CONTEMPORARY ONE WORD SEVERAL WORLDS

lundi 11 mai 2020

NON-FICTION: THE FORGOTTEN INDIAN ARTISTS


Source Dawn by Nageen Shaikh
The British did not colonise the Indian Subcontinent only for spices and land. In fact, they were quite deeply enamoured of the indigenous flora and fauna of this diversely populated part of South Asia. In the late 1700s, British patrons of the East India Company hired many local Indian artists to create albums and folios with intricately detailed and polished paintings and drawings of India’s native bounty — the natural world of plants, animals and birds. These works were collectively termed ‘Company Painting’. However, the degradation of traditional Indian painting, because of the arrival of colonial forms of education and the dawn of photography, overshadowed these original works, driving them well into obscurity. The book Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company accompanies the art exhibition of the same name at The Wallace Collection, a museum in London. As the exhibit jolts our fascination by bringing these obscure Indian masterpieces to public view, the catalogue is refreshingly complete with an introduction by the exhibition’s guest curator and historian William Dalrymple.
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mercredi 6 mai 2020

Zarina Hashmi, Artist of a World in Search of Home, Dies at 82


Source The New York Times by Holland Cotter
In recent years the political scope of Ms. Hashmi’s work has sharpened, in prints that refer to anti-Muslim violence and the plight of persecuted refugees. Even then, in its scale and reflective mood, her art remains as personal and intimate as a diary. Regret colors the narrative. (“Nobody is left in our house at Aligarh. Rani is gone. My parents are gone. Home has become another foreign place.”) But something like serenity settled in. “I have had people come to my show and start to cry,” Ms. Hashmi said in her interview with the Met. “I always ask them why, and usually they say, ‘That is our story also.’ A lot of them were people who were exiles from their own country: Holocaust survivors, or people who had the desire to return home. I realize that if you tell your story and if someone can come and cry on your shoulder, that is sharing.”
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vendredi 1 mai 2020

Art in the time of COVID: 10 galleries from India and Dubai come together for a one-of-a-kind digital exhibition


Source Architectural Digest by Kriti Saraswat-Satpathy
Even in the grimmest of times, art has the power to uplift, bring about a change and influence. Take this COVID-19 quarantine time for instance, with art talks, conferences, exhibitions and auctions being suspended. But creativity cannot be contained, and as a response to this pandemic, a new-age, futuristic digital platform has emerged called ‘In Touch’ that will bring together a diverse range of programmes, exhibitions and artists from various galleries. For its first edition, 10 galleries from India and Dubai will be showcasing works of artists that hold relevance in this unique time. We give you a preview of this unique, innovative digital exhibition.
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Artist Dhruvi Acharya’s watercolours, which are up for sale, are helping tide over this crisis


Source Architectural Digest by Ritupriya Basu
“I paint because I almost have to, for my peace of mind,” says artist Dhruvi Acharya, when quizzed about her relationship with art. Painting, for Acharya, is a process that is equally cathartic and meditative, a telling aspect of her practice that reflects in her elaborate, psychologically complex drawings. Ever since India went under a nation-wide lockdown to battle the Coronavirus pandemic, Acharya started painting, almost compulsively, to help untangle her thoughts and take stock of her emotions.
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IN SCULPTURES AND PRINTS, MRINALINI MUKHERJEE CAPTURED THE WILDNESS OF NATURE


Source Art in America by Skye Arundhati Thomas
Born in Mumbai in 1949, two years after Indian Independence, Mrinalini Mukherjee, who died in 2015, belonged to a generation of artists emerging in the 1960s who attempted to decolonize the young nation’s visual arts. Primarily a fiber-based sculptor, she used materials indigenous to South Asia, like hemp, jute, cotton, wool, and sisal, updating Indian craft techniques to develop a unique hybrid language that combined the traditional and the modern. She frequently modeled her sculptures on flora but—as Nilima Sheikh recalls in the catalogue for the artist’s 2015 retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi—had no interest in “pretty English landscapes.” Instead, her inspirations tended to be wild and tropical: spiky date palms and lush mango groves, bougainvillea and plantain trees.
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mercredi 29 avril 2020

