Art News & Views

In the News

November 2011

Indian Photographer, Gauri Gill, Wins the Grange Prize

Toronto. Indian photographer Gauri Gill won the $50,000 Grange Prize 2011, Canada's largest photography prize at Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario, on November 1, 2011.

Gill's works has a particular interest in marginalized communities. The nominating jury hailed her for "depicting the artist's often-intimate relationships with her subjects with a documentary spirit and a human concern over issues of survival." She won over two Canadian photographers  Elaine Stocki and Althea Thauberger. From India, Nandini Valli of Chennai was also nominated for 2011. Gill and Valli were chosen to compete by a jury that included Gayatri Sinha, a Delhi-based critic and Sunil Gupta, an international photographer, as well as Jacques and Canadian Wayne Baerwaldt.

The winner was chosen by public vote after online and gallery exhibited of work by the four nominees. Votes this year came from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Mexico, as well as India and Canada.

Each of the contestants got an international residency and the finalists each won $5,000.

Gems of Rajput Painting at Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Boston. Museum of Fine Arts Boston will present the Gems of Rajput Painting from December 10, 2011 to September 3, 2012 at its renovated Asian Paintings gallery.

Gems of Rajput Painting will feature the MFA's outstanding collection of paintings made for the princes of Rajasthan and the 'Rajputs' from the hills of Punjab. The kingdoms of these art-loving princes shared a common elite culture, though, by the early 1700s, each court had developed its own individual and unique painting style. The exhibition will represent four of Rajput painting's central themes: tales of heroism, women and romance, courtly life, and lord Krishna and Hindu devotion.

Art Installation Evokes Nostalgia

Dharmsala.  Tenzing Rigdol, a contemporary artist from New York, created an art installation with 20 tons of soil from Tibet during a public installation art project at the Tibetan Children's Village School in Dharmsala, India on October 26, 2011. Tenzing Rigdol's installation touched a deep emotional chord among thousands of Tibetan exiles living in India, hundreds of whom lined up to walk across the mounds of soil.

The Dalai Lama and Lobsong Sangay, the newly elected prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, have both accepted it as genuine Tibetan soil. Rigdol says his method for getting it to Dharmsala will be revealed in a documentary in a few months.

For Tibetans living in exile for more than five decades, the installation has evoked strong nostalgia for a homeland to which they hope to return one day.

Rigdol, who has a degree in art from the University of Colorado, says the idea came to him when his father was dying and wished to go back to Tibet.

Modernist Art from India at the Rubin Museum of Art

New York City. The Rubin Museum of Art is presenting Modernist Art from India, The Body Unbound focussing on representations of the figure and the body in modernist art from India after that nation's independence in 1947. The show started on November 18, 2011 and continues till April 9, 2012.

Included in the exhibition are works from the early 1940s to the mid-1980s, ranging from traditionalist representations of Indian villagers and townspeople to depiction of the metaphysical "man" to the socially and politically charged narrative representations that predominated in the 1980s. Reflecting on the predominant concerns of India's artists in the decades after Independence, The Body Unbound considers the artistic and psychological significance of figurative modes in these paintings.

Photographer Hannes Schmid's Captures Hindu Pilgrims

New York. The Rubin Museum of Art presented Swiss photographer Hannes Schmid's still and moving images of the festival during Human Currents: The World's Largest Pilgrimage as Interpreted by Hannes Schmid. The exhibition which started on July 22 continued till November 13, 2011.

The Maha Kumbh Mela, the most important among Kumbh Mela festivals, is held only once every one hundred forty-four years. Around seventy-five million pilgrims assembled in Allahabad, North India for a month-long Maha Kumbh Mela festival which started from January to February 2001.

The images Hannes Schmid (b. 1946) captured during the Maha Kumbh Mela build upon his lifelong photographic pursuit of unique events and grand personalities. Schmid's large C-print photographs capture the visual essence of this enormous act of faith. Human Currents presented seven of these images, along with an accompanying video installation that bring to life the crushing, claustrophobic crowds, myriad colours, and frenetic energy of this greatest of Hindu pilgrimages.

Folk Art Portrait Sale at Skinner Breaks Record

Boston. Skinner had conducted an auction on American Furniture and Decorative Arts auction, on November 5, 2011. And a rare 18th-century portrait of Abigail Rose of North Branford, Conn., which was estimated for $150,000-250,000, was sold for $1,271,000. The portrait broke the previous record for American folk art portraiture, set in January 2007, and is one of three folk art portraits to have passed the million-dollar mark at auction. The painting from 1786 depicts a 14-year-old Abigail seated in a Queen Anne chair next to a table on which rests a group of books and a Battersea patch box.

The sale brought $2.9 million including buyer's premium, nearly $1 million dollars more than the estimate high, and saw a record established for an American folk art portrait.

