mercredi 30 août 2017

Indian Modernist masterpieces to go under the hammer at Christie’s auction in New York

Source Architectural Digest
At Christie’s Asian Art Week, works by artists, including Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Adi Davierwalla, Akbar Padamsee, Jehangir Sabavala, Ganesh Pyne, Manjit Bawa, and others, will go under the hammer at the South Asian Modern + Contemporary art auction in Rockefeller Center.
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Keeping the family legacy alive! Pharma scion Adar Poonawalla wants to promote Indian art museums

Source The Economic Times
He is the owner of an enviable art collection. Now, Adar Poonawalla, pharmaceutical scion and CEO of Serum Institute of India, has acquired a seminal Tyeb Mehta, oil-on-canvas creation from Astaguru's recently concluded 'Modern & Contemporary Indian Art' online auction. Poonawalla's passion for Indian art continues his family's legacy of supporting and encouraging Indian art, which the businessman believes, represents our culture. Therefore, in order to facilitate and spread awareness, Poonawalla plans on setting up an art museum showcasing the best works of modern and contemporary Indian artists. Stellar works that are part of the family's art collection will also be displayed in the museum.
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mardi 29 août 2017

How performance art is breaking new ground in India

Source Daily'O by Chinki Sinha
Ayyakann, the 73-year-old farmer, sat in the sun debating whether on Monday, which would be the 42nd day, they would shackle themselves and be dragged on the streets in yet another performance of protest. But before that, they would drink urine and eat human excreta. Performance, he said, was needed to induce reaction. It would be ephemeral. No act would be repeated. The farmer, who is a lawyer by education and dabbled in politics before orchestrating such protests, is aware of the subtleties and body shock value of performance art. And his tool isn’t the canvas or any material to depict the fragility of the human body and its suffering but the body itself. The body is the carrier of the trauma. So, when they had decided to stage protests at Jantar Mantar, they had scripted their performance. They had dug the graves, got the skulls and brought them over to the national capital and hung them around their necks. Ayyakann knew about the politics of invisibility. He knew they can’t be invisible men. Dadism, an art movement that channelised hyper imagination and realism, used everyday objects. These were their tools of performance. The farmers from Tamil Nadu had mice hanging from their mouths in an almost performance like protest to show their suffering. But who is a performance artist in India? Is such art without purpose? Is purpose important? Who is a performance artist? Is everything performance art here? Is it democratic?
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lundi 28 août 2017

What you see when you see: Clay: A Modernist take on tradition

Source Bangalore Mirror by Suresh Jayaram
This is the season of Ganesha chaturti and we see the much loved and manipulated icon been made in clay. But there has always been an elephantine problem when the ritual of ‘visarjan’- immersion and the aftermath of toxic paints and Plaster of Paris. As the festivities come to a close the lakes look like a war zone of bamboo armatures, fragmented Ganeshas floating and the dead fish. Here we see how a tradition of using clay and returning it to the lake is a cycle, a lesson in letting go has become a show of strength and size. In the contemporary Indian art context terracotta as a material has fascinated a few significant artists.
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Jogi art: The folk form developed and practised by a single family

Source Scroll'In by Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri
Ganesh Jogi and his wife Teju Jogi were nomadic bards who made a living by moving from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, singing traditional, devotional folk songs in the morning. In return they got grain, clothes and money. In the 1970s, Indian artist and cultural anthropologist Haku Shah came across the natives of Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, and insisted that they draw their songs to give the stories a visual vocabulary. Thus was born the folk art form named after the couple who created it – Jogi art.
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dimanche 27 août 2017

Mumbai sculptor finds his calling in scrap wood and The Space Age

Source Mid-Day by Benita Fernando
It is only in recent years that the interest in Davierwalla's legacy has been rekindled, largely through the showcase provided by two iterations of the exhibition, No Parsi is an Island: A Curatorial Re-reading Across 150 Years, in 2013 and 2016, curated by Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote. Adajania, a cultural theorist, says that when they showed sculptures and sketchbooks by Davierwalla, in the first iteration of No Parsi is an Island in Mumbai, people were amazed by how contemporary these works appeared.
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Power Agent

Source Pune Mirror by Vinutha Mallya
Gunwale next show, which will open in January 2018 at the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) in Berlin and Stuttgart, will deal with riots. “It is a crucial moment to reflect on the characteristics and long-term impact of the riot. In Gujarat, Sri Lanka, London — different riots of particular forms, of such different languages — they were complete eruptions. A lot is written about war and rebellions. However, an examination within the arts, on riots across phases in history and geopolitical spheres, in view of the rising far-right influence as an endemic force, must be carried out,” said the curator about her forthcoming project.
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jeudi 24 août 2017

