Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Invitation for Bruna Rotunno

Exhibition walkthrough by artist Ravi Agarwal | Saturday, May 7, 2016, 12 - 3 pm

MOA interaction Nakul Dev Chawla, Founder and CEO of Global Art Hub

Global Art Hub, an online marketplace for art, presented Art Exhibit 2016 - Masters of Modern Art, a three day(April 8-10, 2016)selling exhibition with more than 100 artworks by 46 masters, including F.N. Souza, Jehangir Sabavala, M.F.Husain, Manjit Bawa, J Swaminathan and SH Raza. With a total sale estimate of IRs 20 Crore this carefully curated selection of works of Modern Indian masters sourced from leading art galleries and private collectors was showcased in a space conceptualized by designer Varun Bahl at Dalmia House, 27 Akbar Road, the iconic Lutyens Delhi residence of one of the capital’s oldest industrialist families. MOA interacted with Nakul Dev Chawla, Founder and CEO of Global Art Hub just before the show opened…

Eminent artist Anjolie Ela Menon at the exhibition
MOA:  Global Art Hub’s three-day exhibition – Art Exhibit 2016 - Masters of Modern Art, with more than 100 artworks by 46 masters, is rather an ambitious one. Tell us more about this show.
Nakul Dev Chawla:
The three day event brought the highest calibre works, from a selection of the best art galleries in an integrated exhibition format, as opposed to presenting individual gallery booths.  In order to  promote discussion and discourse around the art of collecting we also organised a range of talks at the venue by leading members of the arts fraternity including Krishen Khanna and Anjolie Ela Menon to name a few, which lead to debate and conversation around several engaging issues. We had a great response to the works and the format of the event, attracting seasoned collectors and art enthusiasts young and old. 

MOA: The paintings which you are going to display in this exhibition are all from renowned masters. Which are your favourite painters/works in this exhibition?
It's difficult to choose but I particularly like British Raj by MF Husain and Caverns Measureless to Man II by Jehangir Sabavala. 

MOA:  Your total sale estimate is about Rs 20 crore. This is almost the same estimate as the online auctions conducted by a reputed Mumbai auction house. In reality, how much do you think you will be able to sell in these three days?
The difference between this format and an auction is that we have a longer time period to sell and are not confined to 3 days. 

MOA: Are you focusing on domestic buyers or international buyers for this particular exhibition?
We are targeting a range of buyers. We ​aim to bring all the leading galleries of the country onto one platform. Our vision is to create a property which brings together exceptional works and makes them accessible in a physical space whilst also providing online access for buyers worldwide. 

MOA: Any particular reason why you have included only modern art and not conceptual art/artists, which also are in demand?
Our strength is in the Moderns though we will always work with the galleries to show the best of Indian art through our website and events. 

MOA: Tell our readers briefly about Global Art Hub since its inception.
Global Art Hub works with the leading art galleries of the country to showcase the highest quality works ​with impeccable provenance. ​We work closely with them to present a selection of works in an integrated exhibition format. With authenticity and quality as the pillars of our company, ​our aim to provide a unique online market place for art galleries and art buyers​ alike​ in India and globally as well as one off events like this to showcase works in a physical space 

MOA: What does future hold for Global Art Hub?
We are getting a great response so far to this initiative and ​w​e are looking forward to doing more curated events like this to engage with broader audiences in different locations. And of course we hope to continue to build our online presence globally.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Nepalese artist Uma Shankar Shah’s first solo show in the city titled Roti- Beti @ Visual Arts Gallery: April 18-24

New Delhi: Gallerie Ganesha presents Roti-Beti, a solo show of paintings and etchings by Nepalese artist Uma Shankar Shah at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi from April 18 to April 24, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This is his debut solo show in New Delhi and Shah is also exhibiting an 18-feet long, three-dimensional train installation - in fibre and metal - which will bring alive the whole rail experience for the viewers.
Says 51-year-old Shah, a Fine Arts Lecturer at Tribhuwan University: “Nepalese have been astonished by trains ever since their introduction in India by the British and it became a symbol of a search for new life in the hearts of Nepalese people.”
The establishment of the Indian Railway, which was to be an asset for the British economy at the time, brought about a variety of changes to Indian Sub-continent. Nepal too benefited from this establishment as a number of financial opportunities with India were created. In the Rana regime, trains primarily served a purpose of transporting timber, wheat, jute as commanded by the British. The public was so intrigued by this system that people would climb on top of the goods that such trains carried. People would often travel from Raksaul to Amlekhgunj via train at the time, and crossed the hill Bhimphedi to travel to Kathmandu to get to the temples of Pashupatinath. The Railway system from Jainagar to Janakpur too started carrying people. This was called the Nepal Janakpur Jainagar Railway (NJJR) and was later extended all the way to Bijalpura.
 “While all this was happening and the railway system was becoming a center of attraction for the Mithila region people, I was also fascinated by trains as a kid and every day I would go to the railway station to watch the trains pass by,” shares Shah, born in Janakpur. “My happiness had no limits if I ever had the opportunity to touch those trains. In the 40 years that I have grown up with these trains, I have developed a sense of empathy with them where it feels as if I understand the moods of happiness, sadness, uselessness, loneliness of these machines and this is what I have presented in these works.”

