Saturday, January 24, 2015

Seema Kohli participates in India Art Fair 2015

Eminent artist Seema Kohli is participating in the India Art Fair, via three eminent art galleries namely Desires - Kali, Rider of the Skies in multimedia dynamics at Juneja Art Gallery Artchill, Golden Womb Reclaimed - Storm in my Tea Cup, mix media on canvas, Krishna, Krishna, rasa at Gallerie Nvya; at India Art Fair on the NSIC Exhibition Grounds at Okhla Industrial Estate, New Delhi and 64 etchings on zinc plate at Art Heritage Gallery
In Juneja Art Gallery Artchill, Seema Kohli’s Desires I, II, III present mix media on canvas, wood, color, 24ct gold and silver leaf in 36” x 48” renditions.
At Gallerie Nvya. the first three are entitled Golden Womb Reclaimed - Storm in my Tea Cup, where three of the six works have been done on a 2 x 2ft diameter, which is mix media on canvas with 24ct gold and silver leaf. The fourth one is Krishna, Krishna, rasa on a 36” x 60” mixed media on canvas with 24ct gold and silver leaf.
At Art Heritage Gallery is showcased "Chausath Yogini", 64 etchings on zinc plate which are all separately framed in glass, occupying a wall space of 156” x 104”. The size of each work without frame is 8” x 10”.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pi (Performers Independent) Presents Kolkata International Performance Art Festival (KIPAF), 2015

KIPAF(Kolkata International Performance Art Festival) is an annual event organized by Performers independent (Pi). The festival was initiated in 2012 to annually open up the city of Kolkata to diverse traditions of performance and interventions. The festival aims to be a platform for dialogue between site, art, politics and culture. KIPAF acknowledges the nascent nature of Performance Art in India, and will always play a role in the pedagogy of performance art. KIPAF 13 and 14 have got participation from artist Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines, Japan, Israel, Belgium & various parts of India. The Festival happens every year from January 23rd to 26th.
 With the recognition of political differences, the spaces of and for contestations grow that provokes cultural articulations. Space as a site, stage and location is imploding with the potential to contradict and contest the established power relations and cultural desires. Performance art aids us to intervene in those socio-cultural desires and make evident the possible alternative modes of thinking and being, where being is a condition of constant formation. The KIPAF 2015 thus focused on the thematic "Contesting Spaces".
 Figuratively, the city of Kolkata today stands between an aspiration for neo liberal future—to be a global city, and an imagination which revolts against the idea, along with anxiety about the widespread violence that would ensue. Available political discourses represent this moment of flux to make a case in favor of or against development.  KIPAF see this  ‘tussle’ as living proof  of the politically conscious, represented in their mundane expressions of resistance, as the city seeks to live up to another surge of global modernism. One of the sites for widely experiencing this politically rich content is Kolkata's street culture.
 Developing an alternate mode of fundraising, Performers Independent did extensive (over 30) street paintings all over the city interacting and raising funds from the citizens.
There was a 3 day workshop initiated by Murari Cheeroth, in which artists from the city participated, along with visiting international artists.
This year there are students from KAlA Bhavan Shantiniketan, Fine Arts College Surat, Kashhmir Art College travelling to Kolkata, as observers and participants of the Open Secton. KIPAF 15 is shaping up as a never before event in the history of Indian Art.
Kipaf15 will take place at the following venues
1. College Square complex
2. Nandan-Akademy of fine arts complex
3. Theater For Experiments in New Technologies (Near Deshapriya Park)
4. Various other public places in the city
  Last Year we did a ‘Children Art Exhibition’ at Chitrakoot Art Gallery in the month of March. This year we propose to do a seminar on directions in Performative Practices in Contemporary India.
KIPAF 15 has artists from Australia , Switzerland, Dominican Republic , United States of America, Bangladesh, Japan, Italy and various parts of India. 
KIPAF is presented by Performers independent (Pi), which is an independent artists' collective active from 2011, experimenting and exploring the traditional, modernist and contemporary spaces in the cultural paradigm.

For details please visit

Bruno Art Group presents Colours of The World at India Art Fair from 29th January -2nd February 2015 (Booth A7)

 David Gerstein,Happy Hours,2013, hand painted cut out aluminium 3 layers,160x152 cm
For its third participation at India Art Fair, the Bruno Art Group from Israel presents a selection of its most outstanding artists in the exhibition titled “Colors of the World” featuring artists like Raphael Abecassis, Yaacov Agam, Dganit Blechner, Simona Bocchi, Charles Fazzino, David Gerstein, SlavaIlyayev, Yuval Mahler, Anu Malhotra, Arnaud Nazare-Aga and Calman Shemi.
Color is the main theme of the booth. The language of colors binds the exhibiting artists and at the same time each of them uses color in a distinctly individual way. The artists used colors to depict narrations from life, atmosphere through figures and shapes of art.
The exhibition presents a gamut of contemporary masters from across the globe. From Israel we have Raphael  Abecassis the Israeli contemporary master in narration of Biblical stories: his work depicts with vivid colors traditions, mythical figures and iconographies; Yaacov Agam is the pioneer of the kinetic movement in art and its most outstanding contemporary representative as well as the highest-selling Israeli artist; Dganit Blechner is known for using bright and cheerful colors, together with extraordinary compositions of cities and icons from movies. David Gerstein uses effective cut out steel layers of colors, Slava Ilyayev makes oil painting vibrant using the thickness of colors;  Yuval Mahler draws upon a rich supply of wry humor, satire, caricature and comedy to produce his insightful studies of human behavior and Israeli master Calman Shemi who developed the “soft painting” technique. His motifs from nature become universal signs for land, water, sky, vegetation, and sunlight.
Arnaud Nazare-Aga, together with his wife Adeline from France create sculptures inspired by sensual lines, gentle roundness and glossy colors. Indian documentary film-maker Anu Malhotra’s impressive paintings showcase free and exuberant use of colors and inspiration from natural elements. Italian sculpture Simona Bocchi, based in Italy and India, expresses concepts of power and harmony of nature through the manipulation of marble, bronze and plaster. American artist Charles Fazzino is the most popular 3-D and highly-collected pop artist in the world today. He is best known for his use of vibrant colors, exceptional detail and brilliant storytelling ability.
About Bruno Art Group: Bruno Art Group, with galleries in Israel, Singapore, Turks & Caicos Islands and USA, is one of the few art houses that provides quality Israeli and international artwork by renowned masters of art. With over 100 years of expertise in the industry, Bruno Art Group was born from the passion of its founder Motti Abramovitz and evolved into one of the fastest growing art houses in the region. Works include spectacular art by great Israeli masters like Marcel Janco, Yaacov Agam, David Gerstein, Reuven Rubin – and many more.

