Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sky by Samit Das in Chennai


Pradeep Puthoor: New Paintings


Pradeep Puthoor: New Paintings
Opening on Saturday, July 5th, from 6 to 8 pm.
Exhibition continues to Saturday, August 2nd.

New Delhi: Nature Morte is pleased to present a solo show of new paintings by Pradeep Puthoor.
In fabulous, mural-size paintings, Pradeep Puthoor seems to suggest a meeting of art, computer science, and biological engineering. Sumptuous colors come together into evocative forms that hover between anatomical elaborations and botanical follies. Iridescent vessels contain a myriad of pulsating, vibrating creatures: hothouse flowers, internal organs, robotic insects, nuclear paramecium, alien genitalia. The artificial illumination within these paintings can be a day-glow moonlight or the electrified, blinking neon of the Las Vegasstrip. With over-arching structures and containers of organic grids, the works also feel like urban mega-structures, orbiting space colonies, and hypothesized internet communities. Puthoor’s works are paintings to swim in and get lost, to drown in their luscious complexities.
Born in 1965 in Puthoor, Kerala, Pradeep holds a BFA from the Collegeof Fine Artsin Trivandrumand has received a Fellowship from the Pollock/Krasner Foundation in New York. He lives and works in Trivandrumand has had solo shows at the Noble Sage Gallery in London, the ShrishtiArtGalleryin Hyderabad, and the Museum Art Galleryin Trivandrum.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Experimenter announces a stellar line-up of curators who will be participating at the 4th edition of the Curators’ Hub on July 25-26, 2014, in Kolkata

Experimenter Curators’ Hub
25th & 26th July 2014
In continuation with its commitment to curatorial practice, Experimenter Curators’ Hub (ECH) will take place this year on July 25-26, 2014.
Started in 2011, the Experimenter Curators' Hub has over the last three years emerged as one of the most significant, critical engagement with curatorial practice in the country. ECH is a platform to discuss, debate and present the most contemporary thought behind curating exhibitions in today's context. Curatorial practice in India is at a crucial juncture and it is important to talk about its current state and its future development, especially through conversations between curators who are pushing the boundaries of contemporary art.
The Hub also acts as a platform for exchange of thoughts, views & possibilities of collaborations between the curators, between public and private organizations and the various institutional frameworks that coexist in the art world. The hub will have two days dedicated to individual presentations of the 10 curators’ own practice and its development with specific focus on exhibitions curated in the last two years. The final day of the event will culminate in an open session where artists, thinkers, collectors, writers, other curators, filmmakers, gallerists and other individuals from the arts will interact with each other to take the conversations productively forward.
The fourth edition of the Experimenter Curators Hub spread over 2 days will be dedicated to intense individual presentations by the 10 curators, describing their own practice and its development with specific focus on exhibitions curated in the last three years. The aim is to comprehend the theoretical aspects of the process of curating while discussing their challenges and concerns. At the end of every day, will be one open session each where the presenters get into discussions and with the active participation of the audience, take the conversations productively forward.
The participating curators are Adam Szymczyk, Alexander Koch, Eungie Joo, Grant Watson, Pooja Sood, Ranjit Hoskote, Riyas Komu, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Yuko Hasegawa and Magdalena Ziolkowska. A short biography of each curator is attached below.

