Friday, February 28, 2014

Video Art at BDL Museum, Cultural Colours, Chitramela 2014 and more..


Video Art at BDL Museum
( work by Baiju Parthan)
Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai launches its new program, ‘Video Art’ at the Education centre. Curated by Gayatri Sinha, the program titled,’ Critical Collective’ showcases a series of compilations of the works of artists whose practice involves video and multi-media.

Feature addresses urbanism, societal change and the metaphors of scientific development to interrogate the impact of globalism. While the work ‘The Panic City’ by Gigi Scaria induces vertigo, the interrogation of colonial processes in Raqs Media’s 'Surface' mark the dislocations of progress. Baiju Parthan, Gigi Scaria and Sheba Chhachhi create evocations around the passage of time and the changes it effects.The viewing will run over a 12 month period in monthly editions. The first edition examines 6 artists/groups whose works explore the conflicted issue of change and urbanism. 

Starting on 1st of March 2014, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm, these editions will be screened every Saturday at the same time.

Cultural Colours
(work on display)
Vinnyasa Premier Art gallery, Chennai presents the works of artist Mohan S Jadhav, from Maharashtra. The show titled, ‘Cultural Colours’ has on display his work which includes colourful paintings of  Kathakali dancers, festivals exclusively celebrated for bullocks, and camels.

Mohan works as a freelance artist. He paints in watercolours, oils and acrylic. His paintings are basically based on rural imagery, farmers, bullock carts, fishermen, boats, pet animals, riverscapes, flowers and heritage monuments.

The show is on view from 1st March to 10th March 2014.

Chitramela 2014

Achalam Art Gallery, Chennai is having an International Art Exhibition, ‘Chitramela 2014’ at its venue for a duration of two weeks. Paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs from artists all around the world will be displayed in this exhibition. 
The exhibition aims to act as a platform for young upcoming talent and renowned masters’ works to be displayed for the benefit of art lovers and buyers and collectors alike.
The show will be on view till 9th March 2014.

The young and restless
( work on display)
La Galerie D’Expression, Chennai presents the works of artist S J Jaya Goutham.  The artist is from Chennai and at a young age of 20 has already displayed his work in most of the major galleries in the city. He is currently in his second year pursuing his Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Chitrakala College of Fine Arts at Bangalore. He has completed his technical examinations in free hand outline and model drawing.

He started his journey of art and painting in the year 2008 and has explored the heights of his imaginations. He has received awards from many notable people, couple of them being Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Mr Surjit Singh Barnala.
On display at the show are a selection if his exquisite figurative and emotional works. 
The show is on view till 28th February 2014.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Aam in Art
As politics gets messier, the common man finds a voice on the canvases of Siva Kesav Rao.
(Some of the works from Rao’s exhibition based on the issues of jal satyagraha, riots in Muzaffarnagar and blasts in Sivakasi, etc.)
All isn’t well and it clearly reflects in Siva Kesav Rao’s works on display at Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA). At times faceless, in grief, struggling to survive, in conflict with those in power, they surround the viewer in the top hall of the gallery space. The monochrome in charcoal brings out the pathos even more strongly with the density of black absorbing the onlooker totally. All 40 pieces of Rao, mostly in charcoal barring a few in dry pastels and oils, are rooted in our daily lives, and they go on to include the latest growing phenomenon of protest and agitation. Ask the Hyderabad-based artist if the movements of Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare ignited this body of work, and Rao reveals that he has remained preoccupied with socio-political subjects for a while, before street agitations became the norm.
(work from Rao’s exhibition based on the issues of jal satyagraha, riots in Muzaffarnagar and blasts in Sivakasi, etc.)
A particularly interesting work is a 30-year-old painting depicting a muscled man occupying a seat of authority. This canvas flanks a work which has Mahatma Gandhi on it, whereas on the other side of the painting of Gandhi is one depicting the current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, wearing dark black glasses and a wristwatch with no hands. The artist recollects the past through Gandhi who went on to become Father of the Nation, then casts a gaze at the present through the portrayal of the current Prime Minister, considered reticent, and then hints at the future of Indian polity through an unlikely person wielding control. “The painting became relevant today so I included it,” says Rao who also incorporated a few Gandhi works from his last year’s series on him. Rao who studied at Hyderabad College of Fine Arts and M.S. University Baroda has also mastered the craft of natural dyeing and hand block printing.
(Some of the works from Rao’s exhibition based on the issues of jal satyagraha, riots in Muzaffarnagar and blasts in Sivakasi, etc.)
“Something dreadful happens today, we talk about it and then forget it the next minute. At least these works will create a record of the happenings around us if nothing else. In any case I am not interested in drawing room art. Art should be socially provocative,” says Rao pointing at his dense works on unmanned railway tracks, child labour, corruption and communalism, etc.
(Some of the works from Rao’s exhibition based on the issues of jal satyagraha, riots in Muzaffarnagar and blasts in Sivakasi, etc.)
And nothing else except the medium of charcoal, which is difficult and not that popular, would have done justice to the subject enabling the artist to employ the chiaroscuro technique successfully, which then brings out the poignant mood portrayed. Two women crying, holding each other, mourning the loss of their beloved ones in a fireworks unit blast at Sivakasi, is one such example.
(Some of the works from Rao’s exhibition based on the issues of jal satyagraha, riots in Muzaffarnagar and blasts in Sivakasi, etc.)
But even where he leaves the company of charcoal to take to oil, Rao remains as effective. In a work on the Muzaffarnagar riots, which is from his future series, Rao says, he is trying to express more with colour and form. A sparsely populated canvas with three figures, out of which two are injured kids lying down while the third one looks away with clenched jaws, has the red on the faces and hands of the sufferers, communicating their angst. His division of canvases into triangles also adds novelty to the work. There is another set of works, again from Rao’s future series, in which he is experimenting with colour and form. These are to do with agitators and their psychology.
At Gallery 8, Lalit Kala Akademi, till March 1st, 2014.
( Report by Shailaja Tripathi for The Hindu)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Forms of Activism, Fete de la photo- Holi, and more..


