Art News & Views


September – October, 2011

Project 88, New York
Sandeep Mukherjee's First Solo
August 22 to October 28, 2011

Project 88 will showcase Los Angeles based artist Sandeep Mukherjee's first solo in Mumbai consisting of sight sensitive paintings. Acrylic painting and embossed drawing on duralene activates the Gallery space, creating an experience of 'sensation' in the viewer. Mukherjee's attempt towards sensation is philosophically driven to go beyond illustrating a narrative or elaborating a symbolic code. It seeks an interstitial space, an in between path, a hybrid form. To further this experience the work considers its architectural context integrally so as to heighten the viewer's awareness of self in relationship to the environment. In other words, the work attempts not only to hold space but also to invade it.

The works are made with paint, pencil and embossing needles on duralene a polymer film, that simulates the slick luminous surfaces of digital technology while at the same time allows for a range of drawn, painted and bass relief transformation.

The process of mark making, paint application as well as relief embossing is indexical of the hand, the breath, the bodily movement and rhythm. Currently his works focuses on the optical, manual and tactile quality of seen and experienced space. At times the space is freed from its references to the tactual to produce an optical space while subordinating the hand to the eye. At other times, the hand expresses an independence that does not delineate anything except its own violent meandering thus subordinating the eye. And yet at other times, the sense of sight behaves just like the sense of touch. Ultimately, the work aspires to be a conduit to a polymorphous dimension where the possibilities are many and ultimately open ended for the viewers to inscribe for themselves. 

Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie, Zurich
In (dia) Reflections by Viveek Sharma and Sarika Bajaj
August 26 to September 22, 2011

Fabian & Claude Walter presents two Indian artists from Mumbai: Viveek Sharma and Sarika Bajaj. The exhibition titled In (dia) Reflections will offer a mixture of figurative paintings and drawings by these two artists. While Viveek Sharma (b. 1968, Mumbai) counts among the renowned Indian artists and is internationally represented, Sarika Bajaj (b. 1976, Ghaziabad) is being introduced as a new artistic discovery. On the occasion of this show, their work is being presented in Europe for the first time. The title In (dia) Reflections can be interpreted in two ways, either as Being Lost in Thought or as Indian Thoughts.

Viveek Sharma is familiar with the contrasts of Indian cultures and captures them in his pictures free from accusation or judgement. He discovers many of his motifs in his hometown Mumbai, the city of his dreams both in a positive and negative sense. He illustrates social, economic and political topics alongside each other.

Sarika Bajaj also includes her self-portrait as a significant motif in her work. She developed an individual figurative style of painting inspired by Pop Art. Where Viveek Sharma reflects the outer world in his images, Sarika Bajaj's paintings, on the other hand, are self referential and allude to her inner world.

Nature Morte, New Delhi
Metropolis of Mirage - Solo Show of Jagannath Panda
August 28 to September 3, 2011

Nature Morte will present a solo exhibition of new works by the New Delhi-based artist Jagannath Panda. The solo show continues at Nature Morte's Berlin gallery from September 24 to October 22, 2011.

Panda's works continue with his distinctive collage technique, in which the surface of the canvas or sculpture is built up with the addition of brocade fabrics, blended together to create the skins of beasts and feathers of birds, to mimic foliage or approximate man-made surfaces. This hybridized surface treatment relates with many of the artist's themes, which focus on moments, locations and icons that are in a state of flux, caught between oppositions that are being reconciled only with both anxiety and confusion. Panda's portraits of the escalating new city of Gurgaon (where he lives and works) illustrate the tensions to be found there, as over-development threatens natural habitats and infrastructures prove to be inadequate even before they are completed. Likewise, Panda's mix of the mythological and the realistic points to the disoriented nature of Indian identity today, as it hopes to synthesize the traditional and the contemporary, the indigenous and the international, the imaginary and the actual.

Jagannath Panda has been included in a wide number of important group shows including Indian Highway IV at the Lyons Museum of Contemporary Art, France; Indian Highway V at the MAXXI Museum in Rome (upcoming); Transformation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Chalo! India at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Where in the World, the Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon; and Midnight's Children, Studio la Citta, Verona, Italy (among many others).

Jehangir Art Gallery, Kalaghoda, Mumbai
Sentimental Mindscapes by P. R. Narvekar
August 29 to September 4, 2011

Jehangir Art Gallery, Kalaghoda, Mumbai presents the Sentimental Mindscapes by P. R. Narvekar from August 29 to September 4, 2011. The Show continues from September 12 to September 24, 2011, at Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai.

