CONTEMPORARY ONE WORD SEVERAL WORLDS

jeudi 16 janvier 2020

The art of expression at Serendipity Arts Festival


Source The Telegraph
Imagine the Mandovi river in Panaji with Goa’s heritage structures spread on the riverside providing the perfect canvas for the culmination of creativity. The recently concluded fourth edition of the Serendipity Arts Festival painted a picture on this canvas with their eight-day multidisciplinary creative extravaganza with a programming so nuanced yet extensive that it had something for everyone. With 12 diverse venues housing over 95 projects ranging from art exhibitions and installations to live performances and workshops, the Serendipity calendar is always one to look out for. While multicultural art practices were in focus, projects pushing the boundaries of acceptance and politics could also be seen, making this multihyphenate in the truest sense. We tried to pack in as much as we could over two nights and here are our highlights.
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jeudi 9 janvier 2020

Akbar Padamsee: The Sanskrit scholar among the Progressives


Source The Hindu by Uma Nair
Striking a balance between modern art and Indian philosophy, Akbar Padamsee strived to bring the conscious and the unconscious on the same plane. Akbar Padamsee’s passing away invited an elegiac silence in the contemporary art world. India has lost the Sanskrit scholar among the Progressives. Padamsee, as an artist, led us into a space of refined aesthetic, balancing between the hieratic and the human. In the best of two centuries, Padamsee nourished himself as the fountainhead of regional and ancestral traditions to translate an epoch of modernism in his sensibility and language. Born in Mumbai on April 12, 1928, into a Khoja Muslim family with intellectual leanings, Padamsee joined Sir. J.J. School of Art in 1948, with considerable support from his family and the blessings of Aga Khan.
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Artist Jogen Chowdhury’s rare works, across mediums and periods are on show at Pundole’s, Mumbai


Source Architectural Digest India by Uma Nair
Pundole’s in Mumbai is offering a glimpse into the relationship between an artist, a collector and a gallery of repute. Masanari Fukuoka, a renowned Japanese collector, who has about 400 Jogen Chowdhury’s works in his collection—from drawings, paintings and pastels (1965-2005)—is ready to open up his prized possessions because here is a relationship that goes back more than 20 years.
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mardi 7 janvier 2020

Akbar Padamsee, one of pioneers in Modern Indian painting, dies at 91

Source Hindustan Times
Born in 1928 in Mumbai, Padamsee passed away after prolonged illness on Monday evening. He was 91. A contemporary of the legendary Progressive masters, including FN Souza, VS Gaitonde, MF Husain, Padamsee worked with a variety of mediums including oil painting, photography, sculpture, prints and film. “His legacy spans more than the art he produced,” said art and cultural critic Ranjit Hoskote, who described Padamsee as his mentor. “He was a myriad-minded man. His pioneering spirit allowed him to experiment with a wide range of media,” Hoskote said. “He had a profound practical sense. He was engaged with how one makes one’s way through life, preoccupied with an artist’s relation to the museum, culture, reading, and discussion.”
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vendredi 3 janvier 2020

A cry from the art: In the backdrop of political turmoil, Indian art turns its gaze inwards to the country's diverse folk, subjugated and alternative narratives


Source Indulges by Anagha M
As the nation erupts and boils over with protests against the new Citizen Amendment Act by the government, a larger dialogue about labels, homelands and prejudices emerges and the nation yearns and introspects about identity. In this atmosphere, the recently concluded Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa, through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural exchange brings forth and ponders the topics of identity, inclusivity and diversity in a congruent manner. Indulge spots trends and common threads that the festival had to offer /.../ Nancy concludes with a hope that in the coming year, artists will approach their practices with an expanded political consciousness. “In the current situation, where anybody who questions the government is considered anti-national, my show suggests that we reclaim the diverse histories ignored or repressed by the dogmas of art history on the one side, and by ultra-nationalism on the other. The idea is not to fetishise these lost histories. It is to make them relevant to the urgencies of our times,” she sums up.
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mardi 31 décembre 2019