Forms of Activism

SAHMAT celebrates its 25th year with a curated exhibition titled, ‘Forms of Activism’. The show explores the connections between art and activism. Aiming to address questions of constructed memory (Communal Violence – Gujarat); identity (Citizen Rights); conflict zones (Kashmir); direct improving environmental degradation (Ecology); provocative stances in relation to gender, nation and history (Mother/India/Tradition); and confrontational positions inherent within class/caste (Labour/Materiality). 

The show explores various media practices and the participating artists are, Anita Dube,  Arpana Caur, Arpita Singh, Arun Kumar H.G., Ayisha Abraham, Gauri Gill, Gigi Scaria, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Inder Salim, Jehangir Jani, Jitish Kallat,  Madhvi Parekh, Navjot Altaf, Parthiv Shah,  Prashant Panjiar, Pratul Dash,  Probir Gupta, Pushpamala N., Ram Rahman,  Ravi Agarwal, Reena Saini Kallat,  Riyas Komu, Saba Hasan, Samit Das,  Shamshad, Sharmila Samant,  Sheba Chhachhi,  Sonia Khurana, Subba Ghosh,  Sudhir Patwardhan, B.V. Suresh,  Tushar Joag,  Vasudevan Akkitham,  Vasudha Thozhur, Veer Munshi, Vibha Galhotra and  Walter D’Souza.

The show is on view till 1st March 2014 at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.

Eclectic expressions

( work on display)
Lokayata Art gallery, New Delhi presents an eclectic mix of paintings. The show displays a range of art works by a group of artists from India and the rest of the world. 
The show displays works by artists Awtans, Jitender Murhadhya, John Luis Dias, Makhan Saha, Mukta Gupta, Ramesh Rana, RK Tatawat, Swatantra, Shikha Agnihotri, and Varsha Singh. The show commences on the 28th of February 2014.

The show is on view till 6th March 2014.

Indian landscapes

(work on display)
Malaka Spice, Pune presents an exhibition of paintings by Shamim Qureshi. 
Shamim Qureshi is a senior citizen with a strong passion for art. Influenced by European water colour artists, his Indian nature studies are depicted in English colours, an edge over the common and usual Indian colour scheme. He has to his credit a range of landscapes and cityscapes in water colour, which have received wonderful response from the fraternity and art lovers.

The show is on view till 28th February 2014.

Fete de la photo - Holi

(work on display)
Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad presents a show of photography by photographer Xavier Zimbardo. Today photography is practiced in many forms, as an artistic expression, a hobby, a social activity etc. We say that it has become the most popular Art form, at a time when all the mobile phones are equipped with cameras. Everybody can be a photographer and everyone can appreciate photography.Celebrating this the photographer has brought to the fore an exquisite collection of captures about the colourful festival of Holi.

