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)

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