Art, New Delhi presents a group exhibition of the latest works by prominent artists such as Neeraj Goswami, Paresh Maity, Jayasri Burman, Satish Gujral, Ram Kumar, Shanti Dave, Jogen Chowdhury, Lalu Parasad Shaw, Manoj Dutta, Paritosh Sen, Sunil Kumar Das, K. Laxma Goud, Asim Basu, Chandra Bhattacharya, P. Gopinath, Kanchan Das Gupta, Jaya Ganguly, Sakti Burman, Himmat Shah and Kishor Shinde.

With this collection, Sanchit Art brings together the artists who explore deviating paths of life through their exquisite creations and encompass visual arts such as painting and sculpture in their contemporary forms.

The show is on view till 28th February 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

All eyes on art
Art Chennai returns for its third edition with auctions, installations and photofests on environment and heritage
(Celebrating Colour: : Pradipta K Mohapatra, Past Chairman and CII, Southern Region and Chairman and Co-founder at Coaching Foundation India (CFI). Karl Pechatscheck, Director, Goethe Institute, actor Gouthami, Sanjay Tulsyan, convenor, Art Chennai, and Vivek Harinarain, President, Rotary Club of Madras, at the press briefing to announce the 3rd Edition of Art Chennai, South India's Premier Contemporary Art Festival, at a function, in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: R. Ravindran)
The third edition of Art Chennai promises to be bigger than before, with over 75 artists and 35 events spread over nine days. The festival will have exhibitions, workshops, installations, conferences and public art. Art Chennai 2014 is in collaboration with Stella Maris College and IIT, Madras and will focus on environment, conservation and heritage this year.
“The growth of a society is reflected by the growth of art. This year, we will have the first ever photo fest, an auction, large installations at multiple public locales in order to target a large and diverse audience. That makes this festival the only exclusive and inclusive art fest,” said Sanjay Tulsyan, convener, Art Chennai, at a press conference about the event.
Girish Shahane, the art director pointed out the highlights of the show and said, “This year it is about history and environment. It’s not just built heritage but everything connected with the history of the city — cultural, economic and so on. And this in a city known for its tradition and culture. Since performance art is also an important form of art we will have many events focussing on that as well.”
Some of the highlights of the festival, which will take place between February 8 to February 16, are:
February 8
The Trees and The Skies, which will be a collaborative project between three artists, students from Stella Maris college and artists from Ability Foundation. This project will go on till February 16 at Stella Maris College.
Auction Preview of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art will take place at Hyatt Regency between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The proceeds from the sale will go to charities supported by the Rotary Club of Madras.
February 9
Raghu Rai’s India, a photo exhibition will be held at Gallery Veda on OMR. This will be on for three months.
At 12 p.m., Couriouser and Couriouser by The Karuppu Art Collective will take place at the Cholamandal Artist’s Village. The registration for the auction begins at 6.30 p.m. and the auction begins at 7.30 p.m. at Hyatt Regency.
Febuary 10
Reflections on Grace: International Photo Fest, in collaboration with Delhi Photo Festival 2013 will be on till February 23 at IIT, Madras
Parvathi Nayar’s show ‘The Ambiguity of Landscapes’ is on till March 12 at Gallery Veda.
February 11
Signals. Signposts. Voyages 4 from the Madras Movement. Artists Nandagopal, Muralidharan, C. Douglas and Palaniappan will participate in this event. It will be on till February 28 at Sarala’s Art Centre.
February 12
Vintage Vignettes, a retrospective exhibition on Chennai curated by Girish Shaane, will be on at Marina Beach till February 16.
February 13
Installation – Shop Lifting by Mithu Sen at Express Avenue. This will be on till February 26.
Bright Noise is curated by Girish Shahane. Participating artists are Anita Dubem, Asim Waqif, Charmi Gada Shah, Jitish Kallat, Madhuban Mitra, Manas Bhattacharya, Manish Nai, Nandan Ghiya, Navin Thomas, Prajakta Potnis, Rashid Rana, Rohini Devasher, Sahej Rahal, Vibha Galhotra and Vivan Sundaram. This will be on till March 8 at Lalit Kala Akademi.
February 14
Art Assemblage, an exhibition of visiting galleries by Akar Prakar, Ashvita, Exhibit 320, Gallery Art and Soul, Gallery Open Eyed Dreams, The Guild, Project 88 and Galerie 88.
February 15
Deep (skin) Skin Deep: A proposition in Art, Textiles and Fashion curated by Mayank Mansingh Kaul and Bootlegger’s Addendum by Sahej Rahal at Park Hyatt from 5.30 p.m. onwards.