The show is on from 7th March to 18th March  2014.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Imagination on fire
‘Fire’, an exhibition of paintings by architect S. Gopakumar, is a tribute to the elements
(Work on display)
The antics of the birds that visit the Plumeria tree in S. Gopakumar’s garden provide a peaceful early morning ambience to complement his newspaper reading. And this scene of tranquillity was soon immortalised on canvas as ‘Morning Visitors’, one of the many works by him that are currently on display at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery as part of his exhibition, ‘Fire’.
Architect and artist
An architect by profession, Gopakumar has been painting since his college days. He had already received a Kerala Lalithakala Akademi award for his efforts by the time he completed his architecture course from the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, in 1970. Despite focusing more on his career since his move to Kochi from Thiruvananthapuram in 1976, Gopakumar says his passion for painting has not lessened in the slightest. “The exhibition is called ‘Fire’ because it represents inspiration. A while ago I felt the urge to paint again and ended up creating 12 works in a span of about two-and-a-half months,” he says.
The titular element is not lacking in his works either, with large sections of canvas devoted to late evening skies; large bands of red in its many hues streaking across the scene. ‘Angry Crab’ depicts a crustacean on a pristine white beach before broad strokes of colour are unleashed upon the eyes. ‘Island’ is a vision of a few skeletal trees feebly extending their leafless branches skyward as another crimson streaked sunset soaks the waters around them.
“For me, more than the result, it is the action of painting that elates the soul. I come from a family of artists and designers, and a family exhibition we held at Thiruvananthapuram in 2012 got me painting again,” says Gopakumar, before telling the story of how a kite seller he met in Chandigarh became the basis for his work of the same name.
Dedicated to Nature
His latest works are a series of five paintings dedicated to the five elements of Nature—fire, water, earth, sky and air. The serene reflection of the moon on a body of water contrasts the angry flame that occupies the canvas beside it. A brownish hue permeates Gopakumar’s vision of the earth, with giant buildings anchored by strong roots, while the sky dwarfs the buildings and trees that stand beneath it, painted with subtle hues of the fiery motif. A few overlapping swirls in smoky grey suffice to depict air.
Though most of the works have the undertones of Nature and the elements, a few stand out by not conforming to the theme. The ‘Space Cube’ goes for a light blue shade while ‘Silence Of The Leaves’ is a tapestry of green, with a tiger and a rabbit being its sole inhabitants. The last of the works on display, ‘Black Hole’, is an example of art extending beyond the canvas, or in this case right through it, as it includes a physical hole right in the middle of the work.
The exhibition is on at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery till February 28.
(Report by Sooraj Rajmohan for The Hindu)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Active Door, JJ Today & Tomorrow, Deception Perception and more..


Active Door
(Work by Alyssa Phoebus Mumtaz on show)
Jhaveri Contemporary Art gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of artist Alyssa Phoebus Mumtaz. The show is titled, ‘Active Door’ and displays the symbolism replete, meditative paper works of the artist. The works on display stand at the intersection of the abstract, sacred geometry and symbolism. At times labyrinthine and at other times dominated by spatial nuances, these works attempt to bring about an equilibrium experienced in silences and communes with the self.

With a liberal reference to textile and traditional craftsmanship, the artist blends in the materialistic with the sublime, physical with the metaphysical, creating works which question at once the very fragility and the permanence of life.

Active Door is on view till 22nd March 2014.

Deceptive Perception
( Work on display)
Exhibit 320, New Delhi presents artist Sachin George Sebastian’s portrayal and allure of the metropolis, which gives false promises of a chaos free life through the structure of the urban grid. Using intricately cut and folded paper, which shows the often-overlooked fragility of civilisations  the artist tries to showcase the deceptive notion of the metropolis being a beacon of hope, and showing the metropolis's power to drain individual identities as citizens are shaped to face the needs of the urban city.

Using newspaper, the artist represents people from all backgrounds, who are all drawn to and affected by the deception of the urban dream and glossy promises of new development.

The show is on view till 1s March 2014.

JJ Today & Tomorrow
(Work on display)
Art Gate Gallery, Mumbai and The Art Affaire, jointly present a show of a group of artists titled, ‘J J Today & Tomorrow’. The show hosted by The Art Affaire, a platform for artists and art lovers alike, has brought together under one roof the works of over 40 artists along with the works of the teachers of JJ School of Art.

The participating artists are Mangesh Kapse, Manohar Rathod, Abid Shaikh, Parag Kashinath Tandel, Javed Mulani, Vijay Bondar, Javed Mulani, Manohar Rathod, Abhid Sheikh, Raman Adone and others, alongside faculty members like Anant Nikam, Douglas John, Dr Manisha Patil, Prakash Sonavane, Rajendra Patil, Vijay Sakpal, Vishwanath Sable (Dean) to name a few.

The show is on view till 3rd March 2014.

Mumbai 24
(Work by Mukhtar Kazi)
Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a show titled ‘Mumbai 24'. On display are exquisite paintings by artist Mukhtar Kazi. The artist has managed to bring out on canvas, the very essence of the never resting city of Mumbai. Capturing the heritage rich monuments and architecture, the artist has successfully portrayed the essence of an urban living with the multitude of hues, complete with its momentum and innate beauty.

The art works are rendered in several mediums, like acrylic and water colour on paper and canvas which bring out the depth and the intrinsic beauty of these age old structures.

The show is on till 1st March 2014.

