Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ramkinkar Baij Memorial Lecture by Prof. B.N. Goswamy


On the eve of S. H. Raza’s 93rd Birthday Vadehra Art Gallery presents his solo show ‘Aarambh’

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To celebrate S. H. Raza’s 93rd birthday, Vadehra Art Gallery is delighted to present ‘Aarambh’, a solo show by one of India’s most revered modernist painters.  The show is open to the public from February 22-March 18, 2015, at Vadehra Art Gallery.
The works in ‘Aarambh’ form part of a new body of work executed over the course of the past year and are to be exhibited to the public for the first time. The exhibition includes forty-four canvases and paperworks by the artist.
As Raza turns 93, there is no let up in his creative energy, passion for colour and its immense possibilities, and his relentless search for spiritual form. He has a huge reputation as a master colourist who has explored in visual terms some metaphysical concepts about the universe, nature, male-female energies, environment etc. His iconic Bindu remains at the centre of both his plastic imagination and spiritual quest. Many of the new works created in 2014-15 reveal a master making new discoveries and forging new combinations embodying in fresh ways his enduring vision of the world and art. For him art is the whole world and, by the same token, the whole world is art.
Born in Babaria, Madhya Pradesh in 1922, Raza studied at Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai and the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris. A member of the post-Independence Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, Raza is considered to be one of India’s most renowned artists and continues to inspire contemporary south asian artists.
Raza has exhibited widely in India as well as internationally. He has been the recipient of many accolades including the prestigious Padma Shri Award by the President of India in 1981, the Padma Bhushan in 2007 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2013.  Raza lives and works in Delhi.
Arun Vadehra, Director Vadehra Art Gallery, comments:  "Over the last 25 years some of my fondest memories are of visiting Raza at his home in Paris. Many evenings were spent enjoying flowing conversation over fine wine discussing art, life and much else. It is because of these periodic visits to his apartment, often months apart, that I have been able to see Raza’s development as a painter and moreover, the evolution of Indian art itself."
S. H. Raza was born in Babaria, Madhya Pradesh, in 1922. He studied at Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, and Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris.
His important solo exhibitions include: Antardhwani, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2013); Bindu Vistaar, Grosvenor Gallery, London (2012); Punaraagman, Vadehra Art Gallery and Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2011); Raza – A Retrospective, Saffronart, New York in association with Berkeley Square Gallery (2007); Celebrating 85 Years of Living Legend S H Raza, a Traveling Exhibition at Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Mumbai, New Delhi, organized  by Aryan Art Gallery, New Delhi (2007); Retrospective 1952-91, Palais Carnoles, Musee de Menton, France (1991); Solo show, Galleria Matuzia, San Remo, Italy (1975); Solo show, Worth Ryder Art Gallery, Berkeley, University of California, California, USA (1962).
His important group exhibitions include: Ram Kumar and the Bombay Progressives: The Form and the Figure Part II, Aicon Gallery, New York (2013); Des duos et des couples, Aix en Provence, France (with Pablo Picasso and Francoise Gilot) (2003); Tryst with Destiny, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai (1997); L’Estampe Aujourd’hui, Bibliotheque Nationale: Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Grand Palais, Paris (1978).
His international participations include: Transition, 20th Anniversary Show, Centre of International Modern Art(CIMA), Kolkata (2013-14); Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern & Contemporary Art from India, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose (2011); From Everyday To The Imagined: Modern Indian Art, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore and at Museum of Art, Seoul National University, Seoul (2007-08); International Biennale de Dakar
His awards include: Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2013; Padma Bhushan by the Government of India (2007); Lalit Kala Ratna Puraskar by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2004); Padma Shri by the Government of India (1981); the Kalidas Sanman National Award by Government of Madhya Pradesh (1981); the Prix de la Critique (1956); the Gold Medal by Bombay Art Society (1948); the Silver Medal Bombay Art Society (1946).

