[The Month That Was]
Art Events Kolkata, April – May 2012
by Mrinal Ghosh
Kala Bhavana Annual Exhibition 2012
Academy of Fine Arts
4 April to 10 April, 2012
As an art institution Visva-Bharati Kala Bhavan at Santiniketan follows a great heritage since its beginning in 1919 where an intimate dialogue between tradition and modernity was taken up as the basis of art education. The inspiration and broad world outlook of Rabindranath was at the core of its ideal which was carried forward by the great mentors like Nandalal Basu, Benodebehari Mukherjee, Ramkinkar and other celebrated teachers and artists. The legacy is still very living. The works of the present students of this institution show its ample evidence. The present exhibition spread over five galleries of the academy showcased innumerable works of various forms and concepts where practice of traditional modernity side by side with alternative art forms generated out of globalised post-modern conceptual idioms has made the show very enlightened and inspiring. It indicates that the students whose works have been displayed have great possibility to create a bright future of Indian visual art.
'An Alternative Perspective': Paintings by 5 Women Artists
6 April to 28 April, 2012
The exhibition showcased works by five women artists: Anju Chowdhury, Rini Dhumal, Jayashree Burman, Rashmi Bagchi Sarkar and Shakila. The perspective of almost all the paintings and the four sculptures by Jayashree was nature. Not that nature or landscape was the dominant theme of the works, but nature in the broader aspect was the motive force or inspiration behind the works. Within that natural perspective the artists depicted various aspects of life and reality. The nature envisaged and contemplated by women is likely to be some thing different from how men in general look at it. May be from that aspect the works posited an alternative perspective. The concept note stated about the theme of the show thus: “Alternative Perspective, is not only 'alternative' because there are five women artists; more importantly, it depicts a world, where nature, memory and imagination play the role of man. Within this exhibition, we enter a whispering world; a mysterious, sometimes strange universe often experienced, it would seem singularly”.
'Urbania': Solo Exhibition of Hiran Mitra
17 April to 22 April, 2012
Hiran Mitra has created a very important original idiom in contemporary abstract painting. His forms are two dimensional geometric with gestural display of different sign idioms mostly done in contrast of black and white. Yet through this pure abstraction he expresses his intimate socio-temporal commitment. Coming out of Government Art College, Calcutta in 1966, Mitra has been engrossed during the last 40 years with various forms of expression ranging from painting, sculpture, installation and other kinds of decorative and graphic art including designing of set for theatre. The present show containing about 50 works of painting, sculpture and installation has been designed to delineate the dark and somber face of the urban existence mostly based on the city of Kolkata. Every thing here is in a state of decay. The shadow lingers. Melancholy hovers in a nocturnal atmosphere. This decaying reality has been very wisely transformed into abstract gestural idioms positing a kind of existential commitment.
'Radiance': Recent Paintings and Installations by Kalpana Shah
18 April to 6 May, 2012
Curated by renowned art historian and research scholar Dr. Sarayu Doshi the exhibition showcased the latest paintings and metallic installations by Kalpana Shah, who is widely known as the owner of the renowned Tao Art Gallery in Mumbai. She came to her own creativity in 2009, and now has established herself as a very imaginative abstract painter. In this exhibition apart from her intuitive paintings in acrylic on canvas she has constructed geometrical abstractions with metals in the form of installation, about which she herself has written: 'My inspiration for installation was my imagination of metal as fabric. I was constantly visualizing the flow, the shine, softness and curves in the metal.' In these metallic works she has wonderfully transcended the character of the metal by inducing enlightened softness. Intuitive spirituality is the general characteristics of her abstraction.
Paintings and Drawings of Jamini Roy: His 125th Birth Anniversary
Chitrakoot Art Gallery
19 April to 29 April, 2012
Jamini Roy was born on 15 April 1887. To celebrate his 125th birth anniversary Chitrakoot Art Gallery mounted the show from their own collection. Jamini Roy (1887 - 1972) was one of the pioneering artists who could devise an indigenous identity of modern Indian painting by connecting it with popular living tradition. He was the first to feel that the pulse of India could only be traced in the flowing life of the village and the folk art of the rural people living on the grass root level contained in itself a spiritual sense of beauty that had been transformed from grotesqueness of primitive consciousness towards a lyrical beauty containing mythical elements of the collective unconscious. He devoted all his life to create an idiom of modernity from this depth of popular consciousness. The exhibition was a sincere tribute to the celebrated artist.
'Summer Rhymes': Exhibition of Contemporary Art of Bengal
Emami Chisel Arts Gallery
23 April to 22 May, 2012
The exhibition showcased the paintings and sculptures of mostly younger generation of artists of Bengal. The diversity of forms and themes made the show colourful and attractive. The participating artists were Amlan Dutta, Arunabha Karmakar, Anup Giri, Apto Bhattacharya, Asim Pal, Dhiren Sasmal, Gopal Chowdhury, Haren Thakur, Munindra Rajbongshi, Chanchal Mukherjee, Pradip Rakshit et.al. in painting and Alok Roy, Ashis Paul, Chandra Shekhar Das, Dilip Patra, Gobinda Das, Jayanta Kumar Paul, Kinkar Saha, Sailen Ghosh and others in sculpture.
'A Critical Analysis of the Shakta Traditions under the Light of Contemporary Gender and Culture Studies': A Lecture Presentation through Paintings by Arghya Dipta Kar
At Studio 21
28 April, 2012
Arghya Dipta Kar is a young scholar of literature and philosophy, a self-taught painter and a musician in the same fold. He delivered the above illustrated lecture through display of ten paintings by him depicting ten different forms of power or 'Vidya' as listed in the 'Shakta Tantras', namely, Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhubaneshwari, tripurabhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumabati, Bagala, Matangii and Kamala. All the images were very dexterously delineated following the description in Tantric text. Apart from this delineation Argha in his talk elaborated with enlightened wisdom the philosophy of Indian Tantric mythology showing how 'this integral vision of Tantras is tremendously relevant in the present day world of fragmented experience'. He went on to elucidate: 'without rejecting identity and individuality, entities can yet break out of them amounting to a curious non-dual merging of all our binary experiences'.
'Conversations in Hyperreality': First Solo Exhibition of Saira Ansari
25 April to 31 May, 2012
Saira Ansari is an artist from Pakistan. She was born in 1982 at Brazil and made her MFA from National College of Art, Lahore. This is her first solo though she has shown her works in different important exhibitions around the world. The special feature of this exhibition is that she has turned written language and the symbols of written words into visual images. The ideas contained in the poetry of the words communicate her concept, thereby she disintegrates the barrier between visual and verbal language. The concept note states, her 'work is derived from responding to aggressive and vividly visual personal dreams and hallucinatory experiences that she has experienced for most of her memory. Her primary interest over the last few years has been to work around the experience of lucid dreaming, tonic immobility, nightmares, and letters of communication that represent physical and mental displacement.'