(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)

A tale of tresses
Photojournalist Oriane Zerah’s exhibition of photographs on hair has inspirations ranging from society to mythology
(Oriane Zerah with one of her photos. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat)
French artist and photojournalist Oriane Zerah claims to be a traveller first and then an artist. Her art is born out of her travels, her inspiration from a desire to share what she sees. Living in Kabul “by choice” for the past two years, this intrepid young artist is holding an exhibition of her photographs, ‘Something About Hair’, at David Hall. that will run till February 25.
There are three sides to the show that is about the long tresses of Indian women. To begin with is Oriane’s personal association with hair, followed by her experiences with hair during her travels and lastly her symbolic interpretation of hair in a social and cultural context.
As a child she remembers being taken by her mother to the salon along with her sister and being given a drastic hair cut. “It is difficult to maintain long hair for children,” reasons Oriane, who ties her slightly frizzy dark hair in a pony tail.
On her travels, especially to countries with Mughal art that fascinates her - Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India - Oriane found women covering their heads, camouflaging the hair. “Most religions want women to cover their heads and I began wondering about hair,” she says about her curiosity on a subject that has invoked religious orders. The third reason for her interest came from the symbolism she saw between hair and the Gods and Goddesses of Hindu mythology- the dreadlocks of Shiva and the lustrous hair of Kali.
Once the idea began taking shape in her mind’s eye, on her travels in Iran, Oriane began searching for models. It would be easier finding them 20 years ago because women with long hair are not so common anymore, she says.
All her models spoke about the long hair of their grandmothers. In this show Oriane worked with five models and her first was Sindhi from Kochi. She is a fisherman’s daughter and her mother was a domestic help. “I took her pictures at the roof top of a hotel in Fort Kochi four years ago. She was very friendly but when I sought her out this time, she was married and gone,” says Oriane. Her other models were from Orissa and Rajasthan. “Most of them were reluctant to show their faces,” recalls Oriane, but it was hair that she was interested in.
Her first photographs, the ones with Sindhi, are direct and straight forward. But as Oriane’s conceptualisation grows she is clearly seen drawn into the tangles of the locks. The pictures gain depth. The triptych with a model in red in front of a Banyan tree is a dramatic comparison of the aerial roots and the thick, heavy bodied hair of the model. In another, the model posed to throw back her head full of hair is comparative to an animal mane. Cascading hair like a waterfall is another comparative image that the artist draws through the aperture of her digital camera.
“I use a digital camera and overexpose my pictures,” she says about her process. Oriane learnt photography on her travels from friends and other photographers. As a freelance photographer in Kabul she works for a number of NGOs there and also for Le Monde. Oriane has also written about her travels in Pakistan in a book, Une flanuse au Pakistan. She enjoys reading poetry and Charles Baudelaire’s poem on hair is one of her inspirations.
Her Indian connection is deep, she believes. Indian classical dance drew her here. She learnt Kathak and is deeply drawn to Mohiniattam and Bharatanatyam. The hair story and India is still a work in progress for Oriane who says quite simply, “I am jealous of women with long hair, especially women from South India.” The show is hosted by Alliance Franciase de Trivandrum.
Life in Kabul
Oriane Zerah lives and works in Kabul. It’s a choice she made and hence she lives in the war torn country without fear. “Daily life is regular. I wake up and go buy bread,” she says. She adds: Being an artist in Afghanistan can be difficult as the space for art is small and for women the problem is more acute. Free expression is frowned upon, especially in the countryside. Her closest encounter with dangerous living has surprisingly been not in Afghanistan but in Peshawar in Pakistan where a bomb went off behind her.
Kabul, she says, is different in safety from the rest of the country. It is protected. But if American troops leave Afghanistan it will become dangerous once again, she feels.

(Report by Priyadershini S for The Hindu)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

EDITORIAL - Holla-Mohalla -An Exhibition Made on Order.. and more..

Holla-Mohalla- An Exhibition Made on Order
( Work on display. Image for illustrative purposes only)
In fact I do not want to say anything negative about the art exhibitions that I see these days. But sometimes I cannot help saying what I really feel. ‘Holla Mohalla’, a two persons’ show at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi is a ‘made on order’ show. I know this comment would hurt both the artists; Cop Shiva, the photographer and Suresh Muthukulam, the painter. Their point of departure is the Nihang Sikhs, the followers of the ideals of an army founded by Guru Gobind Singh. Holla Mohalla is a celebration of the Sikhs that often heralds the beginning of the Sikh New Year. You will get more about it if you google; so there is no point in me telling it. What surprised me is the absolute naivety of the exhibition. First of all I do not find any logic in Cop Shiva, a Bangalore based policeman doubling up as a photography artist, and Suresh Muthukulam, an acclaimed mural artist from Kerala, taking a very serious interest in Holla Mohalla. Now the ‘curators’ of this show; Jaya Mani and Sumati Sondhi. Jaya Mani is a gallerist who sells anything from paintings to brass vessels. Sumati Sondhi is an interior decorator. If you have already googled, Holla Mohalla falls in the month of March. Something clicked? If not let me tell you, Sikhs revere their gurus and most of them are extremely affluent. In the month of March, every affluent Sikh cannot go to Punjab to celebrate Holla Mohalla. So what do they do? They buy a work of art that celebrates Holla Mohalla, period. It is a well timed show, especially when it is inaugurated by none other than the flying Sikh, Milka Singh. Of course not Farhan Akthar.
( Work on display. Images for illustrative purposes only)
Is there any problem if someone creates a custom made show? For me, absolutely  no problem. But I am concerned about these two artists who are my Facebook friends. When I say, I am concerned, I mean it. First of all Cop Shiva. He is Basavaraju, a cop by profession and artist by choice. Being a cop helps his identity of becoming an artist. Had there been no cop tag, I wonder whether we would have gone into superlatives with his first show? But the world is like that. When he presented his first show, ‘Face Two Face’, media hailed him as a new finding. In the show Cop Shiva had documented the life of two people, who impersonated Gandhi and legendary actor-politician late M.G.Ramachandran. The works had made a good show; at least the theme was curious. It was a quarter anthropologic, a quarter documentary, a quarter aesthetical and the fourth quarter was the place where Cop Shiva could have improved himself. But before that people came in to cash in on his popularity. I am surprised to see that noted alternative art promoter Suresh Jayaram also has endorsed it by ‘jointly’ writing the catalogue text with Jaya Mani. I can forgive Suresh because Cop Shiva is his cousin. In these days of a dried up market, it is always good to have cousins who could sell art, whether it is on Sikhs or Marwaris. 