(Report by Anusha Parthasarathy for The Hindu)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

EDITORIAL - Kiran Nadar Museum and the Charity Hating Art Lovers

Kiran Nadar Museum and the Charity Hating Art Lovers
( Ms. Kiran Nadar)
Ms.Kiran Nadar, the Director of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi sent out an email appeal to the art lovers in Delhi. The mail says that Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), Noida has a put up a very interesting show of modern masters culled from the collection of the museum. But none in the art scene in Delhi seems to be interested. Her appeal is that the art lovers should take interest to travel to Noida and see the exhibition. Though she does not say it, what we understand from the mail is that if none goes there it would be detrimental to the general health of our art scene. In fact, I appreciate this mail because for the first time, a director of the museum comes several rungs down from her high position (of being the owner of the museum as well as the director of it) and makes an appeal to the people. But I do not fail to see the catch; there is a veiled threat in the message. If you are not interested, then why I should run a museum at all! Interesting thing is that KNMA’s Saket wing is well attended and people take interest to go there whenever there is a show or a seminar. The appeal of Ms. Kiran Nadar brings out one of the pertinent issues of our culture; the location of a museum.
Museums are the repositories of cultural artifacts that have/had once made our cultural lives vibrant and engaged. When they transcend their immediate use value and attain a spiritual value, it is said, they reach a museum. If we go by the etymology of the word museum, it is derived from mausoleum where the dead are buried. That’s why noted cultural theorists like Douglas Crimp say that after travelling through different layers of economic activities, a work of art achieves a zero value (beyond all monetary values) and settles itself in a museum. Therefore, a work of art in a museum, in an ideal sense is a dead object which is economically irrelevant and culturally relevant. But from outside a dead body also could generate certain extrinsic economic activities as in the case of the remnants of saints, martyrs and leaders in mausoleums. When people go there to see these physical residues of saints and great people, an economic activity is generated around it. The Monalisa cannot be bought or sold anymore. But people go to Louvre Museum in Paris just to see that three by four size work of art. If so, where should be the location of a museum?
( Kiran Nadar Museum of Art)
People travel all the way to pilgrim centres to catch a glimpse of the mortal remains of a saint. But people do not go all the way to see a work of art housed in a building. If a museum is right in the middle of some other touristic attractions, then definitely in their itinerary they will include visiting the museum. In India’s case, people are just averse of museums. An average museum goer appears to be a bored person and he/she visits that place only because the travel guide has forced them to do so. But some people religiously visit museums and galleries but they are always insiders of the cultural scene. We have to ask why KNMA’s Saket premises are popular amongst the art lovers. They go to Saket, visit the museum, have a bite from one of the restaurants, do some shopping, just hang out, watch a movie, share some happy moments and just feel good about it. Across the road they have KHOJ that too offers food for cultural thoughts. It comes as a natural package. None forces anyone to see a work of art in the museum. But once you are there you have a lot to see and enjoy both inside and outside the museum. This cannot be the same case with Noida.
By the end of 1990s, KHOJ started its operations from the distant Modi Nagar in UP. By the end of the international workshop there, the organizers used to provide a bus from Mandi House to Modi Nagar. It was a day excursion for all of us; both the haves and have nots of the art scene. In fact in those days, everyone was more or less have nots. None had mobile phones and cars. Those who had it never ventured out for a long drive on a Sunday morning. Right from the established to the novice, the achiever to the struggler, the Padma Award winner to the insignificant used to come to Mandi House and catch the bus to Modi Nagar. Today KNMA too offers the same facility for its Noida shows. But none cares, why? Today, it is a changed world. Our mobility has increased, our engagements have increased, our communication facilities have increased and taking out time for going to another city to show, herded in a bus is not at all palatable, even if there is cocktails and dinner waiting for you. The immediate surroundings have more to offer. Also the idea of sending a bus and carting the people out there to the location has got something to do with charity and bonded labour. People no longer like it. Ms.Kiran Nadar, please understand this. KNMA’s Noida wing will become an important destination only when people have more to see and spend there in and around, other than art. Is Noida prepared?
( Ms. Kiran Nadar )
Years ago, Apeejay Art Centre at Badarpur Border was a destination for many people. Badarpur borders between Delhi and Haryana. Decent people never used to look at this side in those days. Borders are nowhere zones with less of cultural presence and these places are more about human struggle and survival, crimes and cheap passions. Who wants high art there? But people used to come and complain. But they used to come because still it was within the city limits. Today, had Apeejay been on, it would have been one of the biggest art haunts because the Badarpur Metro station just sits over the Apeejay Media centre. But development and planning have taken the toll on it and it looks more or less shut down with outer contours mauled by bulldozers. What about Devi Art Foundation in Gurgaon? There used to be a time people loved to go there. But the owner of the foundation switched gears. It became obsolete. When a museum gives way to experimental shit (rather shitty experiments) mind you, it is on its way to shut down. Despite metro connectivity Devi Art Foundation is no longer an interesting haunt of many. Irony is it was a pilgrimage centre for city’s cultureratti and glitterati and chatteratti and freeloaderatti. It has a designer building with a rusty look. Now, its reputation lives up to its designer facade.
Hence, my request to Ms.Kiran Nadar is this: Take a deep breath look at it. Breath out and look at it. Tell yourself that you are breathing in and breathing out. Nothing spiritual about it. It helps you to calm down and see the art people as just normal people with normal habits. They want, like any other middle class, more fun. Is Noida museum ready to give it? Just dinner and cutting edge or master shows will not do. It needs more planning. People need to think that it belongs to them. How could the multi billion empire be of the people, you may ask? But it has to belong to the people. Charity, even if it is cultural, is horrible; it demeans both the giver and taker as the lending does. But we need philanthropic people as we have not yet done away with poverty and lack. But philanthropy should be done in a Christian way; what right hand gives should not be known to the left hand. The mail of Ms.Kiran Nadar is well meaning. But its cultural meaning is disappointing. 
PS: I, like many in the city, received a bunch of invitation cards from KNMA. Three shows in a row and all three are curated by one single person. I am sure you guys are on the way to the Guinness Book of World Records. 


