Art News & Views

Art Events Kolkata

July – August 2011

by Mrinal Ghosh

The City in the Archive: Calcutta's Visual Histories
An exhibition from the archival collections of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta held at Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre
8 July to 23 July, 2011
As stated in the concept note of the exhibition, the show explores the rich potential of the city's visual histories through an institutional project of archiving and documentation. It conceives of the Calcutta of 19th and 20th centuries through the prism of the diverse visual genres that are housed in the cultural history archives of the CSSSC. Presented here are different ways of visualizing the nature of the modern city its public spaces and life-styles; its changing forms of middle class sociability, leisure and consumption, its cultural productions and practices, its people and personalities. The exhibition moves through four thematic sections: (i) Print Productions and Graphic Design (ii) Leisure, Consumption, Entertainment (iii) Portraits and Personalities (iv) Urban Sites and Spaces each of which evolve through different time frames, stretching from the middle years of 19th century to the end of the 20th century.

First Solo Show of Shankar Chattopadhyay
Academy of Fine Arts
7 July to 13 July, 2011
In the globalised environment of art today the relevance of Indian style of painting is gradually growing obsolete. The project of generating an Indian identity of modernity initiated by the movement of neo-Indian school since the beginning of 20th century made great impact in further development of our art. But during the last two decades it has moved towards oblivion. Shankar Chattopadhyay, a young artist who did his post-graduation in painting from Government College of Art and Craft, Calcutta in 2010 has shown in his first solo how the ethos of national spirit can imaginatively be used to build up a post-modern sensibility in painting. In his 16 paintings in tempera on canvas showcased in the exhibition he has assimilated ancient and medieval forms of Indian art with Chinese and Egyptian forms to build up a style of his own which is very much modern and sensitive.

An Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture
Emami Chisel
14 July to 30 July, 2011
The exhibition presented an overview of the trends of contemporary sculpture in Bengal through the works of 21 sculptors from the seniors who came to limelight during the decade of 1960-s to the young generation of sculptors of the new 21st century. The names of the participating artists are as follows: Uma Siddhanta, Bipin Goswami, Biman Behari Das, Manik Talukdar, Asim Basu, Janak Jhankar Narzary and Tapas Sarkar. Sunil Kumar Das, Bimal Kundu, Shyamal Roy, Ram Kumar Manna, Tapan Kumar Das, Sunanda Das, Pankaj Panwar, Akhil Chandra Das. Goutam Das, Sutanu Chatterjee, Asis Ghosh, Debatosh Kar, Tapas Biswas and Subrata Biswas. The concept note presented by the gallery states that, “the exhibition Contemporary Sculpture aims to present the traditional and new perception being explored by both senior and junior practitioners of this field. Viewers will get the opportunity to look at the distinctive styles and aesthetic values inherent in different shapes and sizes of the created forms by the various artists from Bengal”.

When Things Fall Apart
The First Group Show of Paintings and Sculptors by the members of 'Antivirus' at Academy of Fine Arts
21 July to 27 July, 2011
'Antivirus' in a newly formed group of artists in Kolkata. All the six members belonging to this group are within their forties. Out of them Deepankar Dutta is a sculptor. Swapan Kumar Mallick, Anindya Pandit, Sujata Pandit and Dibakar Karmakar are painters, while Sarmistha Maity is an art theorist. The first solo show of the group has been recently held under the title When Things Fall Apart. As the motto of the group Sarmistha has written in the concept note of the exhibition: “The Antivirus team, four painters and one sculptor, all in their forties have witnessed the paradigm shift in the socio-cultural transition as insiders of the process. As professional practitioners of art for more than two decades, on the one hand they have undergone the conflict and confrontation with the dichotomies and convention of techniques, language and the indispensable biasness of artistic originality. And on the other, they have struggled to create the balance between these constant conflicts retaining their uniqueness in sharing their individual complexities generating a common discourse of plural thought garnished on the same platter…. 'Antivirus' is not a protest, not even a prevention but the acknowledgement of the possibility of a repair and resolution from within the 'virus' itself.” The artists in their first group exposure have dealt with the virulence of the 'virus' and also tried to find out the way to go beyond it through compassion and contemplation of beauty.

Works on Paper
Galerie 88
30 July to 13 August, 2011
Paper as a support is usually used for drawing, printing and water colour painting. The process of paper making is believed to have originated in China in A.D. 100 and was introduced to Europe in the 13th century. In our country, paper as support is now widely used not only for sketching but also for serious paintings. The exhibition at Galerie 88 showcasing works on paper by 24 artists from all over India reveals that paper as a support has a distinct characteristic than other widely used supports. The show reveals evolution of our painting from 1940-s to the present day. Among the artists of the 1940-s there were MF Husain, FN Souza, Krishna Reddy, Paritosh Sen, Somnath Hore and Akbar Padamasi. Among the artists of 1960-s there were Ganesh Pyne, Bikash Bhattacharya, Jogen Chowdhury, Lalu Prasad Shaw, K Laxma Goud. Sudhir Patwardhan, Prabhakar Kolte, Kanchan Dasgupta represented generation of 1970-s. Among the next generation of painters there were Chandra Bhattacharjee, Jayashree Chakraborty, Anupam Chakraborty, Chandana Hore, Mahesh Baliga, Dilip Ranade, Mithu Sen, Adip Dutta and Amrita Sen.

I Have a Face, but a Face of What I Am Not Drawings and Sculptures by Adip Dutta
5 August to 10 September, 2011
In this solo Adip Dutta has elevated banality into art. Thus he has tried to come out of the 'aura' professed by the art of modernity. The concept note states, 'Banality is a contention of late capitalism, a creation of macroeconomics, and an effect of material culture. … Whether it's a simple toothbrush or a broomstick, they are seemingly bereft of aesthetic appeal as if they have lost their identity. Not so in Adip Dutta's world for whom everyday is an intense exploration of the boundaries of the banal and a constant attempt to propel them into the domain of higher disciplines like archeology, architecture, drawing and art history.'

Gandhara Art Gallery
3 August to 18 August, 2011
Tilt is a kind of deviation from the normal. Life is often engrossed with such deviation. This was the concept of the group show titled Tilt with works of the participating artists: Chhatrapati Dutta, Probir Gupta, Reji Arakkal, Mrinmoy Debnath, Sudipta Das and Nantu Behari Das. Nantu Behari constructed a chair covered through out the surface with iron nails and placed it in a slightly tilted position. Reji Arakkal painted with charcoal clusters of 30 small pieces of Santal hutments, displayed them in a tilted position and titled as The Displaced. These are two of the examples of the exhibits. The other artists also in their own way worked with their own idea of 'tilt'.

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