CONTEMPORARY ONE WORD SEVERAL WORLDS

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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vendredi 11 octobre 2019

MoMA Reboots With ‘Modernism Plus’

Source The New York Times by Holland Cotter
After decades of stonewalling multiculturalism, MoMA is now acknowledging it, even investing in it, most notably in a permanent collection rehang that features art — much of it recently acquired — from Africa, Asia, South America, and African America, and a significant amount of work by women. In short, what’s primarily different about the reopened MoMA is the integrated presence of “difference” itself — a presence that takes the museum back to its experimental early days, when American self-taught art and non-Western art were on the bill. What’s needed is agile planning and alert seeing, and these are evident in the museum’s modestly scaled opening attractions, which include focused surveys of two African-American artists (Betye Saar and William Pope.L), installations by artists from India (Sheela Gowda and Dayanita Singh), a sampler of Latin American work, and a permanent collection gallery devoted to contemporary art from China.
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samedi 28 septembre 2019

Modern India Comes to the Venice Biennale


Source National Review by Brian T. Allen
The India Pavilion shows a sizzling art scene. The India Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is only the country’s second since India’s independence in 1947. It’s entrancing and educational as well as historic. It’s a big show at the Arsenale, once Venice’s military shipyard, and it was, in my opinion, the most impressive in the world’s oldest and most prestigious art fair. It marks India’s coming-of-age as an international art powerhouse. This has taken a long time and is happening in fits and starts, but that’s fine. The art of India is a huge topic, and it’s a lumbering country. The exhibition is a smart distillation of art from this vibrant, massively complex country, the world’s biggest democracy. There are only eight artists in the show. The show focuses on art, weaving Gandhi and the past hundred years of India’s history in and out of a story that’s meaningful to eager, new students of Indian art like me. This is an accomplishment and took discipline. India has lots of artists. The exhibition isn’t small. It functions as a traditional museum show, with distinct spaces, multiple artists, and a balance of linear narrative and room for visitors to explore what appeals to them. It’s rich and rewarding. I don’t often have the honor to write about a historic art show. I’m looking forward to seeing more and learning more about art in this big place.
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mardi 24 septembre 2019

Intelligent Designs


Source Commonweal by Nicole-Ann Lobo
What makes an artist modern? The question has long loomed over Mrinalini Mukherjee, an Indian artist who sat at the uneasy confluence of contemporary art and Indian folk aesthetics, never fully belonging to either world. Best known for colorful, hulking sculptures that pay homage to the natural world, Mukherjee was largely misunderstood in her lifetime, regarded as “tribal” by the West, dismissed as “religious” in India. Now, she might be getting the recognition she’s long been due with her first retrospective in America. Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee, at New York’s Met Breuer through September 29, features nearly sixty of Mukherjee’s works.
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lundi 23 septembre 2019

The way we were


Source The Pioneer by Sujata Prasad
Gauri’s direct involvement in women’s issues started in the ‘70s, when she began assisting German anthropologist and folklorist Erika Moser and American Fulbright Scholar Raymond Lee Owens in their research on the Mithila art. She began working on the historiography of the art, exploring its social dimensions and tracing the antiquity of some of the artforms to the Brahma Purana. By 1977, women artists from the area became her prime focus. She founded the Master Craftsmen’s Association of Mithila in partnership with Owens to put an end to the exploitation of impoverished, struggling artists by middle-men. The association provided a platform to eminent women artists like Jagdamba Devi, Sita Devi, Ganga Devi, Maha Sundari Devi, Bauwa Devi, Yamuna Devi, Shanti Devi, Chano Devi, Lalita Devi, Shashikala Devi, Leela Devi, sikki artist Bindeshwari Devi, paper-mache artist Chandrakala Devi and sujani artist Karpoori Devi. It encouraged them to combat the patriarchal gaze with their artwork. Young artists like Rani Jha were encouraged to introduce avant garde feminist themes in their pictorial vocabulary.
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Celebrating six decades of Jogen Chowdhury's works


Source Millennium Post
Art Critic, curator and poet Ranjit Hoskote who also curated this show said, "Reverie and Reality' traces a retrospective arc across Jogen Chowdhury's oeuvre, from the mid-1950s to the present – a period that coincides with our history as an independent nation, with all its crises, anxieties, hopes and dreams. We have brought together nearly 200 works, spanning diverse phases of the artist's work, and spanning several medium including oils, water colour, graphite and charcoal drawings, lithographs, pastels, mixed media work, and book illustration.
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dimanche 22 septembre 2019

Warli tribe: 'We are India's soul, don't kill us'

Source BBC

Rajesh Wangad's tribe has used art to tell their stories for generations, living in harmony with the natural world around them. But this way of life in western India is at threat of being wiped out forever. So, using a combination of ancient skills and modern technology, he is fighting to save his home and art from being swept away by India's rapid modernisation. This film is based on his artwork and his story.
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mardi 10 septembre 2019