Experimenter Curators’ Hub will be held between 11am – 7pm on both 25th & 26th July at Experimenter – 2/1 Hindusthan Road, Kolkata 700029. The Experimenter Curators Hub is being presented in association with Pro Helvetia – The Swiss Arts Council. Supported by British Council, Polish Institute, Japan Foundation, Goethe Institute and Sharjah Art Foundation. The hospitality partner for the Hub is The Park, Kolkata and Take on Art is the media partner.
Curator’s Profiles:
Adam Szymczyk (1970)
Adam Szymczyk (born 1970 in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland) is Artistic Director of documenta 14 and until the end of this year Director and Chief Curator at Kunsthalle Basel. He was a co-founder of the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, at which he worked as Curator from 1997 till 2003, when he assumed his new post in Basel. At Kunsthalle Basel, he organized exhibitions including Piotr Uklanski: Earth, Wind and Fire (2004); Tomma Abts (2005); Gustav Metzger: In Memoriam and Lee Lozano: Win First Don't Last Win Last Don't Care (both 2006); Micol Assaël: Chizhevsky Lessons (2007); Danh Vo: Where the Lions Are (2009); Moyra Davey: Speaker Receiver (2010); Sung Hwan Kim: Line Wall (2011); Paul Sietsema and Adriana Lara: S.S.O.R. (both 2012), as well as group shows including Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession) (with Salvatore Lacagnina, 2010), How to Work/How to Work (More for) Less (both in 2011). In 2008 he co-curated with Elena Filipovic the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art under the title When Things Cast No Shadow and in 2012 he curated Olinka, or Where Movement Is Created at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. He is a Member of the Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. In 2011, he was recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement at the Menil Foundation in Houston.
Alexander Koch (1973)
Alexander Koch studied visual arts in Dresden and Leipzig (1994–99) and taught at the Leipzig art academy until 2005. He has worked as a curator and editor on various exhibitions and publications. Koch is a frequent lecturer and author - the dropping out of art, the economic and institutional transformations within the art world, and the societal significance of artistic practices have been main concerns in his theoretic writings. In 2003 he co-founded the Galerie Jocelyn Wolff in Paris, and in 2008 he co-founded KOW, a Berlin based gallery specialised on socially oriented art, representing international artists like Santiago Sierra, Franz Erhard Walther, Alice Creischer, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Chto Delat? and others. Since 2008 he is co-initiator and chairman of the NEW PATRONS program in Germany, which he also initiates in Africa since 2013: in Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa. More countries will follow in 2014 and 2015.  
Eungie Joo
Eungie Joo is curator of the forthcoming “Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible” (5 March-5 June 2015) in the United Arab Emirates. From 2012 – 2014, Joo was Director of Art and Cultural Programs at Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brasil. She was Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs at the New Museum from 2007-2012, where Joo spearheaded the Museum as Hub program; commissioned the monthly seminar Night School by Anton Vidokle (2008-9); edited the volume Rethinking Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education (2009); and published the Art Spaces Directory(2012), a guide to over 400 independent art spaces from over ninety-six countries. Joo was curator of the “2012 New Museum Triennial: The Ungovernables”and served as commissioner of the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, where she presented “Condensation: Haegue Yang.” Joo was founding Director and Curator of the Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles, from 2003 to 2007, where she developed residencies and exhibitions by SUPERFLEX, Damián Ortega, Sora Kim, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Kara Walker, and others.
Grant Watson
Grant Watson works as a freelance curator, writer and researcher internationally and (part time) as Senior Curator at the Institute of International Visual Arts in London. Recent projects include there search collaboration International Practice with Iaspis (Sweden) Casco (Holland) and Raw Material (Senegal) looking at experimental structures developed by artists to connect internationally, Tagore Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures with Goldsmiths College (London)the touring exhibition Social Fabric investigating links through textiles between Britain and India, and the Exhibition Keywords: Art Culture and Society in 1980s Britain at Tate Liverpool. As curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA) 2006 – 2010 his projects included the exhibitions Santhal Family Positions Around an Indian Sculpture, Cornelius Cardew and Textiles Art and the Social Fabric. He was previously the Curator of Visual Arts at Project in Dublin between 2001 and 2006 where he focused on solo commissions from contemporary artists. Watson has worked with Indian art since the mid 1990s researching this subject for Documenta 12. Watson studied Curating and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College London where he is currently a PhD candidate, he is ‘Researcher in Performance’ with If I Can’t Dance (Amsterdam) developing the two-year interview project How We Behaveand is Visiting Professor at the Dutch Art Institute (Arnhem).
Magdalena Ziółkowska
Magdalena Ziółkowskaholds a PhD inArt History, is a curator and graduate of the Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw, School for Social Research in Warsaw, and Curatorial Training Programme (de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam, 2006/07). Between 2006–10 she worked as guest curator in Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven where she realised such projects as Notes From the Future of Art. Selected Writings of Jerzy Ludwiński (2007) and Andrzej Wróblewski. To the Margin and Back (2010), both accompanied by publications. Since 2008 she work in Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz where she initiated and curated a number of projects and publications, among them international platform for researching Central- and Eastern European practices Art Always Has Its Consequences (2008–10), Working Title: Archive (2008–09), individual show by Sanja Iveković. Practice Makes the Master (2009), Eyes Looking for a Head to Inhabit (co-curator, 2011), Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin. Facts, Incidents, Accidents, Circumstances, Situations (co-curator, 2013–14). In 2013 she was the editor of the anthology of texts by the artist Zbigniew Dłubak Teoria Sztuki Zbigniewa Dłubaka. In 2012 she co-founded Andrzej Wróblewski Foundation (www.andrzejwroblewski.pl) – a NGO devoted to develop and popularise the knowledge about life and work of one of the most inspiring and remarkable post-war Polish artist. Beyond the solo show Andrzej Wróblewski. Constantly Looking Ahead (National Museum, Krakow 2012–13), the Foundation co-published recently with Adam Mickiewicz Institute a bilingual monography Avoiding Intermediary States. Andrzej Wróblewski (1927–1957), worldwide distributed by Hatje Cantz. Her research and writing focus on history of exhibitions and display, artists' writing and post-war museology.
Pooja Sood
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Pooja Soodis a founding member and Director of Khoj International Artists Association and an independent curator, she was appointed Artistic Director and curator of 48C and lives in New Delhi. Sood has Masters in Art History and Business Management. She is a Chevening scholar [on the Clore Leadership programme, UK 2009-2011].From 2000-2010, she was the Regional Coordinator of the global Triangle Arts Trust, UK, where she researched and facilitated the establishment of independent not for profit visual art organizations in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal called SANA( South Asian Network for the Arts). She was appointed Artistic Director and curator of 48C. Public Art. Ecology, a public art project across 10 public sites in New Delhi commissioned by the Goethe Insitut and GIZ New Delhi in December 2008. She was Curator of the Apeejay Media Gallery, the first dedicated space for new media in India from 2002-2007 and of the Eicher Gallery from 1994-1998. She is also the Director of the programme. (www.arthinksouthasia.org). She curated KHOJ LIVE08, a week long live arts Festival in March 2008. She has co curated the exhibition “Have we met?” with curators from Indonesia, Japan and Thailand for the Japan Foundation in 2004. She was invited to curate a video art exhibition for the Musee D’ Ethnographie in Geneva in 2004 and was a guest curator for InteractiveA03 , a video art festival in Mexico in 2003 and the Freewaves Media Festival in Los Angeles, USA., 2004.

