dimanche 30 décembre 2018

The South Asian Artists Making Their Mark on the Western Scene

Source The New York Times by Meara Sharma
That’s evident in a cluster of solo shows in New York and beyond. This year, Bharti Kher’s tender sketchbooks on gender, motherhood and the body were up at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where a large survey of Huma Bhabha’s work will open at the Institute of Contemporary Art in March. Next summer, the Met Breuer, which opened in 2016 with a retrospective of the work of the radical Indian minimalist Nasreen Mohamedi, will pay tribute to the work of another groundbreaking South Asian woman — Mrinalini Mukherjee. Additionally, MoMA recently acquired a monumental photographic installation by Dayanita Singh, a selection of empathetic and wry photographs by Ketaki Sheth and a major work by Sheela Gowda, who transforms found local materials into stirring meditations on labor and marginality.
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mardi 25 décembre 2018

Here Are 12 Feminist Artists We Loved In 2018

Source Feminism In India by Ashraya Maria
2018 has been a year of many milestones for feminism in India. Some of these include the removal of Section 377, the Sabarimala ruling, the #MeToo movement. These are all steps towards gender equality and inclusivity. However, there is still a long way to go. Women in India have found their voices, sometimes in art. Art can be immensely effective in opening up conversations, reimagining symbols, and dismantling oppressive structures. It does so by articulating subjectivities which otherwise remain diminished. Here are twelve artists whose work has encouraged serious engagement with questions of gender, sexuality, inclusivity, and intersectionality.
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Jangarh Book Launch

Source MAP
In December, MAP released their first publication, called Jangarh Singh Shyam: A Conjuror's Archive, authored by Dr Jyotindra Jain. The book is an in-depth and critical introduction into the work of pioneering Indian artist, Jangarh Singh Shyam, exploring both his context and legacy. It also examines the events surrounding his tragic suicide in Japan in 2001, with previously unpublished letters from Shyam to his family in the weeks leading up to his demise. To coincide with its release, MAP loaned 45 of Jangarh's paintings and drawings from its collection to the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in Delhi to form a part of an exhibition co-curated by Dr Jyotindra Jain and Roobina Karode. The exhibition is on view until 12th January 2019.

Goa's Serendipity Arts Festival: When art transforms a town

Source The Telegraph by Ruchir Joshi
Looking at the programme, there seems to be all kinds of offering for people with different tastes; you clearly can’t (and shouldn’t) try and take in too much, perhaps concentrating on designing your own festival from all the different components. There are also the pleasures of Panjim qua Ponzhio, the walks, the many great eateries, the bars, some with live music, and then just the lanes of the old town through which you can wander. Then, beyond the dusty Kurukshetra of the massive bridge and flyover being built, with their warring cranes and bulldozers, lies all of the rest of Goa, the sea, the beaches, the shacks and the winding maze of the roads leading inland. If you’re not a local, then perhaps the way to think about a festival such as this is as an additional attraction to a Goa holiday which is partly centred around the state’s capital city.
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lundi 24 décembre 2018

The Modern Art of Independent India

Source The New York Review of Books by Ratik Asokan
National artistic vanguards tend to come in two types. Some groups, like the revolutionary muralists in Mexico, consciously set out to depict an aspect of their country: its people, its landscape, its culture. Others, like the American Abstract Expressionists, develop a novel style or approach, make an aesthetic breakthrough, which only later comes to be associated with the country of its origin. Over seventy years after its founding, it remains unclear whether India’s Progressive Artists’ Group (1947–1953) is a national vanguard of the first or second type. Art historians like to peg them as a band of dyed-in-the-wool regionalists, and the Bombay-based collective is commonly identified as the prime mover of a rooted and authentic Indian modernism. From time to time, PAG’s members—the “Progressives,” as they are now called—even made remarks to this effect. One of the founders, S.H. Raza, insisted late in life that the group’s goal was to articulate “an Indian vision and Indian ethnography.”
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The Young Firebrands of Indian Modernism

Source Hyperallergic by Sharmistha Ray
At the dawn of a new Indian nation in 1947, a country awoke from its long colonial slumber to confront the challenges of Independence. The departure of the British and the ensuing bloodbath of Partition witnessed the formation of two nations built along religious fault lines, India and Pakistan. Pakistan embraced a Muslim identity, while India elected a secular vision for its future under the stewardship of its first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. His political ethos of “unity in diversity” was a rallying cry for plurality, a country for all, in which all religions could cohabit and progress together.
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Opinion | Caught between two worlds

Source Livemint by Manu S. Pillai
But there end the parallels between Ravi Varma and Jangarh Singh Shyam—so named after he was born quite literally in the middle of a janaganana (census) of his people. For unlike the former, whose privilege equipped him to not only paint but also master life itself, the latter was lost when it came to things beyond art. He emerged from a village and when he moved in with shehri (urban) artists, bewilderment and competition were his companions. What he walked into was, we are told, a “ruthless global marketplace of art, whose pressures he was not equipped to cope with”. And when he hanged himself in 2001, aged 40, his life folded in tragedy. As his newest biographer writes, he did not lose himself because his art went nowhere, or because success shunned him. He was, instead, “trapped in the crossing,” lost between two worlds.
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samedi 22 décembre 2018

Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Chris Dercon on why museums must look beyond the past, towards the future

Source Firstpost
There is another aspect which I find very interesting, which becomes evident in this Biennale: that in India, there is still an innate sense that things don’t have to be split up — that we can inject literature, cinema, design, but that we can also inject the popular arts. Do you call it folk art, do you call it craft? I don’t think we have the right name for it yet. Because there are some artists who are so-called "outsider artists" who fit in the concept of Anita Dube so well. And they would fit in in Kiran Nadar's museum too. Actually, Kiran Nadar is now showing an outsider artist; I don’t recall his name. He is very famous for creating murals and he died very young — actually, he committed suicide in Japan, because he couldn’t take the tension between the so-called high art and what he was forced into and where he comes from.
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mercredi 19 décembre 2018

Tushar Joag, best known for making public interventions through art, passes away at 52

Source Indian Express by Pallavi Chattopadhyay
Contemporary artist Tushar Joag, who considered art as a tool for social concerns, passed away at his residence in Noida after a heart attack. He was 52. He is survived by his wife, artist Sharmila Samant, and two children. The artist was famous for his 2010 bike journey of over 50 days from Mumbai to Shanghai, when he passed the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Madhya Pradesh and, then, the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei province in China, and highlighted the plight of those who were displaced due to these mega projects in “Riding Rocinante from Bombay to Shanghai”, which featured in the inaugural exhibition of Vadehra Art Gallery in Delhi in 2011. In his performance piece Right to Dissent in 2011, Joag locked himself in a room at the Clark House in Colaba, Mumbai, for six days, as he wrote in notebooks the words, “I will not lose faith in the Indian democracy and judiciary”, mocking the country’s outdated laws. This was his response to the arrest of public health activist Binayak Sen, who was arrested on charges of sedition and later released. Artist Mithu Sen, who has worked with Joag in many group shows, says, “He had his own ideology and strong vision. He was a great human being and that part of him led him to do that kind of art.”
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samedi 15 décembre 2018

The Guerrilla Girls and other aliens land in Kochi

Source Livemint by Anindita Ghose
The first female curator of India’s largest biannual art event, Anita Dube, has climbed a high watchtower, seeking out those working in spaces far beyond what is visible of the contemporary art world. As might be expected from an early member of the Indian Radical Painters and Sculptors Association, 60-year-old Dube’s curatorial theme references the French Marxist theorist Guy Debord. For the ongoing fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (on till 29 March), she has actively sought women with no formal training in art, people from the queer community and Dalit artists, among others, and welcomed these aliens of the art world to share space alongside celebrated giants such as William Kentridge and Jitish Kallat. At a preview earlier this week, Dube called attention to Bapi Das, a former autorickshaw driver from Kolkata, whose fine threadwork needs a magnifying glass to be appreciated. She has been particular about including artists from countries such as Indonesia, Kenya, and Egypt in an attempt to balance the American and Euro-centric skew of the international art world.
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jeudi 13 décembre 2018

We need to get back our diversity: Kochi-Muziris Biennale curator Anita Dubey By Trisha Mukherjee

Source The Hans India
She wants to make a point -- that there is no hierarchy in art. “What I have tried to do is to mix up all kinds of styles and languages. There is no hierarchy. None at all. I am not taking contemporary art as top of the hierarchy. I am not letting its aesthetics overpower,” Dube said. The works by B V Suresh, and Durgabai and Subhash Shyam are among the 95 Indian and international artist projects, being showcased at the Biennale. Also lined up is an exciting set of ancillary events, including talks, presentations and discussions by artists and thinkers, film screenings as well as the Music of Muziris concert series featuring artists like the Three Seas Project, T M Krishna, Imphal Talkies, and Insurrections Ensemble among others.
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mardi 11 décembre 2018

The 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale Begins

Source Blouin Art Info by Archana Khare-Ghose
The fourth edition is curated by Anita Dube, regarded as one of India’s most thought-provoking artists, on the theme “Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life.” Talking about the response of the artists to the current global socio-political situation, Dube said, “Artists often respond to social and political issues as they unfold, with care and with time. I think this is a crucial understanding both for those who make art and those who consume it — not to expect quick, reactionary responses, but to allow for wellconsidered, organic approaches to happenings in the social sphere.” She added many artists have also come together for social causes, including help for Kerala communities affected by the devastating monsoon floods in August, which displaced one million people. Krishnamachari said that many artists showing at the Biennale have reacted to this and other issues through their art. He cited Ai Wei Wei and JR, who responded to the migration issue by creating major works in public spaces Greece and the Mexican border, respectively; the L.A.-based artist Claire Salvo, who was inspired by the #MeToo campaign for a stippling portrait series called ME:WE; and the work of the Guerrilla Girls.
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dimanche 9 décembre 2018