Nikhil Chopra: Artist in Residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Source The Telegraph by Smita Tripathi
Beginning Thursday, September 12, Goa-based performance artist Nikhil Chopra will present a 9-day performance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. For nine consecutive days, Chopra will live within the Museum as he presents his performance titled, Lands, Waters, Skies. Chopra, who is the 2019-20 Artist in Residence at the Met, is the first artist in the Museum’s 150 year history to actually live within the museum for any duration of time. 45-year-old Chopra who completed his Masters from Ohio University in the US, has done nearly 50 performance works across the globe over the past 15 years. We chatted with Chopra about his upcoming performance, his love for the art, and his audience.
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The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Fall Exhibition Include Bharti Kher and Dayanita Singh


Source India New England
This October, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will open In the Company of Artists: 25 Years of Artists-in-Residence, an exhibition celebrating the Museum’s legacy of inviting artists to live at the Museum, explore the collection, and create new works inspired by their experience. The exhibition will feature work from dynamic Artists-in-Residence including Sophie Calle, Bharti Kher, Luisa Lambri, Laura Owens, Rachel Perry, Dayanita Singh, and Su-Mei Tse. In selecting the seven women artists for the exhibition, the Museum recognizes and furthers the legacy of its founder—a woman with a bold creative spirit, who championed the artists of her own time. In the Company of Artists will be on view in the Museum’s Hostetter Gallery from Oct. 17, 2019 to Jan. 20, 2020.
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mardi 3 septembre 2019

This Photographer Captures the Last Living Tribes of India


Source Vice by Meera Navlakha
In a way, Chotani’s photographs shed light on these communities that are often ignored by the larger Indian population. According to the last nationwide census in India conducted in 2011, indigenous people and scheduled tribes make up 8.6 percent of the country’s population, which is around 104 million people. This is the largest indigenous population of any country in the world. Still, the rights of these tribes are often a contentious point in Indian politics and society. Amnesty International has long advocated for Adivasi rights, empowering the communities and making sure they are protected.
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lundi 26 août 2019

Where I Work: Ratheesh T.


Source India Art Fair
I always make art at night, it’s the best time for me. I start at 11pm and continue working until 5am! On some days, I don’t work at all. I do normal things, like eat, watch television, laze around, go for long walks, and chat with friends. I’m still always thinking about work, though. I take time away from the canvas to develop thoughts and ideas by observing life around me. Painting is just a way to understand these thoughts and share them with the world. I live alone and don’t follow a strict routine. My main problem is that my lifestyle makes it hard to spend time with others. I like to think of myself as a lone bear, remote from society. I do not plan my life. So talking about where I see myself going has always been difficult. I don’t know what the future holds for me at all!
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Adjaye Associates To Design Kiran Nadar New Cultural Centre In New Delhi India


Source Harper's Bazaar Arabia by Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh
Inspired by the geometry of mountains and trees, Adjaye Associates was selected for their Veil of Triangles concept, described as “dancing and timeless” by the jury. Adjaye has previously designed the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture building in Washington, D.C, claiming the Stirling Prize jury award in 2018 for excellence in architecture. “As a practice we are elated and honoured to win this competition,” said Adjaye. “I first came to India many years ago and immediately felt a profound connection with the life and energy. The new building will foster public interest in contemporary art, culture and creative partnerships, and enable Kiran Nadar Museum of Art to continue their pursuit of engaging younger audiences and future generations with one of the finest and most diverse collections of Indian Modern and contemporary art.”
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dimanche 25 août 2019

How an institute can become a public platform for art and artists


Source Financial Express by Faizal Khan
Early 2001, a theatre company from Germany landed in Delhi to stage Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui. Written while he was in Chicago after fleeing from Hitler, Brecht had replaced the Nazi leader with Chicago’s mafia don Al Capone in the 1941 play to warn the world about the danger of fascism. After witnessing two world wars in the previous century, it was a fitting thought by the Max Mueller Bhavan, the well-respected German cultural institution in Delhi, to herald the new century with a Brechtian idea. But nature had other plans. A devastating earthquake struck Gujarat on January 26, 2001, casting a pall of gloom over the whole of India. Though bringing a Brecht play to India involved months of planning and mind boggling logistics like a planeload of paraphernalia, the Max Mueller Bhavan donated all gate collections to the earthquake relief fund. Nearly two decades later, the institute is ready to rewrite its role making a cultural institution more relevant today than ever before as the Max Mueller Bhavans in Delhi and Kolkata celebrate the 60th anniversary this year.
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vendredi 23 août 2019

Francis Newton Souza — The ‘enfant terrible’ of Modern Indian Art


Source Christie's by Nishad Avari
For the first six years in Europe, his first wife Maria was the sole breadwinner for the family, while Souza struggled to support himself financially with his art through the occasional exhibition and commission, and through his journalism. As well as being a talented painter, Souza was a remarkable writer, publishing his semi-autobiographical essay in the book Words and Lines in July 1959. The year 1954 saw Souza on the brink of defeat. By 1955, however, the tide had turned. He penned his autobiographical essay, Nirvana of a Maggot, which was published by his friend, the poet and influential editor Stephen Spender, in Encounter magazine; exhibited three paintings at the recently opened Institute of Contemporary Arts alongside works by Francis Bacon and Henry Moore, among others; and painted many of his most iconic works, such as Birth, which currently holds the world auction record for the artist at $4,085,000. It was also the year of Souza’s first solo exhibition at Victor Musgrave’s Gallery One, which together with New Vision Centre, Signals and Indica, played an important role in defining London as a centre for radical artistic expression. Souza’s show was a triumph — he won patrons as well as acclaim from key art critics of the time, including Edwin Mullins and David Sylvester, who likened the expressionistic nature of his art to that of Graham Sutherland and Francis Bacon. It’s not surprising that there were affinities between Souza and Bacon, particularly in their depictions of the grotesque, observes Avari: ‘They shared models, such as Henrietta Moraes, and would hang out together at the Colony Club in Soho.’ By the end of the year Souza was considered among the most exciting painters in the city. Almost a decade of success and patronage followed.
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mercredi 21 août 2019

