Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Subodh Gupta and others at a public sculpture show in Shanghai- I

Sculptures by world-renowned creators are currently on display in a Shanghai public park as part of an International Sculpture Project Biennial. The organizers provide an insight into the participating artists, which we share with our readers: 

Subodh Gupta: Making ordinary items artistic and aesthetic
An internationally acclaimed contemporary artist from India, he is best known for incorporating everyday objects into his creations. By making ordinary items artistic and aesthetic, he expresses his sympathy for the vulnerable and his reverence for traditional Indian values. In his work ‘Ray’, the artist captures the tensions between urban and rural, rich and poor, and traditional and modern, reflecting on the social breakdown that India has experienced on its quest for modernization against the backdrop of globalization.

He works in a wide array of media such as painting, sculpture, installation, photography, films and performance. He brings his observations and experience into play by addressing schisms between urban and rural areas, tradition and the present, the poor and the rich, also referring to the current confusing state of the country’s shifting society owing to globalization. His works elevate the status of daily utility items especially in rural areas to meaningful works of art that express the artist’s concern for the disadvantaged as well as his care for traditional values.

Wim Delvoye: To him, any ornate decoration is pointless
A Belgian artist known for his inventive projects, his recent works feature extravagant ornamentation, which commands almost all of the audience’s visual attention. With a conviction that any ornate decoration is pointless, he just uses them as a means of unraveling the secrets of human nature, yet the artist manages to make these ‘meaningless’ objects delightfully aesthetic.

Kim Byong-Ho: Incorporates integrated electronic components

The South Korean artist uses modern electronic technology to produce sculptures and installations equipped with acoustic devices. He skillfully incorporates integrated electronic components to produce vibration that has a frequency at which birds chirp. He has created an organ using sophisticated materials, which produces a sound that invites the audience to hum along.

Sculptures across the globe join Shanghai's public art project- I

Jing’An International Sculpture Project Biennial’ in Shanghai comprises scintillating  sculptures by several shining stars of the contemporary art world at Shanghai park. The exhibit is part of a focused effort on part of organizers to create a permanent outdoor collection of sculptures in central Shanghai.

The idea was conceived almost two years ago with the 1st edition of this innovative biennial that featured works by Jan Fabre and Jim Dine among others around 110 acres of the popular Jing’An park. The 2012 biennial includes a couple of gigantic steel sculptures done in faux Gothic style by Wim Delvoye. Subodh Gupta’s ‘Ray’ is a massive steel bucket carrying a cascade of smaller ones seemingly falling out of it. The show is organized by Beijing-based independent curator Huang Du.

Ding Yi: Meticulous use of abstract lines and crosses
One of China’s major abstract artists, through meticulous use of abstract lines and crosses, he produces streaked patterns that are seemingly alike but subtly different. For this exhibition, Ding translates his abstract paintings into a Tai Ch’i sculpture, combining the elements of naturalness, design, shapelessness, density, tightness, and scalability in one object; the sculpture blends perfectly with the flower beds of the park.

Huang Zhiyang: Focuses on the aesthetics of Chinese traditional painting

This Taiwanese artist focuses on the aesthetics of Chinese traditional painting and the relationship between humanity and nature. He always brings together the concepts of abstraction, nature, meditation, people and environment, and correlates them in a poetic manner.

Jaume Plensa: Inspired by oriental aesthetics

A Spanish sculptor and conceptual artist, he is known for his unique style and language of art. He was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture in 1993 and received a Marsh Award in 2009. His ‘The Heart of Trees’ is a masterpiece mixing together light effects and written characters. Clearly he has been inspired by oriental aesthetics, or more specifically, Chinese characters and the philosophical concept of Śūnyatā, or emptiness.