Ganges Art Gallery invites you to India Art Fair 2015, Booth No F 9

Folk Archive by Alan Kane and Jeremy Deller on Saturday 31, January 2015 at Mati Ghar, IGNCA

Vadehra Art Gallery at the upcoming 7th edition of India Art Fair

New Delhi, 22 January 2015: Vadehra Art Gallery is proud to present a special selection of artworks for the upcoming 7th edition of India Art Fair 2015. Working across generations, the gallery focuses on promoting artwork of great aesthetic quality and sound conceptual values. This year, the selection features a variety of works from the gallery’s collection. Exclusive works by MF Husain will be a highlight of the booth underlining the impact of its relationship with the modern master by shedding light on the body of work specially made by Husain for the Gallery.
The contemporary selection at the art fair will also exhibit works by established artists such as Shilpa Gupta, Atul Dodiya, Atul Bhalla, Anju Dodiya and Nalini Malani as well as younger emerging artists including Sujith SN, Charmi Gada Shaw and Gipin Varghese all of whom have made a mark in the contemporary art scene thanks to Vadehra Art Gallery’s creative force and vision. The selection at India Art Fair not only showcases Husain’s extraordinary archive of work with the Vadehra Art Gallery but also underlines the gallery as a staunch supporter of the Indian contemporary art scene.
Vadehra Art Gallery has also made new incursions into some of the most interesting art scenes across the world, finding artists whose works speak a different language but compel the Indian sensibility. A selection of Mexican artists will be shown at India Art Fair to illustrate this aim for a better understanding of the global art scene.
Vadehra Art Gallery will also be presenting a session with Arpita Singh ​in-conversation in advance of her new book​ written by Deepak Ananth ​as​ part of the YES Bank Spotlight Series at the upcoming edition of India Art Fair 2015 on 30 January 2015 at 5.30 pm. The speakers for this session are Arpita Singh (Artist), Deepak Ananth (Art historian & Author) and Dr. Chaitanya Sambrani​ (Senior Lecturer, Centre for Art History and Art Theory- School of Art, The Australian National University, Canberra)
Information on the book
Play and reverie, the distinctive features of Arpita Singh’s art, have also proved to be the subversive agents of the sly pictorial universe that she has elaborated over the last four decades. Spontaneity has been her way of negotiating the vicissitudes of female subjectivity even as it is a superior ruse for confronting the complexities of the world on her own terms. The freshness of her child-like vision is the elation of a painter who never ceases to marvel at the formal possibilities of her elected medium and the affect it might be made to yield. Being attentive to language and to the world: this is how Arpita Singh has always conceived her vocation as an artist, and this is the double mandate of Deepak Ananth’s monograph on this major figure in contemporary Indian art.
Writer: Deepak Ananth
Deepak Ananth is an art historian based in Paris. He teaches at the Ecole Supérieure d’Arts et des Médias in Caen, Normandy. He has written on a range of modern and contemporary European and Indian artists, mostly for museum publications. His curatorial projects include exhibitions of contemporary French art, nineteenth century French painting, Surrealism, the drawings of Roland Barthes, the place of India in the western imagination (Indomania, 2013) and exhibitions of contemporary Indian art, notably Indian Summer at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in 2005, and other exhibitions in Brussels, Rome, New York and Tokyo.
About Vadehra Art Gallery
Vadehra Art Gallery is a leading Indian contemporary art gallery, based in New Delhi with a unique offering - hosting regular exhibitions from both established and emerging artists, with a publishing arm, a Gallery Book Store, and the FICA Research Fellowship programme, as well as an international affiliation with Grosvenor Vadehra in London. Since its inception in 1987, Vadehra Art Gallery has promoted contemporary Indian art through exhibitions, retrospectives, publications and educational programmes. Over the last 20 years, the gallery has become the locus through which the works of both modern and contemporary artists have reached the public. Vadehra Art Gallery’s position as an artistic interlocutor with the public is especially vital in contemporary India because of the lack of a vibrant art museum culture.

Indian artist Anup Mathew Thomas, winner of the 2015 Han Nefkens Foundation – BACC Award for Contemporary Art!