New York: Christie’s is all set to celebrate 25 years of art curation


Source Architectural Digest by Uma Nair
Market studies clearly show that for two decades Christie’s has commanded 70% of the market share for South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art in 2018. Eight of the top ten auction prices in the category have been achieved at Christie’s. Results in sale reflect that between 1994 and 2005, Christie’s sold approximately $20 million of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art, while between 2005 and 2018 sales in the category surpassed $400 million. Selling rates in New York achieved over 90% by lot in March 2019, and a year earlier the New York sale established the highest price for the category when Tapovan by abstract master Syed Haider Raza sold for $4.45 million.
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mercredi 14 août 2019

Antilia, la folie de Mukesh Ambani


Source Les Echos par Tristan Gaston-Breton
Les six premiers étages peuvent abriter 200 voitures, dont les 168 véhicules de collection appartenant au maître des lieux. Un atelier de réparation - avec ses mécaniciens - et une station-service ont même été prévus. Quatre autres étages sont entièrement occupés par des jardins suspendus et un encore par un hôpital privé équipé du matériel le plus récent. Le bâtiment abrite également quatre piscines - dont une olympique -, un spa et un centre de « fitness » dernière génération, une salle à manger copiée sur celle d'un grand hôtel new-yorkais, une salle de réception et de bal, une dizaine de salons, un théâtre de 50 places, une salle de cinéma avec écran géant, un temple privé, et trois héliports aménagés sur le toit !
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mardi 13 août 2019

See Inside India’s Opulent New Sculpture Park in a 19th-Century Palace


Source Artsy by Alina Cohen
About four miles from the center of Jaipur, in northwest India, Nahargarh Fort rises from the scrub-studded hills. Madhavendra Palace peers out from inside the stone fortress walls, its 19th century architecture rhyming with the ornate, pastel architecture for which the city is famous—30 minutes away, the Hawa Mahal, an apricot-hued, layer cake of a building attracts tourists and photographers year round. In December 2017, Madhavendra Palace itself became a major destination when it opened as India’s first contemporary sculpture park.
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samedi 10 août 2019

From Gandhi to the UN: Indian artist weaves story of destruction and rebirth in Hong Kong show


Source South China Morning Post by Enid Tsui
They will see themselves becoming one of the crowd. There are a number of large paintings filled with many small figures and animals. Indian art history, especially Mughal miniatures, seep into his work just as his parents, friends and former teachers do, he says. He often paints the figures and animals in a grid-like, orderly arrangement but something always disrupts the surface tranquillity. This is true of Come Give Us A Speech (2008) – a series of panels that show all kinds of people and a few deities sitting in plastic chairs – where plumes of black smoke cover parts of the painting. That work is accompanied by Gathering is Evil (2007), in which the only figure is a large, black skeleton against a background of empty, ghostly chairs.
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mardi 6 août 2019

Art Exhibition: Canopy for Conservation


Source Outlook India by Nayanika Mukherjee
The deity Baradeo sits on a lotus leaf, when the idea of Creation dawns on him. He looks around, but water spreads till the edge of the horizon. He rubs his chest with pensive intent, and fashions a crow from the grime. It flies far in search of clay to further Creation, until tiredly landing atop a stump. But this is no tree—it is the claw of a mystical crab, who reveals where all the clay has gone. A giant earthworm in the nether world collects and feasts on it. The crab pulls him out of this damp abode, and forces the worm to spit out the clay. The crow quickly grabs it, and flies home. With a spiderweb woven atop the watery expanse, Baradeo fashions the Earth’s creatures from this clay. If Indian creation myths are your cup of tea, Gond legends are a quirky starting point for the inquisitive. As one of our largest and oldest tribes, their folklore is intricate and imaginative.
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mercredi 24 juillet 2019

Mumbai: Chemould Prescott Road brings to life the second edition of Modus Operandi


Source Architectural Digest by Arya Chatterjee
The show embarks on creating a journey for inexperienced collectors, young or old, to buy great works of contemporary art at affordable prices. According to Gandhy, who has an eye for Indian contemporary art, some of the works featured in this exhibition were discovered after rummaging through artists’ stock rooms. A few were especially created for the show. “An artist’s studio is a sacred space not accessible to all, a place where they pursue all their inspirations. I have had the privilege of exploring these spaces and have always come out enriched and inspired by the work that I have seen,” she says. To evoke the same sense of excitement and awe for the viewer, Gandhy hopes to bridge this gap, bringing to light the process of evolution that each artist goes through in creating a work of art. Bringing something from the studios of all the featured artists—mood boards, drawing books, worktables, chairs, photographs to sculptures—Gandhy turns the gallery into a montage of various studios. The show is truly a mixture of the creative chaos that is an artist’s mind.
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lundi 22 juillet 2019