Art market needs to go up to propel artists to top

Source Business Standard
"The trend in the world is... the people of a particular culture tend to buy the art of their culture, so as economies develop, the art of those economies tend to be the ones that have the highest price at that particular point. For example, that is the reason why Western art dominates not just in prices but also the canon of art history because it has been written by them for themselves. It was never meant to be holistic and look at the rest of the world. That way we will have to do the hard work." Similarly, she said, in the 1970s and 1980s as the Japanese economy developed, Japanese art became highly priced because the Japanese people were buying it and anything the Japanese were touching, its (price) was becoming quite high. "Later on when the Korean economy went up, Korean art became very collectible. It was the Koreans who were buying it. So that's the phenomena which you are seeing with Chinese art. And Indian art, obviously is not there yet. If it is to come up, it's going to be a question of what we see in the economy," says Art Institute Chicago's curator Madhuvanti Ghose.
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mercredi 23 août 2017

A squad from Bombay of the ‘bloody 90s’

Source The New Indian Express by Sooraj Rajmohan
“Such is life,” says V Sanjay Kumar to CE when asked about how he ended up in literature. “I would say my marriage changed my life (laughs). It was in 1989 and someone gifted us an art piece by MF Hussain. I became fascinated by that and that’s how I stepped in to a gallery and then eventually writing,” says Sanjay about his transition from the corporate world to the art world. After graduating from IIM in 1982, he set up businesses in investment banking, stock broking, banking software and finally in Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, on contemporary art.
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What to Expect at New York’s Asian Art Week Sales

Source Observer by Alanna Martinez
The second week in September will be one-stop shopping for enthusiasts of Asian Art in New York. From September 12-16, Christie’s and Sotheby’s are planning a series of sales dedicated to art and significant objects across a diverse spectrum of categories, including ceramics, painting, calligraphy, sculpture and more.
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samedi 19 août 2017

Altaf Mohamedi’s art of dissent

Source Livemint by Sanjukta Sharma
Altaf Mohamedi was quintessentially an artist of the 1960s. His college years in London influenced the politics of his early career as an artist. And after returning to his home in Mumbai in 1967, he joined Proyom (Progressive Youth Movement), which was Marxist-Leninist and sympathetic to the Naxalbari cause. In those years, Mohamedi took his posters to the streets, and his paintings to the schools and Dalit colonies of Mumbai. He and his artist wife Navjot, who was also interested in looking outward, but in more experimental ways, believed that the social, interactive nature of art could help transform the status quo. A retrospective of the works of Mohamedi (who died in 2005) opens at the DAG Modern Art Gallery in Mumbai today.
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Pour some love on Ashiesh Shah’s Lingam Bench

Source Livemint by Komal Sharma
The phallic form of the Shiva lingam has always had a strong appeal among artists and designers. For instance, the late Italian modernist, Ettore Sottsass—whose retrospectives are being held at the Met Breuer, New York, and the Venice Art Biennale—explored the form in his own whimsical rendition in the 1990s, creating Lingam vases and the Ceramiche di Shiva. Mumbai-based interior designer and architect Ashiesh Shah is no exception. “The Shiva lingam is a form that recurs in my work, one way or another; in rounded arches, in combining domes and cylinders, there’s always an undercurrent. It is one form that hasn’t been owned by the West. It’s completely ours and has such a strong spiritual connect,” says Shah, who decided to devote a project to the exploration of the form.
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vendredi 18 août 2017

19th Century Swadeshi Art

Source Akar Prakar by Ashit Paul
The Mughal era, famous for its art and architecture, was coming to an end and the French and Portuguese had established their trading outposts during the time of Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal. The European foreigners, like the Mughals, had a lavish lifestyle with art, especially paintings, forming an important aspect of it. Again, like the Mughals, these traders used local artists to satisfy their aesthetic sense and in places like Chinsurah, Chandarnagar and Serampore, these artists were commissioned for portrait paintings.
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No Free Show

Source The Indian Express by Leher Kala
Any original endeavour that provides thrilling new insight to an old order, whether it’s an essay or a stand-up comedy act, falls within the broad definition of art. In which case, there can be very little justification for taxing AR Rahman differently from Jamini Roy. In Ireland, for example, from 1969 onwards, there was an artists tax exemption scheme that applied to visual artists, composers and writers on the grounds that they made very little money and needed to be incentivised to create. It was reworked in 2004 after the recession forced the country to overhaul its tax code and citizens complained because high earning performers like U2, and writers like Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), weren’t paying their taxes. Mexico has a payment-in-kind programme that allows artists to pay income tax with their work: If an artist sells between one and six pieces of work in a year, one must be donated to the government.
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5 minutes with... A masterpiece by V. S. Gaitonde

