Monday, March 31, 2014

Charulata, Zen Moments and more..


( Work by Gautam Mukherjee)
Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai presents Chaarulata - Satyajit Ray's 1964 film adaptation of Tagore's 1901 novella Nastaneerh, was one of the sublime collaborations spanning the ages. Now, 50 years after Charulata was released, Gautam Mukherjee draws on this timeless story for a series of paintings called Chaarulata, commemorating this film.

Gautam has created the series based on this iconic character. Rich in colour and form, each work is inspired by a small vignette reflecting Charu’s exploration, creation and use of objects around her. The artist painstakingly evokes the nuances of a typical Bengali household, sensibility and culture through his intricate and vibrant art works.

The show is on view till 30th April 2014.

The Persistence of Form
( Work on display)
Gallery Third Eye, Bangalore is organising an art exhibition titled, ‘The Persistence of Form’ displaying art works by artists Vijay Nagvekar and Runa Biswas at its premises. The exhibition focuses on vibrancy, sensitivity, richness and the depth of Indian art. It highlights the creative nuances of artists with their varied styles, mediums and imagination.

The show is on view from 11th April to 30th April 2014.

Zen Moments
(Work on display)
Gallery Nvya, Delhi in association with Delhi International Airport Pvt. Ltd. is hosting an art exhibition titled 'Zen Moments'. Focused on relaxation, tranquility and pleasure, the art exhibition will showcase an amalgam of fine works of established and emerging artists.
The artists whose artworks are on display include, Chinthala Jagadish, Deepak Sonar, Dharmendra Rathore, Jehangir Sabavala, Kazi Nasir, Lal Bahadur Singh, M.F.Husain, Manu Parekh, Madan Lal,  Manoj Kachangal, Mohammed Osman, Nabibakhsh Mansoori,Nayanaa Kanodia, Nupur Kundu, Paresh Maity, Piu Sarkar, Pratap SJB Rana, Ramakanth  Thumrugoti, Ravi Gossain, Revati Sharma Singh, S H Raza, Sachindranath Jha, Sangeeta Singh, Sarang Singla, Shipra  Bhattacharya, Shuvaprasanna, Suman Gupta, Surya Prakash, Vinita Dasgupta, and Vinita Karim.

The show is on view till 24th July 2014.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Giant With a Human Face
CCI’s golden jubilee celebration begins on April 3.
( Chhaya Chitra)
In the post-Independence renaissance and regeneration of Indian handicrafts, many personalities played significant roles. Among them stood out Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay, a visionary. She set up the Crafts Council of India in 1964, a voluntary, non-governmental, not-for-profit registered organisation to enhance, protect and nurture India’s heritage.
Today CCI is on the threshold of its golden jubilee, celebration beginning on April 3. The banyan tree called CCI is a family of 10 affiliated State councils and a larger one of hundreds of artisans spread across the country, whose lives it has touched and even transformed.
CCI extends this support in multi-pronged ways. Through workshops and seminars, upgradation of tools and technology, design and product development through the help of experts, marketing exercises such as sales, bazaars and sending artisans abroad for demos and sales. It also helps in research and documentation that preserves knowledge for posterity. Among its landmark documentation is the three-volume ‘Stone Craft of India.’
Awards for artisans

