The Month that was
by Franck Barthelemy
One year is over. We are entering a new year with a major event coming up in Delhi – the India Art Summit. We have talked to many galleries, collectors and art lovers and it seems this year the Summit is expected with a lot of excitement. We are all wishing to discover new trends and new artists; expecting new ideas from the ones we love and their new works, sometimes their old ones too. We are all thrilled about celebrating a new year together. But before the event, let us share the highlights of what happened in Bangalore in December. And let me tell you, a lot happened and many of us Bangaloreans had been spoiled by the art players!
Tasveer: Liz Taylor, Abbas Kiarostami, Paul Newman, Andy Warhol, Rossellini, Audrey Hepburn and many more great memories under one roof with Magnum Ke Tasveer. The photo gallery organized a unique exhibition of black & white photos in cooperation with Magnum photo agency. Some of the snaps have been taken during filming of legendary movies, some have been stolen from everyday life, and some are posed. The show is on till the beginning of January. If you want to start the year on a note of nostalgia, don't miss it.
SKE have treated us like kings. They brought to us disturbia, utopia, house beautiful, the latest installations by Bharti Kher and a talk by the artist on her body of works. They organized another talk by Abishek Hazra reacting on Sheela Gowda's works. They had also invited Subodh Gupta to Bangalore for a lecture on his practise. If you have not yet visited gallery SKE, rush there. You never know what you'll find at their space but we can promise you it will be different and you will enjoy it.
Apparao featured The Chairs, a group show bringing artists who analysed the highly symbolic pieces of furniture. Whether it represents power, symbolises comfort, recalls fears or just reminds of sweet memories, the chair is everywhere. The artists have explored it with drama, with tact and with humour and put it on canvases, acrylic, wood and velvet. Particularly appreciable was the untitled work with a tongue on a stool by Kumar Kanti Sen. A nice pink velvet tongue waiting for someone to dare sit on it. That was an exhibition worth checking.
Mahua presented a well researched talk by Balan Nambiar on another very interesting symbol, the snake. The serpent can be found in all civilizations in many different forms. Balan took us through the ritual art forms of the West Coast in myths, legends and folklore. The gallery also invited Leela Cherian to show case The Magic of Fabric, an exhibition of contemporary art quilts. Leela plays with colours and textures. She explores the potential of fabrics with great dexterity.
Gallery Blue Spade came back in the news with Reassurance, a solo show by Madhu V. It was indeed reassuring. The artist still retains his exceptional drawing skills and explores the Indian imagery with talent and power.
Sumukha is getting ready for an Asian art fair and despite the ups and downs of such an event that keep them busy, they organized an impressing exhibition of serigraphs made at the Archer Graphic Studio (Ahmedabad). For those who are dreaming to get a Raza, a Subramanyan or a Husain without getting broke.
1 Shanti Road organized shows with talks and screenings for their artists in residence. We have noticed Gone to Seed by Timo Seber, a young German artist from Cologne who obviously got impressed by Indian textiles. The Embassy of Love by Markus Shimizu, a Berlin based artist, and Jeetin Rangher, a Bangalore based artist, surprised us as art should always do.
Time & Space showed My People, paintings by Vrindavan Solanki, an exhibition without surprise by one of the masters of the South. The fans of the artist could find his faceless portraits in various colours and media. The works evoked a feeling of loneliness surrounded by ghosts.
Serendip is featuring Mantu Das in My World, his first ever solo show, in January. Mantu is a young upcoming artist who comes straight from Santaniketan. Besides being very talented, Mantu narrates us wonderful stories with his large canvases revealing vibrant colours and sharp lines. A show not to miss.
Sara Arrakal has put together a solo show for Devan Madangarli, a self taught painter who can captivate our attention with a universe inspired by nature its flora and fauna.
Kynkyny is staging the come back of Bangalorean artist Raghava KK with The last Child in the Woods, recently done works in New York (USA) where the artist is now living surrounded by all kinds of celebrities. Can be a possible source of inspiration.
The NGMA is as active as ever hosting numerous events. Its art walks are getting more popular than ever. Shamala Nandesh performed The Great Unmaking Vessel. It screened pEtE maatu, short movies on women in urban spaces, recently. They are now showing Something that I'll never really see: contemporary photography, a selection of photographs from the Victoria and Albert Museum (London).
3] Audrey Hepburn photo courtesy : Dennis Stock