Kumari Nahappan: Deeply rooted in Indian philosophy
A significant conceptual artist based in Singapore, she is deeply rooted in Indian philosophy. Her work Happy Together is another artistic description of chillis. While generally realistic, it is mingled with factors of post-modernism, such as magnification, everyday qualities, pop art and vibrant colors, adding to its aesthetic charm.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

‘City of Hope’ by Martand Khosla

‘City of Hope’ is emerging artist Martand Khosla’s first solo presented simultaneously in two parts at Seven Art gallery and at the School of Art & Aesthetics, JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University). It’s important that these artworks inhabit two known avenues of knowledge production – one a throbbing contemporary art space and the other a public institute renowned for higher learning – mainly because the series looks to dig out and explain several dualities within his practice.

He shows how the migrant workforce is increasingly getting displaced and largely ignored within the broader, popular discourse of the country’s shining future, he realizes. His works therefore try and address this concern by engaging with the faceless people ‘building’ India of tomorrow albeit seldom considered within the spectrum of India’s apparent development.

He employs a wide variety of potent materials and visual vocabulary so as to make his pointed observations – using brick dust, abundantly found at all construction sites, and creates the workers’ portraits, poetic vignettes of their tools and footwear as they pause momentarily during lunch, barren or abandoned and parched landscapes etc. He creates miniature and peculiar acrylic encased rooms of singular possessions, which mark an upwardly mobile segment of society.

The artist’s brick dust is the stuff of both the possible and impossible dreams and the everyday. The portraits he comes up with are striking in the fact that they remind us of the ‘Veil of Veronica’, the cloth bearing a rust colored (almost similar to hue as brick dust) Jesus Christ portrait imprinted after Saint Veronica during the journey to crucifix wiped his blood stained face.

Another series made with the official rubber stamp feature portraits that exude a different tenor, and highlight those who are or sometimes are not included within the official schema. He made several vertical landscapes in ‘Five Days’ through repetitive stamping to document the burning of slums in Delhi in 2010, just before the Commonwealth Games. Whether it was a mere accident or arson, it’s a stain on the capital’s bloated memory that underlines the State’s refusal of legitimacy to these slum dwellers.

An artist who portrays miseries of those building tomorrow’s India

Born in 1975 in New Delhi, artist-architect Martand Khosla draws from both streams. He emphasizes on environmentally friendly and socially conscious architectural practice, keen to take part in the creation of the urban landscape of India.

He interacts with the harsh reality and myth of urban development through several avenues – from providing the workers with a distinct visage and individual identity, by interacting with them and conveying a sense of their hapless experience at construction sites and also through their near disenfranchisement from the official or State machinery. Here are the facets of his new series of works, entitled ‘City of Hope – I’ and City of Hope – II’ that exhibit these qualities:
  • The exhibition takes its title from a group of work comprising 4 imagined cities that evoke India’s overflowing urban migration that locate cities as the reservoirs of hope and livelihood. The 4 City of Hope are constructed as reliefs with a repetitive pattern of dwelling on which Martand ties some mauli (red sacred thread), which alludes to a jalli (latticework) upon which mannat (wish; hope) rests.
  • Martand Khosla creates a body of work using the text of the Olga Tellis court judgment granting pavement dwellers permission to sleep on pavements. The court ruling is important because it talks of human dignity, right to life and the responsibility of the municipality and State to all its citizens.
  • It is an important text which safeguards the privileges of the underprivileged. Using this text the artist weaves bags for the tools of the daily wage workers on construction sites bestowing dignity to the workers by recognizing and bringing to attention their contribution, skill and expertise in building our urban dream.
  • He also creates a fruit sellers cart, meticulously covering numerous fruits with the text of the judgment but he lends it that sharp social comment that flavours all his work by breaking a wheel of the cart, rendering it handicapped. Thus the artist informs us of the gap between judicial and State promises and practices.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Baiju Parthan’s enchanting art journey