( Weaver's children at the camp)
CCI recognises excellence through awards and scholarships for artisans. It’s ‘Educate to Sustain’ programme creates opportunities for craftsperson’s children through education, training and exposure. The Craft Economic and Impact Study (CEIS), which CCI has undertaken will provide government authorities with a reliable data base involving perhaps 200 million artisans.
“Yes”, says Vijaya Rajan, CCI Chairperson, who has grown with the organisation since its inception. “I've been through it all, the early years of operating from each other’s homes and even from our sick beds! Organising exhibitions and workshops, as president of CCI’s APR region, apart from seminars and other events with a bunch of dedicated volunteers. The bottom-line has been to provide sustainable livelihood to the artisans. CCI has always had a humane face, which has touched the artisan’s lives.”
One such life is that of Raja Shekharan, from a traditional Tamil sthapati family, who was chosen to be trained in the use of pneumatic tools at CCI’s Stone Tech programme in 2004. Because of his excellent sculpting skills at the workshop, he was chosen to undergo training at City and Guilds of London Arts School, where he won a competition to be part of the Windsor Castle restoration project. Today his half-lion half-elephant yaali grotesque adorns the corbels of St. Georges Chapel in Windsor Castle. Raja Shekharan’s studio in Bangalore now attracts British and Indian trainees.
Then there is Shilp Guru Guruppa Chetty, a Kalamkari artist and a lifelong friend of CCI. Guruppa’s knowledge on craft of Andhra has proved to be of immense value to CCI, which sponsored his attendance at WCC’s Vienna exhibition.
There are numerous other lives that CCI has impacted, the numerous craftspersons who attend it’s craft bazaars. These include anyone from master weavers such as Varanasi’s Munna Haji Noor Mohammad, Lucknow’s Shilp Guru and chikankari master Rehana, Dr. Ismail Khatri of Bhuj to kite makers and broom makers from U.P. But the biggest smiles come from the children of the Educate to Sustain Programme. They are weaver’s children from Veeravannalur: J. Venkatesh, Narayanan, Shanmughapriya, Subbalakshmi and Priyanka are happily learning languages, math, computer skills and art, while getting trained in the art of weaving at their homes.
CCI’s Golden Jubilee year celebration will begin with the presentation of the Kamala Awards to artisans and activists and a Retrospective Exhibition on April 3. They will continue through the year with special monthly craft-related events in Chennai. The programmes for the next three months will include a quilting exhibition along with the launch of a book on Indian quilts, a craft-related film festival and an Odisha Crafts Festival. The rest of the events, to continue till April 2015, will include exhibitions such as ‘The Future is Handmade,’ Packaging, North-Eastern Crafts Exhibition, Embroideries, Craft Bazaar and Natural Dye Bazaar.

( Report by Pushpa Chari for The Hindu)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New works of K G Subramanyan, Sukshm and more..


New Works of KG Subramanyan
(Work by K G Subramanyan)
Seagull Foundation of Arts, Kolkata and Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi presents the new works of legendary artist K G Subramanyan. The works on display are an assortment of various mediums the artist has been painting on and has created series using them, including paper, gouache on board, canvas and  reverse painting on acrylic sheets, which are his speciality.

Padmavisbushana KG Subramanyan or Mani Sir or Mani da as he is known affectionately by his students, fellow artists, and friends turned 90 on 5th February this year. K. G. Subramanyan has worked with diverse media and materials, exhibiting extensively both within and outside the country. He is known as much for his wide-ranging scholarship as for his artworks which are full of wit, subversion, eroticism and critical social commentary. 

A major retrospective of his work was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, in 2003. He has been part of the arts faculty at M. S. University, Baroda, and is Professor Emeritus at Kala Bhavan, VisvaBharati, Santiniketan.

The Seagull Foundation for the Arts is travelling an exhibition of 90 new works to celebrate the life and times of this amazing personality. The exhibition opened in Baroda and will now be in Delhi at Art Heritage from 29th March to 20th April 2014.

A Veiled World
(Work by Shilpa Nikam)
Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of works by artist Shilpa Nikam. The J J School of Art graduate presents her recent works of abstractions. Shilpa’s abstracts are a reflection of her relationship with nature and the existential world. 

Her art works are a mirror of her inner world which she sensitively reveals and conceals as windows in her works. The abstracts are medium sized and replete with textural nuances and contrasting depth with the occasional foray into hints of chiaroscuro. The palette the artist has opted for plays a pivotal role to the artistic expression and in spite of the references and influences of nature on the artist’s mind, the use of the obvious colour of ‘green’ to depict nature, is absent. Blues, whites, off whites, buff, sharp and dull reds yellows, blacks and deep greys constitute her palette. 

Unlike many abstractionists,  she refrains from using heavy symbolic forms of any kind, relying completely on composition, texture and colour. The layers and the window like outlets seem to play peekaboo with the viewer, hinting at the veiled world of the artist. 

The show is on view till 1st of April 2014.

(Work by Kumar Vaidya)
Art Gate gallery, Mumbai presents a show of recent paintings by Kumar Vaidya.
The show is titled, ‘Sukshm’, which the artist has recently created. The works are exclusive abstractions, rendered in various mediums, with nuances of the dark and light in them. The works evoke an emotional response in the viewer through their intricate renditions, layers and colour splashes. The viewer is left with the need to explore more realms of depth fearlessly through the textures and works.

