CONTEMPORARY ONE WORD SEVERAL WORLDS

dimanche 26 mai 2024

From one enfant terrible to another: Decoding the mystery of FN Souza’s sketch of a Russian composer

Source Scroll In by Luis Dias
Stravinsky, especially after the scandalous 1913 Paris premiere of his revolutionary ballet Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) was labelled the “enfant terrible” of classical music of his time. The famous auction house Christie’s called Souza the “enfant terrible” of Modern Indian art. The enduring formative impression of Roman Catholicism in Souza’s Goan childhood on his art is well-documented. Yashodhara Dalmia, in the chapter A Passion for the Human Figure: Francis Newton Souza of the above-mentioned book The Making of Modern Indian Art: The Progressives, quotes him extensively on the subject. Although Stravinsky drifted away in his adult years from the Russian Orthodox Church he had been born into, his homesickness while in Europe drew him back to the faith, “a portable piece of Russia”. An especially moving ceremony at the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua in 1926 while on a concert tour made him formally rejoin the Church. A slew of sacred compositions followed, most famously his Symphony of Psalms for chorus and orchestra (1930, rev 1948) and Canticum Sacrum for tenor, baritone, chorus and orchestra (1955). Souza and Stravinsky also had inspirational subject matter (in addition to Christianity, of course) that overlapped. Oedipus Rex, based on Sophocles’ tragedy, was a Stravinsky opera-oratorio (1927). The inspiration for Souza’s 1961 depiction of the tragic king was (as he himself explained) his own irrational feeling of guilt that his father died soon after his birth, and the disturbing revelation of surreptitiously watching his mother bathe through a hole he bored in the door. Imagine what Freud (Sigmund, not Lucian) would have made of that! It certainly puts his obsession with the female anatomy in perspective.
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dimanche 19 mai 2024

Soaring graph of Nasreen Mohamedi, abstractionist par excellence

Souce BizzBuzz News by Archana Khare-Ghose
With some superlative auction results for Indian modern and contemporary art in the first four months of this year, the art market is looking good, healthier than before, and poised for even greater innings once the next bout of auction fever strikes in September-October. There have been several great takeaways from the auctions of Indian modern and contemporary art held by AstaGuru, Christie’s, Pundole’s, Saffronart, and Sotheby’s between March and April this year. That has given opportunities to art lovers like me to discover newer talking points and analyse how works of the great masters are progressing over their previous record prices at auctions. In this column this week, I would like to share what I have learnt about the seminal abstractionist Nasreen Mohamedi, whose works are climbing the ladder of popularity at auctions, which is feeding into curiosity about her and her art in what can be called a long overdue attention that she deserved in her lifetime. The biggest hook for this write-up on Mohamedi is the fact that at the recently concluded Pundole’s Fine Art Sale on April 25 in Mumbai, her Untitled work sold for Rs 11 crore, setting the world auction record for the artist. Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), a towering figure among art practitioners, first came into popular limelight when in 2015-2016, two important museums of the world, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, and the Met Breuer in New York, hosted her solo exhibition, titled ‘Nasreen Mohamedi: Waiting is a Part of Intense Living’.
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jeudi 25 avril 2024

The Ultimate Venice Biennale Collateral Events 2024

Source Artlyst by Lee Sharrock
The Rooted Nomad, presented by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, celebrates the iconic contemporary Indian artist whose itinerant spirit embraced all nuances of life. M.F. Husain (1915– 2011) was a peripatetic spirit who channelled his many experiences and journeys into an artistic practice investigating questions of mobility, migration, crossing borders and beyond fixed boundaries. The Rooted Nomad exhibition in Venice resonates with the Stranieri Uvunque theme of the 60th Biennale Arte, for Husain’s art was centred around notions on the ‘yatra’ or journey both as a crux to civilisational ethos and artistic calling as well as a metaphor for transformation. Husain first exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1954. He was one of the first artists from India to present his works in Venice.
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mercredi 24 avril 2024

Matthew Krishanu in the Studio

Source Ocula by Annabel Downes
Two young boys cling onto the limbs of a spindly banyan tree. A woman dressed in a sari sits on a sofa below a painting of Christ. A congregation of church-goers face a Christian priest in the Church of Bangladesh. Many of these moments were experienced during London-based painter Matthew Krishanu's upbringing in South Asia, and then re-experienced through his quiet and economical brush. At Camden Art Centre, Krishanu's solo exhibition, The Bough Breaks (26 April–23 June 2024), follows a string of remarkable painting shows at the London institution by artists such as Martin Wong, Mohammed Sami, and Allison Katz. Ahead of the exhibition, Ocula Advisory visited Krishanu's East London studio to discuss his latest paintings and drawings, the Joan Mitchell tree paintings pinned to his studio wall, and how he measures his own paintings' success.
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jeudi 18 avril 2024