With Jean Pigozzi's contemporary African art donation, MoMA to become a 'leader' in the field


Source The Art Newspaper by Nancy Kenney
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced today that the collector and photographer Jean Pigozzi was donating a “transformative” gift of 45 works of contemporary African art to the museum, positioning MoMA to become a “unique institutional leader” in the field. Glenn D. Lowry, the museum’s director, said in a statement that the gift would play an important role in the ambitious re-installation of MoMA’s permanent collection, which is taking shape as the institution prepares to reopen on 21 October in expanded galleries. The museum has cast the rehanging as an opportunity to rethink the entire history of Modern and contemporary art, highlighting and juxtaposing artists of more diverse backgrounds and geographic origins.
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samedi 20 juillet 2019

It is extremely urgent that the Indian art community reaches out to local audiences: Shanay Jhaveri


Source The Hindustan Times by Srishti Jha
In April 2016, I joined The Metropolitan Museum of Art as its first incumbent curator for Modern and Contemporary art from South Asia and immediately proposed Mukherjee’s show. The Museum’s Modern and Contemporary department under the leadership of Sheena Wagstaff has been committed to reconsidering a received art history. This has manifested in our exhibition programme as well as our collecting approach. The Met Breuer was inaugurated with a solo show of Nasreen Mohamedi and since then Modern and Contemporary Art from South Asia has been consistently represented at the Museum. Mohamedi set the pace and spirit for the programme. I felt that Mukherjee would be the right artist to follow Mohamedi, with a solo retrospective at The Met Breuer; they are two artists occupying the furthest ends of the artistic spectrum in their visual idiom, particularly in relation to the breadth of the modernity projects cultivated and nurtured in and through Baroda.
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vendredi 19 juillet 2019

Non-stop Rain Room at Sharjah Art Foundation


Source Indian Blooms
The Rain Room is an unusual and evocative experience for visitors who will enjoy the sound and nearby feel of being in the rain without getting wet. When visitors enter the room, they are directed to navigate intuitively and carefully through the dark underground space in order to protect themselves from the downpour. As the visitors walk through the room, which uses 1,200 liters of self-cleaning, recycled water, their movements trigger motion sensors that pauses the rainfall when detecting movement. Founded in 2005, Random International is a London-based collaborative studio for experimental and digital practice within contemporary art. Their work, which includes sculpture, performance and large-scale architectural installations, reflects the relationship between man and machine and centres on audience interaction.
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dimanche 14 juillet 2019

On Ravinder Reddy’s first one-man exhibition in Kolkata


Source The Hindu by Soumitra Das
The gopurams or pyramidal towers of South Indian temples bristle with thousands of figures of deities. Rural deities or grama devatas, occasionally stark naked, are the guardians of villages in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. G. Ravinder Reddy strips these figures of their divinity and turns them into icons of working women of our times, transformed in his imagination into empowered goddesses who can hold their own, irrespective of class and social status.
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samedi 13 juillet 2019

Delhi art lovers do not miss out on this exhibition at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art


Source The New Indian Express
If you haven’t caught the big fat retrospective exhibition of one of India’s leading woman contemporary artists, Arpita Singh at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (DLF South Court Mall, Saket), you have till July 14. About 180 works by the 82-year-old Delhi-based artist have been curated by Roobina Karode in the show titled Submergence: In the Midst of Here and There. Singh who hails from Baranagar in Kolkata, graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts from Delhi Polytechnic in 1959. In 1972, she had her first solo exhibition at Kunika Chemould Gallery, New Delhi.
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vendredi 12 juillet 2019

A Tribal Tradition Under Threat


Source Raw Vision by Deidi von Schaewen
The Adivasi tradition of house painting is centuries old; some say, it is rooted in prehistoric rock art. Passed from generation to generation, mothers and aunts to daughters and nieces, the practice occurs across the region’s different tribes, such as the Oraons, Santals, Mundas, Ganjs and Kurmis. There are a dozen or so different styles of house painting, but within those styles the murals are personal to the tribe and to the artist, variations even occurring from house to house. The Adivasi consider their homes to be sacred, and daubing their walls with art is an expression of faith, identity, culture, pride, family, love, thanks and more.
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mardi 9 juillet 2019

Indian Art and Culture: The book ‘A Conjuror’s Archive’ pays an ode to artist Jangarh Singh Shyam


Source Architectural Digest by Avantika Shankar
Jangarh would recreate the world of the stories he grew up with—a world so distant from the modernist art school he was studying in—and in that sense, created a contemporaneity of his own. “Modernism cannot be confined to certain movements in modernism,” muses Dr. Jain, “He has also done a couple of autobiographical works—tribal artists don’t do that. Where would you place this interaction? It is a kind of modernity. His marginalisation, his coming away from the tradition to which he belonged, his recreating that entire world of imagination…to surpass all other art school-trained artists who were around him…” Dr. Jain explains. “There are modern artists who continue to do what they’re doing, in some way or the other, and that isn’t innovation.” Jangarh Singh, on the other hand, was perpetually throwing himself into new forms—from using poster colours for the first time at age 18 to using architectural forms as his canvas—and the continued relevance of his work is a testament to his revolutionary mind. “If modernity comes from being open to new things, imbibing them in your work…” Dr. Jain says, “I think he was able to do that all the time.”
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dimanche 7 juillet 2019