Shrine at IAF 2014

Shrine Empire Gallery, New Delhi as part of the India Art Fair 2014, presents the exquisite art works of a group of artists.  The gallery will showcase their works at Booth D3 and the artists whose works are on display are Anoli Perera, Fariba S Alam, Priyanka Dasgupta, Samanta Batra Mehta and Suchitra Gaholt.

The works are on view from 30th January to 2nd February 2014 at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds, New Delhi.

Ambiguity in Landscapes
( Work by Parvathi Nayar)
Gallery Veda, Chennai will be showcasing the works of eminent artist Parvathi Nayar under the title- Ambiguity of Landscapes. This is a solo show of the latest works of the artist. 
Her art practices are centered on painting and drawing and conceptually they are rooted in ideas of narrative, at ways of looking and the privileging of sight. She explores the ideas of the daily narrative of our lives in this world through fragmentary, familiar and unfamiliar perspectives. All her works provide an obsessive attention to technique in the eventual resolution so that the subject is both the content and manner in which it is portrayed.
The exhibition will be on view from 10th February to 12th March 2014.

The Interior from Iran

( work on display)
Goethe Institute , Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai, presents a show of some exquisite photography works. The show is titled, ‘ the Interior: A Special Issue on Iran’ and displays some stunning still photographic works by 14 Iranian photographers, working in and outside Iran.

The Interior: a Special Issue on Iran will be on view till 18th February 2014.

Every Broken Moment, Piece by Piece

( Work by Sudarshan Shetty)
GallerySke, New Delhi presents ‘Every Broken Moment, Piece by Piece’, an exclusive art exhibition by Sudarshan Shetty. Sudarshan’s art works are based on varied subjects like mortality, sense of loss and broken structures. Creating familiar objects using diversified materials like recycled wood and ceramic, the display includes large-scale wooden sculptures, mixed-media pieces and a video.

Known for his large-sculptural installations and multi-media artworks, the artist is returning back to the capital after ten years with his recent exhibition. The works by the artist are all unique and never same. The video on display has been titled as ‘Waiting for others to arrive’. Divided into three different shots, the video presents the same scene in three different frames shot from the same camera angel. The video provides a sense of past, present and future within the same space with objects fading in and out.

The show is on view till 2nd March 2014.