(Work by Suresh Muthukulam. For illustrative purposes only)
Suresh Muthukulam is a mural artist. His works have been very faithfully following the mural tradition of Kerala. But what about a Sikh buyer who would like to flaunt Guru Gobind Singh or virile, athletic and warrior-like Nihangs in fluid lines and dreamy eyes? He would definitely not like it. So here goes Suresh, out and out ready to water down his style which is neither Kerala mural style nor anything to do with Punjab or India in general. If Cop Shiva is depending on his camera, Suresh is depending on the pictures that he might have clicked for himself during his visit to Punjab. But let me tell you Suresh, the paintings look funny and caricature-ish. I was appalled to see a portrait of Jaya Mani in one of these paintings. The painting is sold as the red bindi tells me so. But isn’t it so ‘made to/on order’?  I feel sad. Because both Cop Shiva and Suresh Muthukulam are not supposed to be working like this. There are occasions when even a writer like me writes for the ‘clients’. But even then the writer’s self or style is not compromised. If my name goes along with an article, irrespective of the greatness of the works that I endorse, I take all care to be sincere to the hilt and well meaning. But here, both Cop Shiva and Suresh seem to be indulging in something that they should not have even touched. 
(Work on display. Images for illustrative purposes only)
Cop Shiva’s entry into art has already become folklore by repetition. He came to the city with his ailing father and Suresh Jayaram accommodated him at his 1 Shanti Road, the hub of alternative art practices in Bangalore. Cop Shiva, like many other cops who do not have IPS rank (for IPS and IAS people know everything including painting and poetry), initially did not understand art. But slowly he took a fascination for clicked images. He got hooked soon to the camera. Rest is history. Such a history needs to be embellished with sincere works. Frankly speaking, the works on display could be taken even by me provided I have an inclination to take it or have a good camera with me. Why I say me, because I am an art critic who has complete disdain for most of the images. To evoke liking in me is a difficult task. Cop Shiva should be left alone. It is easy for him to become a travel photographer and let me tell you can make sure someone is a travel photographer if he has long hair and an Enfield bike; I hate my own stereotyping, but I can’t help it. In a nutshell, Cop Shiva has put a load of virus in his clear thinking. Clear them up as soon as possible. Suresh Muthukulam should think about better projects if he wants to become a good artist. Mural paintings had led revolutions in Mexico in modern times. In our own context, they have registered history for us. Degenerating into hagiography and work on order would actually demean the medium that you use. I do not have any problem if it is all about making some money. 
Hope the parties discussed here would not file a defamation suit against me. Also, Karnataka Police will not frame me in some drug case when I go to Bangalore next. Whatever said above is in good and right spirit. Rest is up to you, guys. 


Neon Temples, Masala Maggie and Iphoned Monks

( work by Sana Javeri Kadri)
Gallery Beyond, Mumbai presents a solo show of photographs by Sana Javeri Kadri. The show is titled, ‘Neon Temples, Masala Maggie and Iphoned Monks’. The show has on display a range of photographs which try to capture the versatile concoction of what India as a country represents. 

Balancing its religious roots and traditions which go along with the influences of the modernity and the new age, the photographs present the ironical flux, the coexistence and the symbiotic relationships of multiple ideologies flourishing under one roof of a tolerant society and nation.

The show is on view till 28th February 2014.