Vadehra Art Gallery Presents Earthen Pot - Image Poems 2016 an exhibition of twenty one drawings by A. Ramachandran

Earthen Pot – Image Poems 2016
A Ramachandran

20 April – 21 May 2016

Monday to Saturday | 11 am -7 pm

Vadehra Art Gallery, D-40
, Defence Colony, New Delhi - 110024
New Delhi: Vadehra Art Gallery is pleased to present ‘Earthen Pot - Image Poems 2016’ an exhibition of twenty one drawings by artist A. Ramachandran. The works were made in North America, on one of the artist’s visits to the country. Ramachandran refers to his earlier series of works on Udaipur and recreates aspects of fertility, memory, through landscapes which were central to the series. Three motifs recur predominantly in the colored drawings: that of the tree and the vitality of nature; the self portrait of the artist as if enveloped inside the womb of the earthen pot; and the woman as the central figure.
His research and keen study of the Barahmasa and Ragamala paintings as well as the mural painting traditions has informed Ramachandran’s works in subtle and yet telling ways. The Ragamala and Barahmasa paintings, known to represent the ragas in Indian Classical Music through the different times of the day and the evocation of different moods during the changing seasons in twelve months of the year - Ramachandran seeks to experiment with the visual dictionaries that these medieval era paintings have created.
The series explores ‘mood’ as evoked visually and through compositions. Balanced, and detailed, the drawings essentially are about a longing and yearning to be in the midst of nature as if dreamt by the artist. The central figure of the woman is again a reference to and a derivation from his earlier works as the symbol of fertility, while different kinds of birds and creatures also add to the mystery of the works. The contrast of colors that defines most of his other drawings and paintings subsides to give way to a subdued color palette which defines the drawings in a much more fluid manner. Filled with textures the details create complex and invigorating body of work.
A recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2005, Ramachandran has several other prestigious awards to his credit. Some of them include the Raja Ravi Verma Puruskar in 2003 and the National Award for Painting in both 1973 and 1969. As a student at Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan, Ramachandran studied 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 it is here that he began his lifelong research on the Mural Painting tradition of temples in Kerala.
Ramachandran initially painted in an Expressionistic style that reflected the angst of urban life, particularly the suffering he saw when visiting the city of Kolkata, but by the 1980s his style had undergone a vital change. From urban reality he moved his focus towards tribal community life, especially the tribes from Rajasthan, whose lives and culture gripped his imagination. The vibrant ethos of Rajasthan and his research on the mural paintings of Kerala influenced his expression. The decorative elements and myths became an integral part of his works and his powerful line along with a greater understanding of colour and form created a dramatic ambience. His sculptures, which he made in the later years, were almost three dimensional translations of his paintings, containing multiple narratives and mythological interpretations.
The artist lives and works at New Delhi

Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Solitude Launch at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

April 2016: Bodhana Art & Research Foundation in collaboration with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and The Raza Foundation is delighted to announce the book launch of Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Solitude authored by Meera Menezes and conceptualized by Jesal Thacker on April 22, 2016, at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi. The book has been researched and published by Bodhana Art & Research Foundation with support of The Raza Foundation.
Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Solitude — The first book in the Sonata three part series includes a preface by Krishen Khanna, a contribution from New York based critic and cultural theorist G. Roger Denson entitled From the Upanishads to the Modernist Painting:  Vasudeo Gaitonde brings India to Global Agora and a biography of the modern master Gaitonde by eminent art scholar and author Meera Menezes.  Through her biography, Meera erases the existing myths about the artist and successfully attempts to produce a factual document on his life and journey including stories known and unknown since his childhood through his formative years in the Sir J. J. School of Art, his struggles and eventually taking leave of the family to permanently settle in Delhi.
 Meera Menezes, Author, commented: "The main reason for my writing this book has been to create a better understanding of the man, his artistic trajectory and his seminal contribution to the idiom of Indian contemporary art."
Later in the year the other volumes will be released as well as a documentary film. The second volume Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Light authored by Roshan Shahani and Narendra Dengle positions Gaitonde within a watershed moment of contemporary Indian art and the final book of the series Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Consciousness co-authored by international art critic and cultural theorist G. Roger Denson and eminent architect Narendra Dengle is a comparative study between the oeuvre of Gaitonde and the aesthetics of visual art, the mythology of creation or the cosmogony and varied philosophies that surfaced themselves in the corresponding period world-wide.
The enigmatic life of Gaitonde will be presented in the form of a documentary at the end of the year entitled Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Reeling a Sonata featuring an exclusive set of interviews with family, friends like Krishen Khanna and A. Ramachandran as well as close confidantes like Ashok Vajpeyi.  The film expands and exposes the anecdotes that will delight viewers who want an insight into Gaitonde’s life, narrated by his friends and close associates. The film also includes opinion and comment from contemporary artists like Bose Krishnamachari among others.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Gauri Gill | The Mark on the Wall | Preview on April 14, 2016 | 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Padmashri Shobha Deepak Singh’s book launch of Musicscapes (The Multiple Emotions of Indian Music) Curated by Dr Alka Pande