New film on Jangarh Singh Shyam

Music in the dots: Jangarh Singh Shyam and the mythic dimensions of his work

Source The Sunday Guardian by Bhumika Poplin
Artist Jangarh Singh Shyam was only 40 when he reportedly committed suicide in 2001. A new retrospective of his work is now on view at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in Delhi, celebrating this short but remarkable life. Jangarh was truly a prodigy. He was making art since childhood and decorated the walls of his hut with paintings. His images have the capacity to pull the viewer into the art, because he himself was completely immersed in his works. He once said, “The first time I dipped my brush in bright poster colours in Bhopal, tremors went through my body.” This was the time he joined Bharat Bhavan at the invitation of his mentor Swaminathan.
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vendredi 7 décembre 2018

Connecting Threads: Exhibition traces textile histories and practices in contemporary Indian art

Source Firstpost
Anita Dube's 'Ah (a sigh)' (left); 'Silence (Blood Wedding)', 1999, Bones covered in red velvet with beading and lace. From the collection of Devi Art Foundation (centre); and Pushpamalan N's 'Triptych' from the Bombay Photo Studio series (right). It is one of the installations at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum's latest exhibition titled ‘Connecting Threads: Textiles in Contemporary Practice’, curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta and Puja Vaish. All Image Courtesy: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai.
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Anita Dube in Conversation

Source Ocula by Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi
The process of constructing the Biennale was driven by wonderful conversations with artists whose work I have admired for a long time; with artists I encountered during my travels; with my curatorial team; with the [Kochi Biennale] Foundation, and with the huge production apparatus. Without dialogue, solidarity is impossible. This has been the key lesson for me, and the curatorial frame slowly emerged from this process. The project involves a vast array of artists whose practices and backgrounds are connected by threads and narratives that run through the exhibition. What emerges are fragments: groupings of artists that enable a particular thread of the polyphony of the Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life to be teased out. Propositions and ruptures are also laid out within the architecture of the sites, like the unfolding of a musical score.
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Fighting Climate Change, With Art And Saris

Source The Establishment by Ambika Samarthya-Howard
I was filming Jalobayu (climate in Bengali), Monica Jahan Bose’s collective performance piece, at Select Art Fair in Miami Beach. The performance started indoors with a group of women who all quietly carried 216 feet of sari to a ritual site outside on the beach. After a series of symbolic activities on the sand, Bose eventually wraps herself in a red sari and enters and battles the ocean in a breathtaking statement on climate change. Bose uses the sari—18 feet of unstitched handwoven fabric that is commonly worn by women in South Asia—to represent women’s lives and the cycle of life on our planet. The sari is perhaps the real star of the show. But not just any sari. The sari she uses in the show is written on and worn by the coastal women in Bangladesh. “JALOBAYU juxtaposes women’s words and their worn saris against the backdrop of the rising ocean in Miami Beach,” says Bose. “The intent is to raise awareness of climate change and link Miami Beach to coastal Bangladesh, both of which face devastation due to climate change.”
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jeudi 6 décembre 2018

Jangarh Singh Shyam: A Conjuror’s Archive

Source Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) is delighted to present the opening of exhibition ‘Jangarh Singh Shyam: A Conjuror’s Archive’, co-curated by Dr. Jyotindra Jain and Roobina Karode at KNMA. The exposition is enriched with works brought in on loan from government and private institution collections and many private collectors. The exhibits include paintings on paper and canvas, terracotta murals, digital prints of photographs, Jangarh’s letters, and reproduction of mural images and theatre posters which incorporated Jangarh’s art work. A substantial showing in this exhibition of Jangarh’s works has come from The Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), Bangalore. Works from institutions such as Bharat Bhawan in Bhopal and The Crafts Museum in New Delhi are historically important as they were places where Jangarh worked on-site projects. Some in-situ murals will be reproduced for the exhibition. The book by Dr. Jain (who is a cultural historian and museologist), offers rare insight into the life and works of Jangarh Singh Shyam.
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dimanche 2 décembre 2018

Art collector and gallerist Amrita Jhaveri on her latest auction, and future of Indian art market

Source Firstpost by Geetha Jayaraman
Though she was introduced to art by her parents at a young age, her love for it manifested much later in life. Meet Amrita Jhaveri, South Asian art expert and collector, who over the years have acquired works of a vast number of Indian contemporary artists. In addition to a two-decade collecting history, Jhaveri has authored a book on Indian art and was instrumental in bringing a sculpture show by British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor to India in 2010. She also runs a gallery in Mumbai, Jhaveri Contemporary, with her sister Priya. We get to glimpse of that collection as she sets to auction 43 selected works of Indian contemporary artists in a Saffronart online auction titled ‘Amaya Collection’ to be held on 4 and 5 December, 2018.
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samedi 1 décembre 2018

Hervé Perdriolle, the Parisian curator

Source Sunita Nair
Hervé Perdriolle played a pioneering role in exposing Indian indigenous art at international art forums since the 1990s, after the Indian government had searched out artists from the villages in Maharashtra and Bihar and other states in order to keep alive their vibrant art traditions. This tall and affable Parisian art dealer, curator and lover of art brut and outsider art – outside the mainstream of ‘high’ art – became passionate about the work of Jivya Soma Mhase since their first meeting in 1998.
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