India at Venice: no pavilion but more presence than ever before

Source The Art Newspaper by Kabir Jhala
India, the world's most populous country, once again does not have a pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the 60th edition of which opens to the public on Saturday (20 April-24 November). The country's national participation has been scarce and inconsistent: just two India pavilions have been staged in the Biennale’s 125-year history, one in 2011 and the second in 2019. Nonetheless, this year at Venice, the presence of Indian art and the industry behind it has never been greater. Adriano Pedrosa’s international exhibition, Foreigners Everywhere, includes 12 Indian artists—an all-time record, and quadruple the amount of the previous Biennale. Featured in the Global South-focused show are the contemporary artist Monika Correa and the Bangalore-based women-led collective Aravani Art Project, as well as major 20th-century figures including Amrita Sher-Gil, S.H. Raza, Bhupen Khakar and Jamini Roy. Artists belonging to the Indian diaspora—the world’s largest—will also participate in a handful of national pavilions and official collateral events. One of the three artists representing Finland this year is the Patna-born Vidha Saumya, who is showing cross-stitched digital photographs. And Eva Koťátková’s Czech and Slovak pavilion about a dead giraffe is made in collaboration with Himali Singh Soin, who is based between New Delhi and London.
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mercredi 17 avril 2024

‘We Are No Longer Caged’: Indian Trans Artists Reflect on Landmark Court Ruling in Venice

Source ArtNet News by Vivienne Chow
To Karnika Bai, Shanthi Muniswamy, and Joythi H., the opening of their eye-catching, monumental mural Diaspore (2024) at the Arsenale was more than just a celebration of their Venice debut. It was also an event to mark the 10th anniversary of India’s recognition of transgender individuals, a defining moment that allowed these trans artists and their community to start to feel a little less foreign in their own country. “If this edition’s theme, ‘Foreigners Everywhere,’ means being in different cultures and territories where you do not belong, this applies to us too” Bai, one of the lead artists from the Bangalore-based art collective Aravani Art Project, said in an interview during early hours of Tuesday’s pre-opening of the main exhibition of the 60th Venice Biennale curated by Adriano Pedrosa. “We did not feel belong[ing] to the bodies that we were born into. People in our own country see us coming from another country, another culture. We are foreigners.”
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vendredi 12 avril 2024

A major moment for the growing Indian art market

Source Artsy by Hilary Joo
Taking place at the beginning of February, India Art Fair was an all-around success. The fair scaled up its number of exhibitors to more than 100, and galleries reported strong sales from a combination of Indian and international collectors, especially those from Southeast Asia. The momentum of the Indian art market is increasingly drawing international attention. “The Indian economy is growing rapidly along with our population. There is an acute appreciation for visual aesthetics and a tremendous growth in disposable income as the country becomes more self-sustaining,” said Prateek Raja, the director of tastemaking Kolkata gallery Experimenter. “The large educated middle class, who’s interested in culture and art, is growing as well. Ten years ago, most people bought artworks only to decorate, but now people buy artworks to get something meaningful and to capture the moment.”
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9 art shows to check out right now in Mumbai

Source Condé Nast Traveller by Prachi Joshi
Mumbai’s art galleries and museums are buzzing with a slew of fresh and ongoing exhibitions, whether it’s a global street art icon’s first solo in India or a retrospective of a venerable Indian painter. Here’s our selection of shows you shouldn’t miss.
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vendredi 29 mars 2024