The works are on view till 29th March 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Portraits of a city
Kalakriti opens its second gallery featuring works of artist Ram Kumar, including the celebrated Benaras series
(A view of the new gallery by Kalakriti at Trident, showcasing an exhibition of paintings by Ram Kumar)
The path leading to the new gallery space by Kalakriti, at Trident, is adorned with three arresting works of one of the most recognised veteran artists, Ram Kumar, of the Progressive Artist’s group. One of the paintings is a rare figurative work by the artist who later embraced abstracts. A painting showing youngsters clad in formal black suits, against the city at night, stands in contrast to the more vivid portraits of Benaras.
The abstract cityscape series on Varanasi has been celebrated over the years for the artist’s individualistic take on a city that left a lasting impression on him. Benaras, Ram Kumar felt, blurred the line between life and death. An abstract, dated 1993, has the artist painting the ancient city standing witness to all that happens on the river, teeming with people and boats.
(A view of the new gallery by Kalakriti at Trident, showcasing an exhibition of paintings by Ram Kumar)
Though the Benaras series has been discussed by art critics over time, observing these images at close quarters is an experience to be cherished. The artist draws attention to the many facets of the city with his astute use of colours and textures. A cityscape showing rows of houses in muted shades of beige, brown and yellow juxtaposing the water is the artist’s way of emphasising the plight of widows who came to the holy city to die; it is an impression of the sombre side of the city where dead bodies await befitting funerals.
In some paintings, Ram Kumar uses solid hues to denote the vibrancy of the city and in others, using black, grey and white, he paints sordid images, reflecting on what he perceives to be ‘a ghost town’ with its narrow, crowded alleys. The strokes vary with the hues, meditative in some cases and turbulent in others.
In his later paintings, dated 2010 and 2013, Ram Kumar chose happier tones to showcase landscapes, perhaps denoting his shift in views. ‘Trancescape’, featuring a selection of works by Ram Kumar, will be on display till April 30, at Kalakriti’s new gallery, Hotel Trident, Madhapur.
( Report by Sangeetha Devi Dundoo for The Hindu)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Prologue, Spandan - Jaipur and more..

(work on display)
Vinnyasa Premier Art Gallery, Chennai is hosting a solo art exhibition of the recent works by eminent artist Niladri Paul. This exhibition will be display paintings that create a wonderful bridge between abstract and figurative styles of painting.

Niladri Paul is one of the eminent contemporary artists of the country today. In his current series titled, ‘Prologue’ he tries to capture in abstractions the figures and eloquent movements of various dance forms and nuances of stage and cinema. Dancers in various mudras are brought to life in acrylic on canvases in vibrant colour and form, where the intensity of the intangibility of an art form is made tangible with skill and finesse.

The show is on view till 30th March 2014.

Spandan Jaipur
(work on display)
Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur presents ‘Spandan’, Jaipur’s premier National Art Fair platform for modern and contemporary artists and galleries to showcase their latest creations and collections. It is considered to be among world's most attended fairs as it attracts over thousands of visitors from all across India and the world.
On view are works of 25 groundbreaking artists, who, each in their own time and style, created a new movement in the history of arts. This year the fair aims at taking it a step ahead by delivering a truly enriching art experience to all the visitors.

The art fair is on from 11th April to 16th April 2014.


Kamalnayan Bajaj Art gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show titled, ‘Anubhuti’ of artwork by artist Shakti Singh Ahlawat, from Haryana. The work displayed has a tendency to lean on the linearity of strokes. While dealing with female figures he gives the impression of going for delicate as well as bold strokes and chromatic harmony; but when he goes to paint rural folk, his approach and technique change.

Strong with line, Shakti Singh has also produced some fine paintings such as “Krishna”. His realistic approach of course speaks a lot for him and his art’s growth. He does wonderful portraits as well in which he excels.

The show is on view from 31st March to 5th April 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


The lost world
Bangalore-based illustrator/cartoonist Paul Fernandes says his exhibition is a gentle reminder of a vanished paradise
(A slice of Bangalore)
From a pensioner’s paradise where gentlemen in suits riding cycles doff their hats to women with parasols in front of pretty cottages and Colonial lamp-posts, the garden city where the retired man had the luxury of his own garden, to the pub city (with pubs for pensioners, the ‘upper crust’, black-out pub with a free drop home, under world pub and the under age pub), the boom town of real state (complete with parts of old houses up for sale), to the “SillyCon” city, Bangalore (Bungaleuru… Bengaluroo… Bangaluru) has undergone a transformation.
And Paul Fernandes, known for his colourful and detailed illustrations of the city as it was around the 70s, showcases this transformation in a series of black and white-sketches.
The work culminates in a poster, “SillyCon City- The Virtual Reality”, a contrast in many ways to his earlier classic, a poster of M.G.Road as it was then. Paul’s illustrations are currently on display at the Indian Cartoon Gallery in the exhibition ‘Bangalore- Swinging in the 70s’.
The exhibition features both the newer illustrations and his older sketches of old Bangalore, showcasing icons like the Dewar’s bar, the Airlines Hotel, the Victoria Hotel, or the 3 Aces (Cabaret), Everest Talkies or Kohinoor. He also captures the sights and sounds of old Bangalore, of the Bangalore club in 1863, horse carriages on South Parade(‘Traffic on South Parade’), a woman at the Museum Road Post Office in a sidecar, wheelies outside Mount Carmel College or of eggs delivered to the house.
According to Paul, his distinctly humourous cartoons/illustrations are a mixture of styles, of history, documentation and architecture.
“The series on the SillyCon city is a spoof of what happens in the city,” says Paul. “So little has been done preserve the heritage of the city so just looking at this old peaceful slice of life would remind people of the way the city was. The exhibition is a gentle reminder of a paradise that is lost.”
“Even though the old must make way for the new, I wonder if it is possible to give the new buildings some thought.”
‘Bangalore- Swinging in the 70s’ will be on view at the Indian Cartoon Gallery, No.1, Midford House, Midford Garden, off M.G. Road, near Big Kids Kemp, Trinity Circle. For details, contact 9980091428.