Source Christie's by Nishad Avari
Everything starts from silence,’ the Indian artist Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde (1924-2001) once said. ‘The silence of the brush, the silence of the canvas, the silence of the painting knife. The painter starts by absorbing all these silences... No one part of you is working there. Your entire being is.’ An advocate of Zen Buddhism, Gaitonde saw painting as a spiritual endeavour and not something to be rushed, either in conception or execution. He painted, on average, just five or six canvases a year. In the past decade, however, the Indian artist’s reputation has witnessed a sharp rise, including the retrospective exhibition, Painting as Process, Painting as Life, at the Guggenheim in New York, in 2014-15. Commercial success has matched institutional recognition. At the inaugural Christie’s auction in India, held in Mumbai in 2013, Gaitonde’s Untitled (1979) sold for INR 237,025,000 / $3.8 million, making it the most expensive painting ever by an Indian artist. Two years later, that record fell to another Gaitonde canvas, Untitled, from 1995, which fetched INR 293,025,000 / $4.4 million.
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dimanche 13 août 2017

Decoding Gandhi through art

Source The Hindu by Udayan Vajpeyi
What was it that Gandhi was trying to communicate through the charkha? He was suggesting that the various indigenous ways of living and creating are still vital and that one should try to revive their potential, not out of nostalgia of any kind, but to be able to revitalise our own creative and constructive energies. He also meant that Indians would have to engage in serious dialogue with the traditions of the country and avoid being mere imitators of the then dominant powers of the world, that is, the colonising powers of Europe. This approach was drastically different from what we have called the anatomical approach which, in a sense, reduced Gandhi to a mere freedom fighter. Instead, these other artists saw Gandhi as a thought process, as an unfinished task; the task of getting this civilisation to decolonise itself.
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samedi 12 août 2017

The art of not forgetting

Source Livemint by Rosalyn D’Mello
She’s not certain of the colour—she suspects it was white—but it was definitely a Maruti Omni. Shilpa Gupta is tracing her way back to 1999, eight years after India’s economy opened up, when the van had become a ubiquitous fixture on the country’s roads. She was about 23, and had just got her degree in sculpture from Mumbai’s Sir JJ School of Art, when she participated as one of 24 artists at the newly instituted Khoj International Artists Residency at Modinagar in Uttar Pradesh, along with Subodh Gupta, Anita Dube, Tallur L.N., and Navjot Altaf. During one outing, Gupta found herself occupying one of the back seats. The Pakistani artist Huma Mulji sat across. They had already forged a friendship, communicating in both English and Urdu. “Within this setting, Aar Paar was being born,” Gupta recounts during our interview at her studio in Bandra, Mumbai.
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jeudi 10 août 2017

Top 10

Source Pune Mirror
One of Mumbai’s most cutting-edge contemporary art galleries, Chatterjee & Lal, turns 10 this week. The couple behind the Colaba space, Mortimer Chatterjee and Tara Lal, is putting together a show that opens on Thursday. Titled ‘The Ten-Year Hustle’, it will have on display works by Nikhil Chopra, Sahej Rahal, Minam Apang, Nityan Unnikrishnan as well as historical material by artists who have been influential on the programme — Nasreen Mohamedi, Zarina Hashmi and Pilloo Pochkhanwala. Though their eponymous firm was formed in 2003, shortly after the auction house Bowrings (where they both worked) shut operations in India, they started to work out of a gallery in Phillips Antiques. Its owner Farooq Issa handed the couple the responsibility of managing its shows for a full year. A twopart retrospective of Mohamedi’s work and exhibitions by Sudarshan Shetty and Rashid Rana followed, and so did the desire to acquire their own space. In fact, it was Chatterjee’s father who found them their current 1,600 square foot space.
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Galleria Continua, la Visite aux Moulins

Source Mowwgli par Patrice Huchet
Galleria Continua consacre quelques salles aux œuvres les plus marquantes de Nikhil Chopra, artiste indien travaille aux frontières du théâtre, de la performance, de la peinture, de la photographie et de la sculpture. Il conçoit des personnages qui s’appuient sur l’histoire des lieux qu’il investit pour ces performances. Il incarne ses personnages, en grande partie improvisés, dans des performances qui peuvent durer plusieurs jours. L’artiste leur donne vie grâce à des costumes élaborés, qu’il inter change tout au long pour indiquer la permutation de ses personnages. Chopra vient fréquemment habiter personnellement son espace dans l’exposition au moment de l’inauguration. Passant d’hier à aujourd’hui, de l’Orient à l’Occident, de l’homme à la femme, Nikhil Chopra signe des performances raffinées qui questionnent les notions d’identité et d’hybridité culturelles, mais aussi la façon dont le monde contemporain transforme le paysage et sa représentation.
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mercredi 9 août 2017