Zarina Hashmi (1937-2020): An artist whose work is woven with ideas of displacement and mobility


Source Scroll'in by Zehra Jumabhoy
Ideas of displacement and mobility are woven throughout her oeuvre. The subject of home is key: Father’s House 1898-1994 (1994) is a print depicting the floor plan of her childhood home. In Homes I Made/A Life in Nine Lines (1997) a set of nine spare, shadowy prints represent the homes Zarina occupied during her adult life. Homes I Made (1984-’92) is a collection of minute aluminium and terracotta houses, fitted with wheels. Most famous of all is Home is A Foreign Place (1999) a suite of 36 woodblock prints, which includes a miniature floor plan of her Aligarh home; a vertical line and a horizontal one; black triangles; cream squares and crosses. Most of these fragile forms are accompanied by Urdu words for “journey,” “border,” “road,” and “time”. Home is a shifting concept in these works – as it was in her life.
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lundi 27 avril 2020

Internationally celebrated artist Zarina Hashmi passes away


Source The Daily Star by Zahangir Alom
The enigmatic lines took innumerable forms in Zarina Hashmi's works – at times they appeared as political borders, on other occasions, they exemplified her interest in architecture. They were jagged veins that denoted vague and distinct memories that the artist gathered from experiences and interactions with people and places across the world. Zarina Hashmi lived in numerous cities, from Aligarh to Bangkok, Paris, New York and London, and in every place, she sought to create a home. She passed away in London, at 83, after a prolonged illness. Contemporary Indian poet, art critic, cultural theorist and independent curator Ranjit Hoskote made the announcement about the death of the celebrated Indian-born American artist on Twitter, on April 26.
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samedi 25 avril 2020

Mortimer Chatterjee and Tara Lal on pushing the boundaries of contemporary art


Source Elle India by Krutika Behrawala
While Instagram helps with the outreach, it’s made their job as gallerists more challenging too. “There’s an assumption that once you’ve scrolled through the exhibition online, you don’t need to make the effort to visit a gallery…” he rues. Lal interjects, “That’s a disadvantage because then, you can never know the impact of an artwork.” Their unfettered spirit and diverse choices reflect in the gallery’s curatorial calendar, which is increasingly seeing exhibitions related to historical material. Their recent exhibitions have shone the spotlight on lesser-known artists such as Riten Mozumdar and Rustom Siodia. “The Indian art scene has been so focused on five-six names that it has missed out on a rich history. We enjoy teasing out these forgotten stories and hope to keep doing so,” says Chatterjee.
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vendredi 10 avril 2020

Overlooked No More: F.N. Souza, India’s Anti-Establishment Artist


Source The New York Times by William Grimes
His art would find new admirers. Tate Britain, as part of the 2018 exhibition “All Too Human: Bacon, Freud, and a Century of Painting Life,” set aside an entire room showcasing 10 of his works. Later that year, the Asia Society in New York included several of Souza’s works in “The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India,” a show devoted to the Progressive Artists’ Group, and a stirring reminder of Souza’s headlong charge into the future. “We were bold and full of fire,” Souza told The Times of India in 1989. “We were forging a modern Indian art with a blast!”
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Carpe Arte encourages you to support Indian contemporary art by engaging with it.


Source Carpe Arte
Carpe Arte is a play on the Latin ‘Carpe Diem’ and encourages you to Seize the Art. An art enthusiasts organization, We aim to build a community that supports Indian contemporary art by engaging with it and making it more accessible through talks, gallery walk-throughs, workshops, VIP previews, visits to private collections and visits to artists studios. Art is an important part of our history and it is important that we support it but this can only happen if we engage with it. The art world can be daunting, we help simplify it by giving you access to all the information, inviting you to join us when we attend events and encouraging you to ask questions – we truly believe there are no stupid questions when it comes to understanding art.
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dimanche 29 mars 2020