The paintings of the Mumbai artist, P.R. Narvekar, exemplify how assimilation of tradition with universal values can find an aesthetic resurrection and uplift the local to the level of global.

Narvekar's art has a lineage towards extracting the sonorous beauty from the darkened reality all around. All his paintings are figurative and human-based. He distorts or transforms the figure rhythmically, rather extracts rhythm from the essence of civilization and induces it within the human figures so that these resonate with an inner harmony. The harmonious transformation of human figures is the essence of Narvekar's art.

Narvekar's works, featuring mother and child, rural men and women in various rhythmic poses, have an aroma of tranquility, serenity and harmonious sonority. These are minimal in construction of form, using minimum chromatic device. Various shades of yellow and brown are the colours he uses. The shades of dark brown create an atmosphere of melancholy, whereas yellow brings a meditative glow of sunrise and sunset. But the environment dusk is a dominant tune in his works. This duality of light and dark, joy and pathos, elevates his characters from the level of reality towards an ideal transcendental beauty. He makes no comment on here and now reality but creates an ideal 'form', which connects past with present, where we can feel the pulse of eternal India.

Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata
Chittaprosad: A Retrospective
August 31 to September 11, 2011

Delhi Art Gallery presents a rare retrospective on the life and work of Chittaprosad. The exhibition preview was inaugurated on July 9, 2011 in New Delhi. The Vice-President of India, Shri Hamid Ansari released five books on the artist to coincide with the exhibition.
The retrospective started in Kolkata, at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture on August 31 and will continue till September 11, 2011. It was inaugurated by the Mayor of West Bengal, on August 30, 2011.

Chittaprosad, one of India's most prominent artists,  recorded pivotal political and social movements in the country, such as the Great Bengal Famine of 1943-44 and its fallout in heart-wrenching sketches and drawings, alongside protests against colonialism, economic exploitation, urban poverty and depravity, just as beautifully as the many drawings, linocuts and scraper board illustrations he made for children.

This, the first-ever retrospective on Chittaprosad, celebrates his triumph over the circumstances of his highly principled life which he devoted completely to art, rejecting market forces to communicate a truth that was unequivocally his.

The exhibition has been designed in a manner that includes his drawings, paintings, linocuts and other prints, his writings in original, his letters, published writings and drawings in People's War and People's Age, among others, manuscripts, posters, puppets and photographs. The social and political relevance of his works resonates as powerfully and is just as pertinent - today, as it was then.

The Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Kolkata
Recent Works of Mahmud Husain Laskar
September 1 to 18 September 2011

Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre will showcase Mahmud Husain Laskar's recent works depicting human relations, childhood memories and fleeting reveries, creating a complex world of interwoven existences. Objects and relations bear shades of nostalgia. Elements and experiences from his childhood, hiding in the pool of memories, appear in his paintings and bridge his present and future. His works thus function like stream of consciousness…elements of memory with intervals of forgetting, creating a rhythmic expression through the dramatics of negative and positive spaces. He likes to play with it, and create new rhythmic tension along the surface of the pictorial plane through distribution of the pictorial elements. In terms of negative space, He finds traditional Indian miniatures a great source of inspiration, and he tries to absorb their wisdom by studying the multiple investments of singular spaces.

In his works he was trying to initiate a communication with his viewers on a very personal and psychological level. 'Fantasy' plays a big role in this communication since our sense of identities exists in the event-horizon of reality and fiction. The mode of pictorial communication that he uses, with his private mythological syntax, and his contemporary semantics, he believes is highly effective for this purpose. He doesn't think it will be difficult to initiate this communication, since life and art shares the same excitement when it comes to blurring the boundaries between the interdependent world of the sensory and the psychological.

Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Poland
Generation in Transition, New Art from India, curated by Magda Kardasz
September 2 to November 6, 2011

The exhibition Generation in Transition presents the artworks of a young generation of artists of Indian origin, living and working in India, as well as in America and Europe. It is the first extensive showcase of contemporary art from this region presented in Central Europe in recent years.

The title of the show is borrowed from the title of a photographic series by Anay Mann, who makes portraits of his contemporaries.