BARBICAN ANNOUNCES FIRST MAJOR SURVEY OF PIONEERING INDIAN ART 1975-1998

Source FAD Magazine by Mark Westall
In the autumn of 2024, the Barbican will present The Imaginary Institution of India: Art 1975-1998, the world’s first major exhibition of Indian art to explore and chart a period of significant cultural and political change in the country. Organised in partnership with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, this significant group show will feature over 25 artists and nearly 150 works from across a range of media, including many that will be shown in the UK for the first time. Participating artists include Jyoti Bhatt, Rameshwar Broota, Sheba Chhachhi, Sheela Gowda, Rummana Hussain, Bhupen Khakhar, Nalini Malani, Meera Mukherjee, Madhvi Parekh, Navjot, Gieve Patel, Sudhir Patwardhan, Himmat Shah, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, Arpita Singh, Vivan Sundaram, J. Swaminathan, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Savi Sawarkar, N.N. Rimzon and more.The Imaginary Institution of India: Art 1975-1998 will be accompanied by an integral film programme in Barbican Cinemas which will respond to the themes of the exhibition. This collaboration with Barbican Cinema reinforces the Centre’s commitment to cross-disciplinary programming.
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jeudi 28 mars 2024

The Pilgrimage of Tarshito

Source The New Indian Express by Alexander Sebastian
For Italian artist Tarshito, art is largely, if not entirely, a spiritual affair. At the inauguration of his ongoing exhibition at the National Crafts Museum in Delhi titled ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, the 72-year-old says his artistic practice is inspired by “the magical part of life. It comes from the energy of the sky”. The eponymous concept of all of humanity being one big family has also been the guiding force for his creativity over the years. With works done in collaboration with around 25 traditional artists from across the country, in various styles of art ­— from Gond and Warli to the mural art of Kerala— blended with Tarshito’s own imagination, the exhibition is a celebration of the power of art in bringing together varied cultures and communities.
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dimanche 24 mars 2024

Raza reigns supreme, Souza sets record at New York auctions

Source Bizz Buzz
The last of the big auctions of Indian art in the first season of this year are now over and have left us with some whopping records. At the three sales of modern and contemporary South Asian art held by Sotheby’s (two) and Christie’s (one) in New York this past week, most of the canvases sold for way above their pre-auction estimates, setting records for some artists and pushing the envelope for quite a few others.
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mercredi 20 mars 2024

Rooshad Shroff’s signature furniture line is now canvas to T Venkanna’s provocative art

Source Architectural Digest by Arshia Dhar
“We wanted to take something that people have seen before in terms of shape and form,” Shroff says, explaining why a pre-existing collection of furniture was chosen for the project, to which the artist responded with his unique idiom. Shroff adds, “For example, with the coffee table, we wanted Venkanna to do something with the act of drinking and the pleasure one seeks from it, which he then depicted in the ways he does, where the subject matter—if one is not familiar with his work— might even be considered vulgar." Conceptually, the imagery in the series reiterates the significance of the body as a motif and as a symbol of social commentary, exploring the boundaries of mores, by often performing for an external gaze. The artwork, therefore, challenges notions not only of belonging, control and access, but also of censorship, shame and privacy.
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jeudi 14 mars 2024

Sheher, Prakriti, Devi Ishara Art Foundation

Source Ocula
Recently awarded the 10th Prix Pictet for global photography and sustainability, New Delhi-based artist and photographer Gauri Gill presents her first curatorial project, titled after the Hindustani terms for city, nature, and deity at the Ishara Art Foundation. The exhibition follows Gill's documentation of India's rural and urban spaces since 2003. 'Rememory' imagines cities as spaces shaped by 'multiple life-worlds': a concrete rod sinks into marshland in one image; in another, a gate opens onto an incomplete road.
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6 Standout Works at the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

Source Artsy by Reena Devi
Often, art events in Saudi Arabia show a predilection for the bright and shiny. The second edition of Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, the nation’s major biennale, however, was no such show. Launched with expansive international ambitions, the exhibition showed a geographically diverse range of artists from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Organized by the Diriyah Biennale Foundation and led by artistic director Ute Meta Bauer, the second edition of the biennial opened on February 20th and runs through May 24th.
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mercredi 6 mars 2024

Nikhil Chopra’s 'Line of Fire' at Chatterjee & Lal layers contemporary anxieties

Source Stir World by Manu Sharma
Chopra also enthralled audiences in his live performance at 47-A, donning a metallic costume and drawing landscapes on the gallery’s glass facade. The performance saw the Indian artist develop his work while a soundscape filled the space with natural and unnatural sounds. Winds gushed and birds chirped and were intermittently interrupted by gunshots and the screech of aeroplanes. As was the case with Chopra’s paintings, the sense of discomfort grew gradually at 47-A. The artist’s instrument of choice—lipstick—typically contains heavy metals such as aluminium, cadmium and chromium which can be quite toxic if they enter the body. Chopra’s decision to use lipstick instead of his usual charcoal or pastel was taken to comment on the historical buildup of “toxic histories and ecological contamination” across the earth’s natural environments, as curator and writer Mario D’Souza writes in a press release. The durational performance, along with the larger exhibition it is a part of, provided audiences with cause to reassess our relationship with the planet, and to ponder the extent of toxicity, both literal and metaphorical, that it now carries.
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samedi 2 mars 2024