April 8th, 2016 and exhibition until April 14th, 2016 at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
 “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”
–Ludwig van Beethoven
New Delhi: Indeed the mediator between the spiritual and sensual life stand poignantly captured by Padmashri Shobha Deepak Singh’s lens eye in her spectacular coffee table book compilation, Musicscapes, a rare anthology of 250 photographs of the great Indian music maestros, emoting the multiple emotions of Indian music. Musicscapes follows close on the heels of Shobha Deepak Singh’s Theatrescapes (2014) and Dancescapes (2013). In this final trilogy she turns her unerring eye to the world of music, a world that is very dear to her heart.
What gives Shobha Deepak Singh’s endeavours a winning edge are primarily her injecting her compilations with the passion of a firsthand exposure to the finer nuances of the subject she elects to present. Her mastery over the medium of photography, proximity to the cultural maestros of the country and her complete fearlessness around technology endow her creations with a distinct character. Growing up in a family, that gave passionate patronage to the arts, she found boundless joy in performances by eminent musicians, hosted in her very own home, even benefitting from lessons from some of the masters. Thus, Musicscapes becomes a homage to her deepest and most long engaging love, her passion for music.
The stalwarts, who find pride of pride of place in Shobha Deepak Singh’s, Musicscapes include Abdul Rashid Khan, Ajoy Chakrabarty, Ali Akbar Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Anoushka Shankar, Ashwini Bhide, Ayaan Ali Khan, Balasaheb Poonchwale, Bhimsen Joshi, Bhuvanesh Komkali, Bismillah Khan, Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, Chhannulal Mishra, Gangubai Hangal, Girija Devi, Umakant and Ramakant, Gundecha, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Jasraj, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Kishori Amonkar, Kumar Gandharva, Mallikarjun Mansur, Manjiri Asnare, Mukul Shivputra, Purbayan Chatterjee, Rahul Sharma, Rajan and Sajan Misra, Rakesh Chaurasia, Rashid Khan, Ravi Shankar, Ronu Majumdar, Shahid Parvez, Shanti Sharma, Shivkumar Sharma, Shubha Mudgal, Shujaat Khan, Sultan Khan, Uday Bhawalkar, Ulhas Kashalkar, Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Vilayat Khan, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Zakir Hussain, panning a quarter of a century, capturing myriad moments.
Musicscapes published by Roli Books, was launched by Smt. Shiela Dixit and Sh. Shekhar Sen, Chairman, Sangeet Natak Akademi, at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. An exhibition of 60 photographs of the country's music luminaries, put up by the curatorial expertise of Dr Alka Pande, will be on until April 14, 2016.
Shobha Deepak Singh reflects, “I realised that though the musical notes are the same, Indian music is unique because it is evolved, sophisticated and the melodies are improvised.” She continues, “When I did my first two books Dancescapes and Theatrescapes, I thought I covered the canvas of emotion and motion. But as I looked through many of these photos, I realised that there was SO much-unsung emotion that I thought I was singing with them as I went through these photos. But what classical music does best and continues to do, is to show a kind of transformation of moods, to show a very wide psychological voyage. And I think that’s something that classical musicians have done in an exemplary way.”
Says Dr Alka Pande the illustrious curator of the Musicscapes exhibition, “Just as Shobha Deepak Singh has painstakingly documented them, I have painstakingly selected 43 of these great legends who are resplendent in the images for the purpose of this show. Among them the brightest jewels are Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Kumarjee, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Anoushka Shanker and Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur, all of whom have contributed magnificently to the vocal and instrumental musicscape of India. This is a survey of her work as she captures moments, iconic and unusual, greats rubbing shoulders with greats, candids and portraits. Shobha Deepak Singh, is one of those rare individuals, a consummate artist, whose love for music began even as she was in the womb. It was in her bloodstream even before she was born.
Growing up in a deeply musical family she took great joy in the performances by eminent musicians hosted in their very home, even benefitting from lessons from some of the masters. Thus, Musicscapes becomes a homage to her deepest and most long engaging loves, her love for the arts.”
Musical compositions in the Hindustani tradition are associated with a prevailing mood or emotion. Specific times of day are assigned to specific pieces of music to create the appropriate atmosphere, for example the playing of ragas Bilawal and Kalyan during the night to saturate the mind with the shringara or erotic rasa. The prahar classification divides the day into eight three hour-long divisions, four belonging to the day and four belonging to the night. Our visual journey begins with the first prahar at the brahma-mutra, the vedic start of day, and carries forward the spectator through the various divisions whilst experiencing the stimulating ragas associated with them.”
Says Shanta Serbjeet Singh, “What seems to me to be the most difficult to shoot is the art of the dancer, the musician and the actor. Its fragility and fleeting quality brooks no repetition, no intrusion, no second and third takes, certainly no press of the ‘back’ button to recover that image, so heart achingly beautiful, so profound but now gone forever…
It is this art in which Shobha has specialised, taking pictures that help you recover the magic of that special, solitary live moment when you and the artist were one. In her entirely self-taught journey she has, no doubt, stepped on many toes, some of them acclaimed such as those of Ebrahim Alkazi who presents her current show.”
Quite like Henry Ward Beecher, Padmashri Shobha Deepak Singh through Musicscapes emotes, “Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself.”