( Work by Nisar Ahmad)
Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi presents a solo show titled, ‘Hamnashee’ of art works by artist Nisar Ahmad. Nisar is an Indian modern Urdu calligrapher and abstract Sufi painter. He is inspired by Nakshbandi and Chishty Sufi orders. 
Hamnashee portrays an expression of a lover, who is highly inflammable and consuming his self in love. At the exhibition, patrons can see the feelings expressed in colours, which reveals the powerful feelings recollected in tranquility. Metaphorically it is expressed as the anarchic expression of a true lover's heart and mind. The sublimity of Greek goddess trances in calligraphy, like a dimple cheeked celestial dame of a rosy hue transmuting the inner felt. The beloved, who is posing like an iris of genial desires, coming out in senses with gentle whispers. Hamnashee is not a guest, but a search within.

The show is on view till 1st March 2014.

Vibrant Hues

Jehangir Terrace Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a group show of art works by six upcoming contemporary artists. The show is titled, ‘Vibrant Hues’ and features the paintings and ceramic sculptures.

The participating artists are Ruchi Chadha, Sameer Sarkar, Subrata Das, Drishti Vohra, Mahhima Bhayanna, Shashikant Charbe. The works on displaya re vibrantly hued and portray figuratives and some abstract art styles. A few works have a spiritual bent in depictions. The show commences on 27th February 2014. 

The show is on view till 5th March 2014.

Nature Scapes
( Work on display)
The latest exhibition at Magnitude Art Gallery, Bangalore presents works of art which are original and exquisite in rendition. Following a new theme based on nature and its many bounties, the thoughtful paintings, would be best suited for anyone with a taste for good art or a keen art collector or buyer. 

The new theme titled, ‘Nature Scapes’ gives the city’s art lovers a beautiful respite from the mundane and morbid concrete jungle. The wide ranged subject has been dealt with very thoughtfully and many glimpses of nature have been captured in these original paintings.

The show is on view till 28th February 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Insights of Artists, Oneric House, NGMA gallery walks and more..


Insights of Artists
( Work on display)
Unique Art gallery, Bangalore presents the show of three artists, in their show titled,‘Insights of Artists’. 
Eking out a living out of painting posters of films and banners of promotion and advertisements in a large format, the artists have struggled with changing and difficult times to keep their art works and their artistic pursuits intact and flourishing. In today’s digital printing world such artists have been pushed to the side lines of society. 

This exhibition displays works and the indomitable spirit of such artists who despite discouraging situations, manage to bring only the best of their expressions on to the canvases. The show displays works by senior artist K N Ramachandran, Wajid Sajid and Ashok Bhandari. 

The show is on till 8th of March 2014.

Oneric House
( Work by Sonia Khurana)
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, (KNMA) New Delhi presents a solo show by artist Sonia Khurana titled, ‘Oneric House/ round about midnight’. The show is curated by Roobina Karode.

Sonia Khurana has engaged with, and articulated the poetics of dwelling and dereliction for more than two decades. In Oneric House/ Round About Midnight she creates an installation that inhabits the dream house both physically and metaphorically. Using the performative mode she navigates the overlapping boundaries between the interior self and the outside world, while weaving poetic narratives and encounters with diverse people, with physical spaces and with herself. Oneric house is inhabited by a series of symbols and a seemingly disparate cast of characters: somnolescent mother, insomniac daughter, sleep-wrestlers, sleepers, slumbers and music-makers reside in metaphoric abodes that stretch across oceans and dry land.

The show is on view till 28th February 2014.

Rangon Mein
( Work by Rajesh Gawas)
Kaladalan, Pune presents a show of self taught artist, Rajesh Gawas, a software engineer by profession, with a more than keen interest in art. He started painting as a childhood hobby using watercolors. 

The artist is inspired by nature, people, myriad expressions etc. His collection includes portraitures with human expressions, landscapes, birds, flowers and more. The show is titled, ‘Rangon Mein’ which has on display the multi faceted works of this diligent artist.
With over fifty canvases on display, the show is proof of the creative pursuit of the self taught artist.

The show is on view from 28th February to 2nd March 2014.

Gallery Walks
(National Gallery of Modern Art)
The National Gallery of Modern Art, (NGMA) Bangalore is conducting art walks that will cover everything from miniature paintings and the works of old masters like Raja Ravi Varma, Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, and a host of other eminent recent artists like MF Hussain, V S Gaitonde, Ram Kumar and KG Subramanyan.

This is an attempt by NGMA to promote art appreciation and Indian art and culture in people and art enthusiasts.

The walks are to be held till 26th February 2014, between 3:00- 4:00pm.