We are pleased to announce Indian artist Anup Mathew Thomas as the winner of the second Han Nefkens Foundation – BACC Award for Contemporary Art. This biannual award seeks to encourage artists in Asia under the age of 40 who already have a solid body of work but have not yet been showcased in major institutions. The award consists of 15,000 US dollars: a $3,000 artist’s fee and $12,000 towards the production of new work as well as a residency and an exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.
Statement from the Jury
The international jury has unanimously chosen the Indian artist Anup Mathew Thomas because of his creative inquiry, which almost transcends the boundaries of photography and his use of photography in ways that push the boundaries of the medium’s established position. The jury was very impressed with his patient, methodical approach to the painstaking process of research and documentation over a period of time, allowing the material to come into its own. His method is such that ‘place’ becomes a natural background rather than a geographical ‘other’, while the stories that are being told are brought into relief, to be observed and experienced in a way which moves the audience and invites further reflection and discussion.
The jury believes that he is highly suitable for this residency and that his residency in Bangkok will benefit both him and the city. They are confident that he will be able to engage in a productive way with the environment, in view of both his background and the historical links between India and Thailand and the social identities of both nations.
Anup Mathew Thomas
Anup Mathew Thomas works primarily with the medium of photography and his work often engages ostensibly local narratives. Over the last decade he has produced a series of projects that engage with and make reference to the cultural history of his native Kerala. Thomas’s works introduce audiences to stories that may have gone missing from the archive. In exploring the slippages between documentary and artistic practice, Thomas employs both anecdotal and factual narrative styles, and his work often culminates in carefully staged portraiture. His practice explores the immediacy of the photograph, and its potential for ambiguity, as a medium for storytelling.
 Anup Mathew Thomas lives and works in Bangalore, India.
 His recent participation in group exhibitions include Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kochi (2012); The Matter Within, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2011); Generation in Transition, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2011); The Self and the Other, La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona (2009-10); and Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie, Arnolfini, Bristol (2009). Solo exhibitions include shows at Gasworks Gallery, London (2007); The Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo (2010) and Lothringer13, Munich (2013). He is a recipient of The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014.
The jury members are: Luckana Kunavichayanont, Director of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (Bangkok); Hilde Teerlinck, President of the Han Nefkens Foundation (France); Prof. Ute Meta Bauer, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art – Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); Dr Yongwoo Lee, President of the International Biennial Association (IBA) (South Korea); Bose Krishnamachari, President of the Kochi Biennale Foundation (India) and Han Nefkens.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mithu Sen wins Prudential Award

At the 2015 Prudential Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art, Mithu Sen, 43, won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Drawing.
Mithu Sen earned her BFA and MFA degrees in painting at the Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan, Visva Bharati and later studied in the Glasgow School of Art, UK in 2000-2001.
Sen's works are conceptual and interactive. She works in a wide variety of media, making site and time specific installations that often combine drawings, sculpture, video, sound , performance and poetry.
Blending fact and fiction, deeply self reflective, playful and bold- a macabre sense of humor punctuates her work. Using highly sexualized imagery of the self and others, Mithu makes the private public by engaging the spectators into a game of active voyeurism. A provoking juxtaposition of sexuality, decay and birth is conveyed through her images. Swinging between distance and intimacy, her works deal with the politics of identity, sexuality and gender.
Mithu Sen is also a poet. In the last few years Sen has been experimenting with a dream language in response to the lingual politics to the world through her visual and performative practice. Sen’s practice continually engages with the language of visual poetry to construct and deconstruct the idea of identity.
Sen has exhibited around 17 solo shows include A° V O I D, Galerie Krinzinger , Vienna, Border Unseen, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan USA, Devoid at Gallery Nathalie Obadia, Paris (2012), In Transit at Espace Louis Vuitton, Taipei (2011), “I Dig, I Look Down,” Albion Gallery, London etc. and several exhibitions at prestigious museums, biennales, galleries, and art festivals all over the world. Some of these include gallery Tate Modern’s Word. Power. Sound. In London, The Unknown, Mediations Biennale in Poland, Incohen Korean Women’s Biennale, Seoul, Korea, Daimler Chrysler Collection, Berlin, Goethe Institute, Salvador, Brazil, Eastside project space, Birmingham, UK, Gallery Continua, Le Moulin, France.
Mithu is recipient of the SKODA award 2010 for the best contemporary artist in India for her show BLACK CANDY (iforgotmypenisathome). Her website is an experimental project (freemthu) where she invites people to send a letter of love in an exchange of an original work of her.