Celebrating Gai: Volume One Book Release: Sonata of Solitude @TIFR, Colaba, Friday, April 15, 2016

Mumbai:  Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation, Raza Foundation, Sotheby’s and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research it gives me great pleasure to invite you for the book release and presentation of Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Solitude, authored by Meera Menezes and conceptualised by Jesal Thacker. Researched and Published by Bodhana Arts and Research Foundation, with the support of the Raza Foundation.
Friday April 15, 2016, 5 pm onwards
Homi Bhabha Auditorium, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Navy Nagar, Colaba, Mumbai 400005


A project in making for over five years is being conceptualised as a celebration by Bodhana through a three volume publication and a documentary that will allow the seeker to move beyond the threshold and open the door to deeper research in the unexplored zones of Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde and the culture that he begets. The material in each volume is probed, analysed and penned to provide a zealous encounter, so as to transfer the rightful context to readers thereby inspiring minds to think further and imbibe the beauty.

Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde: Sonata of Solitude

The first, in four-part series, emerges as a biography of the modern master Gaitonde by eminent art scholar and author Meera Menezes. Vasudeo Gaitonde: The Man and the Myth as the title of the text suggests, the research is presented as the praxis of his life. Stories known and unknown since his childhood to the period of his formative years in J.J. through his struggles to keep up expenses as well as ambitions until leaving his family to permanently settle in Delhi are well addressed and narrated here. Meera, through her biography, effaces the existing myths about the artist and successfully attempts to produce a factual document on his life and journey, keeping the emotive anecdotes at bay while vehemently affirming the facts. The document presents a history rather than a general story.

Preface by Krishen Khanna, Artist and friend of Gaitonde From the Upanishads to the Modernist Painting: Vasudeo Gaitonde brings India to Global Agora by G. Roger Denson, critic and cultural theorist based in New York Vasudeo Gaitonde: The Man and the Myth by Meera Menezes, author

Hardbound, the book is well designed with over 70 artwork images and nearly 100 archival images in the form of photographs, letters, catalogues and more.

INR 5,500, available online at www.bodhana.org

Meera Menezes, Excerpts from her Introduction to Vasudeo Gaitonde: The Man and the Myth

Little did I realise, when I made my way to Gurgaon in 1997 to interview Gaitonde for the magazine Art India, that one day I would be writing a book on him. I recall how elated I was at the time that he had even consented to speak to me – for he had the reputation of being a recluse and seldom meeting journalists. But I had persisted, convinced that it was of vital importance to document the life of this important artist, who seemed to have willed himself into semi-oblivion. For wasn’t he the man about whom the country’s celebrated artist, M.F. Husain, had said, “I am only popular but Gaitonde is a genius."

Given the paucity of documentation on this significant artist, writing this book has been akin to putting the pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle together. There are several aspects that beg a deeper excavation, but which are hamstrung by the lack of information. Gaitonde did not feel it incumbent upon himself to be more accessible, either in his personal life or in his art. His taciturn manner could prove intimidating to those who did not know him; and as for those who did, they knew where to draw the line. Close friends who were acquainted with him,

both in the Bombay and Delhi phases of his life, are few and far between and many of them are no more.