(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)

An Innate bond
Ramesh’s desire to paint is hard to ignore. He designs jewellery and hopes to make it to Chitra Santhe
(Ramesh began with nature paintings, but now does abstract paintings as well Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy)
It is said nobody is left alone in life. The forces that emerge to help will lead the talented into meaningful paths. Take the case of young Ramesh who only remembers being part of MILT’s Snehalaya, a destitute home where he was raised, nurtured and sent to school. Post his 10th Standard, he is now chasing his dream of being an artist. Ask him for his initials in his name, and he shrugs, “Perhaps I can be called S. Ramesh for growing up in Snehalaya or M. Ramesh for having studied at the MILT School. All I know is, my ‘home’ is my family and my guiding spirits at MILT Residential School are my parents!” says Ramesh. “I don’t miss anything as I grew up with as much good food, play and study, as with abundant love and affection,” says the practical boy, yearning to make it big in the art world.
Burning desire

The young boy’s burning desire to draw, paint, sketch and wield the brush resulting in colourful expressions is hard to ignore. At Snehalaya’s get-together he declared: “We celebrate our MILT Chairman’s birthday every year and we are encouraged to bring in our creations to exhibit them or sell them at nominal prices. When my oil-on-canvas nature’s interpretations was sold for a small amount a few years ago, it gave me an impetus to do much more. The money I got was so precious, I gave them to my family home, Snehalaya.” The glint in his eyes mirrored his pride. “If you come to my small studio on Avenue Road you can see my paintings,” he offered. Nearly 100 paintings, most of them explaining nature in different hues, occupy his tiny room where he practices in the morning. As naturescapes form much of Ramesh’s expressions, wildlife and colourful blossoms are also seen. “I took part in competitions in school. I got prizes at the Wildlife Week conducted by Regional Museum of Natural history and later at the painting contests at Shivarathreeshwara High School in Nanjangud.” When did he realise he could draw? “When I was in fourth Standard I drew a herd of elephants racing through the jungles, and later a sacred pose of Lord Eshwara. To my surprise, one of the senior MILT members had it framed and put on the wall. I felt as if I had already received an award. That was the starting point. Whatever I saw around me, I wanted to draw on paper,” recollects Ramesh, framed by umpteen sunrise portraits on the wall.
Ramesh took part in painting and athletics at school. “But I didn’t have a great hunger to study after my 10th as my paintings fetched me money and my passion became my vocation,” he says. But it was a question of time, or a process of growing up for Ramesh when he gradually veered away from nature-paintings and got himself into abstract idioms. If luck or fate did have its way for Ramesh, it was a wrong-call that connected him on phone to a jeweller. “If you are interested in jewellery design, your sketches may get you a salary,” said the philanthropist owner and that was another turning point.
“This is how God led me to my present job where I do these jewellery designs,” says Ramesh, displaying a host of his neck-wear and earring designs. But that’s not all, the young artist is all excited to teach the nuances of painting to young minds fluttering to fly into the art world.
“I couldn’t make it to Chitra Santhe this year, I want to take part with my own stall there in 2015,” says the young teenager, who has sent his paintings to the Scrutiny Committee at Chitrakala Parishath.

(Report by Rajani Govind for The Hindu)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review - Tanmoy Samanta's All I have learned and forgotten and more news..


Trajectory of Trash and Transmigration

A quiet world of subdued hues unravels in Tanmoy Samanta's works at Gallery Espace, in the solo, 'All I have learned and forgotten' made from traditional materials dowsed in untraditional thoughts, reviews Nisha Aggarwal

( A chair for nobody)
Two pronged antagonism indicted through the colours and sublunary objects, yet divulging the harmony, balance and symmetry. This is what lies at the surface of Tanmoy Samanta's paintings and 3D-book installations. It effuses into denser world of the artist, as one engages conversing to multiple layers of the works. I devolved into the artist's profound personal world, while visiting his third solo show at Gallery Espace, New Delhi, titled 'All I have learned and forgotten' from December 12, 2013 till January 11, 2014. 