The Gujral Foundation presents My East is Your West

Artists from India and Pakistan collaborate for Venice Biennale 2015
My East is Your West
May 5–October31, 2015
Palazzo Benzon, San Marco 3917, Venice 30124
(Preview Schedule and Opening Hours to be announced)
Concept and Curation: Feroze Gujral, Founder/ Director, The Gujral Foundation
Artists: Rashid Rana (Pakistan) and Shilpa Gupta (India)
Curatorial Advisor and Public Programmes Curator: Natasha Ginwala
Italian Partner Foundation: Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta
Advisory Board: Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation
Amin Jaffer, International Director Asian Art, Christie's
New Delhi, 21 January 2015: The Gujral Foundation is delighted to announce My East is Your West, an official collateral event of the 56th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale, which unites for the first time at the Biennale the historically conflicting nations of India and Pakistan in a collaborative exhibition by artists from both countries.
Internationally recognised artists Shilpa Gupta (India) and Rashid Rana (Pakistan) will work together on a shared presentation located in the Palazzo Benzon, in the centre of Venice on the Grand Canal. As neither India nor Pakistan have a permanent national pavilion at the Venice Biennale, this presentation will provide a unique platform for artists from the Indian subcontinent to enter into a dialogue through the arts. My East is Your West is conceived by Feroze Gujral, Director and Founder of The Gujral Foundation, with Natasha Ginwala as Curatorial Advisor and Curator of Public Programming. The Gujral Foundation have partnered with the Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta on the project with Head Curator, Martina Mazzotta, programming collateral events in Italy.
The Gujral Foundation will be presenting a discussion about their project for the 56th Venice Biennale ‘My East is Your West’ at the YES Bank Spotlight Series at the upcoming 7th edition of India Art Fair 2015 on 30 January 2015 at 3.30pm. The speakers for this session are Feroze Gujral (Founder & Director, The Gujral Foundation), Shilpa Gupta (Artist, India), Rashid Rana (Artist, Pakistan) and Natasha Ginwala (Curatorial Advisor and Curator of Public Programming).
Born out of the desire to reposition the complex climate of historical relations between the South Asian nation-states of India and Pakistan, My East is Your West will present these two countries as a singular region within the context of the Venice Biennale. The thought of how the world would have been different had India and Pakistan not been measured by borders lies dormant but is ever present. In view of their practices, and as one artist from each country, Gupta and Rana have been invited to work together to create a unique presentation that will express the integral essence of a people divided, a history which spans antiquity, colonial modernity and a cosmopolitan present entangled in conflict.
This journey towards conceiving a shared platform in Venice builds on the artists’ concerns to negotiate between the individual and the communal in relation to the ‘everyday’ experiences of collective consciousness. Within their practices both artists explore notions of location and dislocation, transnational belonging, and the impact of cultural and political conditioning in determining our relationship to geographical and national territories. With works that challenge the modern nation-state and its divides, Gupta and Rana have developed a material aesthetic that surveys the potential of a common region, separate from the state and its model.
Feroze Gujral (Founder & Director, The Gujral Foundation) comments: “Whilst we share a common history, we have a divided present. We are now working together for a more collaborative future”   
The Gujral Foundation was founded in 2008 by Mohit and Feroze Gujral, son and daughter-in-law of renowned Indian Modernist artist, Satish Gujral. The foundation is a non-profit trust dedicated to supporting contemporary cultural engagements within the realms of art, design and culture in the Indian subcontinent. Feroze Gujral, philanthropist and entrepreneur, also founded Outset India in 2011, a philanthropic organisation which provides a platform for contemporary art in India, and for Indian artists abroad. Feroze Gujral is on the advisory board of the Kochi Murziris Biennale and on the board of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). Mohit Gujral is a leading Indian architect and is part of the core management and is on the executive board of India’s largest real estate development company. Amongst other projects, The Gujral Foundation has arranged the loan of ‘Aspinwall’, the primary location of the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2012 and 2014 and has supported the 55th Venice Biennale, South Asian artists at the 8th Berlin Biennale and the Guggenheim Museum, New York exhibition, V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life (2014). For the past three years The Gujral Foundation has fostered a range of projects steadily expanding its reach with the world of contemporary art and is committed to building infrastructures that sustain cultural freedom, social engagement and the artistic imagination.
About the Artists
Rashid Rana (b. 1968) was born in Lahore, Pakistan, where he lives and works. He trained as a painter at the National College of Arts in Lahore and the Massachusetts College of Fine Arts in Boston. He is the founding faculty member and head of the Fine Art department at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore. Recent solo exhibitions include a major mid-career retrospective of seventy works, entitled Labyrinth of Reflections at Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi (2013), as well as survey shows at Cornerhouse, Manchester (2011) and Musée Guimet, Paris (2010). Participation in major group exhibitions includes Dhaka Art Summit (2014), the Kiev Biennial (2012); Fotomuseum Winterthur, Whitechapel Gallery and Saatchi Gallery, London (2010); the Asia Society, New York (2009), the fifth Asia Pacific Triennale, Queensland Gallery of Art, Brisbane (2006) and the Singapore Biennial (2006).
Shilpa Gupta (b.1976) lives and works in Mumbai, India where she has studied sculpture at the Sir J. J. School of Fine Arts from 1992 to 1997. The artist has had solo exhibitions in Asia, Europe and the United States, especially, in recent years, at: Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; MO Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest;  MAAP Space, Brisbane; Arnolfini, Bristol; and the OK Center for Contemporary Art, Linz. Gupta has taken part in the Triennale Younger Than Jesus, New Museum, New York; the Lyon Biennale, curated by Hou Hanru; the Biennale of Gwangju, directed by Okwui Enwezor and curated by Ranjit Hoskote; the Triennale of Yokohama, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Biennale of Liverpool, curated by Gerardo Mosquera; and more recently at Dhaka Art Summit, curated by Diana Campbell-Betancourt, the Biennale of Sharjah, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, and the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, curated by Juan Gaitán and with artistic team member Natasha Ginwala. From 2002-2006, Gupta co-facilitated Aar Paar, a public art exchange project between India and Pakistan, along with Lahore-based artist Huma Mulji.
Natasha Ginwala (b. 1985, India) is an independent curator, researcher and writer. She was a member of the artistic team of the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2014). Her recent work includes the ongoing multi-part curatorial project Landings, presented at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, David Roberts Art Foundation, NGBK Berlin, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and other partner organisations, 2013 – present (with Vivian Ziherl) and The Museum of Rhythm at Taipei Biennale 2012 (with Anselm Franke). Ginwala has taught at the University of Amsterdam, the Sandberg Institute and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She has contributed to publications such as art agenda, e-flux Journal and Manifesta Journal, amongst others. Ginwala is currently curator-in-residence at Hordaland Art Centre, Bergen.

Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi - Reminder - Dayanita Singh: Book Works

By Dayanita Singh: Book Works
© Dayanita SinghPreview: Friday, 23 January, 19:00
On view: Tuesday, 27 January - Saturday, 14 February
(Monday - Saturday, 10:00 - 18:00; Closed on Sundays)
Siddhartha Hall, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan
The exhibition will remain closed from Saturday, 24 – Monday, 26 January due to the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi.
The exhibition will remain open for public viewing on Sunday, 1 February during the India Art Fair.
Gerhard Steidl calls her the genius of book making, she calls herself a book artist.
What is a book? Can a mass produced artist book be considered a contemporary art work in its own right? Can a book be both a book and an exhibition? And can a book, shown on a wall as a work, also become a catalogue of its very exhibition?
With Museum of Chance (Steidl 2014) Dayanita Singh has achieved all of this, creating a work that is simultaneously a book, an art object, an exhibition and a catalogue.
A book with 88 images and a short text by Aveek Sen, Museum of Chance transforms into a book-object and exhibition when its 88 different covers are placed into specially constructed wooden structures and displayed on a wall or placed on a table. In placing the book directly onto the wall in this way, Singh departs from simply just showing edition prints framed on a wall, turning the book itself into the art object: a work to be valued, looked at and read as such, rather than being simply regarded as a gathering of photographic reproductions.
In Dayanita Singh: Book Works, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi will present the Museum of Chance book-object for the first time in Delhi.
On the Wednesday, February 4, 2015, Dayanita Singh will turn the works around to reveal a completely new exhibition.

Sakti Burman book release at the Jaipur Lit Festival 2015!

