Art News & Views

Art Events Kolkata: June July 2011

by Mrinal Ghosh

Thrieving Magpie: Collages by Sunandini Banerjee
Seagull Arts & Media Resource Centre.
1 June to 3 July, 2011.
In the concept note of the exhibition the term 'Mag-pie' has been defined like this: 'A long-tailed crow with boldly marked (or green) plumage and a raucous voice. Used in similes or comparisons to refer to a person who collects things, especially of little use or value.' The concept then is further expanded like this. 'So the magpie adorns its nest with everything it finds. No matter how nondescript.' This is in short what Sunandini Banerjee has done to construct her works. Each one is a piece of digital collage, where various images of diversified nature that act as montage have been assembled to build up a complete image, mostly lyrical in nature, transcending into unique visual art form. The images have defied conventional narratives to express the mystery of life and nature.

The Language of Silence: Solo Exhibition of Paintings by Najma Akhter
Academy of Fine Arts.
2 June to 8 June, 2011.
Nazma Akhter is an artist from Bangladesh. She did her MFA from Institute of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1997. At present she is Assistant Professor, Institute of Education Research, University of Dhaka. This is her fifth solo. In the 24 paintings in acrylic on canvas and paper she depicts landscape and transforms the same into abstraction. She plays with the silence of nature and creates a visual language parallel to music that continuously posits a contradiction between sound and silence. Her works are meditative in nature and a search for mysticism within the reality.

Metamorphosis: Photographs by Mohan L Mazumder
Gallery Kolkata
4 June to 18 June, 2011
After 20 years of sincere and serious experimentations with photography Mazumder mounts his first solo. The 63 photographs, mostly in black and white, depict life and landscape of Bengal and extract their beauty and inner harmony. He plays with naturalism, which is the basic characteristic of photograph, and very subtly transforms this towards some kind of abstraction. This metamorphosis adds to the aesthetic quality in his works. The lyricism is his special feature. He also transforms this lyricism to arrive at the inner struggle and turmoil of life.

Art Gallery, Bhasha Bhavan, National Library, Kolkata
6 June to 17 June, 2011
Curated by Professor Swapan Majumdar this is an exhibition of select books, illustrations, portraits, paintings and manuscripts of Rabindranath from the collection of National Library. The introductory note on the exhibition published by National Library states: 'The exhibition mounted here represents only a fragment of that collection, trying to bring to the notice of discerning visitors some important features of the making of Tagorean texts: manuscripts, books, illustrations. Some sample paintings displayed are witness to the range of Tagore's unconventional paintings.' There are three aspects that have made the exhibition a memorable one. Firstly, portrait photographs of Tagore at different phases of his life taken by various important personalities. Secondly, authentic prints of some of the important paintings of Tagore. Thirdly, reproduction of a few important paintings by some celebrated artists featuring Tagore in various moods and activities. One brilliant example of this is a water colour by Abanindranath Tagore showing Tagore, Gandhi and Andrews discussing the Non-cooperation movement in Calcutta on 6 September, 1921. Lastly, the exhibition showcases a number of illustrations of Tagore's poetry by artists like Abanindranath, Gaganendranath, Nandalal Bose, Asit Kumar Haldar, Nabendranath Tagore, Suren Ganguly and others. With all these this show is a brilliant tribute to Tagore.

Face of Bengal: Photographs by Ms Beth A Payne, US Consul General
Harrington Street Arts Centre
10 June to 24 June, 2011
Ms Payne writes in her introductory note of the exhibition, 'I'm happiest wondering the streets of a city in the early morning capturing the lives of ordinary people ...Kolkata has by far been my favourite city for street photography, with its diverse boulevards, avenues and alleys teeming with activity, colour and wonderful light.' In the 40 photographs in colour showcased in this exhibition she has presented various faces and various moods of this city. Within the apparent reality she draws subtle poetry with which the image reverberates with an aesthetic beauty. The spectator can feel the heart of the city and its surroundings.

The Aviary
Ganges Art Gallery
14 June to 30 June, 2011
This is an exhibition on birds by various artists; birds in various moods, in various forms.  Bird is an important theme of art throughout the world. In our country from classical age to Mughal period, in primitive and folk expressions bird has been represented in different forms according to the ethos of the age. During modernist and contemporary period, the expression has been complex. In this exhibition by the contemporary artists various edges of such complexity have been represented ranging from pleasing birds by Katayun Saklat to bleeding birds by Mithu Sen. The other artists whose works have enriched the show are: Atin Basak, Sagar Bhowmik, Jayashree Chakraborty, Sunil Das, Debabrata Hazra, Puran Singh Jhala, Mahjiban Majumder, Avijit Mukherjee and Shubhaprasanna.

View of Calcutta and Its Environs: Lithographs by Charles D'Oyly
Victoria Memorial Hall
25 June to 31 July, 2011.
Curated by Nanak Ganguly this exhibition showcases 27 lithographs by Charles D'oyly from the collection of Victoria Memorial Hall. This is the first of a series of such exposition of the works of European painters who visited India during late 18th and early 19th century and painted nature and life of this country, which are now treated as very important visual documents. This is only a part D'Oyly's priceless works in water colours, lithographs and aquatints held in the collection of Victoria Memorial. Charles D'oyly (1781– 1845) was a public official and painter from Dhaka who produced numerous images on Indian subjects. He was born in India on 17 September, 1781. He went to England in 1785 and received his first formal education there. In 1798 he returned to India and joined as a Government official. The lithographs exhibited here showcase various sites of early 19th century Calcutta. A very well documented catalogue with an erudite article as curatorial note has been produced on this occasion.

13th Third Eye 2011 Photographic Utsav
Birla Academy
28 June to 3 July, 2011
'Third Eye' is a well known Kolkata based institution of photography led by the renowned photographer Atanu Pal. They constantly work on development and spread of aesthetic sensibility of the art of photograph through exhibitions, workshops, seminars etc. This is a group show of photographs printed on canvas by the members of 'Third Eye'. All most all the works contain rich visual and aesthetic value.

Group Show by the Artists of 'Open Window'
Aakriti Art Gallery
7 July to 23 July, 2011
The artists group 'Open Window' was formed in 1997. Since then they are exhibiting regularly. Within the diversity of their expression they have a unity of vision concerning the creation of an art language that reflects the complexity and human predicament of temporal reality. The artists participated in this show are Janak Jhankar Narzary and Gopinath Roy in sculpture, Amitabha Dhar, Dipali Bhattacharrya, Diptish Ghosh Dastidar, Hiran Mitra, K Muralidharan, Prabhat Basu, Pradip Rakshit, Prasenjit Sengupta, Samir Aich, Sudeshna Haldar, Sunil De and Tapas Konar in painting. The catalogue introduction by Nanak Ganguly summarizes the central point of the show thus: 'The works of this exhibition of this premier group posit a sign well beyond the historical enterprise of the horizon  we keep in mind that this is not a strategic coalition of practicing artists here as they recite to us the entire dramatic scale of their passions and appetites.'

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