Sunday, July 3, 2011

Artists from abroad rub shoulders with their Indian counterparts

Apart from several renowned Indian artists, those from different parts of the world feature in a new show of watercolor works at Mumbai’s Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke.

KiKi Smith is a noteworthy feminist artist whose fondness for nature as well as her fascination with the human body is well-mapped. These have been areas for exploration for her that has led to a highly complex and controversial form of art. Born in 1954 in Nuremburg to a well-known minimalist, Tony Smith, she has used throughout her career themes like birth, multiple variations of the body (these include both the close albeit conflicting relationship existing between the exterior and, as well as the nervous system), elements of nature, hybrid’s between humans and animals and even fairytales as her subjects .

Another interesting participant is an artist whose identity as Pakistani-Muslim transplant, so to say, in the US has served as a vital element to her intriguing body of work. Ambreen Butt’s art underwent a major change especially as the 9/11 terror attacks shocked the western world. The cataclysmic event dramatically altered her artistic journey and experience. Her compositions, although still lyrical in nature, now turned inward. The damage and devastation in the wake of WTC tragedy, became self-introspective.

Prior to the tragic event, the artist would mostly create fictional female heroes that were identifiable with the Pakistan art tradition. Her narrative art - enchanting, empowering and equally sensual revolving around universal themes, touched upon themes like politics and the battle between good and the evil.

Another artist who draws our attention in the show is Tran Luong. A visual and performance artist, he has carved a niche for himself as Vietnam’s most exciting name. He is one of the forces stepping forward to shape the contemporary art movement in the mid 90s. His foray in the new media art has resulted in some major involving him as an artist and as a curator.

Watermark II’ involving a mystical mix of both Indian and international artists continues until Jul 30, 2011.

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