Allegory of unheard Dhongariya Kondh’s (tribal) of Odisha


Source India City Blog by Nimi Shasharma
Allegory of unheard Dhongariya Kondh’s (tribal) of Odisha Under the canopy of Niyamgiri Hills situated in Odisha resides an endangered and unheard group of tribal known to be Dhongariya Kondh. The forests of Rayagada and Kalahandi are home to 8000 tribals. For these tribals, the hills are home to their God Niyam Raja. These hills are situated miles away from the hustle of city, behind the woods. Since generations, these tribal groups are breathing in this fresh air and sustaining on the fruits, vegetables, cultivation and by practicing horticulture. They spend their time together by singing, dancing, chanting old mantras, weaving, knitting and helping each other. They were elated in their own tiny world till Vedanta came into their lives.
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samedi 28 mars 2020

The Indispensable Modernist: Francis Newton Souza


Source Livemint by Vivek Menezes
Precisely 18 years ago, the tumultuous and meteoric life of Francis Newton Souza came to an end. The great Indian modernist had been based in New York for decades but died on 28 March 2002 while visiting Mumbai, the beloved city of his youth and initial ascent to notoriety. He was buried two days later,with only a handful of witnesses, and no family members in attendance. The rest of the world barely paid any attention at all. Writing in the Deccan Herald a fortnight later, the poet and editor Adil Jussawalla was white-hot angry about what he called “the near-indifference to his death, the mealy-mouthed praise". He wrote: “I’m shocked. He was more than a friend. Surely there’s little doubt he was one of our greatest painters." Jussawalla pointed back to the artist’s A Fragment Of An Autobiography, first published to great acclaim in England in 1955, then republished in India, writing, “Hardly anyone in a city which buys, sells and talks art all the time and which has pretensions to be one of the art’s international capitals, seems to have been interested in buying the book since copies can be bought off one of the city’s pavements at ₹10 each." He quoted this unforgettable passage: “I was a rickety child with running nose and running ears, and scared of every adult and every other child. Better had I died. Would have saved me a lot of trouble. I would not have had to bear an artist’s tormented soul, create art in a country that despises her artists and is ignorant of her heritage." Concluded Jussawalla, “It’s something I read with great bitterness now."
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samedi 14 mars 2020

One World Through Art: A Review of Modernisms at the Block Museum

Source Newcityart by Chris Miller
Sixty years ago, Abby Weed Grey began traveling to Iran, Turkey and northern India to collect art. A childless, recently widowed St. Paul housewife, she used her late husband’s small fortune to establish a foundation for “the encouragement of art through the assembling of international collections of art for cultural exchange programs.” Such a project may have been inspired by the tours of “New American Paintings” throughout Europe, sponsored by the CIA in the late 1950s. She focused on Middle Eastern artists who were “breaking with the past to cope with the present,” much like modern artists in Europe and America had been doing for half a century. It does not appear that she had any aesthetic or ideological requirements—except that, like the mainstream art world of her day and ours, she must have considered beauty, naturalism and idealism to be outdated relics from another era.
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lundi 9 mars 2020

Home of Warli Adivasi revolt, Talasari’s loyalty to the Left deepens


Source The Indian Express by Kavitha Iyer
There is no memorial at the banyan tree around which the Warli Adivasi Revolt of 1945 began in Talasari taluka’s Zari village. Nearly 5,000 indentured tribals who gathered here from Thane, Vikramgad, Dahanu and Palghar had refused to work on landlords’ fields until they received 12 annas a day in wages, their resistance sowing the first seeds of rights-based movements among the region’s indigenous communities. Today, the younger generation in Zari, 150 km from Mumbai, has no more than a faint acquaintanceship with their ancestors’ historic struggle but a blend of that history and contemporary circumstances keeps Talasari’s adivasis loyal to those who led that revolt, the Communist Party and the All India Kisan Sabha.
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jeudi 5 mars 2020