Sakti Burman: A Private Universe
Edited by Rosa Maria Falvo
Published by Art Alive Gallery in collaboration with Skira
Texts by Dr. B.N. Goswamy and Rosa Maria Falvo
Art Alive launches Sakti Burman: A Private Universe' at the Jaipur Lit Festival 2015! on January 22 at 1.30 pm. Dr. B.N.Goswamy will interact with the artist Sakti Burman.
This beautiful and definitive monograph showcases the enchanting work of Indian master painter Sakti Burman
Legends, family, and Indian gods meet and mingle in Sakti Burman's private, kaleidoscopic universe. While realism resurfaces in his paintings, his work transports viewers into the realm of fantasy across a decidedly optimistic, oneiric landscape. Burman's characteristically mythical figures evoke ancient tales of courtly romances and captivating worlds, brimming with sensuous maidens, children playing, and exotic birds and beasts.
"Through my work I return to my native roots, my youth, and the transitory world of innocence? The role of memory in art is a recognised fact, but in my case, as a painter living in a foreign city for so many years, my memories are doubly potent in sustaining my creative life." - Sakti Burman
Sakti Burman is one of India's pioneering painters, who was born in 1935 in Kolkata and grew up in what is now Bangladesh. He graduated from the Government College of Art and Craft in Kolkata, and furthered his studies at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, receiving the 'Prix des Etrangers' award in France. His many solo exhibitions and major group shows include the V International Triennale at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, and alongside the works of Picasso, Chagall and Miró in Japan and the UK. He also received the prestigious 'Roopadhar Award' for his lifetime achievement by the 'Bombay Art Society' in 2011.
Burman's works are found in many private and museum collections, including the National Gallery of New Zealand, Musée d‚art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, Yorkshire Educational Committee, and the Lord & Taylor Collection in New York.
With over 170 illustrations, two essays, and an in-depth interview with the artist, this beautiful monograph showcases over fifty years of Burman's extraordinary creative verve. Europe and India are fused into this artist's life and imagination, creating a hybrid aesthetic that speaks on several cultural and emotional levels.
This monograph is the definitive publication illustrating the evolution of Sakti Burman's prolific paintings, drawings, and watercolours, contextualising his lifelong exploration into alternative ways of seeing. Burman's colourful figures hark back to a kind of ancient 'lost paradise', but also sustain a fresh and irrepressible faith in the beauty and sensibilities of Mother Nature alongside a hopeful human spirit.
Dr. B.N.Goswamy is an eminent Indian art historian and critic. He is the recipient of the Padma Bhushan Award (2008), India's third highest civilian honour, for his contributions to literature and education.
Rosa Maria Falvo is a writer and curator, as well as Skira's international commissions editor. Since 2005 she has been regularly travelling and working closely with artists and institutions throughout Asia.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

KNMA Presents Surendran Nair's Works from January 24, 2015

Noida: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art​ (KNMA) will preview ​​​Surendran Nair drawings, prints and water colours (1970s-1990s) curated by Roobina Karode at ​​KNMA, Noida, on Saturday, January 24, 2015. ​T​he exhibition opens to the public from ​January 25- July 20, 2015.​
KNMA presents from its collection an exhibition of around 185 early works of Vadodara-based artist Surendran Nair. Tracing Nair’s journey from the time that he was a student at the Trivandrum College of Fine Arts and later at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara, from the 1970s onwards, the exhibition is revelatory of his creative process that combines his deftness of skill with a fertile imagination to evolve a transformative vision. The simple daily act of sketching and drawing, observing ones surroundings and the persona of friends and family studies get etched with acts of wit, humour and the absurd that Surendran packs into the realm of the everyday. Portraits, mostly of Nair’s classmates, artist-friends like N.N. Rimzon, K.V. Sasikumar, Ashokan Poduval, K.M. Madhusudhan, K.P. Krishnakumar and Alex Mathew are also tied up with the history of contemporary artists from Kerala, inspired by Marxism and strong ideological positioning.
Surendran Nair says that theirs was the first batch of Trivandrum College of Art, “We all grew up together. Since the institution started with us, we did not have a model on which we could actually model ourselves in terms of studies… we had to depend upon each other to understand.”
Strong friendships, intellectual exchange, and discovering/reading cinema and literature together led to the ideas of commune, prevalent among the youth of Kerala in the 1970s and 80s. Some of these attempts and discussions led to the coming together of students in huge protests against academic pedagogy, resulting into significant interventions in the history of Indian Modern art, such as the formation of Radical Painters and Sculptors Association in 1987.  Nair and Rimzon stayed away from a group ideology to pursue an independent trajectory through their practice. These early works of Surendran Nair highlight that implied collective and social space of young artists, sharing, understanding and relating with a world that was ever-changing and evolving along with their artistic journeys.
According to the curator of the exhibition, Roobina Karode, “Surendran Nair creates a world within the world that we live in, bringing to us strange encounters, surreal landscapes, irrational subjects and unsettling/baffling themes that create/celebrate in art the space for the ‘unexpected, unpredictable and the unknown’ that often bring to fore the limits of human comprehension. Art then becomes a space for that contestation, for poetry that defies the normative in creativity. This can be said to be a life-long project for the artist.”

GallerySke Presents Code of Culture from January 22, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Land Of Nod @ Gallery Threshold

Reversal Reality | Pro.ject 2015.03 by Tayeba Begum Lipi | 21st January 2015

Anju Dodiya's "Imagined Immortals on Friday, 16 January 2015 | 6 pm | Vadehra Art Gallery

Roy Thomas' Uninterrupted Tales Opens today in New Delhi

Spirit of Gujarat by Vrindavan Solanki | Opening Tomorrow | 7 to 9pm at The Viewing Room