A solo exhibition of of recent Works by Baiju Parthan takes place at Kocchi-based Gallery OED. For this unconventional artist, reality is what you tend to make of it, and it’s up to you to extract the kind of meaning from it, based on your perceptual framework’s peculiarities. ‘You look at the world on basis of who and what you are!’ He looks to generate fresh metaphors and symbols that have the potential to expand the range of meanings that we can wrestle out of life and reality. Here are key aspects related to his journey and the thought processs behind it:
  • Born in Kerala in 1956, Baiju Parthan studied Painting at Goa College of Art from 1978-83 and has received a Master's degree in Philosophy from The Mumbai University. He has featured in several major group and solo exhibitions in India and worldwide, comprising Galerie Christian Hosp, Austria; Anant Gallery, Delhi; Aicon Gallery, NY; and the Ninth Asian Bienniale, Dhaka in 1999. He essentially works with 3D graphics that are linked with aspects of animation and virtual reality. He has grasped programming with a scripted language in 3D procedural animation, Python.
  • The direction of his art took another twist after the artist got hooked to philosophy - the understanding of the self as perceived in the western and eastern ways of thinking. How you create art is defined by the way the self is organized. His quest to create is more to do with knowledge.
  • “Every new bit of knowledge is never undone, he believes, and tries and transforms himself through learning…as how far one can extend oneself into one’s own self, and also one’s family, the society, the nation. Having lived in an inflated personal bubble, engrossed in his own worldly pursuits, he decided at some point that maybe he was not being fair to the rest of his life.”
  • The artist worked with traditional media as in painting on canvas as well as new media which range from interactive programming based art as well as large scale prints on metallic surfaces. Both these areas pose their own challenges and also expand the scope of what he can say.

An artist driven by mystical arts, philosophy, mythology and technology

All the themes, subjects or disciplines Baiju Parthan has explored are largely out of his urge to understand ‘why I am I here, & what I’m doing as an individual and as an artist’. He has studied the Indian mystical arts, tantra, ritual arts, and Indian mythology that he includes in his contemporary art practices.

He adds: “All the recent themes or subjects I have studied were out of the need to understand why I am I here, and what I am doing. And as such they have become part of my life and my art. I think those things have become lens through which I look at reality and that gets reflected in my art quite naturally.”

London based Aicon Gallery had showcased a solo ‘Dislocation’ (Milljunction- Part 2) of his works last year. Elaborating on his new body of works, he had stated: “Mumbai being a cosmopolitan city, consists of a floating population of immigrants from various parts of the country. Each one of these communities and individuals has their own version of Mumbai as their recollection of getting to know and comprehend it.”

In some works, different styles of painting exist within a single frame, in others it seems like two different time zones are pictured simultaneously. The artist also subtly uses mirroring within some of them and in a few the surface is interrupted by dripping computer code. This gives rise to a dizzying sense of multiplicity. His series was both celebration and lament, archaic and super-technological. His use of mirroring, time-lags and alternate realities suggests a realm, or a mind that is disintegrating, the products of a restless gaze that never settles on one thing, or one time zone, for long.

A review in The Hindu by writer Ramya Sen mentioned that his interest in technology, married to his passion for mythology is reflected in his art. The artist had stated: "The attempt is to capture this particular marker and also re-assert the physicality of the photographic image.”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Toran Project presents contemporary artworks from India in Canada

The Toran Project launched in 2011 has become a sort of a truly epic voyage – a deeper immersion course of Indian & South Asian contemporary art, culminating with an exhibition-cum-sale of several quality artworks assembled in the city of Mumbai.

From a list of close to 200 artists, five important ones – namely Mohan Singh, Vinita Karim, Manish Jha, Swapan Palley, and S.H. Raza, - plus a collection of etchings by many others have been put up during the exhibition. The works on view encompass folk art, profound mythological and spiritual art, laced with a dash of color. 

‘The Toran Project: Contemporary Art from the Indian Sub-Continent’ courtesy Concrete Contemporary Auctions & Projects at Waddingtons’ Toronto art gallery looks to bring Indian art in spotlight in Canada, unveiling the intellectual and artistic rigor behind it. Stephen Ranger, the vice-president (business development) of Waddington’s, mentions: “When one looks at traditional Canadian art forms, they tend to be rather somber; here our vision is about a culture, which is anything but somber.”