Prabhakar Barwe, the Jacques Derrida of Indian modernism


Source National Herald by Vibha Galhotra
In the scorching heat of Delhi, while all seemed grumpy and dull, walking into the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) changed the pace of my day. The cool breeze of the gallery along with the experience of space, colour, form and poetry, as I entered the retrospective exhibition ‘Astitva: The Essence of Prabhakar Barwe,’ brought back a different sense of fulfillment. A forgotten hero of modernist, pre-contemporary art movement in India, Prabhakar Barwe (1936 – 1995), was much ahead of his time and was widely appreciated by his peers and seniors for his unique sense of depiction and his concern with the language of painting rather than visual images and signs. Given his attention to detail, it goes without saying that Barwe was quite analytical of his work and constantly seeking deep meaning through experimentation with colour and form. His style and process somehow reminds me of the concept of deconstruction introduced by philosopher Jacques Derrida who explored the interplay between language and the construction of meaning in search of learning about the intended meaning or structural unity of a particular text. Similarly, Barwe was trying find newer realities created by abstracting an image from its real form. In one of his notes Barwe mentions, “The interplay between concrete and abstract is my prime preoccupation. It gives me immense pleasure to work on that meeting point to that thin line of demarcation, where abstraction meets the concrete or separates from it.”
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mercredi 19 juin 2019

At the Met Breuer, Awe-Inspiring Sculptures of Deities Show How an Indian Artist Forged Her Own Personal Language for Fabric Art


Source Artnet News by Ben Davis
My sense is that the public might be in danger of missing the Mrinalini Mukherjee show, “Phenomenal Nature,” which opened recently at the Met Breuer, because her name is not well known, and because it lacks an easy hook. Mukherjee hailed from a different art world, India in the 1970s to the 2000s, and her work draws on a pool of references and traditions that might be slightly unfamiliar. But at the same time, her sculptures eschewed the kinds of easily marketed images of “Indian-ness” that the global contemporary art biz sometimes feeds on. It has its own rhythms, and you can’t approach it either purely formally or purely iconographically, but have to find some other way in.
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mardi 11 juin 2019

Bhupen Khakhar's painting on homosexuality breaks auction record


Source Business Standard
"Two Men in Benares", a 1980s painting by Indian contemporary artist Bhupen Khakhar has set a new auction record for the painter by selling at a whopping $3.2 million here. The sale took place at the Sotheby's auction house on Monday. Going under the hammer was the "Coups de Coeur: The Guy and Helen Barbier Family Collection", an offering of 29 artworks from one of the finest collections of 20th century Indian art in private hands. When Khakhar (1934-2003) first unveiled "Two Men in Benares" in Mumbai in 1986, he became the first Indian artist to freely disclose his sexual orientation through his work.
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lundi 10 juin 2019

Jogen Chowdhury’s new gallery is a much-needed pick-me-up for Kolkata’s art world


Source The Hindu by Soumitra Das
This lacuna has been somewhat filled, though in a small way, with Jogen Chowdhury’s five-storey building devoted entirely to the visual arts. The first of its kind in Bengal, the museum is on a street opposite the busy South City Mall on Prince Anwar Shah Road. Charubasona, the Jogen Chowdhury Centre for Arts, was inaugurated in April in the presence of the eminences grises of Kolkata’s cultural world, including poet Sankha Ghosh, artists Rabin Mandal, Ganesh Haloi and Partha Pratim Deb, actor Soumitra Chatterjee, litterateur Sirshendu Mukherjee, and art critic and historian Pranabranjan Ray.
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vendredi 7 juin 2019

Inside sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee’s highly-anticipated exhibit


Source Vogue India by Shanay Jhavery
I remember the first time I came across Mrinalini Mukherjee’s art—it was the early 2000s at a private collector’s home and a sculpture titled Adi Pushp II (1998-99). The bold evocation of sexuality, the exceptional handling of fibre, and the deft deployment of colour… it was a revelation. I was a PhD student when I met her for the first time in 2014. The following year we had planned to spend more time together in Delhi after her retrospective at the NGMA, but sadly she passed away a week after the opening. I never imagined then, that one day I would be curating her first international retrospective and also editing the most comprehensive monograph on her prodigious practice.
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mardi 4 juin 2019

Met, New York: Mrinalini Mukherjee’s sculptures will flourish at the museum this summer


Source Architectural Digest by Uma Nair
“The historic exhibition takes a deep look at Mukherjee’s crucial work, highlighting her anthropomorphic sculptures exploring spirits, deities, feminism and sexuality,” says Max Hollein, museum director. “Together these pieces will demonstrate the significance of Mukherjee’s oeuvre to the evolution of modern art in India and her role as a forerunner of contemporary figurative sculpture.” The exhibition’s curator is Shanay Jhaveri, Assistant Curator, South Asia, in The MET’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. “Mrinalini always enjoyed subverting conventions,” says Jhaveri. “She prefers to explore the hidden character of the material, its tactile potential, its ability to express a daring yet subtle eroticism, its power to contain within it an organic fecundity.”
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mercredi 29 mai 2019