Kerala on the Rise

Gulammohammed Sheik,Balancing Act, 2014 

The Kochi Biennale is a work in progress, going in the right direction

By Georgina Maddox

The nun, dressed in a black-and-white habit, closed her eyes when Black Pearl took off most of his clothes save for his black g-string. But the cleric could not help peeking through her fingers as Black Pearl began to smear black paint upon his hirsute body, much to the curiosity of the growing crowd thronging outside the window of his ‘room’. It was the first day of a 50-hour performance by artist Nikhil Chopra who took on the identity of Black Pearl, an ‘ambiguous colonial character’. Chopra’s performance that was a multifaceted take on colonial trade, monarchy and slavery, was definitely one of the highlights of the latest edition of the Kochi Biennale.
The much awaited event opened on December 12, 2014, to clinking champagne flutes, heady boat rides, curator’s walks, artist’s talks and vigorous drumming by the Pandi Melam a local mélange of drums, pipes and cymbals.
Overbooked hotels and guest houses indicated that many people had flown in excited to be at the second Kochi Murziris Biennale. The dark shadow of the 2012 funding scam that had engulfed the festival president and secretary, Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, seems to have lifted from the Biennale and despite lesser monies. 
Bharti Kher's installation Three Decimal Points ...
This year the government donated only Rs 2 crore as opposed to the Rs 6 crore of last time. “Money has come from various sources like artist donations and patrons who have helped us garner over Rs 50 lakh. If you have the faith things work out,” said Bose. “It is now truly the people’s Biennale,” added Dayanita Singh who displayed her work Dear Mr Walter, a travelling archive of her photographs that told the poignant story of the death of a friend. On that note the veil lifted on what appeared to be a new and improved version of the Biennale.
Unlike 2012 where many of the works were not mounted or even ready, this year’s Biennale saw almost 90 per cent of the artwork up in time for the gala opening. One is still befuddled as to why a Biennale that poses as the ‘Largest alternative art event in South East Asia,’ cannot have all the artwork up in time for the opening. The glaring sight of the under-construction Pavilion at Aspinwall, the unpacked artwork in crates at the Durbar Hall and the mysteriously empty rooms at Pepper House were a bit disheartening to see on the opening day.
However many visitors were just thankful that the exhibition was up with informative labels, a bilingual catalogue and a curator’s walk-and-talk, which made it far more comprehensive viewing than last-times creative cacophony. Credit goes to curator Jitish Kallat whose distinctive curated theme (but rather unfortunate exhibition title— Whorled Explorations) contributed to a more cohesive Biennale. Kallat says the exhibition, has many points of reference, especially that of trade and astronomy. “During the 15th century, the shores of Kochi were linked to the maritime chapter of the Age of Discovery—a tale of grit, greed and human ingenuity,” says the artist-curator. The 14th and 16th centuries were also seen as times of astronomy and mathematics and the birth of the Kerala School of Astronomy, which is why the entire left wing of Aspinwall speaks directly to that theme.

Notable works in this section were Natraj Sharma’s delightful and humorous sculptural installation titled Alternative Shapes for the Earth, a work that grew playfully while Sharma was explaining the solar eclipse to his daughter. Mona Hatoum’s Undercurrent, an assemblage of blubs and cables, buzzed with beauty and danger for it could warn of a landmine or an erupting volcano. 
Nikhil Chopra Le Perie Noire: Le Marais (Black Pearl)
One understood the relevance of displaying Charles and Ray Eames work Powers of Ten at the beginning of the exhibition, even though it was made in 1977. The visionary video work almost anticipates the age of Google earth images as it zooms out of a family picnicking in a park in California to out of space, spanning the entire universe. In contrast David Horowitz’s 1013 work, a recording of a sunset and a sun-rise on two cell-phones, seemed simplistic and insulted the intelligence of many. It left one with the question, “Is this really art?”
The same could be said for Tara Kelton’s Birth of Adam, a Nokia screen saver of two hands meeting that appears when one switches the phone one. It left viewers thinking: Are we dumbing things down too much? Shouldn’t art move beyond the obvious?
These lazy artworks jarred in contrast to arresting pieces like Mithu Sen’s intriguing video piece I have only one language; it is not my own, which poignantly commented on the hidden hierarchies of language and communication, Neha Choksi’s poetic and existential piece Ice Boat  captures her frantically rowing a melting  ice boat in a vast expanse of sea, Prashant Pandey’s giant diamond made of blood slides was impressive in scale but a little foggy in what it was trying to convey.
 Anish Kapoor’s installation, a swirling whirlpool in a rotating drum, titled Decension had audiences curious and excited, even though it was not up in time for the opening. It spoke of destabilising the notion of solid objects and forming spontaneous forms and designs, a current concern for Kapoor. The artist’s increased presence in India is heartening to say the least.

Stepping out of Aspinwall, viewers dashed off to the charming sea-facing Pepper House. Here one was pleasantly surprised by the artwork which could be seen as one of the best curated sections. Not only were the works complete, but each piece was compelling and spoke directly to the theme.
Gigi Scaria’s 20 foot stainless-steel bell spouting like a water-fountain was arresting and thought provoking in its take on time, trade and spirituality.
A theme that was also reflected in Benitha Perciyal’s mystical and evocative biblical sculptures carved out of scented wood. Coupled with a sealed room full of artifacts and a perfume cabinet, the work was both visually intriguing and headily fragrant. Bharti Kher’s nautical instruments overwhelmed with their sheer size and sculptural quality. “The works are a philosophical meditation on time and geometry”, said the artist.
On a lighter and more playful note Sumakshi Singh’s interactive installation, In Between the Pages delighted viewers. The 70-foot maze of paper scrolls was a space where hand- animated stories came alive. “The work references illustrations from the Hortus Malabaricus, a 17th century Dutch, East India Company’s compendium of Kerala’s flora. It takes off from the myth around Vasco da Gama’s arrival in Calicut,” says Singh, inviting you to be part of the work as a camera captures the viewer and projects one into the world of painted dancing figures.
Sitting on the grassy lawns of Pepper House, is N.S. Harsha’s sculpture of a wise monkey pointing to the sky while holding an orb-shaped like the earth, just the right sentiment to round off the satisfying experience of being there. 
Besides the national and international crowd, the Biennale seems to have made a genuine effort this time around to reach out to the local population, especially school children and young art students who made their presence felt.
There were several interesting murals by a group of Delhi graffiti artists while one angry mural that caricatured Bose and Komu fornicating found its way on the walls. Despite this bit of irritation, the KMB is all set to woo the locals as well.  While many artists confessed to facing infrastructural problems and having a general nightmare putting up works, one can safely say that the Kochi Biennale is a work in progress, going in the right direction.
(The writer was hosted by BMW)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Artist Shalini Arora invites you to view her solo exhibition of drawings ‘Disappearing Staircases’ from January 15-18, 2015, at Alliance Française de Delhi