Ranjit Hoskote
Ranjit Hoskote is a cultural theorist, curator and poet. With Nancy Adajania, Hoskote is co-author of The Dialogues Series (Popular, 2011), an unfolding programme of conversations with artists. With Maria Hlavajova, he is editor of Insurgent Publics: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art (BAK, forthcoming 2014).
Since 1993, Hoskote has curated or co-curated 30 exhibitions of contemporary art, including two monographic surveys of Atul Dodiya, a lifetime retrospective of Jehangir Sabavala (National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay and New Delhi, 2005-2006), a historical survey of Indian abstraction, Nothing is Absolute (with Mehlli Gobhai; CSMVS/ The Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay, 2013), and a contextualisation of 150 years of art by Parsi artists within the narrative of an emergent Indian modernism, No Parsi is an Island  (with Nancy Adajania). Hoskote co-curated the 7th Gwangju Biennale (Korea, 2008) and was curator of India’s first stand-alone national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (54th edition, 2011). Hoskote was also co-convenor, with Maria Hlavajova, Boris Groys and Kathrin Rhomberg, of the exhibition-conference platform Former West Congress: Documents, Constellations, Prospects (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2013).
Hoskote has been a Fellow of the International Writing Program, University of Iowa (1995), an Associate Fellow at Sarai/ CSDS, New Delhi (2006-2007), and writer-in-residence at Villa Waldberta, Munich (2003), Theater der Welt, Essen/ Mülheim (2010) and the Polish Institute, Berlin (2010). Jointly with Nancy Adajania, he has held a research residency at BAK/ basis vooractuelekunst, Utrecht (2010; 2013). Hoskote sits on the academic advisory board of the Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong); the international advisory board of the 1st Bergen Triennial (Norway); the advisory board of the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation (Bombay); and the programme advisory board of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin).
Riyas Komu (1971)
Riyas Komu is a multi-media artist and an activist working towards developing the art infrastructure in India. His critically acclaimed political works have been exhibited extensively in India and abroad, which include several key works that focus specially on the political and cultural history of Kerala. His works are part of the larger narrative of the making and unmaking of artistic influences and also reflects the current issues in global context. In 2007 he was one of two artists from India to be selected by curator Robert Storr for the 52nd Venice Biennale. Have participated in Jogja Biennale, Indonesia. Exhibitions include shows at the GEM Museum for Contemporary Art (The Hague, The Netherlands, 2009), The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (Oslo,Norway, 2009), the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai, China, 2009) and the Gwangju Emerging Asian Artists Exhibition (Gwangju, Korea, 2010). Solo exhibition, „Safe to Light‟ in Iran (Azad Art Gallery, 2010). Significant works focusing on football include “Mark Him”, with the Indian National Football Team and “Left Legs” with the Iraqi National Football Team (2008/2010). His works were recently showed at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, as part of their “Paris-Delhi-Bombay” exhibition. Solo shows include, Ambulance 2002, Faith Accompli 2004 - 2005, Systematic Citizen 2007, Related List, 2008. Subrato to Cesar 2010.
Shuddhabrata Sengupta
Shuddhabrata Sengupta is an artist and curator with the Raqs Media Collective and an independent writer. The hybrid practice of the Raqs Media Collective (formed in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta) sets itself apart through its insistence on occupying a ground that is as expressively poetic as it is rigorously analytical. Raqs follows its self-declared imperative of 'kinetic contemplation' to produce a trajectory that is restless in terms of the forms and methods (sound, image, video, text, object, gesture) that it deploys even as it achieves a consistency of speculative procedures. Raqs enjoy playing a plurality of roles, often appearing as artists, occasionally as curators, sometimes as philosophical agent provocateurs. Their work has been shown at - Documenta, the Venice, Istanbul, Taipei, Liverpool, Sydney and Sao Paulo Biennales, amongst others. Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate Britain (London), Art Unlimited (Basel), Mori Museum (Tokyo), SALT (Istanbul) and at the Hayward and Serpentine Galleries (London), amongst others. They curated 'The Rest of Now' for the 7th edition of Manifesta in 2008, Sarai Reader 09: The Exhibition at the Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon in 2013 and INSERT 2014 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi in 2014.
Yuko Hasegawa
Yuko Hasegawa is Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT) and Professor of the Department of Art Science, Tama Art University in Tokyo.Since 2008, Yuko has been a member of the Asian Art Council at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York). She is Artistic Director of Inujima Art House Project (2011-present) and Curator forArt Basel in Hong Kong Encountersto be held in May 2014.Her recent projects includeBUNNY SMACH– design to touch the world (2013),ARCHITECTURAL ENVIRONMENTS for TOMMORROW (2011)at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, and Trans Cool Tokyo(2010-11) at Singapore Art Museum. At the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa where she was appointed as Founding Artistic Director, she curated Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint (2005). She was Curator of 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013), Artistic Advisor of 12thVenice Architectural Biennale (2010), Co-Curator of 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010), Commissioner of Japanese Pavilion of 50th Venice Biennale (2003), Co-Curator of the 4th Shanghai Biennale (2002) and Artistic Director of the 7th International Istanbul Biennial (2001). Her publications include ‘Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art,’ Museum of Modern Art, 2010, pp334-351 and ‘Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa: SANAA,’ Phaidon Press, 2006.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Manoj Maurya's New Series - ReBORN


As an artist, filmmaker, creative director, writer and thinker, Manoj Maurya explores multidisciplinary approach to his creativity. He is a creative entrepreneur who believes that creativity has the power to solve modern day problems. His creations find expression in paintings, films, poems, advertising campaigns & writing. He has launched many social and cultural innovations directed towards social empowerment and well being.  

