CONTEMPORARY ONE WORD SEVERAL WORLDS

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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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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