The main reason for my writing this book has been to create a better understanding of the man, his artistic trajectory and his seminal contribution to the idiom of Indian contemporary art.

Gaitonde’s reclusive nature gave birth to several myths about him and the few known vignettes of his life have been blown up to create an often misleading impression of who he really was. Part of my endeavour has been to tease out the man from the myth and set the record straight by weaving together the narratives of those who knew him, placing them within an art-historical framework. However, there is always the danger that I may engender a myth of my own in charting the course of his life.

Although much is made of Gaitonde’s reclusive nature, his brusque and forthright manner and his love of silence, he could be gregarious and fun loving with an impish streak of humour. He could be Spartan, and yet he loved the good things in life—the opera, a good meal at a restaurant and a finely tailored suit. In many ways, he epitomized the concept of Jeevan Mukta: to live one’s life and yet be free of it. It was this attitude of non-attachment that informed both his life and his work. Just like he freed himself early in his artistic career from the fetters of line and form, he strove to detach himself from the entanglements and  entrapments of a worldly life. His sublimation of the self was expressed in his restrained and refined palette and served to imbue his works with not just a lyricism, but also a mystical dimension. His paintings flickered between being and non-being, just as his life reflected the saying by his guru Nisargadatta Maharaj: “To be a living being is not the ultimate state; there is something beyond, much more wonderful, which is neither being nor non-being, neither living nor non-living. It is a state of pure awareness, beyond the limitations of space and time."

Krishen Khanna, Contemplation on a quite friend, now in silence forever

Apart from a number of tubes of paint, mostly half empty, two silk scarves and a host of memories of times spent walking, mostly in silence, the many talks laced with whisky, never any gibberish or pomposity, only a few insightful comments…and all that comes to an end. I’m thinking of my friend Gaitonde and barely have I touched my pen when lines from A letter from Li Po, a poem by Conrad Aiken, float into my mind:

What is this man who sings?

And finds this dedicated use for breath

For phrase and periphrase of praise between

The twin indignities ofbirth and death?

This question asked of Li Po could as well have been asked of Gaitonde. Not because he was a great admirer of Far Eastern philosophies, but because of the single-minded persistence with which he practiced his art guided by Zen philosophy. He was of a metaphysical bent and thought deeply about being and non-being. He was also attentive to the teachings of Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and others who had deliberated on our brief sojourn on earth.

Gaitonde never talked much about such matters. His actions, both in his work and in the manner of his living, revealed the direction he took with absolute single–mindedness. It continues to amaze me how a metaphysical preoccupation yielded so much art. He did not codify or rely on a variety of symbols and signs, which he could have employed in different combinations – each symbol becoming an item for graphic use, as several others had done.

He was not interested in creating an identifiable style. He recognised the properties of his material and his entire effort was to view and record the interactions of various elements selected in each exercise.

His attitude was not unlike that of a classical Indian musician developing a Raga. He explored the range of colours, using them opaquely and with great transparency – he hardly ever went beyond using two or three colours on a single canvas. As he never approached a painting with a prepared plan, he preferred to use a limited palette to keep the entire action under some kind of control. Each move would open the door for the next, till there was no more to be said. No more options were to be opened and the painting could be considered as complete.

Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde Biography

Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde (1924 – 2001) was a non-objective painter, as he never considered himself as an abstractionist. He was born to Durgabai Santu Gaitonde in Nagpur with bright and promising stars in his horoscope. He studied and graduated from Sir J.J. School of Art in 1948 against the will of his father who was strict and disciplined man, the traits that followed in Gaitonde’s genes. Following his graduation he served as professor by his fellowship at J.J. in 1950-51. He also formed a member of Progressives Artists’ Group as well as Bombay group along with his contemporaries. He was granted with Young Asian Artists’ Exhibition Award, Tokyo and thereby was rewarded with 1,00,000 yen in 1957.

Gaitonde was also a recipent of JDR Rockfeller III Fund Travelling Fellowship for the year 1964-65. He was honored with Padma Shri in 1971. Reclusive and reticient in temperament, he had exhibited at numerous national and international galleries through his participation in solo and group exhibtions. Gaitonde passed away at a age of seventy six at his Gurgaon residence in Delhi in 2001.

As a grand tribute to the artist, the exhibition titled as V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as process, painting as life, of Gaitonde paintings, was hosted at Solomon R. Guggenheim museum, New York, in 2014-15 and the same travelled to Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, in 2015 itself. The paintings by Vasudeo Gaitonde have set a remarkable record by being fetched at prices of Rs 23.4 crore and Rs 29.3 crore at Christie’s Auction sales in Mumbai in 2013 and 2015, respectively, that which renders him as one of the highest selling Indian artists.