( News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)

( All images sourced from Google for illustrative purposes only)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

India Art Fair 2014, Manifestations X and more..


India Art Fair 2014

India Art Fair held in New Delhi, is South Asia’s leading art fair for modern and contemporary art from across the world. The 6th edition of the fair is poised to take forward its activities with renewed impetus to excellence and impact. Spread over four days from 30 January (Preview Day) – 2 February 2014, its endeavor is to present a diverse selection of galleries, influential voices and cater to a wide-ranging audience of art enthusiasts from around the world. 
YES BANK for the second consecutive year is Presenting Partner at the 6th edition of India Art Fair 2014. 

The India Art Fair continues to be one of the world’s most attended events of its kind, attracting over 300,000 people since its inception. This includes key collectors and museums from several Asian countries, USA, Latin America, Australia, China, Russia, Greece, France, Germany, Argentina, Hungary, Africa, Latvia, France, Portugal, Spain, China, Singapore, Israel, Italy, Bangladesh and Austria amongst others.

The India Art Fair 2014 is open to public from 31st January to 2nd February 2014 at NSIC exhibition grounds.

Fictitious Realities - I

The Viewing Room, Mumbai presents the works of Simrin Mehra Agarwal as a part of the ongoing ‘They are Us-An emphatic response’ show. The series titled ‘Fictitious Realities - I’ displays 29 portrayals of characters carefully mapped out of 29 novels and books. Each character has been painted upon book covers to illustrate the important role it plays in the plot and other characters in the story. These characters have also been picked out on the basis of the effect on the artist. 

What gets portrayed is an amalgamation of the artist’s imagination, the books and film influences from childhood to now creating a painterly essence to the visual. The multipanel work is a library of emotions. 

The work is on display till 8th February 2014.

Manifestations X

The 10th edition of Delhi Art Gallery’s biannual series, ‘Manifestations - X’, showcases works of 75 of the most noted modern Indian artists. These artworks are grouped under genres that span from figurative to mythology to landscapes and so on. Manifestations X features works by four out of the six founding members of the Progressive Artist’s Group and thus showcases significant works by M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza and S.K. Bakre, alongside these are the three Tagores- Abanindranath, Rabindranath and Gaganendranth. However the highlight of this series remains a set of 92 works by Indra Dugar where each work is a study of a woman or women wearing traditional Rajasthani clothes. Also included is a set of ten anonymous Kalighat Pats belonging to the late 19th century.
Artists works on show are A. A. Raiba, A. R. Chughtai, Abanindranath Tagore, Adi Davierwalla, Arpana Caur, Avinash Chandra, Benode Behari Mukherjee, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Biren De, Chittaprosad, D. P. Roy Chowdhury, Dhanraj Bhagat, Dharamanarayan Dasgupta, Early Bengal Oil, F. N. Souza, G. R. Santosh, Gaganendranath Tagore, Ganesh Haloi, Ganesh Pyne, George Keyt, Gieve Patel, Gogi Saroj Pal, Gopal Ghose, Haku Shah, Hemanta Misra, Hemen Mazumdar, Himmat Shah, Indra Dugar, J. Swaminathan, J. Sultan Ali, Jamini Roy,Jeram Patel, Jogen Chowdhury,Jyoti Bhatt,K S Radhakrishnan,K. C. S. Panicker,K. G. Subramanyan, K. K. Hebbar, K. Laxma Goud, K. S. Kulkarni, Kalighat Pat, Laxman Pai, M. F. Husain, M. V. Dhurandhar, Manu Parekh, Meera Mukherjee, N. S. Bendre, Nandalal Bose, Nikhil Biswas, P. Khemraj, P. T. Reddy, P. V. Janakiram, Paritosh Sen, Pilloo Pochkhanawala, Prosanto Roy, Rabin Mondal, Rabindranath Tagore, Raghav Kaneria, Raja Ravi Varma, Ramgopal Vijaivargiya, Ramkinkar Baij, S Dhanapal, S. H. Raza, S. K. Bakre, Satish Gujral, Shanti Dave, Shyamal Dutta Ray, Sohan Qadri, Somnath Hore, Sunayani Devi, Sunil Das, Sunil Madhav Sen, Thota Vaikuntam, Vishwanath Nageshkar.
The show is on view from 25th January to 25th February 2014.
Celebration 2014

Kumar Gallery, New Delhi. presents a show of a group of artists from modern masters to contemporary artists of today. The show is titled, ‘Celebration 2014’. 