Disappearing Staircases is Shalini Arora’s first solo exhibition and consists of abstract, spare, line-based drawings in ink on paper with a largely black grey and white palette and controlled colour.
There are 27 works which range from drawings shown individually or in series to 3 larger assemblages of 10-12 drawings displayed together. The title reflects her fascination with staircases which she sees as a metaphor for mystery and the unknown.
These drawings fuse the artist's spatial explorations with her interest in Buddhist thought and the minimalism of traditional sumi-e Japanese ink drawings (Sumi-e is the Japanese word for a black ink drawing or painting made using a brush).  She is inspired not literally from their brush techniques but for its zen aesthetic of `emptiness’ -  where the empty blank space of the paper completes the drawing and is as important to the composition as that which is drawn: 'Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.’ (Heart Sutra).
The sumi-e Japanese artists use the greatest economy of means to express with purity and simplicity what they perceive as the essence of a subject and are unconcerned with realistic depiction. Shalini too attempts to express a spatial idea or capture her experience of a place from memory or her imagination in a similar manner. She strives to say more with less - consciously reducing her lines down to only the essential.
The drawings are inspired by spatial and architectural subjects close to her heart - so while Exploding Cities shares her concern about the uncontrolled growth of our cities,Landscape/Ruin and Stepwell reflect her affinity for ruins and heritage sites. A love of geometry, spatial exploration and the influence of Cubism comes through in the Planar DanceSeries. The pure graphic qualities of architectural drawings and city plans are explored in Plan, Urban Space, Line Journeys and the assemblage Homage to the Stair. TheDisappearing Staircases Series and Floating Staircases play with the surreal quality of spatial illusion inspired by MC Escher- impossible structures, spaces with no beginning or end, staircases that lead apparently nowhere…
The larger assemblage works are a collection of drawings which are to be viewed as a whole, the individual drawings are only fragments. For each of these wall based compositions, she first produces a large number of drawings over a period of time.  She then sorts through these drawings, selecting a few and rejecting others to create a family of drawings which work together. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts - new visual connections arise in the interaction between the individual drawings. She looks at them as a puzzle, the pieces of which are put together in the viewer’s mind.
Her work is hand-drawn directly with pen or Japanese brush pen on paper, without any preliminary markings. It is an exacting medium in which mistakes can’t be corrected. She doesn’t use instruments preferring the imperfect hand-drawn to the drafted line.
For the artist drawing is a meditative act, an emptying and uncluttering of her mind in search of stillness. It is a balance between controlled restraint and intuition as she responds to earlier marks while holding her intention in mind.
Shalini Arora is an artist who trained as an architect from SPA, Delhi and CEPT, Ahmedabad from where she graduated in 1997. Her research thesis was published by CEPT and is in the US Library of Congress. She practiced architecture for many years and has worked with Charles Correa and Rajesh Renganathan. Over the last few years she has devoted herself entirely to art with a focus on drawing. She lives and works in Delhi.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Gallery Espace celebrates 25th year with mega-show on drawings by over 100 artists: Nov 10-28

New Delhi: To celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, Gallery Espace is hosting one of the most ambitious shows ever featuring drawings by over hundred Indian contemporary artists. Titled Drawing 2014: Seven Decades of Indian Drawing, the show is co-curated by Prayag Shukla along with Annapurna Garimella and Sindhura Jois DM from Jackfruit Research and Design, Bangalore, and will be on at The Exhibition Hall, 11, Mansingh Road, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), Mansingh Road, New Delhi from November 10 till November 28, 2014. 11a.m. to 7 p.m.
Artists whose works will be showcased are Jogen Chowdhury, Ganesh Pyne, Bikash Bhattacharya, Ambadas, Ganesh Haloi, K G Subramanyan, Shyamal Dutta Ray, Somnath Hore, Arpita Singh, Meera Mukherjee, Chtrapatti Dutta, Dharamnarayan Dasgupta, Bhupen Khakar, Jeram Patel, Nagji Patel, Jyoti Bhatt, Nasreen Mohamedi, Ghulam Muhamed Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, Amit Ambalal, Vivan Sundaram, Amitava Das, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Himmat Shah, Mona Rai, Manjit Bawa, Shobha Broota, Jai Zharotia, Anupam Sud, Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Jatin Das, K K Hebbar, F N Souza, Tyeb Mehta, Navjot Altaf, G R Santosh, Laxma Goud, K C S Panniker, S G Vasudev, Zarina Hashmi, Prabhakar Kolte, Prabhakar Barwe, Sudhir Patwardhan, Surendran Nair, Siddharth, Anwar Chitrakar, Akshay Rathore, Adip Datta, Anju Dodiya, Atul Dodiya, Bhajju Shyam, Basant Peringod, Dhruvi Acharya, G R Iranna, Jagadesh Tammineni, Jitish Kallat, Lavanya Mani, Meghana Bisineer, Manisha Parekh, Manisha Gera Baswani, Moutushi Banerjee, Mithu Sen, Manjunath Kamath, Mekhala Bahl, Nikhil Raunak, Naini Arora, Nityanand Ojha, N S Harsha, Om Soorya, Riyas Komu, Ravi Kashi, Poonam Jain, Paula Sengupta, Puneet Kaushik, Pratik Prabhakar, Rakhi Peswani, Rakshit Kadlar, Ramesh Pithiya, Shreyas Karle, Sonia Khurana, Snehal Chordia, Sumakshi Singh, Sisir Thapa, Samit Das, Tushar Joag, Umesh Madanahalli, Vibhuti Sharma, Vijay Hagargundgi, Valsan Koleri, Waswo and Rakesh Vijay, Subodh Gupta, Chinan Upadhyay, Rohini Sen, Rollie Mukherjee, Probir Gupta, Birendra Pani, Shailesh, Shanti Swaroopini.
 “Drawing is the foundation of all art and the basis of all disciplines,” says Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace. “It was the legendary M.F Husain who introduced me to the finer nuances of drawings and the intimate, small format nature of this genre has remained a personal favourite with me ever since." Gallery Espace held a show on Drawings as far back as 1994 and it’s only natural that its 25th anniversary show should celebrate the genre with greater aplomb. Apart from this expansive show, there will be several collateral/outreach events that will reflect on the significance of drawings in art and other disciplines.
Incidentally, Gallery Espace was started in 1989 by Renu Modi at the suggestion of the Husain himself and was one of the first art galleries in India to introduce variable lighting and sound systems, in recognition of the crucial factor that is the environment within which a work of art is displayed. In a similar vein, Gallery Espace was a pioneer when it came to video installations, going so far as to organize a first-of-its-kind monthly out-reach programme (Video Wednesday I, 2008-09 and Video Wednesday II, 2011-12) in order to bring artists working in new media into the spotlight.
Drawing 2014 will showcase more than 100 artists from India and features works dating from 1947 to the present in which drawing is presented as a broad and inclusive practice. Along with works on single sheets of paper, there will be artists’ books, studies for other projects, multiples, laser drawings, animation and more. This breadth allows curators and viewers to understand how an academic practice moves between the pedagogic and the conceptual realms and between established and experimental ways of working.
Gallery Espace has served as a launch pad for emerging artists of promise (several of whom are now established names in the art world), whose work reflects their individual internal journeys of growth and self-discovery, resulting in a truly eclectic and protean collection. While the focus is predominantly on Indian artists, Gallery Espace has also promoted international artists and recently has diversified into displaying South-East Asian art. Gallery Espace laid the groundwork for curated exhibitions featuring leading art commentators and journalists. Past themed exhibitions like Drawing ’94, Sculpture ’95, Mini-Print ’96, Kitsch Kitsch Hota Hai ’01 and Bronze ’06 have explored different forms of artistic creation. Rather than using exhibitions as a marketing tool, Gallery Espace believes in creating opportunities for growth, showcasing new talent and enriching the world of art in India, thus becoming an important link between artists and buyers, viewers and auction houses.