The show in Poland concentrates on young artists in an attempt to grasp the state of mind and spirit of their generation. At the exhibition not only previously existing works, but also projects created especially for the show are to be found. The exhibition presents a wide range of artists, with different concerns and modes of artistic expression. These have been configured in several important themes: tradition/ritual/costume; portraits; city/change/architecture, society; science and technology in art; politics/identity/social activism; and Polish-Indian cultural relations. Contemporary ideas are expressed through both traditional and modern media: photography, film, video installation, sculpture, drawing, painting and animation.

The artists who are participating in the exhibition are Jaishri Abichandani, Prayas Abhinav, Ravi Agarwal, Ashish Avikunthak, Sarnath Banerjee, Devendra Banhart, Ansuman Biswas & Jem Finer, Nikhil Chopra, Baptist Coelho, Shezad Dawood, Rohini Devasher, Gauri Gill, Shilpa Gupta, Tushar Joag, Vishwas Kulkarni, Swati Khurana, Anay Mann, Rakhi Peswani, Prajakta Potnis, Prasad Raghavan, Gitanjali Rao, Akshay Rathore, Malik Sajad, Sharmila Samant, Mithu Sen, Charmi Gada Shah, Tejal Shah, Yashas Shetty, Bharat Sikka, Janek Simon, Praneet Soi, Kiran Subbaiah, Anup Mathew Thomas, Navin Thomas, Nandini Valli Muthiah

After the show in Zacheta, the exhibition will be presented in the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius.

CREARTIVITY III- Confluence of Masters, Kolkata
Paintings, Sculptures & Photographs of Senior Artists
September 3 to September 8, 2011

Jagriti Art initiative will showcase CREARTIVITY III- Confluence of Masters, the third show in the CREARTIVITY series and will be showcasing paintings, sculptures & photographs of  senior artists at ICCR in Nandalal Bose Art Gallery in Kolkata from 3rd - 8th September, 2011 featuring- Bikash Bhattacharjee, Rameshwar Broota, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Vasundhara Broota, Laxma Goud,  Jayashree Chakravarty, Gargi Raina, Nataraj Sharma, Surya Prakash, Paramjit Singh, KG Subramanyan, Sohan Qadri, Satish Gujral, Shibu Natesan, Niranjan Pradhan, T.V. Santosh & T. Vaikuntam. A part of the proceeds will be donated to the establishment of library for poor girls at Piyali Learning Centre, South 24 Paraganas.

Jagriti Art Initiative showcased paintings and Sculptures of 93 artists in CREARTIVITY I- at the Birla Academy of Art & Culture in 2007. The show was inaugurated by the Governor of West Bengal Sri Gopal Krishna Gandhi. Mr. Simon H Wilson, The British Deputy High Commissioner to Eastern India, Smt Sarala & Sri B K Birla, Mr. Vishal Bhardwaj (Film Producer & Director) along with Mrs. Rekha Bhardwaj and others.

In 2008, Jagriti Art Initiaitive showcased paintings and sculptures of around 50 eminent artists at our Group Show - CREARTIVITY - II - at the Birla Academy of Art & Culture. The show was inaugurated by the US Consul General, Ms. Beth A. Payne, who was also the Chief Guest for the occasion. CREARTIVITY- IV is being held at Lalit Kala Akademi, Bhubaneswar from October 14 to October 28, 2011.

Aakri Art Gallery, Kolkata
Social and Political Injustice
Trends in Contemporary Art 2011
September 7 to September 30, 2011

Aakriti Art Gallery will showcase Social and Political Injustice
Trends in Contemporary Art 2011, a group show of young contemporary artists.

Art movements have always been reactionary and art as a medium of rebel is something history has witnessed in a series with the passage of time. Keeping the same track in mind, when the present world is suffering from great distresses - be it in the form of genocides, catastrophes and natural calamities, battle for boundaries and borders, racial discriminations, religious wars, terrorism and its worldwide protests or the struggle between local and global identity and the conflict between the indigenous and the hegemony of imperialistic cultures, the encroachment of lands, the suicides of peasants, the regular female foeticide, the increasing anti-social turmoil, the devastating fire & subsequent death of innocent people at Stephen Court, Kolkata and so on and so forth. Artists such as Tapas Biswas, Subrata Biswas, Akhil Chandra Das, Nantu Behari Das, Mithun Dasgupta, Priyanka Lahiri, Sagar Bhowmick, Partha Guin, Prandeep Kalita, Pappu Bardhan, Swapan Kumar Mallick,  Ketan N Amin, Debashish Dutta and Buddhadev Mukherjee, take on political and social injustice in various forms of art mediums.