(Report by Harshini Vakkalanka for The Hindu)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Calcutta Diaries, Glenfiddich Award Finalists, Balcao and more..


Glenfiddich Award 2014 chooses five finalists
( Finalist artist Tauseef Khan with his work)
Glenfiddich announced their five finalists for the Glenfiddich, ‘Emerging Artist of the Year 2014  Award’. The Glenfiddich Emerging Artist of the Year award is the biggest art award in India and in its third edition this year has announced the names of five finalists. The five finalists for this year’s Emerging Artist of the year 2014 are, Tauseef Khan, New Delhi, Sirivella Pragathikumar - Baroda (Vadodra), Shrimanti Saha - Baroda (Vadodra), Ravishankar - Chennai, Chetnaa Verma- Noida.

The five shortlisted artists chosen from Baroda, Chennai and New Delhi will present a group show ‘Five for the Future’ at Gallery Nature Morte, The Oberoi, Gurgaon on April 4, 2014. Chosen by a distinguished jury, one of them will be declared the winner of the coveted award. 

The award has a total value of INR 10,00,000 – it includes INR 1,00,000 cash, three months residency in Scotland with a monthly stipend, materials allowance, travel, accommodation, and culminates with a solo show at Nature Morte in 2014. 

Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, Kolkata hosts an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and photographs by artists from Bharat Kala Kendra by 29 artists. The show is titled, ‘Nostalgia’ and displays an eclectic mix of unique artworks.

The artists participating in the show include Tapan Ghosh, Bimal Kundu, Anindiya Paul, Badal Paul, Lakshmi Shaw, R.P. Halder, Ashoke Mullick, Pradip Rakshit and Sourav Nandy.

The show is on view till 28th March 2014.


Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi presents an exhibition of artists from Goa titled, ‘Balcao’. The show displays works by legends from Goa and the contemporary artists of today’s generation. On display at the show are select works of FN Souza with an eclectic assortment of art works by today’s Goan artists.

The show is curated by artist Subodh Kerkar and he would be presenting a talk on the history of Goa at the show. The show also brings to light Goan folk music and cuisine to delight the viewers with a complete art and cultural experience.

The show previews at 6 :00pm on 2nd April and will be on view till 15th April 2014.

The Calcutta Diaries
( Work on display)
Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai presents a solo show of photographs by eminent photographer, Pablo Bartholomew. The exhibition titled, The Calcutta Diaries’ is a selection of photographs from the archives of the photographer of his years in the mid 1970s.

The suite includes his documentation of the Haka Chinese community of South Calutta, his interaction with Satyajit Ray, during the shooting of his cult film, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, and images of his aging grandmother and distinct narratives exclusive to the City of Joy.

Born in New Delhi, 1955, Pablo Bartholomew trained as a photographer from his father Richard Bartholomew, an art critic, photographer, poet, painter and curator.