Tasveer | KALEIDOSCOPE | Ram Shergill | February 20, 2015 | Ahmedabad- NID


Exclusive Preview of 'Something Else' by Dhruva Mistry on February 21, 2015


Friday, January 30, 2015

Highlights of VIP Preview at India Art Fair 2015

 President of BMW India Philipp von Sahr with Neha Kripal of India Art Fair
The 7th edition of India Art Fair opened to the public on Friday 30th January to new acclaim. A successful preview day brought over 7000 cultural patrons who bought from a range of national and international galleries. With a few sell-out booths, strong sales were reported across the board. 
“We have made excellent sales not just to our existing clientele, but particularly to an expanding base of new collectors, with the main works snapped up in the first two hours. What has been interesting is a significant number of new collectors in the mid-range. The collectors love the IAF programme, and for us the fair provides the one opportunity in the year to interact, connect and re-connect with them all.” Prateek Raja, Co-Director, Experimenter Gallery
Jorge Brinkerhoff, Director of Florida-based gallery Brinkerhoff Fine Art said “We’ve been thinking about participating at India Art Fair for the last five years and have taken the plunge, not quite knowing what to expect. We’ve been delighted with the level of sales and interest and made an impressive number of new friends and collectors who are open not only to collecting indian art but also to look beyond to Western artists. This is encouraging for us and we will certainly come back next year for sure.”
The overwhelming feedback was that, in addition to a world-class curated artistic program and Speakers’ Forum, the calibre of the works and the curation  of the gallery booths have never been higher, and that the quality and professionalism of india Art Fair has it a new international standard. A revised fair layout has seen the relocation of Delhi Art Gallery for a major curated exhibition of India Art in the permanent structure, in order to facilitate the new IAF Courtyard. This has created space for new restaurant and design partners. In addition the introduction of a new rooftop restaurant all adds to a markedly improved fair-going experience. 
Oiane Salazar, Director of Patrons, Guggenheim Bilbao who led a delegation of over 20 Guggenheim patrons said: “The Guggenheim group are especially pleased to come to India. We have been much impressed by the wide range of artists, and particularly the number of female artists on exhibition. The layout of the fair is as good as any international fair we’ve seen, and the VIP programme has been particularly good, with superb wine and snack service and restaurant options. The group have been happy to have this opportunity to discover indian art. 
Diwan Manna, Director India Triennale commented “India Art Fair has led the way, exemplifying how art can be showcased and projected in India, in a country where there is little awareness of art. The fair is a place where people want to be seen. We’re all so proud of Neha Kirpal and genuinely appreciate the whole effort. The idea, the conception and execution of the fair is world class.”