The show displays paintings by 26 modern masters and contemporary artists’ works. The show includes works by well known names like F N Souza, Gopal Ghose, K S Kulkarni, Ramu Das, Shampa Sircar Das among others.

The show is on view from 29th January to 15th February 2014.

( News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Space for Creativity
Participants tried their hand at pottery and got to witness works of Aarti Vir, Priyanka Aelay and Albert Camus
(Potter Aarti Vir exhibits her work as part of Hyderabad Literary Festival 2014.)
The Hyderabad Literary Festival 2014 turned out to be a forum that engaged participants beyond books and discourses. Kalakriti Art Gallery witnessed three exhibitions at a go — potter Aarti Vir’s works, Priyanka Aelay’s pen and ink drawings on paper and Albert Camus’s interactive exhibition.
(A participant tries his hand at clay modelling during the pottery workshop conducted by Aarti Vir as part of Hyderabad Literary Festival 2014.)
Outside the gallery, a bunch of children and young adults put their creative skills to test learning to mould clay under the watchful eye of Aarti Vir. Clay became a tool of fun in the hands of children as they moulded it into angry birds, a hulk-like human reading a paper and a few took the opportunity to bring in thoughts on ecological conservation and living in a beautiful world. The adults, meanwhile, tried sculpting human faces with minute details, large butterflies and even a game of Sudoku. The idea behind the workshop was to let participants have fun. School student Harem B contemplated replacing a small sheet of paper with a newspaper in the hands of the hulk-like human he had modelled even as his mother felt he would end up breaking the arms of the model. Witnessing the fun the children were having, Aarti simply shrugged and smiled.
(Potter Aarti Vir exhibits her work as part of Hyderabad Literary Festival 2014.)
Elsewhere, inside the gallery, Aarti’s works transcended the realm of functional pottery and showed her artistic prowess. She juxtaposed Leonard Cohen’s lines, ‘There’s a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how light comes in,’ to compliment her series ‘fences and borders’. As Aarti puts it, her pottery has changed in response to the world around her, addressing both external and internal concerns. A series titled ‘secure, insecure’ attempts to address the conflict between the securities and insecurities we experience in our own homes.
Pen and ink
(A pen and ink drawing by Priyanka Aelay)
Priyanka Aelay’s exhibition has pen-and-ink drawings on paper. Simple lines reflect her perception of issues faced by women, as addressed by authors Susie Tharu and K. Lalita. Priyanka’s drawings are part of the new Telugu edition of ‘Women writing in India’ by the two authors. The original book in English is now widely read across universities.
Scan and see
(Works of Albert Camus on display at Kalakriti as part of Hyderabad Literary Festival 2014.)
Albert Camus’s interactive exhibition comes to India for the first time. At first glance, you might overlook the display as mere posters. But keep your 3G-enabled mobile phone or tablet handy to view this exhibition. Once a viewer downloads the Alliance Francais’ Albert Camus app, the user will be able to access the contents pertaining to the Nobel Prize winning author. A user can select the language and go through the tutorial on how to scan the QR codes and explore text, video, images and sounds that appear on screen. The content is divided into five time periods and the entire viewing will take between 60 and 90 minutes.
The exhibition will continue till February 8th 2014 at Kalakriti Art Gallery.

(Report and Photos by Sangeetha Devi Dundoo for The Hindu)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Penetralia, Ode to the Monumental and more..


Flute of the Maverick

Daira Centre for Arts and Culture, Hyderabad presents an exhibition of paintings and a recorder performance. The image of the flute has worked as an integral visual in Indian art. The miniaturists thrived, portraying protagonists playing the reed. And, who can dismiss the charming posture of Lord Krishna playing the flute. Part of a rich cultural heritage of the Indian ethos the contemporary Indian artists have equally been inspired by the imagery of the flute and incorporated it in their respective works. Many Indian artists and artisans have incorporated this imagery in lyrical formats to evoke romance and free-spiritedness while others used it as a tale spinner to create drama. And on the other hand the flute is applied purely to enliven Indian mythology as the Indian artists/mavericks reinvent or contemporized the traditional formats. The Sloka students’ recorder performance is not just a reflection of the Waldorf education but also pays a tribute to the spirit of music.