12 new art shows in India to add to your March 2024 calendar

Source Vogue India by Huzan Tata
March’s roster of new art shows in India incidentally opens with the international fest Art Dubai, where Indian galleries like Experimenter and Latitude 28 are participating, so head to Madinat Jumeirah if you happen to be in the desert city till 3rd March. Closer to home, Srila Chatterjee of Baro Market is curating the annual showcase of the Affordable Art Show from 1st-3rd March at Method Juhu, featuring over 15 artists from across India, while Ahmedabad’s 079 | Stories gallery is showcasing artist Vipul Prajapati’s solo show of paintings and installations. Here’s our pick of what you should definitely catch at galleries this month.
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mardi 13 février 2024

Mumbai Collector Sangita Jindal on Her Sprawling New Contemporary Art Center in Ancient Hampi

Source ArtNet by Lee Carter
Sangita Jindal has been captivated by the ancient city of Hampi in South India since she first laid eyes upon the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the early 1980s. Hampi, explained the prominent art collector and philanthropist, was a “dynamic hub where art, architecture, and literature flourished from the 14th to 16th centuries.” As many as 1,000 temples, shrines, and other monuments were intricately carved out of local granite during Hampi’s heyday. Many of them still stand, making the site a major tourist destination and an auspicious location for Jindal’s long-planned, newly opened art center. Hampi Art Labs—with its organic, stone-like forms designed by architect Sameep Padora—promotes the creation of contemporary art through residencies and workshops that bridge past and present disciplines. It’s the latest initiative from JSW Foundation (which Jindal chairs), the philanthropic wing of the Mumbai-based conglomerate JSW Group (which her husband leads). Together, the couple is well-known for supporting arts and heritage projects in India.
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Inside India’s Booming Art Scene

Source Forbes by Grace Banks In the early days of January, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi spoke for the first time about the Indian contemporary arts scene on his youtube channel. Referencing the India Art, Architecture and Design Biennale held at the Red Fort, New Delhi, in December, which he attended, Modi called the event a “celebration of our country’s diverse heritage and vibrant culture” and spoke about his pleasure at being able to interact with art and artists. Later, he published photos of the event on his own website. For a ten year presidency that has offered little financial support to the arts, and in an election year, this broadcast and coverage felt to some like nothing more than a publicity campaign.
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dimanche 4 février 2024

Politics of purity: Konkan artist shatters sexist stigmas with cow dung, embroidery and more at India Art Fair

Source The Decan Herald by PTI
New Delhi: A yellow tarp in one corner of the India Art Fair presents a sight commonplace in rural India - cow dung cakes plastered to a wall to dry. Look closer, however, and you see the cow dung cakes are stylised in the shape of female genitalia. For Konkani artist Mayuri Chari, the rows of vaginas sculpted in cow dung are a statement against the hypocritical attitude towards menstruation. Through her art, she questions the tradition of banishing women from their homes during their period for purification of the home and a cow is worshipped while a human is rejected for being impure,” Chari told PTI.
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samedi 3 février 2024

The Young Artists To Watch Out For At The India Art Fair 2024

Source The Sunday Guardian by Noor Anand Chawla
The fifteenth edition of the annual India Art Fair (IAF) opened to much fanfare on February 1, 2024 at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds in New Delhi, and is on till Sunday February 4. The grand show features 109 exhibitors with an entire section dedicated to the category of design, in line with the fair’s commitment to celebrating the best of South Asian art and culture. On display are a plethora of works – masterpieces of Indian modernists as well as the works of emerging artists and contemporary masters of traditional arts. Artists from the South Asian diaspora are also part of the milieu. Through this immense display of talent, we kept our eye out for young and emerging artists who were pushing the boundaries with their work. Here is our pick of the best young artists to watch for at the India Art Fair 2024.
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jeudi 18 janvier 2024

Founders Prateek and Priyanka Raja reflect on their journey as Experimenter turns 10