Gaitonde, with an avid interest in spiritualism, followed Zen philosophy attended discourses by Nisargadatta Maharaj and Jiddu Krishnamurthy. He also read Ramana Mahrishi. Figuration being his early style in artworks, he was influenced by Paul Klee genre that was eventually shed to evolve his very own chromatic modus operandi.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu receive GoodHomes Award for ‘Contribution to Art’

Kochi, April 1: Renowned artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, of the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) were presented the prestigious GoodHomes 2015 award in recognition of their Contribution to Art.
The duo, co-founders of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), received the award —billed as the “the gold standard in design” — for championing a sustainable approach to art.
It was the third edition of the annual GoodHomes Awards, which honours achievers from the design and decor fraternity. The function was held this week in Mumbai.
Along with the KMB, the biggest art platform in the South Asian region, the KBF, with Krishnamachari as President and Komu as Secretary, also runs several art and cultural education programmes. These outreach platforms work with schools and colleges to fill gaps in institutional art education.
“The award is an honour not just for us, but for all the supporters of KMB,” said Bose. “An enthusiastic public and those working behind the scenes have been making it an ever grander success with each edition.”
Komu noted that the KMB has proven itself a sustainable platform for the facilitation of artistic discourse and promotion of artistic talents in India.
Bose’s oeuvre includes drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, design, installation and architecture. His works have shaped the direction of contemporary Indian art. He has exhibited in several important solo and group exhibitions and undertaken several curatorial projects.
Komu is a multimedia artist and activist working towards developing India’s art infrastructure. His critically-acclaimed political works have been exhibited extensively in India and abroad, including several key works on Kerala’s political and cultural history.
The third edition of the KMB will begin December 12, 2016, curated by artist Sudarshan Shetty.

Exhibition of photographs - 'Residues' - Monica Bhasin

Residues - an exhibition of photographs by Monica Bhasin
April 6-12, 2016
11 am - 7 pm
Art Gallery, India International Centre Annexe
Lodhi Estate, New Delhi – 110003

Walking through the streets of Panjim, Goa and reflecting upon the adjacent waterfronts, the photographer gathers residues of everyday life. The sea leaves objects and patterns, light leaves shadows, spaces and structures weather the passing of time and decay; a way of life and the design of things are marked by history. Engaging with space, the photographic works are fragments of the narratives of the everyday. Shot on 35mm film, the photographs have been produced with archival paper and ink.

Monica Bhasin is a filmmaker who has previously worked as an editor and film festival programmer. She has a significant background in documentary film. It was however her keen interest in photography that laid the foundation for her image-making practice. She has studied at AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art invites applications for FICA Emerging Artist Award 2016

New Delhi: FICA Emerging Artist Award seeks to promote young artists studying or practicing in India who demonstrate extraordinary skill and promise in the visual arts. Selected by an independent jury of distinguished artists and professionals in the field, the recipient gets the opportunity to travel and work in an international residency and exhibit in a solo show in India. Deadline: 30 June 2016
FICA is pleased to be collaborate with Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council, New Delhi and Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi for the Emerging Artist Award 2016.
 The award includes: A ninety day residency in Switzerland in 2017, round trip air travel from their town in India, a per diem (including local travel) during the time of the residency.
A solo exhibition at the Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, developed in collaboration with FICA in 2018.
Requirements for applicants: The applicant must be between 18 and 35 years of age. The applicant needs to be an Indian citizen.
Read the application form for details on how to apply, required documents and terms and conditions. For further questions write to us at info@ficart.org.

Launch of the book, The Artful Life of R. Vijay at G5A next week Thursday, April 7, at 6:30 pm.

Shobha Deepak Singh’s book launch and exhibition reference, April 8 to 14, 2016, at Visual Arts Gallery, IHC