10 Best Indian Singles of 2019, Protest, subversion and experimentation reigned strong this year


Source RollingStone India by Anurag Tagat David Britto and Jessica Xalxo
If Indian hip-hop truly came of age and became fully authentic in 2019, a lot of credit goes to Mumbai’s multilingual, socially conscious crew Swadesi. MC Mawali, 100 RBH, Tod Fod – along with Warli tribal chieftain and Adivasi activist Prakash Bhoir – raise their fist on “The Warli Revolt.” To the sample of a Maharashtrian horn section that ushers in the song, Swadesi announce a revolution to fight not just for forests, but for human rights. The rappers take turns in condemning corruption and false promises, while highlighting the importance of roots and the strength of those very bonds. – A.T.
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dimanche 29 décembre 2019

A look at all that transpired at Goa’s Serendipity Arts Festival

Source Artchitectural Digest India by Nolan Lewis
Perhaps the most popular and risqué art project was curator Sudarshan Shetty’s ‘Look Outside This House’ that explored the anthropological nature between designers, the social properties they create, and the cultural connotations they get embedded with, in time. A mock-up of crammed bunkers like in Kamathipura brothel (Mumbai) stacked too close for comfort in which sex workers are able to create an allusion of intimacy in an city that is starved for space; a hybrid air cooler that isn’t powered by electricity but by terracotta cones designed by CoolAnt Coral; a gun bazaar in Bihar that makes superlative weaponry from automobile spare parts; solar heaters modelled from mirrors in a tribal community that has no access to gas or diesel. ‘Look Outside this House’ was a cheeky analysis of the Indian idiosyncrasies in artisanal objects that have a strong social context.

Curated by Nancy Adajania, ‘Counter Canon, Counter Culture: Alternative Histories of Indian Art,’ was a constellation of dynamic artworks from the 1940s and onwards. The collection highlighted erased or under-documented alternative artists whose talents weren’t deemed appropriate by the censoring standards of mainstream thought. Magical moments from the life of illusionist PC Sorcar, India’s answer to Houdini; posters of Uday Shankar’s concerts whose integration of Indian classical, tribal and European dance style were considered too avante garde back in the day but is today honoured as the ‘Father of Modern Indian Dance Choreography;’ animation sequences from Satyajit Ray’s ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne,’ the only children’s film he ever made that went under the radar, and many other visual artefacts that challenge the country’s historical narrative, all were a part of the exhibit.
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A decade in Indian art: 2010s saw rise of private collectors, emergent relationship between between sector and CSR


Source Firstpost by Rosalyn DMello
The trends that marked the beginning of the last decade in Indian art not only continue to hold sway, but are now deeply entrenched as norms. The emergence of a wealth of private museums has been the consequence of another trend that has held serious sway over the last decade: foundation-building. Whether such a sizeable swell in institution-building has actually enabled ethical philanthropy, remains debatable. This is part one of a column on the decade that was in Indian contemporary art.
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samedi 28 décembre 2019

2019 Art and craft power list


Source The New Indian Express by By Medha Dutta Yadav
The definitive annual list of the most influential figures in Indian cultural scene is here. Through their work and philosophy, these men, women and children have impacted the way India views art.
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mardi 24 décembre 2019

Visions of Home that Are Gut-Wrenching, Contemplative, and Funny


Source Hyperallergic by Naomi Polonsky
A museum exhibition in the UK dedicated to contemporary South Asian art is a rare thing. Although London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has one of the largest collections of South Asian art in the world, amassed during the time of the British Empire, few of the works were made after the British colonies in the region gained their independence. The current political tensions in South Asia mean that contemporary artists often do not gain the international exposure and recognition they deserve, nor do many of them have full freedom of expression. The current exhibition at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, therefore, is a timely undertaking.
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vendredi 20 décembre 2019

Artist Sudarshan Shetty, “Art spaces should be allowed to function freely”