Venice Biennale 2019: At the coveted fair, there’s more to India than just Gandhi


Source Architectural Digest by Ankush Arora
India’s return to the Venice Biennale, after a gap of 8 years, has caused much cheer among the country’s close-knit art fraternity, even as the country’s Pavilion theme —‘150 Years of Gandhi’—is the latest example of the national icon being marketed superfluously. While it is anybody’s guess as to what extent Gandhi actually influences the country’s 1.3-billion population, the 58th edition of world’s oldest international art exhibition resonates with themes more contemporary to India. From the self-explanatory curatorial theme (‘May you live in interesting times’) to debates around gender and sexuality, constrained freedom or systems of democracy, extreme weather events and perils of technology, the Venice Biennale’s diverse presentations speak to anyone trying to make sense of a rapidly churning world. From the nearly 100 national pavilions and numerous parallel exhibitions that are part of the biennale, here are AD’s select five picks.
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mardi 28 mai 2019

Why they love the cage


Source The Pioneer by U Nair
Shakuntala’s sculptures have an Indian insignia. “ I used the armour as a metaphor to explore how I could protect my body,” states Shakuntala. “I borrowed from all kinds of cultures; Naga masks, Rajasthani ghagras, hair styles from Bollywood in the 1960s — my pieces have no cultural, geographical or religious boundaries. I used cane because I am comfortable with it; also, it is linear, delicate and looks grand. There are rings, bangles, flared skirts and it is very feminine.” As you look through the cane — the ideation seems full of multiple perspectives.The cane is tenuous and tensile, flexible yet delicate in a strong sort of way. No doubt there are many references — history culture and the beauty of dances, Kathakali and Manipuri costumes and regalia become a translation — that are royal yet replete with rhythmic intonations.
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lundi 27 mai 2019

Nalini Malani Wins 70.000 € Joan Miró Prize


Source Art News
In a statement, the prize’s jury said, “By alluding to a myriad of cultural references from both East and West, [Malani] has built an impressive body of work that engages viewers through complex, immersive installations that present her vision of the battered world we live in. Her interest in ancient mythology, both Greek and Indian, as well as in modern symbols and image-making, has allowed her to develop a very personal, cosmopolitan iconographic mingling that boldly denounces contemporary violence and injustice, and their effects on planetary life.”
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dimanche 26 mai 2019

The extraordinary art of ordinary things


Source Hindustan Times by Shunali Khullar Shroff
Artist Shilpa Gupta’s studio on the second floor of a quaint Parsi bungalow in Bandra is extraordinarily spacious. Extraordinary is also a word one could apply to Gupta’s work, which she creates by using quotidian objects in unexpected ways. Gupta has had a successful joint exhibition in Dubai this year. Even today, having participated in biennales and triennales across the world, from Havana to Yokohama, Seoul to Sydney, Kochi to Venice, it is with a sense of disbelief that she receives the high praise for her art. This isn’t pretend modesty. Gupta is resolutely pessimistic when it comes to her work. Her installations have graced galleries such as Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, MoMA, Serpentine, Guggenheim and closer home, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and Devi Art Foundation. And yet, exhibition after successful exhibition has been preceded by a foreboding that it will all end in disaster.
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mercredi 22 mai 2019

How India Inspired the Barbier Family’s Infatuation with Art


Source Sotheby's
Discover an exciting collection of works by some of the most important and avant-garde artists from South Asia in our upcoming sale Coups de Coeur: The Guy and Helen Barbier Family Collection (10 June | London). When Guy Barbier’s career took his family to India in the 1980s, it was the start of a love affair with the country and in particular its modern and contemporary art. From Bhupen Khakhar’s controversial Two Men in Benares, to inspirational works by Ram Kumar, Maqbool Fid Husain and Rameshwar Broota, the sale tells the story of the Barbier family’s friendships and their cultural journey through the Subcontinent. Click here to watch more Sotheby’s videos.
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mardi 14 mai 2019

David Adjaye chosen to design 'game-changing' contemporary art museum in India


Source The Art Newspaper by Tim Cornwell
The UK-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye has been chosen to design what is set to be the most significant contemporary art space in India. The jury the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art's design made the announcement yesterday in Venice at a dinner for the Indian pavilion at the waterside Palazzo Pisani Moretta. The planned museum is “an important milestone for Indian contemporary art", says Shwetal A. Patel, an art writer and researcher at the University of Southampton, adding that "the appointment of Adjaye Associates has added a measure of excitement and anticipation".
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Venice Biennale 2019: India's pavilion, celebrating 150 years of Gandhi, is in world's Top 10


Source Forbes by Ridhi Doshi
Roobina Karode, curator of the India Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia (the Venice Biennale), apologises for a sore throat on a phone call from Venice. Her voice is strained from the excitement. “The response is overwhelming. So many people want to know more about the works and are asking for curated walks," says Karode. The exhibit 'Our Time for a Future Caring', celebrates 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi, and has been listed among the top 10 country pavilions from a total of 90, by the Financial Times and leading art website artsy.net, alongside the US, Switzerland, Poland and debut country Ghana.
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dimanche 12 mai 2019