The show is on till 31st January 2014.

These Flowers Will Never Die

( Work by Gregor Hildebrandt)
Galerie Isa, Mumbai presents a solo show titled, ‘These Flowers Will Never Die’ by eminent artist Gregor Hildebrandt’s (1974, Bad Homburg, Germany). This is his first solo exhibition in India. 

Hildebrandt's works usually derive their titles from a fragment of text. In this instance a line from the song “Blood flowers” by the British punk band: “The Cure” also provides the title for the show. The track is divided into two parts that reveal two halves of a relationship and different angles. The one takes a light, positive perspective and the other is darkly pessimistic and depressing.

The show is on view from 5th February to 26th April 2014.

(Work by Neeraj Goswami)
Sanchit Art presents a solo show of renowned artist Neeraj Goswami at the prestigious Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. The show will be held at the Auditorium gallery.

Neeraj Goswami an artist, for whom painting is a form of self-expression, is exhibiting his works in Mumbai after a gap of 7 years. Aptly called “Penetralia”, the show showcases the artist innermost thoughts on canvas in myriad hues and vibrant colours.

The show is on view from 6th February to 11th February 2014.

Ode To The Monumental

( work on display)
Saffronart presents a show which is a tribute to the contemporary artists who shaped the  art world in India. Titled, ‘Ode To The Monumental - Celebration: Visuality: Ideology’ The show to be held at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and will also include a book launch along with works on display.

The show has a sprinkling of yesteryear masters along with today’s contemporary artists making this an eclectic mix of works. The participating artists are Ram Kumar, KG Subramanyan, Kishen Khanna, Satish Gujral, Jogen Chowdhury, Manu Parekh, K Laxma Goud, Madhvi Parekh, Thota Vaikuntam, Ranbir Kaleka, Baiju Parthan, Sujata Bajaj, Nataraj Sharma, Kishor Shinde,  Manisha Parekh, Ompal Sansanwal, Sachin Karne, Anandjit Ray, Pooja Iranna, Sudhanshu Sutar, G R Iranna, Dhananjay Singh, Jagannath Panda, Phaneendra Nath Chaturvedi.

The show previews on 28th January 2014 at 7:00 to 10:00pm. The show is on view till 4th February 2014.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Shadow and silhouette
On show The Madras Museum has a leather puppet, sourced from Mysore in 1960, as the ‘Special Display of the Fortnight.’
(A leather puppet sourced from Mysore in 2960 is on display at the Govt. Museum. Photo: R. Ragu)
Leather puppet theatre was, and continues to be (though much less now than in the past), a beloved part of South India’s rural culture and entertainment. History tells us that leather puppetry was brought to Tanjore by the Maratha rulers from where it spread to other parts of the South.
The puppet theatre of Andhra’s ‘Bombalatta’, Kerala’s ‘Poovaikuthu’ and Karnataka’s ‘Togalu Gombeyatta’ are all part of the shadow puppet theatre tradition. This involves deft manipulation of the the puppets by hand from behind a white sheet lit up by the globe of strategically placed lanterns, thereby throwing magical shadows of puppets enacting the story. An open air arena with stars as canopy, stark white stretched cloth as screen, an evocative story telling tradition based on the epics and local lore, throbbing music, participative audience- and the beautiful puppets make shadow puppetry a total cultural experience.
The puppets, which range from 1-3 feet in size, are made out of translucent goat skin or parchment paper by paramparik craftspersons. Each puppet is inserted between two bamboo splits for stiffness and movement. The figures are punched and cut in silhouette and attached to slender stems. The head, arms, legs and elbows are separately made and joined, making them mobile. And the shadow shows are full of movement of the puppets throughout such as walking, fighting, dancing and embracing.
The puppetry artisan is conceptualiser, painter and sculptor. After fashioning the figures and its many parts, he paints the puppets on both sides with vegetable dyes. The puppets’ faces have expressions that befit their characters. And they are dressed in beautifully detailed costumes and jewellery. Perforations add to the magic of the moving shadowy images. The rapt audience is vociferous in applauding the good characters and booing the baddies.
The unfolding of the Ramayana and Mahabharata evokes great enthusiasm and outbursts of emotions. Besides the main characters of the story, the shadow plays also have clowns and jokers who provide comic relief as in the Shakespearean plays. These are called ‘Vidhusakhas and Vidhusakhis’.
The Madras Museum has on display the leather puppet figure of a Vidhusakhi as a ‘Special display of the fortnight’. It is a lovely, well-crafted piece painted in red and black with charming hair ornaments, jewellery and wrapped in a sari, which seems to have ikat-like pattern with distinctly modern border made out of cut-outs in the figure.
The three feet tall lady is elegant and wraps the pallu around her waist matching it with a surprisingly modern blouse. The Vidhusakhi is graceful and stands with a proud stance, seemingly all-too-aware of the exquisite jewellery in her hair, around her neck and in the long plait into which her hair is arranged! Her face is exceptionally beautiful and she has striking eyes.
This puppet was sourced by the Museum’s archaeological section from Mysore around 1960 but definitely belongs to a much earlier era.
The Special Exhibit of the Fortnight will be on view at the Madras Museum, Pantheon Road, Egmore, till January 28.