James Bond Watch Sold at Christie's

Geneva. A Rolex wristwatch was worn by Roger Moore in the James Bond film Live and Let Die. And this specially adapted Rolex wristwatch converted from a stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner was put on auction on 14th November, 2011 at Christie's Geneva gallery. Though the estimated price for the watch was $220,083-$440,166 it was sold for $243,959.



Paintings of Leonardo Featured in the National Gallery, London

London. On November 9, 2011 the National Gallery presented an exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan examining Leonardo's extraordinary observation, imagination and technique. The exhibition concentrates on his career as a court painter in Milan, working for the city's ruler Ludovico Maria Sforza, il Moro ('the Moor') in the 1480s and 1490s. Nearly every surviving picture that he painted in Milan during this period will be exhibited. The show will exhibit the largest number of Leonardo's rare surviving paintings, it will include international loans never before seen in the UK.

Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan will display more than 60 paintings and drawings by the great artist, as well as pictures by some of his closest collaborators. These include the Saint Jerome (Vatican, Rome), The Lady with an Ermine (Czartoryski Foundation, Cracow), and the National Gallery's own recently restored Virgin of the Rocks.

The exhibition will include all the surviving drawings which are connected to the Last Supper and the Madonna Litta, which will be lent by the Hermitage, St Petersburg. The show ends on February 5, 2012.

The Winners of APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2011 Announced

Singapore. On 17 November, 2011 the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation announced the winner of APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2011. Artist Rodel Tapaya from the Philippines has been awarded the Grand Prize (SGD 45,000) for his winning artwork Baston ni Kabunian, Bilang Pero di Mabilang (Cane of Kabunian, numbered but cannot be counted). Indian artist Sheba Chhachhi's large-scale public art installation, The Water Diviner, received the Jurors' Choice Awards, worth SGD 10,000. Along with Sheba Chhachhi, two more Jurors' Choice Awards, each worth SGD 10,000, went to Daniel Crooks from Australia and Aida Makoto from Japan. The People's Choice Award (worth SGD 10,000) for the most number of public votes received from around the world went to Michael Lee from Singapore.

This year's shortlist was selected from the 130 artworks (nominated from 24 countries and territories) comes from 14 countries and territories across Asia Pacific.

The works of the15 finalists of Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize 2011 is being exhibited from 11 November 2011 to 4 March 2012 at the Singapore Art Museum.

Tate Modern to Exhibit Retrospective of Damien Hirst

London. Tate Modern's Turbine Hall will show Damien Hirst's For the Love of God 2007 from April 4 to June 24, 2012. The iconic diamond-covered skull will be presented as a free display to coincide with the opening twelve weeks of the Damien Hirst exhibition. Its display at Tate Modern will be the first time it has been shown in a public gallery in the UK.

Sponsored by the Qatar Museums Authority, the exhibition will provide a journey through two decades of Hirst's inventive practice. It will also form part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. The exhibition is curated by Ann Gallagher, Head of Collections (British Art), Tate.

Bringing together over seventy of the artist's seminal works, the exhibition will include sculptures from the early 1990s, such as The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living and Mother and Child Divided. Also on show will be important vitrines, such as A Thousand Years 1990. Alongside these sculptures will be cabinets displaying rows of pills, instruments and medical packaging, as well as paintings made throughout Hirst's career from his spot, spin, butterfly and fly series. In addition, two major installations will be on view: In and Out of Love 1991 and Pharmacy 1992.

ASI's Report on Tagore's Fake

Kolkata. On November 25, 2011 the report by ASI to the High Court has termed all the 18 paintings of Rabindranath Tagore borrowed from a private collection which were exhibited at the Government Art and Craft College , Kolkata on February 27, to be fakes. The exhibition had created a controversy then.

The final verdict is awaited.



Indian Artists at Biennale Jogja XI

Indonesia. Biennale Jogja XI / Equator # 1, started at Jogja National Museum, Jl. Gampingan no. 1, Yogyakarta on November 26, 2011 and continues till January 8, 2012. It is the first in a series of five international biennales to take place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The geographical point of reference for these Biennales is countries that are located near the equator (23.27º north and south of it). Shadow Lines, the first edition, will have forty artists from Indonesia and India.

The show is being curated by Alia Swastika (Indonesia) and Suman Gopinath (India). The participating artists include: Atul Dodiya, Archana Hande, Anita Dube, Amar Kanwar, N S Harsha, Prabhavati Meppayil, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Pushpamala N, Riyaz Komu, K.P Reji, Sheela Gowda, Shilpa Gupta, Sheba Chhachhi, Sakshi Gupta, Setu Legi, Krisna Murti, Arahmaiani, Wedhar Riyadi, Andy Dewantoro, Paul Kadarisman, Albert Yonathan, Akiq AW, Iswanto Hartono, Tromarama, Octora, Titarubi, Nurdian Ichsan, Erika Ernawan, Ruangrupa, Irwan Ahmett and others.

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