Delhi: This new show celebrates legendary works by SH Raza and Akbar Padamsee


Source Architectural Digest by Uma Nair
Rare artworks by the masters are not just precious pieces of possession—they are also timeless assets, things that can be cherished for generations to come. Nishad Avari, Specialist, Head of Sale | Associate Vice President, South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art at Christie’s writes in from New York to comment on this epic exhibition at Vadehra Art Gallery: “Two of India’s greatest modern artists, Sayed Haider Raza and Akbar Padamsee always approached their respective practices with deep thought and intense focus, constantly pushing boundaries and innovating their unique visual vocabularies. Till their very last years, both artists continued to paint tirelessly, and are survived by impressive and diverse bodies of work. ”
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mercredi 4 mars 2020

India’s indigenous modernist: Jyoti Bhatt


Source Times of India by Uma Nair
Bhatt’s vast documentation of rural India brought him into the web exploring folk, tribal and rural arts-his stint in photography to document India’s indigenous tribes and arts in its villages brought him close to traditional art, culture and rituals. Traditions in rural rhythms led him into a journey of a lifetime. The imagery drawn from the popular and from tribal and folk juxtaposed with artistic intervention developed over the years became his leitmotif. These symbols of religious, social and cultural importance became a tool to comment on the change and transformation in society. Soft sarcasm and soothing seductive satire aided his narratives. Identity and the hybridisation of the lived everyday idiom became his insignia. At the Bihar Museum in Patna, art lovers regaled over his contours, the expression emanating an enchanting journey of 60 years in printmaking. Happy Birthday Jyoti Bhai.
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mardi 3 mars 2020

In Conversation with Shine Shivan

vendredi 21 février 2020

The champion of Indian art


Source Livemint by Avantika Bhuyan
A new film chronicles Kekoo Gandhy’s role as a central figure on the contemporary art scene. In the 1940s, the showroom of Chemould Frames on Princess Street in Mumbai—a frame-manufacturing business run by a young Kekoo Gandhy—would be abuzz with exchanges on art. European Jewish immigrants such as Walter Langhammer, an Austrian artist—who had come to India to flee the Nazis—would drop in for a chat. This spurred Gandhy’s interest in art and he went on to establish Gallery Chemould, India’s first commercial art gallery, with his wife, Khorshed, in 1963. Gandhy, in the course of time, hosted exhibitions by Bhupen Khakhar, Tyeb Mehta, S. H. Raza, Vivan Sundaram, Nalini Malani, and Atul Dodiya, who are now at the forefront of contemporary art.
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mercredi 19 février 2020

After a Boom and a Bust, the South Asian Art Market Is Finally Maturing


Source Artsy by Payal Uttam
The coronavirus outbreak may be keeping art collectors away from cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore, but it didn’t affect footfall at the India Art Fair (IAF) in New Delhi earlier this month. “I’m sure if people came here they would be very surprised,” said Indonesian collector Tom Tandio while standing in a bustling fair aisle. “A lot of international collectors have the wrong perception about contemporary South Asian art. They think it’s very traditional, but it’s not.” “There has been a big change this year,” said Jagdip Jagpal, the director of IAF, stressing growing international interest in the region. “People come across works by South Asian artists in Europe and the United States, which has piqued their curiosity, so they came to Delhi. There’s really been an impact.” “The art fair is a huge benchmark for how the market is looking,” said Kishore Singh, who heads exhibitions and publications at Delhi Art Gallery. “Today, you can feel a new energy.”
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CPI(M)'s red flag continues to fly in Maharashtra's Talasari

Source Deccan Herald
The twin Thane-Palghar districts have the glorious legacy of the Warli Adivasi Revolt against landlordism that began 75 years ago, in 1945, under the banner of the Communist Party and the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS). "The legendary leaders of this... > read more

vendredi 14 février 2020

Portrait of the Artist

Source The Indian Express by Parul
“I regret I was not able to archive the contributions of Manjit Bawa, Sohan Qadri, KG Subramanyan and Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh. The smaller towns and rural areas do not have resources or facilities for the study of fine arts, so what do the students do and where do they get the information. Here, we are focussing on archiving the entire spectrum. We have also started documenting artists from Punjab, in Punjabi language, and I believe every state should do this. We must create in our own language and our own thoughts and not on borrowed idioms. The younger generation must be aware of its own art history, starting from folk, classical, modern and then to world art and we hope this documentation will support their passion,” adds Manna.
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How designer Riten Mozumdar shaped modern Indian aesthetics and sensibilities