Vadehra Art Gallery presents A Ramachandran's retrospective at Lalit Kala Akademi

November 4, 2014: Vadehra Art Gallery and Lalit Kala Akademi present an exhibition of major Indian artist A Ramachandran in two parts: A Retrospective: Drawings, sketches and studies 1958 - 2014 and Ekalinji Fantasy: Paintings and sculptures 2009 - 2014

Born in Kerala 1935, Ramachandran studied art in Santiniketan where the cultural and intellectual milieu of Santiniketan drew him closer to the art traditions of India and other civilizations and began his lifelong research on mural paintings of Keralan temples.
Ranesh Ray, Exhibition Curator comments;
“The deep-rooted influences of Kerala combine with a grounding and assimilation of values of Santiniketan in Ramachandran. He embodies the values that formed the foundation for education, in Santiniketan, imbibed from his teacher Ramkinkar Baij and Nandalal Bose. Literature, nature, social and political concerns and people have shaped his views. These are reflected in dynamic expressions of changing perceptions through the decades. The challenge has been to communicate these through an exhibition.”
The Retrospective is structured chronologically and thematically and moves from 1958 to the present and Ekalinji Fantasy presents a body of his recent works. A prolific artist, the selection of nearly 1200 drawings, sketches and studies have been taken from a pool of 5000 works, a telling indicator of the extraordinary scale of Ramachandran’s output. 
Ramachandran’s drawings span 56 years and form invaluable records of his observations that provide the foundations for his paintings and sculptures.  It is perhaps the first time that such an extensive retrospective of drawings and studies of a leading artist have been on show in New Delhi.
The exhibition traces the artist’s journey of creative expression based on observations and influences from life experiences, literature and the essences of developing ideologies. They trace his journey from childhood in Attingal, Kerala (1958) through his student days in Santiniketan, West Bengal (1958 - 1964) and finally to Delhi (1964 to the present).
His mediums for drawing are simple: ink, pencil and watercolour on paper, often in a variety of combinations.  Accompanying the drawings are brief texts by Ramachandran taken from his forthcoming book A Ramachandran: Life and Art in Lines, edited by R. Siva Kumar which will be launched at the start of the exhibition.
Ramachandran’s studies on human suffering, his reflections on social and political environments, often satirical, and his interpretations of literary works and mythology represent some of the facets explored in the exhibition.  His transformation from a socio-political figurative painter to an artist of human life integrated with nature started in the vicinity of Ekalinji, a temple town close to Udaipur in Rajasthan from where he has derived great inspiration. It is from here that he becomes a “magical realist” which he integrates into his art, expressed through metal sculptures and large oil paintings.
A Ramachandran comments: “The large paintings and sculptures are centred around a small temple town Ekalinji, where the ancient ruined temples surrounded by Bhil villages have become a focal point for my work. The changing seasons, festivals and the lives of the tribals have become a recurring motif to recreate a magical realism from a study of this environment.”
Born in the Kerala in 1935, Ramachandran received a Master's degree in Malayalam literature from Kerala University in 1957. He joined Kala Bhavana at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan to study art under masters like Ramkinkar Baij and Benodebehari Mukherjee.  The cultural and intellectual milieu of Santiniketan drew him closer to the art traditions of India and other eastern civilizations and began his lifelong research on mural paintings of Kerala temples. He joined Jamia Millia University, New Delhi as a lecturer in art education in 1965 and continued to work here for 28 years developing it into a full-fledged faculty of fine art. He retired as a Professor in 1992 to devote himself full time to his creative pursuits. His first solo exhibition was at Kumar Gallery, New Delhi in 1966. Since then, he has held more than fifteen large solo exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, water-colors, graphics and drawings in major Indian cities. These include three retrospective exhibitions in 1978 (New Delhi), 1983 (Mumbai) and 2003 (New Delhi).  

Photo credit: A Ramachandran and Vadehra Art Gallery