Source India City Blog by Shrishty M
Contemporary artist Sudarshan Shetty on Thursday said he stood by each of his artworks showcased at the the on going Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa. The statement comes after two of his curated exhibits were barred from public viewing allegedly for oblique references to the ongoing CAA and NRC controversy across the country. On Wednesday, two artworks with references to the turmoil in the northeast and the CAA, were abruptly closed for viewing by the organizers of the festival. The artist issued a statement issued on Thursday that stated , “As far as the show I curated is concerned, why a caption saying an artwork could not reach on time for the exhibition due to transportation delays due to CAA protests in the northeast should be a problem”.
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Artist stands by artworks ''censured'' at Goa festival

Source Outlook
The other exhibit which was barred for visitors at the festival involved innovative showcasing of ink ''upcycled'' from carbon from air-pollution emissions and enables carbon-negative printing and production. As part of the immersive experience offered by the curator, visitors could scribble graffiti of their choice with the help of pens loaded with the unique black ink on empty canvases. Shetty said that he stands by each piece of work exhibited at the multi-disciplinary event, which is billed by the organisers as one of the biggest art events in the country. "I feel troubled and pained at the situation we have come to. Art spaces should be allowed to function freely and openly and must allow for free speech," Shetty said. The organisers of the festival were not available for comment despite efforts. On Wednesday four musicians from the ''Dastaan Live'' band were arrested and later released on bail, after a complainant claimed that they had upset Hindu religious sentiments during their performance by hurtful references to the word ''Om''.
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mercredi 18 décembre 2019

India Art Fair 2020 to host 75 global exhibitors, including live performances and installations


Source Indulge Express by Joy S
The upcoming edition of India Art Fair will feature a diverse selection of contemporary art galleries from across the country including Chemould Prescott Road, Chatterjee & Lal, Jhaveri Contemporary, Galerie ISA, Project 88, and TARQ (all Mumbai) as well as Art Heritage, Blueprint 12, Exhibit 320, Gallery Espace, Nature Morte, PhotoInk, Shrine Empire, and Vadehra Art Gallery (all Delhi). Strengthening its commitment to the development and growth of the art scene in India, the fair will welcome back Experimenter, Emami Art (all Kolkata); Art Houz, Gallery Veda (all Chennai); Kalakriti Art Gallery (Hyderabad); GALLERYSKE (Bengaluru, Delhi); The Guild (Alibaug); ZOCA (Ahmedabad, Mannheim), and new participant Gallery White (Vadodara). The 2020 showcase will be shown in dialogue with exceptional historical pieces from the region’s leading modernists and India’s most established galleries: DAG, Dhoomimal Gallery, Crayon Art Gallery (all Delhi), alongside limited-edition modernist prints from Archer Art Gallery (Ahmedabad). Returning international galleries include David Zwirner...
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dimanche 15 décembre 2019

Gaitonde to Raza: The 10 costliest Indian work

Source Wellston Journal
The ‘Artery Top 500 Works‘ list features the most expensive Indian works of art that have been sold since modern Indian artwork was first included in a mainstream international auction in the mid 1960s. Their collective realised price? $367.9 million! As the demand and value of Indian artists grows internationally, Monali Sarkar looks at the record setters.
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jeudi 12 décembre 2019

From New Delhi to New York – the ever-growing brand of DAG

Source Apollo Magazine by Louise Nicholson
From the modest Delhi Art Gallery opened in 1993 by his mother Rama Anand in Hauz Khas – then a funky area of still-quiet Delhi – the business, now named DAG, has expanded to a global brand of galleries, museums, archives, publications and public outreach. While its offices remain in Hauz Khas, DAG’s art spaces are multiplying across India – and the world.
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Imagine, question, collaborate – curator insights on creativity from Serendipity Arts Festival 2019