Sotheby’s Dazzles in New Delhi


Ahead of Major Indian Art Auctions in New York, Sotheby’s Announces an Exciting Series of Events to Coincide with the India Art Fair 29-30 January 2015
 Simon Shaw, Co-Head, Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide, Sotheby's
January 30, 2015: Discussing Sotheby’s presence in Delhi from the 29 – 31 January 2015, Yamini Mehta, Sotheby’s International Head of Indian and South Asian Art, said:  “We have put together an exciting program of events to enrich the art experience for our clients in India, which will bring some of our key worldwide experts to make the connection between Modernist movements and Indian artistic creativity. Our Global Head of Impressionist and Modern Art will be speaking about Sotheby’s sale of a work that is iconic in 20th century art – Munch’sThe Scream. We are seeing keen interest developing among Indian collectors who have been pursuing prime works by key Indian modernists for works of the highest quality by some of the greatest international names, such as Monet, Picasso, Henry Moore, Renoir, which are available at many levels of the market. What is so fascinating now is that these works appeal to the same international base of collectors, among them many new Indian collectors.  We will also be showcasing works from our upcoming New York sale of Indian and South Asian Art.
 Amrita Sher-Gil was a pioneering figure in Indian art and we are proud that for the first time a portrait of her will be offered by us on the international market, only the third time she has appeared.  Sher-Gil is a tragic figure who showed so much promise during her brief career in the 1930s, and died unfortunately at the age of 28.  The vast majority of her works are in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, which makes Sotheby’s ability to offer this work, which is coming from a European collection, all the more exceptional. We will also be showcasing a sublime Gaitonde recently-discovered in a German collection, which depicts a lush red sunset, and works by Sabavala as well.  As part of bringing the world of Sotheby’s to our clients, international specialists from our Jewellery team, one of the most accessible categories with universal appeal, will take our clients on a virtual journey into the jewellery boxes of some of the greatest collectors of the 20th century.”
Sotheby’s and Rolls Royce Motor Cars Present an Evening of Cocktails and Canapés Featuring Highlights from Upcoming Auctions of Modern & Contemporary  South Asian Art
Robin Woodhead, Chairman, Sotheby’s Worldwide hosts a cocktail evening featuring outstanding works of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art.  Major works by V. S. Gaitonde, Jehangir Sabavala, M.F. Husain, Jagdish Swaminathan and Ram Kumar will be on show in The Imperial Hotel’s Royal Ballroom, while Rolls-Royce Phantom and Ghost Series II cars will be presented outside on the lawn.
Selling The Scream: the Modern Masterpiece in Today’s Global Market
Simon Shaw, Global Head, Impressionist and Modern Art, Sotheby’s, will give a talk in which he vividly recalls the moment he first saw Edvard Munch’s The Scream in Oslo. “When we took the picture out of the crate it was the most moving, emotional experience that I’ve ever had with a work of art,” says Shaw, who orchestrated the May 2012 sale of The Scream for an historic $119.9m.  With opportunities to participate at many levels of the market, Shaw will talk about the growing presence of Indian collectors. 
Friday 30th January, the Royal Ballroom at The Imperial , 4pm
Tales from the Vault: a Peek Inside the World’s Greatest Jewellery Boxes
Sotheby’s New York jewellery specialists, Catharine Becket and Nikita Manilal will talk about some of the world’s great jewellery collections, such as the Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor and the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon.  The talk will start at 4.30pm, following a Champagne Afternoon tea which will be served at 4pm. 
Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art
Sotheby’s auction of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art, to take place in New York on 18 March, will feature many fresh-to-the-market from private collections across the US and Europe, including Germany, Switzerland and Hungary. The undoubted highlight of the sale is a stunning Self-Portrait by Amrita Sher-Gil - the most important work by the India’s leading female modernist to appear at auction (illustrated on page 1, est. $1.2/1.8 million). Not only did Sher-Gil play a crucial role in the articulation of twentieth century Indian art, but she was also a seminal influence on generations of Indian artists, pioneering a new form of Indian modernism. Considered a National Treasure, whose body of work is largely with the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, this is the first time a self-portrait will be offered at auction. Sher-Gil is not only one of seven legally protected artists whose work cannot be exported from India, but is rarely offered on the market internationally due to the scarcity of her work.
Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s sublime untitled painting from 1963 that hails from a very important moment in the artist’s career; featuring his early experimentations with Abstract Expressionism.  Rendered in varying shades of red strewn with black, this work is a classic and timeless masterpiece recently unearthed from a private German collection. Untitled from 1963 has many similarities to the Gaitonde work which last year set a new benchmark for Indian Art at auction (est. $1.5/2 million) The painting dates from the renowned mature period in the artist’s career during which he turned away from geometric works and began to experiment with using a paint roller and palette knife.
Other highlights of the exhibition include an Untitled work from 1960 by Jagdish Swaminathan in the artist’s signature colourful style that incorporates a unique subject matter (est. $180/220,000) and Untitled (Kumaon Hills) by Jehangir Sabavala a large and exceptional example of the series depicting the mountain range in Northern India (est. $150/200,000). Other paintings by leading modernists including Rabindranath Tagore, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Francis Newton Souza, Maqbool Fida Husain.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Art Heritage at India Art Fair Booth B4