New Delhi: India Habitat Centre presents the launch of Padmashri Shobha Deepak Singh’s Coffee Table Book, Musicscapes, a rare collection of 250 photographs of the great Indian music maestros, emoting the multiple emotions of Indian music, featuring Abdul Rashid Khan, Ajoy Chakrabarty, Ali Akbar Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Anoushka Shankar, Ashwini Bhide, Ayaan Ali Khan, Balasaheb Poonchwale, Bhimsen Joshi, Bhuvanesh Komkali, Bismillah Khan, Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, Chhannulal Mishra, Gangubai Hangal, Girija Devi, Umakant and Ramakant, Gundecha, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Jasraj, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Kishori Amonkar, Kumar Gandharva, Mallikarjun Mansur, Manjiri Asnare, Mukul Shivputra, Purbayan Chatterjee, Rahul Sharma, Rajan and Sajan Misra, Rakesh Chaurasia, Rashid Khan, Ravi Shankar, Ronu Majumdar, Shahid Parvez, Shanti Sharma, Shivkumar Sharma, Shubha Mudgal, Shujaat Khan, Sultan Khan, Uday Bhawalkar, Ulhas Kashalkar, Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Vilayat Khan, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Zakir Hussain, panning a quarter of a century, capturing myriad moments. 
The book published by Roli Books, will be launched by L.K. Advani, at 7pm at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The exhibition which will continue till April 14, 2016, is innovatively curated by Dr Alka Pande.

Melting-Pot: Traveling ​ group show in Kochi​, ​Bengalurue, Belgrade, London and Mumbai

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Conversations at Museum Bhavan, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

Ravi Agarwal’s solo show – Else, All Will Be Still @ Gallery Espace – from April -May 14, 2016

New Delhi: Delhi-based photographer, Ravi Agarwal, also a well known environmental activist, is presenting a solo show of photographs and videos titled Else, All Will Be Still, at Gallery Espace, 16, Community Centre, New Delhi from April 8 till May 14, 2016, 11. am to 7 p.m.
 “Two years ago, I had a close encounter with the sea, a first for me, an inland urban person, and the show is based on this experience in a fishing village near Pondicherry, where fishermen friends helped me navigate new waters.  The ‘ground’ changing experiences led me to further my ongoing explorations about the man-nature relationship and the question – What is nature? My inspiration is the ever changing and awe inspiring landscape of the ‘sea’, ancient Tamil Sangam poetry, and also the plight of the poor fisherman,” says Agarwal, also a writer and curator, who explores issues of urban space, ecology and capital in interrelated ways working with photographs, video, performance, on-site installations and public art.
And so it is that Agarwal turned to Sangam poetry to provide the parameters of  his    encounter with the sea. “I was led to ancient Tamil Sangam akam love poetry, where five landscapes. Kurinji - mountains, Mullai - forests, Marutam - agricultural lands, Neithal - sea, Palai – desert, became an internal terrain of feelings representing sexual union, yearning, sulking, pining, and separation.  The outside became inside as object and subject co-formed each other.”  
All the works deal with ideas of nature and also how it is different with the fisherman and with those who only exploit nature, but have no other relationship with it. Even though the works are an outcome of working with a fishing community, they address the connection of local and larger issues surrounding ecology and sustainability today.
 “Today, the planet is in an ecological crisis. It is framed as a conflict between economic development and the planet’s limit to support a growing and resource intensive human population. It is the age of the power of man, the Anthropocene, where human actions will determine the future of the earth. Nature has been reduced to an object which can only be ‘acted’ upon through it being ‘extracted,’ ‘admired,’ ‘enjoyed,’ etc. but not  ‘lived’ with. The relationship is one of power. Capitalism, technology, mass production, resource exploitation, all have prospered though this positioning. Wilderness has been privatized, forests fenced, rivers tamed, and animals made extinct. Those who lived on the ‘land’ have become poor, while those who live ‘off’ it have become rich. There seems no going back from consumption, and progress. No one can guarantee future survival. Some tribal societies inherit the planet for future, not own it as private property. Ideas about science, economies, future need to be read alongside ideas of mortality, fragility, vulnerability, balance, equity and democracy.”

Mela Phulkari III : Threads of Panjab

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Art Alive Galleryl | S.Nandagopal | Saturday, April 9, 2016

New Delhi: Art Alive Gallery presents a solo exhibition of S.Nandagopal’s sculptures, who turns 70 this year. The exhibition showcases 21 recent works of metal that tell stories of India’s mythology and South India’s cultural tradition in a contemporary form. Several figures have been taken from Hindu mythology and the epics, yet the sculptures are far from being provincial or ethnic, being infused by Nandagopal’s innovative style.
Nandagopal is amongst the first group of artists to move into Cholamandal Artist’s Village near Chennai, the only artist’s residency of its kind in the country. His works are inspired from the rich ancient techniques he practices at the Village.
Painter, metal worker and ceramist turned into a sculptor, Nandagopal magically transforms our strong traditional roots into a super-contemporary idiom that is uniquely his own.  His figures mostly resemble deities from Hindu mythology, but his themes are very contemporary. Through his works, he tries to tell about our rich past. 
He is one of the few sculptors who is continuing the tradition of ‘frontality'', one of the defining characteristic of the Madras Art Movement, started by his father KCS Panicker. Though contemporary in form, Nandagopal often uses traditional techniques to create his sculptures like enameling, engraving and silver plating.
Nandagopal prefers to give the title of his sculptures that can easily connect them with India’s most ancient images. Each sculpture gives evidence of a remarkable creative synthesis of ancient forms and themes with old and modern techniques and sensibility, creating a new form.
S. Nandagopal, born in Bangalore in 1946, lives and works in Cholamandal artist's village near Chennai. He has received his Diploma in Fine Arts from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras in 1971.