Big names flock to Cuba’s first contemporary art space

Source The Malay Mail
Now the first ever international contemporary art space on the Communist-ruled island has been dubbed Arte Continua, or “art goes on,” reflecting the changes shaping Havana. The concept, originally from Italy, brings leading contemporary artists to an island that has been under one-party rule for more than half a century. It is an offshoot of a project called Galleria Continua which started when Italians Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo had the idea of setting up contemporary art spaces in the most unlikely places, starting in 1990 in the medieval Italian village of San Gimignano. They scored a notable coup when they installed a gallery in China in 2005. The Havana space includes work from big names including Michelangelo Pistoletto, Daniel Buren of France, British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor, India’s Shilpa Gupta and the late Greek-Italian artist Jannis Kounellis.
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Godavari Parulekar: A Life Of Activism

Source Feminims in India by Aishwarya Javalgekar
During her work with the Kisan Sabha, Godavari came across the problems of the Warli community. The Warli people were pushed into forced and bonded labour by wealthy landlords who had usurped their land. The Warli women, considered less pure than the men, were being raped by the landlords, accused of witchcraft and killed. Godavari devoted her life to the struggle of the Warlis. Along with Shamrao, she led the Warli Adivasi Revolt which swept parts of Maharashtra from 1945 to 1947. Not only did the revolt end forced labour and establish fixed wages, but it became an integral part of the pre-independence movement against landlordism.
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mardi 8 août 2017

Sneak Peek: Omar Kholeif On Abu Dhabi Art

Source Harper's Bazaar by Dr Omar Kholeif
I am particularly excited to be welcoming Spruth Magers gallery to the region for the first time with a beautifully curated solo booth by Otto Pienne. I am also thrilled that Marian Goodman Gallery will be bringing a beautiful presentation of Giuseppe Pennone's work. Beyond that, I am also excited that Jhaveri Contemporary will be showcasing an incredible project, a collaboration between Indian artist Nalani Malani and Pakistani artist, Iftikhar Dadi, which is so pertinent at this moment in time!
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lundi 7 août 2017

Jogen Chowdhury seeks GST exemption for art

Source The Indian Express by Abantika Ghosh
Artist Jogen Chowdhury, who curated Rashtrapati Bhavan’s art collection and is a member of a committee that decides on statues and paintings in Parliament, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the GST Council seeking exemption for art under GST. Chowdhury, who is a Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP and one of the biggest names in contemporary Indian art, wrote that it was shameful artists who receive no benefits from the government have been reduced to the category of a businessmen or traders. Original works of art have been taxed at 12 per cent in the GST law and Chowdhury, who is also planning to raise the matter in the Rajya Sabha, said it neither does justice to creativity nor seems to take into account the fact that this amounts to double taxation as artists are already paying income tax on the sale of their work. “Given that the overall turnover of the total art market would not even cross Rs 500 crore, it hardly qualifies as a commodity in today’s economy…. We, already paying our income tax as honest citizens, demand to be exempted from any form registration or payment of GST,” reads the letter that several artists have signed.
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vendredi 4 août 2017

Why the NGMA needs to think big

Source Livemint by Sanjukta Sharma
These are doggedly revivalist times, and it isn’t all pretty. In the movies, the mythological superhero is resurgent; the burqa-clad woman with a healthy libido is offensive. The cultural mandate is to look inward, to the indigenous: The Union ministry of culture has undertaken a Rs470-crore project called the National Mission on Cultural Mapping and Roadmap. Starting from Mathura, there will be talent hunt competitions across the country—640,000 villages—over the next three years. Can such a project ensure we have original, radical artistic ideas that can compete with the best in the world? We will know in three years. But Indian art needs much more than talent-hunts.
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jeudi 3 août 2017

Sex selection, Bollywood, urban chaos: Madhubani art is finding new themes after decades

Source Scroll In by Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri
A desire for social change appears to bind these folk artists together. In 2016, Karn spent a year in Jharkhand’s Chandidih village, working with the locals on a community art project. In collaboration with Artreach India, he covered the walls of houses with murals drawn in the style of Sohrai art from Jharkhand, decorated with Madhubani designs. Some murals depict local festivals, but many highlight the issues faced by the villagers – the lack of water, healthcare and forests.
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