Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Art of Bengal, Words and Images and more..


The Art of Bengal
(Work on display)
Delhi Art Gallery, Mumbai presents its second show at its recently launched space. This time the focus is specifically on the Bengal School of Art which helped in shaping the aesthetics of Indian art scene in the pre and post independence times.
The works on display are by AP Bagchi, Abanindranath Tagore, AmalnathChakladar, Asit Halder, Asit Halder, Atul Bose, BC Law, BP Banerjee in portraiture, and in Woodcut, Benjamin Hudson, Benode Behari Mukherjee, Bijan Choudhury, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Bimal Dasgupta, Bipin Behari Goswami, Biren De, Bireswar Sen, Chintamoni Kar, Chittaprosad, D P Roy Chowdhury, Dastidar Kalikinkar Ghosh, Dharamanarayan Dasgupta, Dhiren Deb Burman, Dipen Bose. From the oil painters, Gaganendranath Tagore, Ganesh Haloi, Ganesh Pyne, Gopal Ghose, Gobardhan Ash, Gopal Sanyal, Haren  Das, Hemanta Misra, Hemen Mazumdar, Indra Dugar, Indu Rakshit, J C Gangooly, Jamini Roy, Jogen Chowdhury, K C Pyne, KG Subramanyan. Kalighat paintings by Khagen Roy, Kshitindranath Majumdar, L P Shaw, Lalit Mohan Sen, Litho Bengal, Maniklal Banerjee, Manishi Dey, Meera Mukherjee, Mukul Dey, Nandalal Bose, Nikhil Biswas, Nirode Mazumdar, Olinto Ghilardi, Paritosh Sen, Partha Pratim Deb, Prahlad Karmakar, Prodosh Das Gupta, Prokash Karmakar, Prosanto Roy, Rabin Mondal, Rabindranath Tagore, Radha Charan Bagchi, Ramendranath Chakravorty, Ramgopal Vijaivargiya, Ramkinkar Baij, Sailoz Mukherjea, Sanat Kar, Sankho Chowdhury, Sarada Charan Ukil, Satish Chandra Sinha, Shyamal Dutta Ray, Somnath Hore, Sudhir Khastgir, Suhas Roy, Sunayani Devi, Sunil Das, Sunil Madhav Sen and Surendranath Gangooly.

The show commenced on 8th January and will be on view till 15th March 2014.

Bliss of Nature
(Work on display)
Bliss Art Gallery, Pune presents a show titled, ‘Bliss of Nature’ watercolour painting exhibition by artist Shailesh Sonavne. With its gentle and subtle effect it is a perfect medium for creating paintings full of mood and atmosphere. A lot of paintings, in this show depict the scenes from Konkan, Kerala, interiors of Maharashtra and also cityscapes of Pune.

The fluidity of the paintings achieved in water colours is mesmerizing and the artist brings forth his take on an urban scape which is replete with silence unlike in reality.

The show is on view till 25th January 2014.

Words and Images
(work on display)
The Fine Art Company, Mumbai presents an art and photography exhibition. This exhibition explores the relationship between literature and art through Khushwant Singh’s autobiography titled, ‘Truth, Love and a little Malice’. 

The artists have gone beyond merely illustrating a story and have worked on establishing a unique imagery by molding and manipulating the narrative to create a synthesis of text and image. The artworks expand upon the content by drawing a theme or a particular moment from the narrative to create evocative visuals that rely on imaginative extensions and sometimes on powerful reinventions of the text. 

The participating artists are Amit Ambalal, Arpana Caur, Clare Arni, G. R. Iranna, Karam Puri, Manisha Gera Baswani, Manjunath Kamath, Manu Parekh, Masooma Sayed and Meera Devidayal.