Manoj Maurya's paintings are highly thought centric, contemporary and introspective. They interact with you; provoke thought, action and intellect. He is a strong proponent for constructive art. An art that has the potential to influence the contemporary times with its journey is constructive in true sense.
Born in Benaras, the oldest seat of art and culture in the country, Manoj believes that he has learnt the discipline from nature much before a formal education in the field. Manoj Maurya earned a B.A. in Hindi Literature & Psychology followed it up by a B.F.A from M.G.K.V.P University in Varanasi. His paintings encompass diverse subjects stemming from Spirituality, Philosophy, Current Affairs, Women, Nature and Mythology. At a Kargil Charity Exhibition, Manoj Maurya received huge success with Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi the State Minister of Information and Broadcasting inaugurating the exhibition and praising his work. The exhibition fuelled substantial proceeds towards charity for Kargil war heroes’ widows.
As a painter, Manoj strictly believes in not making an art from target audience centric or cater to market dynamics. His goal is to make art accessible to one and all and not getting limited to a small group of art savvy individuals.
The artist has explored a unique experiment with his painting, merging visual art with performing art. It started with painting on the canvass of a play in progress, Andha Yug at Prithvi theatre. The sound and light effects with the dialogues and expressions emoted by the actors acted as a germ of inspiration and Manoj filled his empty canvass with vibrant hues of a spiritual painting with a contemporary social relevance. In a similar fashion sometimes on a backdrop of live musical performance, plays and dance dramas Manoj has expressed his versatile thinking on virgin canvass.
Armed with a PG in Advertising & Public Relation from IIMC, New Delhi, Manoj forayed into Advertising. He helms a boutique creative firm, Muse catering to a prestigious bouquet of clientele.
About his new series of Paintings- ReBORN
What is reborn painting exhibition?
When a life is Born, Death takes birth
When a life is Reborn, Universe takes birth
Reborn is the state of conscious awakening which takes life closer to its real purpose. Reborn series of paintings deciphers the real essence of awakened life between birth and death. When a human life undergoes through the process of Reborn, it comes closer to self realisation, universal truth and unveils the purpose of its birth. It is the process of Reborn that made Siddharth achieve enlightenment. It is Reborn of Narendra to Swami Vivekanand.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Experimenter present Ayesha Sultana’s first solo exhibition

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Kolkata: Experimenter presents Ayesha Sultana’s first solo exhibition, Outside the Field of View, starting May 9, 2014 (till June 26, 2014). Rooted in process and the act of making, the exhibition provides an insight into her ongoing investigation of drawing, of seeing space in continuum, of exploring gaps in visual memory and of looking at the periphery and what is overlooked in plain sight.

In a constantly evolving process, Sultana’s work cannot be identified as belonging to a single artistic tendency. She concurrently works in different mediums and techniques, but with a specific interest in the features of materials she uses in the act of making. This leads to other ways of looking and engaging, in the relevance of formal properties of various materials and the depth of meaning of the medium itself. Having discarded the narrative, she often uses drawing as a verb, of 'doing' whether by cutting, folding, piercing, layering, recording, tracing, removing, scratching and so on. A pair of works in the exhibition, made by photocopying for instance, are an extension of that process of investigation, taking its initial source from photography, and later enlarging and creating multiple copies of the same.
An attempt to make visible or to delve into what one can see, and simultaneously translating the visual information, is what engages Sultana. Through the primacy of drawing, this act of looking is to assimilate the experience of her surroundings and space. Space to Sultana seems relational, a field emerging as a result of matter and its parts, in the movement or weight of its fragments, not necessarily marked by a beginning or an end but a structure or a space that never ends – the periphery.
In another body of work, with found and her own photographs, an atmosphere of transience, a kind of abstracted, banal landscape emerges. The pictures may seem groundless, sometimes partially obliterated through solarizing and deliberate scratching off the surface.
The graphite drawings present configurations and arrangements of geometric shapes and spatial structures, in a frame-by-frame progression of image and time, once again bringing forth her interest in the visual understanding of continuation, direction and possibly a form of meditative infinity. On a more tangible level, the smooth surface of the paper is dark but reflective, creating frictions and ruptures and at times resembling metal; while revealing the mineral attributes of graphite and hence referring to the tension produced between the delicate, malleable quality of paper and the austere, detached physicality of graphite.
Counter tendencies of movement and stasis are also evident as an attempt to generate emptiness by filling up the surface. Through other elemental gestures and implications of plotting, measuring and erasure, splicing and filling in, Sultana makes whole, an image that is contained, yet changing. On the other hand, the repetitive marks of the graphite build up a rhythmic field, creating an overall tension that seems to act as a veil to some kind of disclosure.
Born in Jessore, Bangladesh, in 1984, Ayesha Sultana received a BFA in Visual Arts (2007) and subsequently a Post-Graduate Diploma in Art Education (2008) at the Beaconhouse National University in Lahore. From 2007-2009 she taught as Lecturer at the School of Visual Arts and Design at Beaconhouse National University. Recent group exhibitions include B/Desh, Dhaka Art Summit, curated by Deepak Ananth; Cross-Casting, Britto Space, Dhaka, curated by Mahbubur Rahman; Listen Up! New Delhi, curated by Diana Campbell-Betancourt & Tim Goosens (all 2014); Samdani Art Foundation stand, India Art Fair, Delhi (2013); Senses 7, Dhaka Art Center; Freefall, Bengal Art Lounge, curated by Giorgio Guglielmino (2012); Rise to Ruin, Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore (2010) amongst others. Sultana recently completed a curatorial research residency at Gasworks, London (2013). She is a member of the Dhaka based artist run organisation, Britto Arts Trust. She is also the recipient of the Samdani Art Award 2014.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chetnaa Verma announced as the winner of the Glenfiddich Emerging Artist of the Year, 2014 Award