Source Your Story by Madanmohan Rao
The Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) kicks off from December 15 to 22 in Panaji, Goa. The cross-cutting programme covers the visual, performing and culinary arts, as well as film, literature, and fashion. In our earlier interview with Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Foundation, we shared perspectives on the role of art and design in society, and how the art festival is shaping up this year (see full-length interview here). Curators of six projects at SAF 2019 now join us a series of conversations: Work in Progress (Sudarshan Shetty), Virtuality as Reality (Jessica Castex and Odile Burluraux), Alternative Histories of Indian Art (Nancy Adajania), Ceramics for Living Sustainable Craft (Kristine Michael), and Goa Familia (Lina Vincent).
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mercredi 11 décembre 2019

Bone chilling

Source Stock Daily Dish
When a poor Indian girl took her life because her mother did not have a rupee (15 cents) to buy her food, Jitish Kallat, one of India‘s most important contemporary artists, could not but be stirred to produce art to reflect the tragedy of human life. When anti-Muslim riots erupted in Gujarat state in 2002 after a train fire killed 60 Hindu pilgrims, Kallat responded with an installation of a “skeleton auto-rickshaw”, evoking the haunting images of burning vehicles during the violence. A recent show in Delhi by the 42-year-old artist has similarly mirrored India‘s current political and social anxieties. With collections in many prestigious museums across the world and as curator of India‘s Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2014, Kallat is a significant artist with something sharp to say. His latest show has rightfully generated much conversation. Curated by art historian and curator Catherine David, the show, Here After Here, includes over 100 outstanding drawings and paintings, photography, video and sculptural installations produced by Kallat from 1992 to the present.
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Kolkata: Experimenter art gallery hosted the 9th edition of its Experimenter Curators’ Hub


Source Architectural Digest India by Jasreen Mayal Khanna
While there is no theme for Experimenter Curators’ Hub, the founders work with a certain premise each year and invite curators accordingly. Premises for previous years have included major world exhibitions and even public art projects. This year’s edition of the Experimenter Curator’s Hub had the premise of dissent and moderator Natasha Ginwala launched the Hub’s Day 3 proceedings with an apt quote by Arundhati Roy: “Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe.” Prateek Raja had alluded to this in his introductory remarks on day one. “There is a continued need for making available a platform for contrarian ideas,” he said. “More so, in polarising times such as ours.” Meanwhile, Priyanka Raja declared it “a year to resist.”
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mardi 10 décembre 2019

Serendipity Arts Festival founder: 'What India offers in terms of art and culture is phenomenal'


Source The National by Tania Bhattacharya
For the past three years Panaji, the capital of Goa, has come alive as host to the vibrant Serendipity Arts Festival, a week-long multidisciplinary event that showcases everything creative. Helmed by the Serendipity Arts Foundation, the festival has fast-evolved into one of India’s foremost winter affairs, drawing in a who’s who from across the artistic spectrum globally. And at the top of it all is Sunil Kant Munjal, businessman and chairman of Hero Group and an ardent patron who wants to change how India perceives its own cultural heritage. “What India, and indeed South Asia, have to offer in terms of art and culture is phenomenal,” says Munjal.
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dimanche 17 novembre 2019

Jangarh Singh Shyam Kiran Nadar Museum

samedi 16 novembre 2019

A Savage Civilisation

Source Star of Mysore by Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik
In the course of this conversation, a young boy asked me a question, goaded by his parents, whether I was saying that science should not be taught to savages. I did not know how to answer the question, at that particular moment, because it revealed a particular mindset that has been part of the world, since colonial times. Here was a young child using the words ‘science’ and ‘savage’ as opposites of each other — as if science’s sole purpose was the rescue of the said ‘savage’. It is like looking at tribal communities across India, and implying that they need to be educated, indoctrinated into modern lifestyles to make them civilised. This civilising mission is called the White Man’s Burden. It’s adopted by brown people too. /.../ We must remind ourselves: it is the ‘savages’ who have never abused earth and her resources. It is White Man and Brown Man civilising and ‘development’ mythologies that have resulted in the horrific climate change. It is these newer mythologies that have now brought the world to the edge of an abyss.
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jeudi 14 novembre 2019