Painter and sculptor Satish Gupta's show Zen Space presented by Gallery Art & Soul extended till April 24, 2016.

New Delhi: Zen Space – The complete collection of Sculptures, Paintings and Haikus by Satish Gupta will continue to be displayed at the prestigious India Habitat Center till April 24, 2016.
Visitors of all age groups were drawn to the life-size work, a sleeping Buddha's head reclined at an angle. The sculpture with dimensions 23*13.5*9 feet is both meditative and quieting, because its towering scale has a surprise element - on the reverse side, Buddha's head is patterned like a cave, its inner walls inscribed with neat rows of Buddhas carved as though by ancient hands on a rock face like edicts from a preceding age. The mesmerizing quality of The Buddhas within is hypnotic, yet it is neither old nor rock, but copper, and across the 'cave's' length sprawls the figure of a gilded sleeping Buddha.
One can spot a lot of buzz around “Surrender” an elegantly aerodynamic Garuda done in Copper with Patina, Stainless Steel with Gold and Mirror finish. Amongst a bevy of selfie taking crowd, stands this magnificient sculpture, measuring 12 x 16 x 9 feet - The Garuda, with its wings spread against the sky’s invitation to fly. It certainly is larger than life in its size but is made in a way that it does not overpower. Its legs and hands are bent, perhaps in worship, or submission; each feather in each wing is so finely delineated and in itself is a work of art. Despite its size, this sculpture exhibits a suggestion of lightness, the possibility of flight that is more real than imagined.
Satish Gupta, a karamyogi and a creative genius, is a multi-faceted artist, painter, sculptor, poet, writer, printmaker, skilled draftsman, muralist, designer, calligrapher and ceramicist, who is truly an artist without boundaries. Also on display at the exhibition were the Sanskriti awardee’s lifetime’s works of 10 sculptures, 8 paintings and 72 haikus.
Both the stunning works of art - The Buddha and the Vishnu will continue to grace the atrium of the India Habitat Center till April 24, 2016.

Preview - Else, all will be still, by Ravi Agarwal | March 7th, 6.30 pm onwards

March 31: Gardens of the Mind — Swapan Nayak & Gilles Bensimon opens in New Delhi!

Gallery Art Motif
A1/178 Safdarjung Enclave, 4th Floor
New Delhi, Delhi – 110029
March 31-April 15, 2016
Monday to Saturday 10:00am - 6:00pm
As part its 10th anniversary, Tasveer brings together for the first time the works of Indian artist, Swapan Nayak and French fashion and lifestyle photographer, Gilles Bensimon, in an exhibition that juxtaposes two very different approaches to photographing elements of the natural world.
Gilles Bensimon, former art director of Elle, makes a significant departure from his earlier figurative oeuvre in his series Watercolour, featured here. Fascinated by the beauty of flowers, and by their associations with myriad varieties of cultural expression around the world, he both literally and metaphorically submerged himself – and volumes of freshly cut blooms – into pools of water to create amazing blossoms of colour. The resulting images present a range of wonderful palettes and blurring the lines of abstraction and representation, yield a new perspective on the traditional notions associated with the depiction of the flower in art.
Bensimon’s photographs bursting with colour and a refractive-glossiness, are a stark contrast to Swapan Nayak’s black and white minimalist imagery. Nayak, a former photojournalist, also examines the natural world, and its intimate association to transformation. Made over a span of three years, in Eastern and North Eastern India, his series Radha: A Love in Eternity also breaks away from simple representation, producing the known and familiar and new, graphic ways. Intended to be an exploration of purity, the nature of the self, of consciousness, the profound and the divine, this series was inspired by his reading of Vaishanava Padabali, a nearly 700 year old Bengali text, that narrates the very popular Hindu myth, of Radha and Krishna and their eternal love. In many ways, this series also froms a lateral progression from Nayak’s earlier Being and Nothingness, that was inspired by Satre’s text of the same name and involved a quest for the truth.
Providing a unique opportunity in the study of photographic method and practice, this exhibition through its juxtaposition of two distinct aesthetic styles highlights the diversity offered by the photographic medium in interpreting and re-presenting reality.