Art Musings, Smriti Dixit - Art Project – India Art Fair 2015


GallerySke @ India Art Fair 2015


Creativity Art Gallery: India Art Fair 2015 Invite


Group show - Faith at Wonderwall, Lado Sarai


The Guild @ India Art Fair 2015


Tao Art Gallery’s 15th Anniversary Show - The Ecstasy of Art


India Art Fair to participate in Jodhpur One World Retreat


January 28, 2015, New Delhi - Jodhpur One World Retreat is pleased to announce the participation of India Art Fair, India’s premier modern and contemporary art fair, in the three-day star-studded charity extravaganza held at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur.
Since the art fair’s inception in 2008, India Art Fair has hosted over 450 galleries from 25 countries and showcased modern and contemporary art by over 1500 artists. A selection of 15-20 stellar artworks from this upcoming 7th edition of the art fair will be showcased in Jodhpur at the retreat in a specially curated segment, marking the first time in the fair’s seven year history that an external independent event has been curated and organised, by India Art Fair, beyond the physical fair premises in New Delhi.
Conceptualised by India Art Fair’s Artistic Director Girish Shahane, this curated showcase will have paintings, installations, sculptures and video artworks from some of the most renowned Indian and South Asian contemporary artists who are producing fresh exciting works that will truly inspire the audiences at the Jodhpur One World Retreat.
Founder and Director of India Art Fair, Neha Kirpal said: “We are delighted to associate India Art Fair with the Jodhpur One World Retreat, bringing a pre-eminent selection of contemporary art from galleries exhibiting at the 2015 edition of the India Art Fair.  The importance of the work undertaken by the Indian Head Injury Foundation cannot be underestimated, and it is a privilege to be able to support the charity through this unique one-off event.”
Scheduled to take place between 20th - 22nd March 2015 the Jodhpur One World Retreat will bring together the globe’s greatest minds from business, entrepreneurship, the arts, science, entertainment and philanthropy in “three glorious days of awareness and awakening, of music and spectacle and of giving and learning”. Other highlights of the second edition includes provoking and enlightening sessions with leading lights such as Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, Founder Brain Trauma Foundation, U.S.A; a charity auction hosted by international auction house Christie’s; a unique fashion extravaganza at Mehrangarh fort; an address by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and performances by the Eton Choir as well as ‘India’s Got Talent’ winners the Shillong Chamber Choir, who will perform a unique and scintillating concert with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.
The sole objective is to support and celebrate the Indian Head Injury Foundation, with the proceeds to be donated to a cause that is becoming an increasing concern for India and the Indian community today. Founded in February 2007 by His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Jodhpur, the IHIF mission is to build a comprehensive system in India for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury, and to provide neuro-rehabilitation to such patients. According to a WHO report, India has the highest number of road deaths in the world (1,05,725 in 4,00,000 accidents). This gives India the dubious distinction of being the 'head injury capital of the world', and underlines the importance of the Indian Head Injury Foundation’s work. With donations for participation in the retreat (ranging from 10-15 Lakh Rupees, depending on the residential package selected), going to Indian Head Injury Foundation, the Jodhpur One World Retreat is a crucial event raising awareness and financial support for a critical issue in India.
The 2015 edition aims to equal, if not go one better on the impressive inaugural edition of the fundraising event. The Taj Group of Hotels and global automotive giant, BMW who supported the inaugural edition have already come on board to lend their support to the second edition. With donations for participation in the retreat (ranging from Rs 10-15L, depending on the residential package selected), going to Indian Head Injury Foundation, the Jodhpur One World Retreat is a critical event raising awareness and financial support for a critical issue in India.

Le Méridien New Delhi organizes BARISTA, MEET ARTISTA at India Art Fair 2015


Continuing its thriving relationship with art and design fairs around the world, Le Méridien New Delhi organizes BARISTA, MEET ARTISTA for the first time at India Art Fair 2015. Europe-based Esther Maasdam, a Global Latte Artist and four-time winner of the Dutch Latte Art Championship along with Sohan Jakhar, a contemporary Indian visual artist whose canvas draws inspiration from city life will create custom work of art using Coffee as inspiration and Esther will develop signature latte art design inspired by the city and Sohan’s designs.
Watch the duo as they create inspirational work of art with coffee at the VIP Lounge, Le Meridien Booth, India Art Fair, NSIC Grounds on 31st January at 3:30 pm.