The show engulfs 20 works soldering painting and 3D materials which take the viewer into evocation of time, space, memory and then beyond it. Tanmoy collects junked keys, locks, clocks, old books and maps that no longer keep their functional value. He ambles around flea markets and street shops in lost lang synes searching these 'out of time' objects. Then these objects are transformed into motifs that also appear often in his 2D works/paintings. Old books, glued the pages together, layered with rice paper, carved shapes out of the paper and added other objects to them evince another life they hold within. His recycled book 'shadow palace' shows how a colossal structure can disappear yet stay alive in the latent of one's mind. The protagonist here is a palace, which is symbolic of any building that has/had a denoting effect. It accosts that something dominion can be left behind just as a shadow without a body. 
(A Pair of goldfish)
Tanmoy's fervour of reading travelogues, indulgence with maps, globes, interest of tracing countries and continents exhorts in his work 'Cartographer's Paradox-I and II. He brings in all continents and countries together by rendering the dividing line invisible. Here, he becomes a mapmaker playfully making the 'jumbled up' maps without line and borders, tracing the inspiration from John Lennon's 'Imagine'. One hand, it questions the concept of political boundaries and on the other hand, gives them a new identity similar to his recycled books. He explicates these found materials both as an artifact and a medium. Thus, his artistic process becomes a metamorphosis to these objects giving them a new life, and manifold interpretations. His paintings also delineate the potential of umpteen testimonies. For instance, object like human figures, void like objects, eggs like void, unidentified objects like animals, weight that creates emptiness, and amorphous shapes seize the viewer into a zone of daze, arcanum, fantasy, poetry and philosophy. A sitting green figure holding a 'heavy' vacuum in one hand and a 'line' in other hand says what? A form lodged onto a red seated 'chair of nobody' is who? 'A pair of gold-fish' gives stance of tailor's scissors or tailor’s scissors are kept in an aquarium like bowl? A globe glares like an eclipsed moon or it's a shaky picture of a globe only? In 'at dusk' a bird is perched on a gun or on a branch? Watch dials encased in a 'bee-hive' shape makes 'the time hive', are examples of some 'visually created' questions to embroil the viewers. This 'visual play' becomes the interplay of a simultaneous act of remembering and forgetting, for artist and viewer both. 
( The Padlock)
Images, not of artistic imagination instead gathered from his surroundings create frozen narratives allowing the multiple readings. They are like statements of enlightened philosophers loaded with layers of meaning. Artist's control over line drawing makes him able to navigate images into one another, or transmigration of them. His technique has developed from the traditional Japanese school of painting where linearity is maintained while not losing the corpulence of figures. His training as a painter at Santiniketan is evident in the selection of traditional media like fragile rice paper, gouache, and pigments. It itself traces the history in the works of Abanindranath and Rabindranath Tagore both (artists of Santiniketan tradition). But the choice of traditional mediums has not impounded the relevance of his contemporary images and themes. 
( Shadow Palace)
Tanmoy's works expand into conceptual territory of magical realism, which is because he reads a lot. His parents belonging to the field of literature, exposed him to classics in his childhood itself and he continued reading them. A self-confessed fan of writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Franz Kafka, Tanmoy says that colours in his colour palette stem from his nature. His toned down and muted colours reflect him to be an introvert. He starts out with brighter and darker ones, but consciously mellows them down to subdue the cacophony of hues. Working on more than one canvas together, he creates multiple layers of the colours under the visible ones. He uses colour washes to get the fluidity of water-colours and the opaqueness of other paints. This way, his simple sounding works imbibe the complexity of process, meaning and interpretation. They dilate the level of epochal image-making from ordinary to extra-ordinary, and trace the trajectory of trash and transmigration, of images and objects both. 


2D3D - Flavour of the Contemporary
( Work on display)
Gallery-g, Bangalore presents a show titled, ‘2D3D’, a compelling overview of fusion art with paintings and sculptures as part of its 11th anniversary celebrations. This amalgamation of art and sculptures is showcased through Gallery-g’s own AIP (Artist Initiative Programme) platform that promotes and showcases art that has never been viewed before. It also offers first time artists and artisans a platform to bring out the best in them. The nine-day long show will take Gallery-g’s AIP to the next level by entering into three different styles of art. 
Gallery-g explores three new regions, Andhra Pradesh with Kandi Narasimalu, Maharashtra with Priti Singh and the South Asian Region with its first ever show with Sri Lankan artist, Leo Pasquale. The exhibition explores three major themes embraced by this new generation of artists. One can find an aroma of affinity and affection for the home land in the works by artist Nasimhulu Kandi the artist in a very stylistically rich manner celebrates the many moments and episodes from his village in his work. He recreates them on his canvas keeping the unpretentious and natural attractiveness of the village folk intact. What makes the Sri Lankan artist Leo Pasquale unique is his artistic creations. Multiplicity of themes and technical styles is one of the salient features of his art. Some themes seem to be expressive of his personal life experiences while some signify the socio-political realities of the time. Technically he uses methods that are possible only in the computer and digital age, and in a large group of his work the geometrical approach is used meaningfully.

The show is on view from 22nd February till 2nd March 2014.

Holla Mohalla
(Work on display)
Visual arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi presents a two person show of paintings and photography by artists Cop Shiva and Suresh Muhukulam.
The show titled, ‘Holla Mohalla’  intends to soothe the senses and delight in the creativity of the two artists.
While Cop Shiva is a freelance photographer, interested in documenting life around and representing the spirit of our times, on the other hand Suresh Muthukulam is a young mural artist who expanded the rich opulence of many centuries old Kerala mural paintings tradition from temple, church and royal courtyard walls to novel and wider canvases.

The show is on view till 24th February 2014.

The Sacred Universe
( Work on display)
Bliss Art Gallery, Pune presents a show titled, ‘The Sacred Universe’ displayingworks by artist Rakhi Torani. 

The paintings revolve around Life and Universe and attempt to capture different elements of the universe which affect each form of life. The artist’s canvas demonstrates the effect of the universal changes on moods and emotions through a plethora of colours. Through these paintings, the artist has let go and surrendered herself to the wondrous experience of the universe, soaking every experience through colours in her paint brush and spreading it over canvas.

The show is on view till 8th March 2014.

( News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)