Source The Telegraph by Farah Khatoon
Born out of sheer passion and steered with perseverance and panache, the contemporary art space and gallery stood as a mirror to the current times and emerged as a space for creative spirits who passed on their infectious energy and touched the souls of Calcutta and Calcuttans. "We feel both cities have deep and layered histories and are amalgamations of multi-cultural influences over time. As a result, they both have great institutions and communities that have so much to learn from each other. While the audiences in Calcutta are active and are unhesitating to ask difficult questions, the energy and inquisitiveness in the audiences of Mumbai are unmatched. The arts landscape has continued to evolve albeit at different paces in both Calcutta and Mumbai and new spaces and new models of showing work have emerged, collaborative initiatives have evolved and artist-run spaces have also grown tremendously".
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'Sheher, Prakriti, Devi' an exhibition that marks artist and photographer Gauri Gill's first extensive curation

Source ArtDaily
DUBAI.- Ishara Art Foundation is preseting Sheher, Prakriti, Devi, an exhibition that marks artist and photographer Gauri Gill’s first extensive curation. Ruminating on the interwoven relationship between dynamic cities, the natural environment and the inseparable sacred, the show presents twelve artists and collectives working across diverse contexts of urban, rural, domestic, communitarian, public and non-material spaces. In Gill’s words, “Apart from the sheer beauty and multiple truths expressed by the different artists - from the mundane to the transcendental, the gross to the subtle, and, the manmade to the sacred – through this palimpsestic and idiosyncratic exhibition, I wish to acknowledge those who have found ways to stubbornly persist in their practice, often sharing their work only within their families and local communities, completely outside the circuits and networks of professional artists, contemporary art discourse, galleries and markets… Through this gathering of insistent voices we hope to consider the dualistic worlds of the depleted and regenerative, manmade and natural, colonial and Indigenous, young and old, English and non-English, mundane and magical, absent and present.”
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mardi 16 janvier 2024

In Strong Economy, India Art Fair Boasts Biggest Edition Yet

Source Ocula by Sam Gaskin
India Art Fair will present 108 exhibitors and a new design section when it returns to the NSIC Exhibition Grounds in New Delhi from 1 to 4 February. 'We are proud to be able to host the wide spectrum of creativity in the region, from the most established artists and designers to the emerging stars of tomorrow,' said Jaya Asokan, Fair Director of India Art Fair. India's art market is tiny by global standards, with total sales valued at U.S. $144.3 million in 2023 compared to $30.2 billion in the world's largest market, the United States. But it is growing quickly, up from $106 million in 2020–21, according to the State of the Indian Art Market Report FY23 by Grant Thornton Bharat and Indian Art Investor. And art dealers in India have favourable economic winds at their back. The Reserve Bank of India is projecting real GDP growth of 7% for the country in 2023–24. That's leagues ahead of the 2024 outlook for China (4.6%), the United States (2.35%), and the United Kingdom (0.7%). 'Our programme of commissions and projects is our most ambitious yet and we are proud to have such an illustrious group of experts taking part in our talks programme and workshops,' Asokan said. 'This year, more than any other, we will see the real power and potential of South Asia at India Art Fair,' she added.
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mardi 21 novembre 2023

Galleries and Collectors Applaud Inaugural Art Mumbai

Source Ocula by Shreya Ajmani
Mumbai's ambitious new art fair is here. Art Mumbai featured 53 galleries from India and beyond at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse from 16 to 19 November. The excitement was palpable on opening day. Galleries across India were particularly thrilled to meet new clients in the country's financial capital. For those rooted in Mumbai, the sentiment was one of gratitude as they revelled in their local advantage. Many expressed their delight at sharing this experience with friends and family who would not typically travel for a fair, but could now experience one in their city for the first time in their collecting journeys. Art Mumbai separated modern and contemporary works of art in two distinct tents.
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Experimenter 2023: “The Contemporary Art World Cannot Work in Its Own Bubble”

Source ArtReview
We had just started our programming in 2009 and were encountering such incredible exhibitions taking place all over the world, but found no place to know more or to speak about these exhibitions and learn from the amazing minds who had given them shape, had thought intensely about the ideas that anchored these exhibitions and literally brought them to life. We were quick to also realise that in other geographies the role of non-commercial institutions was significant, we had no such institution in a country as large as India (we still do not have such an institution) and if we wanted to pursue our need to know, we had to build this dialogue from the ground up. And that is exactly what we did and continue to do 13 years on. It felt like a responsibility, and a way to give back to the community we represent.
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