Source The Indian Express by Benita Fernando
In artist Monika Correa’s sari collection, there was one with block-prints that instantly recalled Rome. It was made using a block designed by Riten Mozumdar, a close friend of Monika and her late husband, architect Charles Correa, in 1961. Mozumdar had seen the Palazzo della Civilta Italiana, also called the Square Colosseum, in Rome, and recreated its rows of arches on a block. With this design, that he called Rome by Night, Mozumdar captured an essence of Roman architecture and distilled the city’s history into a geometric pattern. Mozumdar designed several more saris, and even a kimono, for Correa, using block-printing and calligraphy, long before other Indian artists made it fashionable to paint textiles. Geometric block-print patterns were unheard of in India before that. Correa says, “Riten was the first person to revitalise block-printing post-Independence. There were others but they were traditional, doing the same thing over and over again. Riten was experimenting.” The garment, the block, the maker and the wearer come together in “Imprint”, an ongoing mini retrospective of Mozumdar’s work at Chatterjee & Lal in Mumbai. The exhibition pays homage to this relatively understudied designer, who blurred the lines between art, craft and design.
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jeudi 13 février 2020

Block Museum Of Art At Northwestern University Continues ‘Year Of Global Modernisms’ Exhibition Series


Source Forbes by Chadd Scott
A broader interpretation of Modern art has only recently begun taking hold with museums introducing artists of color, women and artists operating outside of the traditional art capitols into the 100 year story of Modern art they’re telling. The most prominent example of this new direction occurred last fall with New York’s Museum of Modern Art taking advantage of a complete renovation to vastly expand its presentation of works from African-Americans, women and artists around the globe. Similarly, the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Chicago launched its “Year of Global Modernisms” in 2019. This series of exhibits explores the under-recognized innovation and risk-taking in art beyond Europe and North America during the mid-20th century, expanding Western perspectives of Modern art. With nearly 700 artworks, 114 on view in this show, the Abby Weed Grey Collection represents the largest institutional assemblage of modern Iranian and Turkish art outside of Iran and Turkey as well as the most important collection of modern Indian art in an American university museum.
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‘Most people know when I’m bidding’ — Kiran Nadar has big plans for Indian art


Source Christie's by E Jane Dickson
Art should not be locked away,’ says Kiran Nadar, and one imagines vaults the world over springing open at her words. It is clear, within moments of meeting her, that this is a woman who gets things done. ‘It’s true,’ she says, smiling warmly. ‘I am very determined. Building a collection requires a certain focus, and I am very focused on making art part of everyday living in India.’ In only a decade, Nadar has built, from scratch, the first private museum of modern and contemporary art in India, and already the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in New Delhi has the clout of a national institution. More than 6,000 pieces describe the arc of Indian and South Asian art, from late 19th-century masters such as Raja Ravi Varma, through the modern explosion of the Bombay Progressives, to conceptual, confrontational works by emerging artists.
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lundi 10 février 2020

Footbridge of Memories


Source The Indian Express by Pallavi Chattopadhyay
Honi, a “miracle maker” in Talmud, a Jewish religious text, is waking back from sleep after 70 years in French contemporary artist Gerard Garouste’s mammoth painting Warsaw Bridge and the She-Asses, on display at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Delhi. In the background is the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest Jewish ghetto in Germany-occupied Poland that housed nearly 4,80,000 Jews at one point of time, before sending them to gas chambers and mass killing centres. The canvas speaks volumes to the viewer, as it has a number of captured donkeys hoarded together under a foot over bridge on Chlodna Street, which became a tragic image from World War II and a powerful depiction of the Holocaust.
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