The show is on from 5th April 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Vedanta in visuals
Jayadeva wanted to channelise his talent in painting to visually translate spiritual works
(Jayadeva has 41 visuals for each of the shlokas. Photo: Murali Kumar k.)
Legend has it that the Soundaryalahari was given to Adi Shankara by God Shiva and on the way it was snatched by Nandi and torn into two halves, one of which Nandi kept. When Adi Shankara went back to Shiva and told him what happened, God asked him to write the second half, which is what is today, known as the Soundaryalahari.
The first half, comprising 41 shlokas, is considered to be the Anandalahari. The whole poem is written in praise of the Devi or the feminine primordial cosmic energy.
Hunasagahalli Jayadeva, in a first, has brought these shlokas to life by creating 41 paintings to depict each shlokha. Jayadeva then collated his paintings into a book, which he has self-published, calling it the Sri Soundaryalahari-1 Anandalahari in Visuals. Jayadeva also accompanies each shloka with a trilingual translation.
Dr.Gururaj Karajagi, Chairman, Academy for Creative Teaching, shares the story of the Soundaryalahari in his foreword for the book.
“My father was a philosopher and teacher and my childhood was filled with discussions on philosophy, from the life of Adi Shankara to the Upanishads. So when I realised I could paint, I though why not make visuals on these thoughts,” says Jayadeva, a retired art teacher. He has previously painted on sections of the Upanishads, recently exhibited at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. “The Anandalahari talks about self-realisation through the yogic chakras, in order to realise universal parenthood,” says Jayadeva.
And the universal parenthood, as he shows in the painting of the first shloka, is the union of Shiva and Shakti, primordial cosmic energies that are responsible (according to Vedic scriptures) for the creation of the universe.
The painting depicts the Indian trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva who are considered responsible for the creation, preservation and destruction (transformation) of the universe. The painting shows Brahma and Vishnu bowing down to the image of another Shiva (seen here with his consort Shakti) pouring forth blessings, while a third Shiva established seated near the trinity is shown deep in meditation. “The three figures depict the trinity in this yuga (age). After the cosmic dissolution when this world cycle ends, there will be another trinity. But Shiva-Shakti, being universal consciousness are eternal, and will once again, recreate the world. That is the meaning of the first shloka,” explains Jayadeva, who began working on the sketches in 2006 finally completing his work in 2013.
“The book is a prayer rendered to the celestial parenthood for the protection of the universe. The book also shows how anybody can become self-realised. I have tried to incorporate the main ideas of the book through the visuals for everybody to understand,” he explains.
In one of the images, of the Devi (as Sri Devi Tripurasundari), she is shown carrying a bow, arrows, a noose and a goad, as a representation of the law of karma.
“The book also signifies the importance of inner peace. Just a thought of the divine, brings mental peace. Once we are peaceful, we can then go and bring peace to others. In this philosophy it is believed that we should be able to live in the world, at the same time realise our true nature. That is the message here.”
Jayadeva is now working on a book depicting the shlokas of the second part of the Soundaryalahari.
Sri Soundaryalahari-1 Anandalahari in Visuals is available for Rs. 375 at the Sapna Book House, Gandhinagar; Vedanta Book House, Chamarajpet and Ankita Pustaka, Gandhi Bazar. For details, contact 944879750.
( Report by Harshini  Vakkalanka for The Hindu)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clay at the Attic, Feminine Narratives and more..


Audio-visual by Jagannath Panda
(work by Jagannath Panda)
Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, hosts an audio visual presentation by artist Jagannath Panda at the Government Museum & Art Gallery. 
The artist is known for creating images that are deceptively simple. Often, his works consist of light, linear drawings and melting of liquid shapes placed on the surface. At the same time, the works also reflect conflicts between ecology and development, nature and technology. Panda's works are often inspired by his immediate surroundings: Orissa, his native state, and his current home in chaotically urban New Delhi. Through his art, Panda brings together many binary opposites, nature and culture, the urban and the rural, tradition and innovation, and the figurative and the abstract. In his works he brings together these opposing scenarios to form a coherent whole through deft colour treatment and a personal aesthetic sensibility. Animal life also plays an important part in the artist's circle of motifs. Animals represent people, gods, or the cycle of life. 

The audio visual presentation will take place on 31st March 2014 at 5:30 pm.

Clay At the Attic - 3

The Attic art space, New Delhi is presenting a pottery exhibition that will be showcasing art works by nine contemporary artists. The artists whose works will be displayed at this exhibition are Akila Chungi, Nausheen Bari, Kaveri Bharth, Neha Pallarwar, Shayonti Salvi, Ranjita Bora, Sylvia Kerkar, Veena Chandran and Tejashree Segvekar. The show is curated by Ray Meeker, and this exhibition offers a wonderful experience for art lovers in the city.

The show is on view till 29th March 2014.

Ladakh—The Land of Mountain Passes

The Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata will be hosting an exhibition of paintings and photographs by Sasanka Ghosh and Kakoli Dey, respectively. Their works capture the landscape, people, culture, architecture and wildlife of Ladakh.

The show is on till 30th March 2014.

Feminine Narratives
( work on display)
Malaka Spice Art Gallery, Pune presents an exhibition of paintings by Chetana Chaudhari-Sudame. Chetana is an artist with her own style of figurative painting. Her mostly self-taught pursuit of excellence in art has added facets of learning under artists of repute in India and in UK at the Slade School of Art,(UCL), London. 

