Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who else is showing at Saatchi?

T. Venkanna’s work is a contemporary remake of that of French artist Henri Rousseau, known for his fantastical illustrations of botanical gardens and jungle scenes. Rousseau was both chastised and celebrated for his seemingly imaginative escapism as well as early primitive style.

Venkanna earnestly reproduced two of Henri Rousseau’s works; the first appropriated from Rousseau’s painting ‘The Dream’. Its historical significance is not lost on the Indian artist. An accompanying note to the Saatchi show states:
“He intentionally renders it as a post-modern image with idiosyncratic undertones. The artist adds a second panel to the Dream in Dream painting. Turned on its side, the thin canvas takes the same subject but satirizes it using cartoons to the point where the panel becomes garish."
A renowned performance –photo artist Pushpamala N is often the subject of her compositions. In her work, photography is explored as a tool of meticulous ethnographic documentation. This is achieved by employing the apparatus of early image making techniques to challenge the authenticity of the image with a touch of humor.

The Ethnographic Series done in collaboration with artist Clare Arni focuses on South India’s native women. Their customs and manners draw are portrayed. The attention is on the choreographed stylistics evident in early portraits, enacting and thus transforming the set stereotypes of women.

Tallur L.N.’s Untitled (2007) at ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ uses inflatable bed, latex rubber, silicon, medical cot and forceps. The talented Indian artist, who grew up in a village, has not often gone beyond his immediate modest village settings. His work refers to the poverty in the countryside.

Essentially employing core Indian signs and connected symbols, it characterizes the underbelly of India, still successfully translating the anxiety of his subject matter to urban audience. An accompanying essay points out that his work presents a rather depressing sight of the objects of social utilitarianism. It adds:
“His sculptural works are riddled with the agony of labored situations. For the artist, there is a pleasurable absurdity in the disheveled traditions of the farmlands and the villages when compared to the new American-styled hyper-real cities that function as cash accumulators.”

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