Art News & Views

In the News

March 2011

Renowned Artist Sohan Qadri passes away

Toronto: Artist & poet Sohan Qadri died at the age of 78 after a prolonged illness, in Toronto on 1st March 2011.

He was born on 2 November 1932, in the village of Chachoki near Jalandhar, Punjab. At a very young age he was introduced to yogic practice by Bikham Giri, a Bengali Tantric Vajrayana yogi, and then he became close to a Sufi figure, Ahmed Ali Shah Qadri. His poetry and art was extremely engrossed in Indian tradition. A poet, painter and Tantric yogi, Sohan Qadri was intensely engaged with spirituality. FN Souza said, “You may look at his paintings as symbolic representations of the "serpent power" (Kundalini) or as mere form and colour to enjoy as pure art . . . an exceptional artist.”

He received fine art degree from the Government College of Art in Shimla. He taught art for four years at Ramgarhia College Phagwara. It was Mulk Raj Anand who first recognised Qadri's talent and organised his first exhibition in Le Corbusier's architectural complex in Chandigarh.

Sohan Qadri has had more than 70 exhibitions across the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. His works are in the collections of the Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts; the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. Qadri's collections of poems written in classical Punjabi idiom include Mitti Mitti, Navyug New Delhi (1987); Boond Samunder, Lok Sahit (1990); Antar Joti, Navyug (1995).

To mourn the sad demise of this renowned artist Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh had organised a documentary film & slide show on Sohan Qadri on March 6, 2011.

Exemption of Customs Duty for Antiquities

New Delhi: Welcoming the exemption of customs duty for art and antiques, Culture Minister Kumari Selja said that this will encourage the private, corporate and philanthropic organizations and individuals, to promote and popularize Indian art and that this measure will help the fields of traditional arts as well as contemporary art in their endeavour.

She also welcomed an International Award, with prize money of Rupees 1 crore, for promoting values of universal brotherhood that is to be instituted in memory of Rabindranath Tagore, as part of National Celebrations of his 150th Anniversary.

The celebrations will begin from May 7, 2011 in New Delhi and a number of significant events are also scheduled to be held in several European, American and Asian countries.

Opposition Over Nude Art

New York: An exhibition Pornucopia, at the Allegra LaViola Gallery had drawn fiery opposition from some unlikely art critics: Orthodox Jews. The show examined pornography in artwork and included paintings, video, and installations by artists Alison Blickle, Paul Brainard, and Stephen Irwin. According to LaViola, discontent began at the opening of the show on 4th February, 2011 and had continued for the duration of the show, including three visits from the police.

Before the opening, LaViola posted a sign in front of the gallery alerting parents that the exhibition was not suitable for children. But members of the Orthodox community had been particularly offended by the window display, which showed a painting by Paul Brainard of a naked woman surrounded by pizza slices and another nude leaping through a field by Alison Blickle. Instead of giving into the resistance, LaViola had extended the show through March 18, 2011. "I have to imagine that this is not the end of it," she said.

Atul Dodiya at Lalit Kala Chandigarh Art Workshop

Chandigarh: As a part of the Chandigarh Arts & Heritage Festival 2011 Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi presented an Art Workshop by Atul Dodiya on 25th March 2011. A slide lecture by Dodiya was also organised on 28th March 2011 at the Government Museum & Art Gallery, Chandigarh.

Atul Dodiya was born in 1959, Mumbai and studied art from Sir J J School of Art, and Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, known for hyperrealist paintings attended the five-day art workshop with ten young Chandigarh artists namely Akanksha Ghai, Dhananjay Sharma, Divakar Rai, Manjot Kaur, Manmeet Kaur, Naveen, Sonal Garg, Sanjay Kumar, Satvinder Singh and Shilpi.

The Art Workshop also highlighted an interaction of Atul Dodiya with viewers and artists.

Zimbabwe: Women's Day Celebrated in Art

Harare: Zimbabwe's women fine artists in Harare celebrated their 2011 International Women's Day in style by joining at the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust headquarters for an art forum named Women and Art.

The Special Art Master class intended to celebrate women in art in the country, their various roles, issues for the contemporary artists and moving forward together to raise the profile and standard of Zimbabwean contemporary art.

Organised by the First Floor Gallery in Harare directed by fine art practitioner Moffat Takadiwa and his dynamic team, the women in art celebration Master class was facilitated by Russian born Australian Valerie Kabov who is the senior adviser for the First Floor Gallery.

The Master class was graced by some of the current leading female fine art practitioners who gave their exclusive presentations to the delight of their numerous colleagues. The artists included art master Berry Bickle, young artists Portia Zvavahera and Virginia Chihota.

First Floor Gallery's vision is to become a leading show casing centre of contemporary African-Zimbabwean art and to be a formidable force in the production of high level art and applied crafts.

The Women's Day Celebration eliminated the notion that native African people do not appreciate contemporary fine art particularly the women who comprise an insignificant number of the country's artistic population.

Oscar-Nominated Waste Land Redefines Garbage

Rio De Janeiro: Waste Land, an Oscar-nominated film about the Brooklyn-based, Brazilian artist Vik Muniz (49) narrates the eminent artist using his work as a device to support social justice. The documentary goes with Muniz to Brazil, where he plans to harvest garbage from one of the world's largest landfills, Jardim Gramacho, and use it to assemble portraits of people who rummage the dump for their livelihoods.

Jardim Gramacho, established in 1970 on the northern edge of Rio, is a 320-acre dump that takes in about 7,000 tons of the city's waste, per day. There, thousands of garbage pickers await an endless convoy of trucks to sift and pick recyclables from the mountain of trash. They remove about 200 tons per day, selling the paper, metal, plastic, rags and other materials to wholesalers, who re-sell the garbage to recycling companies.

Muniz's works is displayed in the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and other Washington collections.

China Surpass UK in Art and Antique Market Business

Beijing: China overtakes Britain as the global art and antique market leader as informed by a report commissioned by the European Fine Art Foundation. As per the report, UK was removed from second to third place in the global market destination for arts and antiques. The report also claims, “The period from 2008 to 2010 has been one of crisis and recovery for the art and antiques market," According to the report, an EU art tax due to be extended in UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Austria next year, risks further damage to those markets by encouraging vendors to sell in another place.

The BBC reports, China's share of the global art business is 23%, surpassing Britain's 22%. The British Art Market Federation, which represents many UK dealers, said the figures made for "alarming reading".

Yet, UK continues to dominate the European market with a global share of 37%, being Europe's biggest market, followed by France and the United States.

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art etc. news & views is a monthly magazine published from India in order to promote art and culture. It intends to raise awareness about art all around India and the world. The magazine covers art exhibitions, auction highlights, market trends, art happenings besides Antique, Collectibles, Fashion, Jewellery, Vintage, Furniture, Film, Music and Culture.