Her paintings explore the feminine subtleties inspired from folk painting styles of India and are a celebration of colors and enhance the finer moments of the feminine life. Using various media, from oil pastels to ink and acrylic to oil, is her forte.

The show is on view till 31st March 2014.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

In search of the missing
Interview: At Art Dubai, Indian origin artist Hajra Waheed unveils the second chapter of her ongoing novel-like work based on the issue of migration.
( A work by Hajra Waheed)
Hajra Waheed was born to Indian parents in Canada. The artist grew up in Canada and in Saudi Arabia. Educational pursuits took her to the U.S. and then back to Canada. This diversity can perhaps explain how Hajra’s art eschews regional trappings so well.
The artist is exhibiting at the eighth edition of Art Dubai, a significant platform for the visual arts from the West Asia, North Africa and South Asia regions. Hajra is being presented by Kolkata’s Experimenter gallery.
“I think having been raised in different places has enabled me to look at various aspects of myself,” says Hajra, who had her first solo in India last year where she showed different pieces from the same body of work.
Because she finds it problematic to situate an art work in a particular region, her work ends up having a universal resonance. “I don’t look at myself coming from a particular region. If I did then the narrative would have been very channelled,” she says.
Describing the “Sea Change” series as a long novel which will unfold over the years, the young artist says the India show was an introduction of the narrative. The plot deals with people who disappear during their journeys, and at Art Dubai, Hajra’s series “Sea Change Character 1: In The Rough” becomes a little specific in introducing one out of nine characters who go missing.
Based on the real account of disappearance of a large group of people travelling by sea, Hajra does a take on migration and issues around it. Her vivid experiences of, particularly, living in the Saudi Arabian oil compound with many restrictions owing to gender and nationality, inform her art practice.
( A work by Hajra Waheed)
So, “Returned” is a set of 24 works on paper, which with collaged photographs of rocks, landscapes, accompanied by some text, qualify to be called minimalistic.
“Co-ordinates” is a set of steel slide viewers — handcrafted wooden boxes — inside which can be seen an image (found film, cut and reassembled) of a landscape.
The material she uses helps her in elaborating the narrative. Found objects, aged paper, gifted things often make it to her work (like the family photographs gifted to her by a friend that were used in “Entranik Anouchian Passport Drawing”, portraits of men and women, now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York).
“I notice that the materials that have existing history have a much more mature way of working,” says the artist, who is also doing what she describes as a live installation at the venue. “It is like a floating lantern which comes alive. I collaborate with a shadow puppeteer and we interact with shadow and light,” explains Hajra, who will be performing on a boat floating in the water body at hotel Madinat Jumeirah, the venue of Art Dubai.
Indian presence at Art Dubai
Bangalore-based artist Anup Mathew Thomas has won the Abraaj Group Art Prize along with four other artists from different countries.
The commissioned work, “Nurses”, a set of photographs of nurses, is also on display at the venue.
Sunoj D, another Bangalore-based artist, and Mumbai-based art collective Clark House Initiative are part of Art Dubai Projects.
Then there are Indian galleries like GallerySKE, Experimenter, Chatterjee and Lal, Jhaveri Contemporary, etc, which have booths at the fair.
(Report by Shailaja Tripathi for The Hindu)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Varanasi Revisited, Amit Ambalal Solo, Visual Panorama and more..


Amit Ambalal’s Solo
(Work on display)
Gallery Espace, New Delhi is featuring the latest works by eminent artist Amit Ambalal. The exhibition is a compilation of sculptures and drawings by this Ahmedabad based artist. His themes are mostly based on simple things that surround him like a parrot in the courtyard and monkeys breaking things around. 

His recent works remind him of the wooden toys and different sculptures in the Vaishnava Havelis. Other than his beautiful artworks, Amit also came up with a book on Rajasthani paintings from Nathdwara, which was published in 1987. 

The show is on view till 5th April 2014.

Visual Panorama

( work on display)
The P L Deshpande Art Gallery, Ravindra Natya Mandir, Mumbai presents a group show of mammoth proportions. The show titled, ‘Visual Panorama’ displays the works of 20 eminent and upcoming artists from different parts of the country.