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New Delhi, April 5, 2014: In an exclusive grand-finale held at Gallery Nature Morte, The Oberoi, Gurgaon, Glenfiddich and Bestcollegeart.com announced Chetnaa Verma as the winner of the third edition of “Emerging Artist of the Year, 2014 Award”. In a proud moment for the country, Chetnaa Verma emerges as the winner despite a tough competition from artists all over India. Chetnaa presented outstanding artwork titled – “Crossword of Diagonals” and “On Parallel Ground”, for her much deserving win. The core of her practice in art focuses on the series of geometrics and the lines guided by the urban metroscape. Tauseef Khan of Delhi and Shrimanti Saha of Baroda were declared as the first and second runner-up at the finale event. The evening saw the presence of the celebrated jury members and iconic artists from the country coming together for this coveted award ceremony to show their support to the emerging talent.


 Recognized as the country’s biggest art award, the award is brought together by Bestcollegeart.com, India's most reputed online art gallery dedicated to supporting and nurturing young contemporary artists in partnership with Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky. Chetnaa will be the artist representing India in 2014 at the globally acclaimed Glenfiddich Artists in Residence (AiR), collaborating with other celebrated international artists, and get an opportunity to live and work at The Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland for 3 months. The artist received an award of total value INR 10, 00,000 which comprises INR 1, 00,000 as cash reward, three months residency in Scotland with a monthly stipend, materials allowance, travel, accommodation and finally, a solo show at Art District XIII in 2014.

 Over 2,500 works by 655 artists were included for this year’s contest, out of which five finalists were shortlisted by a 10 member jury, comprising leading artists, curators and collectors. All five finalists showcased their works at an exclusive preview, ‘Five for the Future’ held at Gallery Nature Morte, The Oberoi, Gurgaon on 4th April, 2014. Chetnaa’s artwork will be on view until the 30th of April 2014.  Currently in its 13th year, AiR this year will welcome 10 artists from across the globe, the largest group ever, from India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, North America, Mexico, Chile, Spain and the UK. 

Mr. Kapil Chopra, President, The Oberoi Group & Mentor, Bestcollegeart.com, said, “We are delighted to host the third edition of the Emerging Artist of the Year award. This is the most important initiative for the growth of Indian contemporary art. The award not only seeks out the next generation of artists but also nurtures and supports emerging talent. The Oberoi Group believes in showcasing the best of Indian art, culture, design and hospitality to the world and this partnership reiterates our commitments towards the goal.”
Rajiv Bhatia, Director, William Grant & Sons, India, said, “In the pioneering spirit of our founders, which serves as the cornerstone of our core values – Glenfiddich has been an initiator and supporter of art programmes across the world. Our globally recognized forum – Artists in Residence (AiR), launched in 2002, provides a solid platform for incipient artists from around the world to showcase their talent and to gain international recognition. Since the launch in India in 2012, the programme has received an enthusiastic response from artists across the country.
Andy Fairgrieve, AiR Co-ordinator, William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd, commented,Each year, the pioneering Glenfiddich Artists in Residence programme welcomes a number of artists from all over the world to take up a three-month residency at The Glenfiddich Distillery. In 2012, with the exclusive launch of the Emerging Artist of the Year award in India, Glenfiddich took yet another pioneering step in actively supporting young artists in India. We are overwhelmed to see that with the third edition, the award has established itself as one of the country’s leading art competitions. Glenfiddich is the true pioneer of single malt Scotch whisky category and is enjoyed by more people around the world than any other single malt Scotch whisky.  The essence of our association with Bestcollegeart.com lies in the fact that both Bestcollegeart.com as well the overall ethos of Glenfiddich celebrate the shared passion for art. We look forward to Chetnaa’s participation in the AiR programme and wish her the best in his journey to success.”
In accepting the honor, Chetnaa Verma said, “I am extremely happy and honoured to win Emerging Artist of the Year Award 2014. Winning this prestigious award has always been a dream, which has now come true for me. I would like to thank my family and friends for all their support which have made these accolades possible for me."
Last year’s winner of the ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ was Yuvan Bothysathuvar from Chennai, India. He participated in Glenfiddich’s 12th annual Artists in Residence programme in 2013 at The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, along with seven other artists from across the globe.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Glenfiddich announces the five finalists for the Glenfiddich “Emerging Artist of the Year, 2014 Award”


New Delhi, March 26, 2014: The Glenfiddich “Emerging Artist of the Year”, the biggest art award in India has announced the five finalists of its third edition. It is a proud moment for the capital city, Tauseef Khan has been named in the top 5. He made it to this elite list despite very tough competition from artists all over India. Tauseef presented outstanding artwork titled – “Burj reflection”, “Coliseum Reflection”, for his deserving selection. His paintings are about how we view history through the prism of today, how it is constantly shifting and changing according to our contemporary perspectives. The award is brought together by Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky in partnership with Bestcollegeart.com, India's most reputed online art gallery dedicated to supporting and nurturing young contemporary artists.