Mrinalini Mukherjee's Transfigurations in NGMA, New Delhi


R.K.Laxman: A tribute From E.P.Unny


“I say, can’t stand your Delhi winter”, he would say. The man who managed to look sunny day in and day out through six decades and over 30,000 cartoons stayed away from the country’s capital of political cartooning and that was serendipitous.
 Where else can you imagine the maximum cartoonist but in the maximum city? R.K. Laxman’s unmatched reader bonding stemmed from the way he harnessed the big city he came to as a young man from Mysore in the late 1940s. His early readers were fellow immigrants from every part of India – those who went on to make Mumbai a mini-India. Eager to pick up a new life and language, workaday English, they took to the English newspaper cartoon, an easy mix of a funny picture and chatty text. American cartoon historians have famously linked the rise of their metropolis in the early 20th Century to the growth of comics. The Laxman cartoon is the closest parallel we have to that urbanizing experience.
Not that the Laxman cartoon was a mere learning aid for the Mumbai migrant, the cartoonist was a masterly monitor of everyday life. Leaders and planners helped, as Laxman has repeatedly acknowledged. They made sure the country developed most unevenly. Mumbai itself threw up eminently cartoonable contrasts to the big life –one right in Laxman’s own vocation. Bal Thackeray, his one-time colleague in Free Press Journal, dropped out of cartooning and chose instead to work for cartoonists.
As for the rest of the country, it has just about caught up with the aspiring Mumbai (warts and all) where Laxman began his career. That gave him a good half century’s head start. He just had to stay the course and let new readers troop in, as Times of India opened new editions. Whenever that happened, his reputation had already traveled ahead of the edition – thanks again to a Mumbai big enough to build brands from a JRD to a Lata Mangeshkar.
Through all these years, the Laxman cartoon hardly aged. Elaborately crafted on the lines of the legendary David Low, his display cartoon which featured recognizable newsmakers was a suitably distanced view of Delhi or wherever else the day’s news was made. He never felt the need to zoom in, yet stayed focused. Enough to comment on a scary phase of Narasimha Rao’s prime ministerial stint in the same breath as the hard hitting Rajinder Puri. Both had almost identical punch lines on why leaders aren’t building the nation instead of mandirs and masjids. Earlier during the Emergency, Indira Gandhi’s I&B minister V.C. Shukla found Laxman offensive enough to be summoned and warned. In the early 1990s in the Delhi BJP circles there was a sudden buzz that the veteran cartoonist was past his prime. Didn’t take much to trace the displeasure to the recurring caricature of L.K. Advani with a charioteer’s headgear in the aftermath of the rath yatra.
 In his pocket cartoons, Laxman tracked broad trends rather than specific news events thereby creating shelf life. When a decade-old cartoon from the archives is rerun, the reader sees it as oven-fresh. Laxman’s everyman shed his black cap and donned the checked coat in 1960 and has since stayed unchanged the same way as a comic strip character like Snoopy or Dennis. The country’s sole iconic cartoon character remained like the Ambassador car the cartoonist drove, a vintage visual marker that lets you calibrate change or the lack of it. The mildly bewildered silent spectator journeyed with his more vocal wife who made an occasional appearance through ministerial bungalows, official banquets, expert meets, public gatherings, shop floors, city streets and the countryside, all of which appeared in rich detail in a single column.  The elaborate backdrops were improvised distils from the extensive sketching Laxman did over the years. From the real Mysore through Madhya Pradesh, and Chennai to the imagined Malgudi. When he broke into a demo of how to rub pencil lines and create the greys of a city like Kolkata, you saw the kid who knew the sheer pleasure of drawing.
(Courtesy: E.P. Unny, The Indian Express)

Cop Shiva's Show from February 7, 2015, onwards in Chennai