‘I aim to create a culture that values creativity’


Source The Guardian by Bhumika Popli
A Delhi-based art patron, Shalini Passi is known for her philanthropic projects and support programmes aimed at promoting Indian art. Through the Shalini Passi Art Foundation and MASH, and through her association with major cultural forums across the country, she continues to make significant contributions to the contemporary art scene. She spoke to Guardian 20 about her various projects.
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samedi 11 mai 2019

India’s big splash at the Venice Biennale 2019

Source The Hindu by Georgina Maddox
On condition of anonymity, a contemporary artist shares that while “it is wonderful that India is being represented at the Venice Biennale, why take such a safe and tested path by invoking Gandhi and making ‘all the right noises?’ It casts us as a secular nation when indeed the reality is quite different.” However, Karode responds emphatically, stating that she didn’t conceive the exhibition as a literal representation of the Mahatma in a documentary-like format. “I was more inclined to look at aspects of his practice. He keeps returning to public conscience in periods of crisis or despair; he is the subject of contemporary reflection. [There is] also the idea of craft, dignity of labour and emphasis on self-reliance,” she says. At this point one must ask, is it the job of art and artists to reflect only the current state of the country or should they project a vision that is critical of the times? We would favour the latter, and Venice is a good starting point.
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vendredi 10 mai 2019

Singapore based Indian artist Shubigi Rao to curate Kochi Biennale 2020


Source The News Minute
Mumbai-born Rao, whose work featured in the fourth edition of the KMB (2018), is also a writer and her myriad interests include archaeology, neuroscience, libraries, archival systems, histories, literature, violence, acts of cultural genocide, anti-censorship, migratory patterns, ecology and natural history.
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Keeping Gandhi relevant in Venice


Source Livemint by Avantika Bhuyan
The historic pavilions of Giardini and Arsenale are all set to serve as a backdrop to works by eight Indian artists, such as Nandalal Bose, M.F. Husain, Jitish Kallat and Atul Dodiya. Part of the exhibition Our Time For A Future Caring, these works mark India’s second stint at the 58th Venice Biennale (11 May- 24 November)—the world’s oldest and most prestigious art event—after a hiatus of eight years. The country’s debut at the biennale, with a national pavilion, came about only in 2011—nearly 116 years after the event first started—with Everyone Agrees: It’s About To Explode, curated by Ranjit Hoskote. In subsequent years, India was conspicuous by its absence, even as countries such as Angola, Georgia, Maldives and Tuvalu continued to participate. There was a murmur of a presence in 2015 when Delhi-based art patron Feroze Gujral commissioned a project, My East Is Your West, as a collateral event at the 56th Venice Biennale. Which is why India’s return to the biennale is significant, especially since “the event is an important platform for the best of their artists (of the participating nations), as well as an opportunity to conduct soft diplomacy through culture," noted a recent Guardian article.
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Inside the India Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2019


Source Elle India by Neville Bhandara
It’s been eight years since India last participated at Venice Biennale. But now, a show titled Our Time for a Future Caring—put together by Roobina Karode, director and chief curator of the India Pavilion’s principal partner, Kiran Nadar Museum Of Art, New Delhi—celebrates 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi, and features the works of artists who have had a deep engagement with his beliefs and life through their works.
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jeudi 9 mai 2019

Goa’s Serendipity Arts Festival announces new set of curators

Source The Hindu
The fourth edition of the annual Serendipity Arts Festival, with a vision of energising arts production, awareness and practice across South Asia, has announced the line-up of curators for its annual outreach. The curators include Aneesh Pradhan and Sneha Khanwalkar for music, Leela Samson and Mayuri Upadhyaya for dance, Atul Kumar and Arundhati Nag for theatre, Rahul Akerkar and Prahlad Sukhtankar for culinary arts, Rahaab Allana and Ravi Agarwal for photography; Jyotindra Jain and Sudarshan Shetty for visual arts and Pramod KG for crafts.
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mercredi 8 mai 2019

India’s sophomore debut at the Venice Biennale is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi


Source Architectural Digest by Uma Nair
At the Press Preview on May 8, the 58th Venice Biennale will have an India Pavilion that will give art aficionados something to savour. “The group presentation, Our Time for a Future Caring will critically engage with the many facets of Mahatma Gandhi, considering his philosophical ideas and their place in today’s complex world, in which violence and intolerance are still prevalent,” says Roobina Karode, Chief Curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, the Pavilion’s Principal Partner. A significant new partnership has enabled the India Pavilion 2019, spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture and co-organised with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the National Gallery of Modern Art.
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vendredi 3 mai 2019

The life of the Ganges


Source British Journal of Photography by Marigold Warner
Giulio Di Sturco’s decade-long project Ganga Ma documents the effects of pollution on India’s holiest river. Shot along the banks of India’s largest river, cast in the pink glow of a low sun, Giulio Di Sturco’s images are calming and hazy. In one of them, a worker from Delhi hoses down piles of white foam, so much of it that at first glance the image is rather surreal. But as with all of his photographs, hidden under this dream-like filter is a devastating story, about the effects of climate change and pollution on the country’s holiest river.
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samedi 20 avril 2019