The five shortlisted artists chosen from Baroda, Chennai and New Delhi will present a group show ‘Five for the Future’ at Gallery Nature Morte, The Oberoi, Gurgaon on April 4, 2014. Chosen by a distinguished jury, one of them will be declared the winner of the coveted award. The award has a total value of INR 10,00,000 – it includes INR 1,00,000 cash, three months residency in Scotland with a monthly stipend, materials allowance, travel, accommodation, and culminates with a solo show at Nature Morte in 2014.

Over 2,500 works by 655 artists were included for this year’s contest, were reviewed by a 10-member jury, comprising leading artists, curators and collectors. After rigorous rounds of evaluation and discussions, the jury members have shortlisted on these five finalists.

The five finalists for the “Emerging Artist of the Year”, 2014 Award are:
 
1. Tauseef Khan - New Delhi (above)
2. Sirivella Pragathikumar - Baroda (Vadodra)
3. Shrimanti Saha - Baroda (Vadodra)
4. Ravishankar - Chennai
5. Chetnaa Verma- Noida

Shrimanti Saha’s work derive a lot from the manipulation of historical narratives and juxtapose them with certain aspects from biology, geography and other disciplines, while Sirivella Pragathikumar’s work is based on satirical and comical description of human nature. Ravishankar’s entry showcases various memories of his childhood that has seed deep inside him; he uses complex techniques of brilliant usage of pen and Ink on paper. Chetnaa Verma’s work titled Crossword of Diagonals” and “On Parallel Ground” showcases series of geometrics and the lines guided by the urban metroscape, while Tauseef Khan work is focuses on how we perceive the world and our past through the prism of today.

Since its launch in India in 2012, Glenfiddich Artists in Residence (AiR) programme has received an enthusiastic response from artists across the country. The winner gets to represent India for 2014 at the globally acclaimed programme which gives the participant a chance to collaborate with other celebrated international artists, and the opportunity to live and work at The Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland. A unique feature of Glenfiddich’s Artists in Residence programme is the open brief that allows each artist the freedom to explore and be inspired by the people, heritage and stunning surroundings of the distillery, without prescription on the work they create. Currently in its 13th year, AiR this year will welcome 10 artists from across the globe, the largest group ever, from India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, North America, Mexico, Chile, Spain and the UK.

Rajiv Bhatia, Director, William Grant & Sons, India, said, Since the launch of its globally recognized forum - Artists in Residence (AiR) – in 2002, Glenfiddich has been an initiator and supporter of art programmes across the world. In 2012, with the exclusive launch of the Emerging Artist of the Year award in India, Glenfiddich took a pioneering step in actively supporting young artists in the country. India has been an active participant in this program over the past five years. This year again we have had an exceptional response to the competition, and are delighted to announce the five finalists shortlisted for 2014 edition of Emerging Artist of the Year award. It is indeed heartening to see the increased participation in the awards from artists all over India. Having a finalist from the city of Delhi is a testament to the growing popularity of these awards amongst emerging artists in India.
On hearing the announcement Tauseef Khan said “I am extremely happy and honored at being selected as one of the five finalists for the Glenfiddich Emerging Artist of the Year Award. This is a very good platform for any budding artist and being a part of this, was a dream come true for me. I am eagerly looking forward to attending the finale event at the very famous Nature Morte Gallery, and hope to make the city of Delhi proud by winning this prestigious award.”
This is the third edition of the award and since its inception in 2012, and over 3,500 works by more than 1000 artists have been submitted to the Emerging Artist of the Year Award thus far.  Seeking the very best in national contemporary art, the award has established itself as one of the country’s leading art competitions. Last year’s winner, Yuvan Bothysathuvar, participated in Glenfiddich’s 12th annual Artists in Residence programme in 2013 at The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, along with seven other artists from across the globe.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Maharashtra State Fine Arts honours AA Raiba


The Fine Arts Department of the State of Maharashtra will honour the painter Abdul Aziz Raiba with a Lifetime Achievement Award towards his services to the cause of art.
 The Chief Guest Honourable Minister Shri Rajesh Tope will present on behalf of the state of Maharashtra and the Fine Arts Department a prize honouring the senior artist from Bombay.
 5.30pm | Jehangir Art Gallery, 161 Kalaghoda, Bombay 400001
 Accompanying exhibition:
The Maharashtra State Art Exhibition 2013-2014
5-11 March, 2014 | Timings: 11am-7pm
AC Third Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery
 Marathi text: Shriram Khadilkar
Curated by: Prof. Shashikant Kakade & Prof. Anant Nikam, Sir JJ School of Art; Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma, Clark House Initiative.
 Letter to the Leydens, possibly by AA Raiba in the name of his wife Aisha.
Courtesy Shireen Gandhy and Clark House Initiative.