Nita Ambani becomes first Indian trustee to join board of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Source YourStory by Rekha Balakrishnan
Nita Ambani is the Founder and Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that has supported The Met since 2016, beginning with the exhibition Nasreen Mohamedi. That presentation was the first museum retrospective of the artist's work in the United States and was also one of The Met Breuer's inaugural exhibitions. In 2017, the Reliance Foundation committed to support exhibitions that explore and celebrate the arts of India. The first exhibition to benefit from this gift was Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs (October 11, 2017–January 2, 2018), followed by Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee (June 4–September 29, 2019), which marked the first comprehensive display of Mukherjee’s work in the United States.
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dimanche 10 novembre 2019

Primitivism through the Indian eye

Source The Asian Age by Trisha Ghoroy
Taking inspiration from non-Western and prehistoric elements, the art of primitivism, which works to recreate a “primitive” experience, became an important step in developing modern art. Originating from the West, the art form first emerged in Paris in 1907 and by1920s it had become universal. African masks and figurines inspired western artists like Paul Gauguin, Picasso, and Derain, among others, and its influences were prominently seen in their work around that time. Similarly in India, artists created a similar art form by drawing inspiration from local elements. One can now see it on display at The Primitivists exhibition in Mumbai, which brings together artists from different eras. Curated by Giles Tillotson, viewers can expect to see art from the likes of Rabindranath Tagore, Amrita Sher-Gil, Jamini Roy, F. N. Souza, M. F. Hussain, and others. Expressing the reason behind choosing such a variety of artists, Tillotson reveals that he and the organisers wanted to give a sense of the breadth and variety of primitivism in Indian art. Though inspired by Western artists, the Indian understanding of the theme was unique because of its local muses. “In Western art, primitivism usually involves identification with or pursuit of alien societies. Indian artists sought inspiration in supposedly primitive elements within India itself. So there is a different kind of association with the primitive. We wanted to explore that difference,” Tillotson explains.
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lundi 21 octobre 2019

Warli tribe's Save Aarey movement serves as beacon of community-spirit and inclusive activism


Source Firstpost by Anvisha Manral
In the early hours of 6 October, residents of Naushachapada woke up to Prakash Bhoir's message. Even though the night had been excruciatingly long and anxious, they did not expect to wake up to a new reality: over 300 trees had been axed overnight in their home, also known as “Mumbai's last green lung” — the Aarey forest. Bhoir, an Adivasi activist from Kelti Pada and an unofficial chieftain of his tribe, alerted the neighbouring padas (hamlets) of the overnight events. "It felt like our brothers and sisters had been taken away from us," 17-year-old Sheetal Shigvn told Firstpost, recalling that fateful morning. Quite apart from the sustenance they derive from the forest, the Warli tribe reveres it, for they are devotees of Hirwa Devi, or the ‘Green God’.“Hirwa Dev is believed to reside in the trees. Our god is being taken away from us as we watch," said 15-year-old Ashwini Umbarsadhe. For decades, the Warli people have worshipped the trees that were planted in Aarey by their forefathers. The severing of that relationship has been a personal trauma that some have not been able to fully fathom.
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samedi 12 octobre 2019

100 years of art in Santiniketan


Source Livemint by Somak Ghoshal
It’s 9.30 on a morning in mid-September but it’s sweltering. A group of young men and women are assembled on the chaataal—a raised platform—on the tree-lined campus of Kala Bhavana, the school of visual arts at Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan. The men are in white kurta-pyjama, the women in white saris with red borders. The incoming batch of freshers for the current academic year is being greeted with songs and red roses. Some teachers and non-teaching staff are gathered around. A few visitors like me lurk in the margins. As the ceremony ends, laughter and camaraderie fill the air. The newbies pose with their seniors and faculty for photographs. Selfies are taken. Gradually, the assembly disperses. The seniors march off to rehearse for the cultural programme they have planned in the evening to welcome the juniors. Classes are called off for the day. Behind this scene stretches a century-long history.
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