The show displays some realistic, semi-realistic, abstract styles and spiritual expressions on subjects of beauty, divinity and love. The mediums explored also vary from oil, acrylic, mixed media, ceramic, water colours, charcoal etc on canvas and paper and mixed media sculptures and murals. The show is curated by Guruprio Paul and the participating artists are, Prithvi Soni, Ramji Sharma, Ramesh Sharma, Sakalkanti Mitra, Sekhar Roy, Mohan Jadhav, Simi Sharma,  Shashikant Charbe,  Vidya Menon,  Dinesh Singh,Alka Pandey, Ritu Gupta, Sudhir Bania, Adurthi Srinivas Rao, Anjali Yadav, Sandip Visave.

The show is on till 28th March 2014.

Mera Gobind

All India Fine Arts & Cfrafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi presents an art exhibition by artist A.S. Chitrak. The exhibition titled, ‘Mera Gobind’ is an emotional perspective and vision of Chitrak. His collection showcases the journey of Guru Gobind Singh through his eyes. Chitrak completely submerges himself into his work and portrays scenes and learnings from the stories and fables of the legendary figure.

The works are figuratives with exclusive narratives and a flair of story telling in them. The show commences on 25th March and is on view till 31st March 2014.

Varanasi Revisited

Art Indus, New Delhi presents a solo show of works by artist Reena Singh. The show is titled, ‘Varanasi Revisited’ and on display are art works, paintings specifically rendered in intense abstractions.

The artist has captured the nuances of the culturally rich surroundings of the city of Varanasi in equally vibrant and bold strokes, textures and colours. The history loaded city has a lot to offer in terms of experiences be it art, literature, culture and the artist has taken the pains to depict all of these features in her works. The works, rendered in the acrylic on canvas medium, derive from nature, cityscapes and landscapes, depictions of the Ganga river, boats, temples, etc which complete the whole experience of the city.

The show is on view till 1st April 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


A legacy of art
An accidental discovery of a cache of art of J. Vasanthan has led to the creation of an Art foundation
(Solomon Pappiah inaugurating the JV art foundation.)
English Prof J. Vasanthan who died two months ago, has left behind more than 2,500 brilliant art works. They came to light when his book shelves were being cleared. The discovery propelled his daughter Chandini Appadurai to start the J. Vasanthan Art Foundation.
Besides keeping alive the memory and legacy of the professor, the foundation will also provide a platform for emerging artists and raise awareness and appreciation of art and culture.
Chandini says she often saw her father sketch on the backs of calendars. “In seconds he would come out with a drawing. I did not understand the nuances of his artwork those days,” she says.
Chinnaraj Joseph Jaikumar, Managing Trustee of the foundation, remembers how when Vasanthan was a student in Madras Christian College he would sketch regularly. “Not a day passed without his caricatures displayed on the notice board.” Prof Solomon Papiah, a contemporary of JV, praised the contributions of the late English teacher while his former colleagues and friends Prof Nedumaran and D. Samuel Lawrence recalled his dedication to teaching and his helpful nature. “We have planned a series of art exhibitions in Madurai, Chennai, Puducherry and Delhi culminating on the first death anniversary of my father,” says Chandini.
Objectives of the Vasanthan foundation:
Recover his original works, preserve and document the art pieces.
Conduct a bibliographic research to index his written works since 1950.
Seek the help of art critics to categorise his sketches.
Bring out a coffee table book
Establish an art school
Organise seminars, workshops, lectures by visiting artists and interface with schools and colleges to promote art education.
Through an endowment fund, create scholarships and stipends for budding artists
Hold regular competitions for young people.

(Report by Shailaja Tripathi for The Hindu)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Waste Side Story, Entering the Now, Inner Terrain and more..


Waste Side Story
( work on display)
Akar Prakar Gallery,  Kolkata, presents a solo show recent works by eminent artist Debanjan Roy. The show titled, ‘Waste Side Story’ is curated by Paroma Maiti.
The artist has tried to depict the concepts of ‘waste’ in various influential elements, and depicted them through a range of mediums and artistic expressions. From mediums as varied as drawings, sculptures and quirky installations to literally portraying useless objects such as toilet-cleaning brushes, are however laced with subtle undertones of sexual allusions.  All of these could be the results of ‘a’ particular type of society – its political hue tinted with multiple identities of gender, class or religion. The fact that he keeps this zone a grey one makes the works even more alluring.

His sculptures in wood also depict the state of objects, effect of prolonged use, abuse, and subjugation to the relentless squeezing out of its last bit of functional capacity – has been shown without any sympathy, just as it is. The artist likes to look at things from both sides – so he makes a whole ensemble of chic clothes – made out of wasted packets and covers. Debanjan Roy’s solo show is not a mere drab docu-articulation of things turned into waste but more a peek inside the gruesomeness of the human mind and an exploration of the layers of ruthless violence suppressed in its subconscious.

The show is on view till 18th April 2014.