At Art Basel Hong Kong, women show they can paint


Source Livemint by Anindita Ghose
Six Indian galleries were at the fair: Gallery Chemould, Jhaveri Contemporary and Tarq from Mumbai; Vadehra Art Gallery and Gallery Espace from Delhi; and Experimenter from Kolkata. Rather than talking down the cause of representation, Jhaveri’s statement can be seen in a positive light. Everyone from Gorrill to the Guerrilla Girls has warned against the dangers of tokenism. So the fact that the Dodiya work has pride of place because it “brings in a lot of people" is ultimately a bigger victory. And, all these six galleries (one of them is led by a couple) have women on top.
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vendredi 19 avril 2019

Remembering Haku Shah


Source Daily Pioneer by Sujata Prasad
An avant-garde in more ways than one, Shah mainstreamed rural, tribal, folk art and craft by bridging the chasm between elitism and art that has often been relegated to the eponymous category of folk or subaltern tribal expressions. His love for folk artists and artisans evolved as part of a burgeoning movement in the 50s for the creative intersection of craft and design. One of his first assignments was at the Weavers’ Service Centre established by Pupul Jayakar near the Opera House in Mumbai. An astonishing number of artists with different terms of engagement gravitated to the centres and elsewhere — Prabhakar Barwe, Jeram Patel, Jogen Chowdhury, Himmat Shah, Gautam Vaghela, Bhasker Kulkarni, Amrut Patel and Manu Parekh to name but just a few. Also budding scenographers like Rajeev Sethi and Martand Singh. KG Subramanyan came occasionally and created stunning standalone sculptures from the fibres of handspun wool. Haku Shah thrived in this hothouse of creativity. His next assignment, a long stint with the National Institute of Design, was also not an act of artistic hubris, but was driven by the need to research tribal art and crafts, rituals and belief systems that had intrigued him for a long time. In 1978 he was appointed advisor to the Mingei International Museum at San Diego in California .
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jeudi 18 avril 2019

In the Lap of Nature


Source India Today by Rewati Rau
"The tree is where our atma (soul) resides and if we don't take care of it, we'll all perish," says Venkat Raman Singh Shyam, who belongs to the second generation of Pardhan Gond tradition of artists from MP. Now regarded as one of the prominent faces of tribal art in the country, the artist is as passionate about his humble upbringing as he is about mother earth. "I have grown up amongst animals, plants, rivers and birds and come from the same village which Rudyard Kipling has depicted in his Jungle Book. Nature is supreme for us," he says. That explains why Gond art is known to be replete with imageries of nature and folklore, vividly showing the beliefs firmly entrenched in this community.
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This Exhibition At Piramal Museum Of Art Will Let You Experience Art Like Never Before


Source Mumbai Live by Apurva Srivastava
Ashvin Rajagopalan, Director of Piramal Art Foundation, highlighted the importance of interactive exhibitions such as these and said “An interactive art exhibition plays a vital role in creating more art and artists. We believe that when someone enters the space and finds themselves immersed in the possibility of being able to make something or create a work of art, that could ignite a spark, and lead them into wanting to pursue a career in the arts. The purpose of museums is to educate an audience. And hence, we believe that if we have a sustained audience, a community that we build over time, they will gain the knowledge and therefore, the skills required to appreciate art. This will definitely widen the possibilities of how people perceive art in the future.”
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dimanche 14 avril 2019

There isn't, and there needn't be, such a thing as "Indian photography": Nathaniel Gaskell


Source Forbes India by Madhu Kapparath
Nathaniel Gaskell, co-founder and associate director of the Museum of Art & Photography in Bengaluru and Diva Gujral, PhD scholar at the department of History of Art, University College, London have co-authored Photography in India: A Visual History from the 1850s to the Present, the first in-depth survey of the remarkable story of photography in India. Covering 150 years and more than 100 Indian and international photographers, the book contains a wealth of previously unpublished material and lesser-known artistes. In a conversation with Forbes India, Gaskell (33) talks about the various complexities related to photography in India, and the challenges of distilling them into a book.
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mardi 9 avril 2019

Feroze Gujral: India’s very own Peggy Guggenheim?


Source The National by Tania Bhattacharya
Gujral, 54, has been quietly leading the charge when it comes to promoting South Asian art in the Indian subcontinent and globally. Over the past decade, her foundation, co-founded with her architect husband Mohit Gujral (chief executive of DLF India, son of famous painter Satish Gujral and nephew of former Prime Minister of India, Inder Kumar Gujral), has supported innumerable artists irrespective of genre or form. It has also built art-specific spaces such as Studio G Spot and 24, Jor Bagh, and has organised subcontinental exhibitions at the likes of the Berlin Biennale and Tate Modern. The foundation has engaged intimately with India’s bottomless artistic heritage. Gujral is on the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s board of trustees (she also co-founded the biennale, India’s first), and is on the boards of the ­Guggenheim Museum in New York and Serpentine Gallery in London. She was the force behind the V S Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York and My East is Your West, a collaborative show between India’s Shilpa Gupta and Pakistan’s Rashid Rana at the Venice Biennale, both in 2015. Her daughter Alaiia is also an artist who curates for Canvas Chicago. Art runs in the family, and she may well be India’s very own Peggy Guggenheim.
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