Gallery Espace, New Delhi
Mehlli Gobhai's First Solo Exhibition
September 8 to October 5, 2011

Gallery Espace will be showcasing Mehlli Gobhai's first solo exhibition in New Delhi. Gobhai was born in Mumbai in 1931, and educated at the Royal College of Art, London, as well as the Pratt Graphic Centre and the Art Students League, New York. He lived and worked in New York for several decades before choosing to return to Mumbai in the late 1980s. Gobhai's practice is distributed across painting, drawing, and objects that mediate between painted surface and sculptural volume. Deeply contemplative, his work combines an architect's linear precision with a sensualist's richness of surface. It is situated within an evolving transcontinental lineage of abstractionism that includes Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Lucio Fontana. According to critic and curator Ranjit Hoskote Gobhai's paintings are suggestive of cool metal, burnished leather, weathered stone or the edge of luminosity signing a margin of reassurance against the dark...they seem to offer their viewers a temporary reprieve from the frenzied music of life. Gobhai's practice ascends to the beauty of abstraction, but that beauty is achieved through a highly physical interaction with its medium. Gobhai's paintings, whether on paper or canvas, are built up like palimpsests, through the successive application, removal and addition of layers of acrylic, charcoal, graphite, zinc and aluminium powder, and pastel....A surge of primal energy crests in every one of Gobhai's paintings: a continuous, percussive energy that collides with his picture surface; and which he shapes, with a geometer's instinct for measure, into a system of modular forms.

Hacienda Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
AGAPE - A Sculpture Exhibition curated by Jasmine Shah Varma
September 19 to September 30, 2011

Hacienda Gallery celebrates its tenth anniversary this year with an all-sculpture show titled Agape which has been conceptualised and curated by Jasmine Shah Varma. The exhibition features works of contemporary sculptors.

The featured artists in Agape are Arzan Khambatta, Abir Patwardhan, B Vithal, Dhruva Mistry, Dhananjay Singh, Deepak Paunikar, Himmat Shah, Jehangir Jani, KS Radhakrishnan, Mayur Kailash Gupta, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Nagji Patel, Nikhileswar Baruah, Rajender Tikoo, Shanta Samant, SG Vasudev, Subrata Biswas, Umesh Sarvaiya and Vinod Patel.

Art has become synonymous with activism and political statements. The idea and its positioning have gained importance over the physical work itself. One is nostalgic for the act of gazing at an art object and intuitively responding to its form, line, texture, colours and, drawing meaning from seeing. The sense of marvel seems lost in these days of art as activism and intervention. Agape - the sculpture show hopes to bring back the idea of viewing a work of art for itself, not as a politicised spectacle.

The works featured here are in an array of metals, stone and wood - material that needs to be chiseled, carved or cast as opposed to the vogue of assembling and installing ready-mades. The artists featured are preoccupied with contemporary idioms and are engaged with concerns that have roots in an inward personal space dealing with complexities of life. The focus here is on art that inspires the human eye and spirit. From senior artists who have done large scale public works for locations in India and other countries to youngsters who are creating sublime idioms using with the oldest materials for sculpture, this exhibition is a glimpse of the underrated side of contemporary Indian sculpture.

Epicentre Art Mart III Exposition, Gurgaon
Paintings, Sculptures, Photographs, Video Art Installations and Talks
September 23 to September 25, 2011

The 3 day Art extravaganza promises to be a meeting ground for art connoisseurs and art amateurs alike. Providing independent artists the opportunity to exhibit as part of a multi dimensional mega art event, the Mart will offer art lovers a wide range of activities related to the field- discussions, workshops, art appreciation courses, competitions for children, portrait painting and much more.

Art Mart III organized by Old World Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. featuring around 1000 works by hundreds of artists and leading galleries/stalls offers an established platform for upcoming contemporary artists. Including high quality original paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, installations, photographs and new media art representing the full spectrum of contemporary Indian creativity from all over the country and reasonably priced, the aim is to make art affordable and accessible to public and collectors with variable pockets and tastes.

Re-think, reinvent, recreate, remake as its central theme, Art Mart III focuses on 'Art out of waste' for display in the sculpture court. The mart will showcase art works uniquely conceptualized and aesthetically designed out of material that would have found its way to the waste paper basket, thus highlighting and showcasing how products can be recycled and reused to their optimum.

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