The show is on view from 17th January  to 15th February, 2014 

When Dreams Awaken
(work on display)
India International Centre Annexe, New Delhi presents a show titled, ‘When Dreams Awaken’,  a collection of watercolor, ink, gauche, acrylic and colour pencils paintings created by artist Shantala Palat.  
The works will be displayed at the Annexe Art Gallery. This exhibition will have all the latest works by this artist and the versatile work is a visual delight.
The show is on view till 20th January 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Being Subodh
One of the most significant Indian artists on the international turf, Subodh Gupta tells, why after having wowed the world, his upcoming show at the National Gallery of Modern Art makes him feel like never before
(Subodh Gupta with his installation at NGMA, Jaipur House, New Delhi.)
When your subject is Subodh Gupta, who makes news when his work sells for an exorbitant price at an auction, or when his work goes unsold at an auction, and even when he supposedly buys a palatial house for Rs.100 crore, it makes things slightly difficult. With someone being written about all the time, the challenge is to say the unsaid.
Dubbed as India’s Damien Hirst, the story of Subodh’s rise eclipsed the story of his making, I begin by asking him that as we sit down on the lawns of National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in New Delhi, where Subodh is preparing for his upcoming show.
His gigantic steel sculpture in the backdrop glistens in the afternoon sun, as he replies, “I don’t expect people to remember those days, that’s why I don’t get affected by what is being said. You are either sleeping under a roof or you are sleeping under the sky…For me, the most important thing has been to make art and I always pray that I don’t let people down, let myself down.”
So many would tell you that he hasn’t, in the journey that at the very least can be described as incredible. From being born in a modest family in Khagaul in Bihar to becoming the rock star of India’s contemporary art world, his is an amazing story of determination and success. He remembers the non-functional library of the College of Arts and Crafts, Patna, where he studied art. “Can you imagine the library of an art college forever locked? I just felt so lost when I passed out of the college. Had there been proper infrastructure in the college, I feel I wouldn’t have had to experience the same kind of struggle. I don’t want any art student to suffer because of such things but even if one doesn’t have access to resources, a student always has the freedom to think, the freedom to create and express. I had that drive to make a good painting and this was the discovery I made. You know, to discover the drive in you is another challenge,” says Subodh, one of India’s most famous names on the international art scene today.
Having showcased across the world in significant museums and strategic art fairs, Subodh picks out his outings at the First Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale in Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (1999) and the Kwangju Biennale (2000) as turning points of his artistic career. Khoj was yet another milestone in his life. His following showcases at the Armory Show in New York, Frieze Art Fair, Art Basel, made people sit up and took notice of the ready-made objects being transformed into objects of art. The objects — buckets, tiffin boxes, cow dung — the rituals, the faces, he grew up watching in the life around him shifted to his artistic realm with as much ease. They sometimes took the shape of a dense mushrooming cloud, a skull or a giant boat filled with chairs, beds and window frames, cooking pots and pans etc.
Some of these works would be on view at “Everything is Inside” that kicks off in NGMA on January 17. “People will get a glimpse of my journey, how my relationship with these objects has changed over the years. It’s very important for me as an artist that the viewer relates to the work. Fifteen years ago, when I started using steel utensils, 80 per cent of the population was using it. If not as much but people still use it. I feel so good when somebody sees the work and says ‘arre ye to apne ghar ka chammach hai na’. I feel so thrilled when people take their pictures against the backdrop of my work,” says Subodh, revealing he has just finished eating his lunch from steel tiffin.
In the exhibition will be some smaller works as well, he informs us. “As opposed to what people feel about bigger works being more challenging, I think smaller works are more difficult. You need to be precise. They are more poetic and more interesting.”
With unlimited adulation has flowed criticism as well but Subodh has remained indifferent to it. The criticism regarding the sameness to his work or about employing several people to create his giant installations, hasn’t affected him. “Artists have been doing for 500 years ago. Michelangelo had so many people working for him. It’s an old practice. What is most important is what are you creating and are you able to express yourself because an artist doesn’t succeed without effectively expressing himself or herself through the art work.”
With just a few days to go, there is a lot of pending work at the new wing of NGMA, where Subodh will exhibit significant works from the last 20 years of his life. As Subodh gets up to leave, he claims, “Every artist dreams of having a museum show one day in his life and I am having it and this is my achievement. More so because I am showing in my country in front of my people.”
(Report by Shailaja Tripathi; Photo by Sushil Kumar Verma for The Hindu)

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