Art News & Views

Art Events Kolkata: March April 2011

The Month that was

by Mrinal Ghosh

The Birth Centenary of Mother Teresa: Paintings by MF Husain and Sunita Kumar
Victoria Memorial Hall.
February 14 to March 6, 2011.

Photographs of Sunil K Dutt
March 14 to March 31, 2011.
20 paintings of the above artists adorned the Portrait gallery of Victoria Memorial. Husain creates an icon of the Mother, displayed here in elegant prints, through his two-dimensional simplified form that expressed the greatness of Mother and her love towards the suffering humanity. Sunita Kumar's forms are different. Her simplification also enlightens the grace and love of the Mother.

On the same occasion there has been another exhibition of photographs by the eminent photographer Sunil K Dutt. Through 28 black and white photographs Dutt has paid his tribute to Mother and brought out her diversified activities and relation with the life and people around her.

Liberation: Recent Works of Shahabuddin Ahmed
Ganges Art Gallery.
February 25 to March 14, 2011.
An important characteristic of the paintings of Shahabuddin, the 1950 born Paris based artist from Bangladesh, is the dynamism and forcefulness in form and expression. He was trained both in Bangladesh and Paris. He took active part in the war of liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. The experience of war and the human conditions and struggle for existence of the people of his motherland have been instrumental in building up his forms in which French Expressionism plays an important role. Since 1974 he has been living in Paris. He loves Kolkata and shows his works here at regular intervals. In the present exhibition in sweeping lines and dynamic forms he has painted life and landscape of Bangladesh, impressions of war, dynamic beasts, horses and bulls and great personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman.

Beware – Be-Aware of the Art of Sunil: Drawings, Paintings and Sculptures by Sunil Das
Gallery Kolkata.
February 28 to March 26, 2011.
As an introduction to this exhibition Sunil Das writes, 'Through this exhibition I wish to bring awareness to my art lovers and collectors for the present and future. To bring to their notice that there are a lot of fake works being made and circulated and sold all over India as well as over the world, to unsuspecting collectors who love my work. Hope this exhibition will make them more aware to understand and recognize my works.' Apart from this stated purpose of this exhibition it posits something more. We find here his paintings of horses and bulls done in early years of his career, 1959 and 1960 and also executed in recent years. This helps us to compare the change of spirit and world outlook of the artist with the passage of time. Das always experiments with various forms; realistic, expressionist and abstract. In the core of such experiments there is an urge to express the human condition. This exhibition also showcases such examples of multiplicity of his forms. The most important feature of this show is his sculptures. For the last few years he is seriously engaged in creating three dimensional forms. The bronzes here also prove his originality.

Recent Works of Shubhaprasanna
March 18 to April 14, 2011.
Through 102 drawings and paintings Shubhaprasanna in this exhibition showcases the multiplicity of his forms, which are built up through expressionist transmutation on naturalistic execution. But within that diversity there is a unity of purpose. He expresses a political consciousness and highlights on the decay of humanity that the present social turmoil has posited. In the series of paintings titled The Shadow through narrative execution he delves deeper into the darkness that engulfs the life today in which he finds no ray of hope.

Re-Vision: Recent Works of Birendra Pani
Aakriti Art Gallery.
March 18 to March 31, 2011.
Birendra Pani is a young artist from Odisha. In this solo comprising of his paintings, acrylic on canvas, few photographs and  videos he explores and re-visits the traditional past in the context of the social environment of the present. Odisha has rich legacy of diverse visual culture that includes elegant temple architectures and stone sculptures associated with it, which is now in the process of decay. Through his works he questions this natural and intentional lose. Gotipura traditional dance form is another such cultural legacy, where young boys used to perform dance in the guise of girls. This form of performing visual art has now withered away. Pani in a number of his paintings places the image of such dance performance in an environment of contemporary urban setting to highlight on the contradiction of the two contradictory cultural values.

Beneath The Surface: Recent Works of Nobina Gupta
Gallery Sanskriti.
March 21 to April 14, 2011.
In this elegant and bright solo Nobina showcases about 40 paintings in pen and ink or pencil and ink on archival print, two installations, whose basic elements are paper and a video installation. She highlights the glory of nature, also expresses her pain on pollution and destruction of nature by human civilization. In eclecticism of her construction she is more inclined to far-eastern ideology, especially Japanese form. In her post-modernist approach to form and concept and in building up an alternative form of art, she has successfully shown that these can be raised from one's ideological and traditional root and identity. This is a great achievement that she has fulfilled in this show.

Pilgrim of Eternity: An Exhibition of Paintings by Bireshwar Sen
The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Gol Park.
March 23 to April 23, 2011.
Bireshwar Sen (1897  1974) took his early training in painting from Abanindranath Tagore at the Indian Society of Oriental Art after completing his post graduation in English literature from University of Calcutta. At the invitation of Asit Kumar Haldar, he joined as a faculty in Govt Art School at Lucknow and spent his life in that city. At a certain stage of his life he came in contact with the celebrated painter Nicholas Roerich and was inspired to paint nature. But in difference to Roerich his landscape paintings were miniature in form. He could concentrate the vast and sublime glory of nature in a very limited space. This exhibition showcased 106 of such miniature landscapes that excelled in meditative inwardness.

Paintings by Mamata Banerjee
Gallery 88.
April 4 to April 7, 2011.
Organized by the news paper 'Jago Bangla' this exhibition showcased 98 paintings, mostly acrylic on canvas, created by the renowned political leader, social activist and the present Railway minister Mamata Banerjee. What attracts the viewer are the exuberance, dynamism and prolific quality of her works. She turns naivety into a proper form of art. The paintings are far away from the social and political turmoil that the artist as a social activist constantly confronts. Here she creates a separate space of visual beauty through delineation of landscapes and various floral arrangements. In sweeping and dynamic post-impressionistic brush strokes mostly of circular or curvilinear movement she brings out pulsating vibration within the apparently quiet nature. There are a few linear works depicting human and animal figures that highlight on folk simplicity and lyricism.

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