(Report by Pushpa Chari for The Hindu)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Epiphanies, Taare Zameen Par and more..


( work by Manisha Parekh on display)
The Loft and Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai present a joint solo show of artist Manisha Parekh. The show is titled, ‘Epiphanies’ and displays some recent graphite on paper works by the artist.

Manisha has held several exhibitions of her works since 1991. Parekh has exhibited extensively in India, Germany and the United Kingdom.The artist’s newest direction for her work is in graphite drawings. While taking off from her established language of bio-morphic abstraction, she introduces references to both landscapes and astronomical diagrams. While among the most minimal works the artist has created in years, they are perhaps the most replete with references.

The show is on view till 2nd March 2014 at Special Project Space I and II of the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum.

Taare Zameen Par
( Work by Mini Naidoo on display)

Artist’s Center, Mumbai presents a solo show by artist Mini Naidoo. The show is titled, ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and displays the exquisite hyper-realistic portraits of film stars. The works have been rendered in charcoal and the artist has tried to capture the intrinsic beauty of the stars on the silver screen of Bollywood.

This show also is a tribute to all the yesteryears actors and actresses who have lit the way to the making of this industry thrive in the country. The show previews on 27th January at 6:00 to 8:00 pm and will be on view till 30th January 2014.

Creative Hues
( Work on display)
Pearl Art Gallery, New Delhi presents a group show of eminent artists in a show titled, ‘Creative Hues’. The show displays exquisite paintings made by the group of artists. Rendered in oil and acrylic on canvas, and charcoal and pencil on paper, it is an eclectic display of works.

The participating artists are Bolgun Nagesh Goud, Laxman Aelay, Ramesh Gorjala, Sachin Jaltare, Thota Vaikuntham and Manash Jena.

The show is on view till 28th February 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


In the woods
An exhibition reflecting the depth of the jungle
(Meeta’s art practice shows a penchant for traditional methods of painting, like washes and watercolours)
At the core of the exhibition by two artists — Meeta Johar Dutta from India and Rajeshwary Priyaranjini from Bangladesh — lay nature. The duo dealt with various facets of nature in their respective paintings.
Meeta, talking about her series titled “Jungle Fables”, on at the Shanta Art Gallery, Jangpura, till January 20, said, “I used colours which are vibrant but that vibrancy is balanced by the calmness of the jungles that I bring forth.” Further explaining the work, she said, “I have painted the best of the jungles, the best of the woods. The strength we get while we are inside a jungle is also depicted in my paintings. You will see that I have tried to paint a pathway in all my paintings. If you are walking through a path in jungle with huge trees, it gives you a cool soothing feeling. By listening to the chirping of birds, the rustle of leaves, the wind blowing, the inner agitations and noises are suppressed. That’s the magic of the sounds of a jungle.” Meeta’s art practice shows a penchant for traditional methods of painting, like washes and watercolours. “I have basically used watercolours with washes in a form that it gives a printing affect, a type of mono printing. Usually, people use acrylic, charcoal or oil painting on canvas but I have used the traditional methods of paintings, i.e. paper, water and washes. The reason why I used these elements in my paintings is because the feel of the paper, the feel of the texture, and the watercolour’s shades is way better than what you get on canvases”, she explained.
From the colour palette, she chose green and blue. “I have used these colours because of their presence in nature. India has so many weathers and these colours depict the various weathers, the climatic changes along with the message of hope, peace and harmony.”

(Report by Shivani Shrivastava for The Hindu)