Caption reads: The studio without wall of an artist who in imagination reshapes the visual world upon a simple geometrical foundation of lineal supports. This fallen building perished his two decades work of art to dust. During these frequent occasion if twice in artist’s life time has brought untold sorrow. Raiba seemed unable to look back into the faces of those injured and dead, being the most tragic event he had ever seen. His eyes dimmed with total compassion and he buckled as though he himself is buried alive — from the artist’s wife who shares Raiba’s life…who dedicated hers to him.  
 Some months ago, an extraordinary letter was shared with Clark House by Shireen Gandhy, the director of Chemould Gallery, from the archive of her parents, Khorshed and Kekoo Gandhy. The letter relates a period of psychological trauma, having witnessed the loss of lives of his neighbours, the narrow empty-handed escape from the collapsing building, and the loss of his studio containing at least two decades of work. Raiba might not have been able to write of this event in his own voice, and so chooses to write as his wife, Aisha. A note in Khorshed Gandhy's handwriting, tells us she believes this to be Raiba, writing in the name of his wife. In his wife's voice, he can write with full emotion. Raiba's adoption of alternate identities was a part of him somehow, and has been a way to transcend himself - as he writes in this extraordinarily worded caption to a photograph of himself pasted within a drawing of his old studio: 'an artist who in imagination reshapes the visual world'. Shifts in identity have been a playful and meaningful part of his life as an artist. In Kashmir he took up a Muslim identity, in the South of India, a Hindu one. Here in this grieving letter, that of his wife. Raiba was also a poet, writing and translating Urdu poetry. The adoption of a persona, may come from this heritage, but it is also what makes him most vitally of our own present. His acts of transcendence reveal the absurdity of fixed identities of religion and gender - and what could be more radical and urgent than this in our times? - Zasha Colah
Abdul Aziz Raiba
Text: Sumesh Sharma, 2013


Born in 1922, AA Raiba has had a career that spans six decades. His works form part of prominent collections in India and abroad. Most of his life was spent in a single-room tenement on Temkar street, a locality of Konkani Muslims in central Bombay. In this room that housed him, his wife and his three children, the canvases on exhibit were made from jute mixtures, and painted. Flat figures are bordered by thick black lines initially drawn in charcoal, is a kind of cloisonnism.
 Having been trained in the revivalist Bombay School that often referenced visual vocabulary from Indian miniature traditions and influenced by the modernisms exposed to him by Charles Gerard, Raiba charted a path that was independent from the Bombay School and the Progressive Artists Group. His early miniatures were published by the Illustrated Weekly of India for their covers. Encouraged by exiled artist and art critic Walter Langhammer, he spent three years in Kashmir. He documented the folk motifs seen in the temples of Jammu and the Pahari kingdoms of Himachal Pradesh. Kashmir gave him an excellent understanding of perspective while executing landscapes. Documenting renditions of humans and animals within the Pahari miniature paintings provided him with a visual cache that would often reappear in his works. Soon after returning to Bombay, Raiba abandoned the use of watercolour, and began working with oil on a prepared canvas made of jute. Here he began placing these folk motifs derived from Pahari miniatures into cubist perspectives narrating erotic tales of love.
 In the early months of 1943, Abdul Aziz Raiba began his association with the Sir JJ School of Art after being offered a scholarship by the dean Charles Gerard. He graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts in 1946, and was appointed a Fellow to the painting department for a year in 1947. He returned to his alma mater in 1980 enrolling himself for an evening hobby course in Graphic Print Making at the Print-Making Studio while accompanying his senior who was seeking admission at the Faculty of Architecture.
 Professor Prabhakar Kolte, who was a young lecturer at JJ while Raiba was at the printmaking studio recounts memories of him sitting in the lawns that surround the faculty while he worked on linoleum plates (linocuts). Though by then Raiba had found success and was considered a senior, Kolte found him an affable man who was friendly with students often showing them his charcoal sketches of nature and architectural studies he had done while on the lawns across from the Victoria Terminus, Crawford Market and the Neo-Gothic School of Art building designed by George Twigge Molecey. Architecture often found resonance in Raiba's practices.
 Intrigued by a book he found at the JN Petit Public Library at Fort, on Portuguese Bombay, Raiba began researching on visual residues of Portuguese monuments destroyed by the British in an attempt to purge the Portuguese from the Western Coast and desecrated in modern times by a rising population that began to spread from the islands of Bombay across the creek into Vasai displacing the East Indian Christians who inhabited the fishing villages near the Portuguese forts of Vasai,  Naigaon and Sopara. This research of interesting mythical accounts from the city were illustrated by Raiba in his show 'Bombay XVIII Century' in 1975, of a Dargah (mausoleum of a Muslim Saint) of the Siddis - descendants of Abyssinian slaves.
 Being a Konkani Muslim from the coast of Maharashtra, Raiba's interest in the city's history was natural. Though he came from a family that had adapted Urdu as their primary language among themselves having published Bombay's first Urdu newspaper, the Raibas married only into Konkani families from towns that dotted the coast around Bombay and they worked traditionally at the city's port authority. The Konkani's were one of India's earliest Muslim communities descendants of Arab sailors who had settled on the coast and converts from Hindu families who often retained their Hindu family names. They were ruled by an Abyssinian Dynasty of Murud and Janjira that often waged maritime wars with the Marathas, British and the Portuguese for control over cities of Bombay, Bassein, Sopara and Chaul. In many villages inhabited by the Konkani Muslims, such as Korlai south of Bombay, Christian communities converted by the Portuguese later called East Indians by the British, and till now speak a Portuguese creole. In the period preceding this exhibition Raiba was forced out of his home in Temkar street, the Konkani Muslim locality near the JJ School due to the collapse of the building he lived in and dire financial constraints that led to his migration to Vasai, now a suburb of Bombay, a city it preceded in history.
 In the years after JJ Raiba lived in Kashmir, and the Pahari Hills of North India, developing his study of perspective in landscape and collecting motifs and visual techniques from the miniature painters there. He developed a habit of maintaining a record of exercise books with sketches of his studies and folk motifs as reference material, a practice he continues today. Collected through various research trips he made around India, his works that illustrate a mythical history of Bombay, reference a lot of material he collected from his travels to Kerala and much later his last ever such trip to Goa. Though the Bassein Fort in Vasai returned often in his works, so did shark-fishing, rice terraces and the temple near the tank often seen on the Konkan coast. 
 Kolte remembers visiting his exhibitions at the historic Taj Art Gallery, in the Taj Mahal Hotel, a venue much used by the modernists. On one such visit he was surprised at Raiba's use of jute and a mixture of clay and glue as his canvas. Raiba then told him that it was imperative of an artist to battle financial constraints with creativity and use any medium to maintain one's practice, citing an example of using cow dung within the miniature tradition of Indian painting. Raiba until now has grappled with financial constraints. Sakina Mehta, recounts her memory of Raiba who was a good friend of her husband the painter Tyeb Mehta. Tyeb would often visit Raiba's home where his mother would feed them with rice bloated with Alum so it could fill their stomachs. Raiba began using discarded pieces of glass after he saw glass paintings in Chor Bazaar, using many layers of glass, painting them and placing them one over other to create deeper perspectives depicting portraits of Muslim and Marathi couples much akin to the mica paintings of the Company Painting School. For a mural he was commissioned to make at the entrance of the Gokuldas Tejpal Concert Hall in Bombay he painted tiles with musical instruments firing them in a vitrum studio, a technique taught to him by Rudy Von Leyden. His experimentation of medium might have been urged by his dire financial constraints, it may have arisen from his training as a miniaturist from the revivalist Bombay School where the students were required to make the surfaces of their paintings called 'Vasli' in Urdu. Presently in his studio that faces a miniature garden in the suburb of Nala Sopara, Raiba endlessly makes sketches on Khadi or handmade made cotton paper, preferring its coarseness for its affinity to jute.  
 Though considered a master by many of his contemporaries, and in spite of receiving excellent critical reviews of his exhibitions, he fell into obscurity as he never saw equal success commercially as the other modernists of his time. Secondly he would prepare extremely researched exhibitions that would study a subject in detail. Exhibitions would be based on themes such as the History of Bombay, Kashmir: Miniature to Monumentalism, Metaphysical Paintings, the Baramasa of Keshavdas, Mirza Ghalib and Islamic Calligraphy. He would design invites in innovative shapes and Moderist typography, and being a poet himself incorporated translations of Allama Iqbal and stylistic elements of Islamic calligraphy. In one of his last self-designed invitations, he apologises for the lack of a large body of works. His inability to create a substantial body of work, and self-curated shows, led him into retirement from actively exhibiting in the 1990s. Over the last decade having been cheated by unscrupulous dealers and lacking motivation to engage with the art market, he withrew from public view. 
 Raiba believes his practice to be unfinished even today.