Beyond Horizons
(work on display)
Convention Foyer, Habitat World, New Delhi presents a solo show of oil paintings on canvas by artist Yograj Verma. Titled, “Beyond Horizons” an exhibition which is solidly distinctive from the present swing of the modern art. 

This is the seventh endeavour by Yograj Verma, an artist who develops the thoughts about Indian mythology and embeds those insights by making the canvas and the colors alive. He interpolates the Incredible Incarnations of almighty to uphold the concept of the divine and the myths in the present scenario.

The show is on view from 24th March to 27th March 2014.

Entering The Now
(work on display)
Kamalnayan Bajaj Art gallery, Mumbai presents an exhibition of works by the artist, Rachna Toshniwal, along with veteran artist, Surendra Rao, and visiting Belgian artist, Kris Vandenberghe. The artists will work together at the gallery making art, swapping techniques, and sharing the joy of the creative process. Anyone interested could join in this collaborative artistic space.

‘Entering the Now’ is Rachna Toshniwal's first solo show wherein she explores the intertwining emotional threads of merging, separating, and connecting with the self and other. Through her artwork, Rachna finds a new language – a new way of relating while taking a radical step towards change.

The show is on view from 24th March to 29th March 2014.

Inner Terrain
( work on display)
Icon Art Gallery, Hyderabad presents an exhibition of water colour paintings by artist Akshat Charate. The show is titled, ‘Inner Terrain’ and displays the exquisite and unique art works of the artist.

The works rendered in the humble water colour medium portray distinct narratives in their figurations. The vibrant colours and specific depictions make for an interesting view.

The show is on view till 3rd April 2014.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)


Inside the artist’s studio
Workplaces offer unique insights about a person, be it an artist, writer or accountant. Zeenab Aneez goes studio hopping to see what artists of the city have to say about their personal nooks
(Priyanka Aelay at her studio. Photo: Nagara Gopal)
A typical day at the shared studio of artists Parameshwar Raju and Koeli Mukherjee in Masab tank begins with a glass of chai. “While some of the work happens in the studios, the ideas come to us in the oddest of places,” says Raju, who carries his broad-nibbed pens and notebooks with him at all times, like a mobile studio of sorts. “Some of my works happen on flights from Hyderabad to Delhi,” says the artist. Apart from finished works and black canvases, the studio is littered with books on culture theory and mythology - research for Raju’s work, which is curated and documented by Koeli. While Raju’s style is defined by controlled strokes and in depth research, Koeli’s is free flowing, evolving with each stroke of the chiselled bamboo.
(Artist Fawad Tamkanat at his studio. Photo: Nagara Gopal)
Fawad Tamkanat’s space is tucked away in a cosy corner of Banjara Hills. The walls of the little space are lined with finished pieces, works in progress, posters from group and solo shows across the country and world and a few of his daughter’s drawings. Fawad is currently working on a series depicting scenes from the street. “I have a routine; every morning whether I get up late or early, I pack my food and water and come here. I work till about 11 p.m. almost every day. I have a studio in my home as well but I prefer to paint here because here I can entertain people who want to see my work or watch me paint. I have been here for the last 15 years and have grown quite attached to it; it’s a small space but there is enough natural light. My friends are free to walk in the evenings and chat while I work. I enjoy that so long as the conversation is not about films or cricket.”
(Artist, Deepa Nath at her studio. Photo: Nagara Gopal)
Priyanka Aeley’s studio is nestled in a nondescript apartment in Somajiguda. “I don’t want things to be too neat here with just the one canvas that I am working on. I like it that the other works, incomplete and complete ones are here, that there are rolled up canvases here; that gives me the motivation. I have a lot of books here – so whenever I want to relax or take a break from work I can sit back and flip through something. You keep changing the studio space as well; there is a lot of experimentation happening because you don’t have to worry about anything else as in a home. It feels like a studio to me only when I personalise. The moment I come back here, it’s completely about work. I leave everything else back home; no other ideas follow me here.”
(Artist Koeli Mukherjee at her studio. Photo: Nagara Gopal)
Artist Deepa Nath’s studio is a tidy little space that she calls her ‘hideout’.
(Calligraphy artist Parameshwar Raju at his studio. Photo: Nagara Gopal)
“This is basically my hideout where I want to be completely cut off from my family and friends; in fact none of my friends even know this place, I don’t entertain anybody here. That I live so far away helps. I just want to be with my work and my art books. I play music; sometimes classical, sometimes some old Hindi songs. It takes time to get into the flow of painting something and if I am interrupted, I have to start again.”

( Report by Zeenab Aneez for The Hindu)