Photo Exhibition by Karen Knorr/Tasveer from 10th to 19th March 2014 at Piramal Gallery


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Launching Video Art at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum curated by Gayatri Sinha


Title: Video Art at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
Time: Saturdays, 4 30 to 5 30 pm, The Education Centre, The Museum Plaza
The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is pleased to present Video Art at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, curated by Gayatri Sinha/Critical Collective. 
 The programme showcases a series of compilations of the works of artists whose practice involves video and multi-media.  The viewing will run over a 12 month period in monthly editions. The first edition, screened in March, examines 6 artists/groups whose works explore the conflicted issue of change and urbanism.
 In this feature, urbanism, societal change and the tropes of scientific development are investigated to interrogate the impact of globalism. While the work, 'The Panic City' by Gigi Scaria induces vertigo, the interrogation of colonial processes in Raqs Media’s 'Surface' mark the dislocations of progress.  Baiju Parthan, Gigi Scaria and Sheba Chhachhi create evocations around the passage of time and the changes it effects.
 Gayatri Sinha and The Critical Collective:
Gayatri Sinha is an art critic and curator based in New Delhi. Her primary areas of interest are around the issues of gender and iconography, media, economics and social history. As a curator her work has been in the domains of contemporary art, photography and lens based work. She is the founder director of Critical Collective which is a forum for thinking on conceptual frames within art history and practice in contemporary India.
 Note on the Museum Plaza and Education Centre:
 In December 2012, the Museum opened a unique new cultural hub called the Museum Plaza which offers people a much needed green and programme rich public recreation space. The Museum has restored and adapted old spaces to accommodate new exhibition galleries called SPS 1 and 2, a large open area for the performing arts as well as public sculpture, a Museum Café, a Museum Shop, an Experimental Gallery, and an Education Centre.
 A dilapidated cottage that served as a storage room has been painstakingly restored to function as the Museum’s Education Centre. The building has been completely transformed internally into an intimate, contemporary space. An exclusive education programme has been planned including film screenings, lectures, seminars, audio-visual interactions and special events.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Noted painter Prokash Karmakar dead

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Kolkata, Feb 25: Noted painter Prokash Karmakar, best known for his landscapes and nudes, died on Monday evening, following age-related illness, family sources said. He was 81. Many of his works are part of the permanent collections of leading museums like the National Gallery of Modern Art, and Lalit Kala Akademi in Delhi, besides the Academy of Fine Arts here. Karmakar's nudes and landscapes, done in vibrant colours with bold lines, have been acclaimed by art connoisseurs for long. He also painted shades of rural and urban lives, and his perceptions of nature. Born in 1933, he was inspired by the works of Picasso and other masters of the 19th century Impressionism movement.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014