It’s the outcome of their collaboration with the Toronto based and Mumbai-born art connoisseur, entrepreneur and designer, Sushma Kilachand who enjoys long standing rapport with many of India’s top artists, consultants and galleries who helped in assembling the project. Kilachand reveals that a key criterion was not getting very specific in terms of both religious art and communities. “It’s important since if the project does succeed, it gives us the scope for a better and bigger showcase next time,” the art expert adds.

The exhibition is to appreciate the fact that contemporary art scene of India is thriving. Both Ranger and Kilachand feel it’s high time for the art from India to have a dynamic presence in Canada. The broader idea behind it is to give Toronto’s South Asian community something translatable and not just country specific.

The show runs at King Street East galleries from October 23-30. With the Toronto International Art Fair focusing this year on Asia, it's a timely and important event. It can be viewed online at

A major photography show in London show tracks past and present of the art form

A new exhibition at the National Gallery in London tries to explore early photography techniques prevalent during the mid-19th century and also some of the most exciting contemporary photos, juxtaposed with historical painting.

The organizers take a holistic albeit provocative look at how the photographers from different eras including Old Master painting employ fine art traditions for exploring and justifying the possibilities of their practice. Work by top photographers like Martin Parr, Sam Taylor-Wood, Craigie Horsfield, Julia Margaret Cameron, Gustave Le Gray and Richard Billingham are  on display apart from many paintings chosen from the gallery’s vast collection.

Paintings as well as both early and contemporary photos are on view, presented according to traditional genres like portraiture, nudes and landscape, and still life that highlight the universality of the influences and themes across all these works, both present and past.

Drawing the visitors’ attention to one specific and significant strand of the history of photography – that of the inspiration and influence of historical painting, the exhibit features captivating pictures by some of the greatest French and British photographers alongside works by an array of international contemporary artists. It is comprised of new photos and video commissioned specially for the exhibit.

Exceptionally, three separate ‘interventions’ of contemporary photos by Craigie Horsfield, Richard Learoyd and Richard Billingham are to be displayed within the Gallery’s collection, skillfully juxtaposed with many 19th-century paintings by Degas, Ingres and Constable.

The show includes close to 100 photographic works and selected paintings from the gallery collection. Key photos are from the Wilson Centre for Photography, Tate; National Media Museum, Bradford; Fundació La Caixa, Spain; and Victoria and Albert Museum, with some sourced directly from the contemporary photographers. ing exhibition

The exhibition is set to travel to CaixaForum Barcelona (February– May 2013) followed by CaixaForum Madrid (June 2013 – September 2013). 

The National Gallery, for record, has in its collection major Western European painting from the 13th up to the 19th centuries. Its aim is to study and look after the precious collection as well as to encourage the public appreciation of these pictures.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shilpa Gupta, Yardena Kurulkar and Vishal K Dar

Launched three years ago by ŠKODA Auto India & Seventy EMG, it’s one of the most recognized and keenly watched events in the domain of contemporary Indian art. The Škoda Prize as every year has attracted a large number of applications from artists across India.

Yardena Kurulkar at Mumbai-based Gallery BMB
Yardena Kurulkar’s work is the consequence of years of reflection around the journey of Life and Death. Her work aims to capture the essence of their co-existence, their inter-dependence, the similarities between them and the contradictions they pose. Her own creative pursuit has been fraught with questions and dilemmas around the subject. That most of us obsessively deny death despite its certainty, strikes her as ironic.

On the contrary, embracing Death as a transitory phase and the inevitable stage of Life is liberating. The acceptance of Death opens new thought streams and in a noble way energizes Life. The fear of death can be confronted only when we recognize its transience rather than perceive it as terminal. Death after all, is an indispensable cog in the cycle of Life. The artist’s work and the media she has chosen for their expression are influenced by the observation that they closely mimic Life.

Shilpa Gupta courtesy Chemould Prescott Road

She creates artwork using interactive video, websites, objects, photographs, sound and public performances to probe and examine subversively such themes as desire, religion, notions of security on the street and on the imagined border.

Although Shilpa Gupta’s works are developed largely through technological means, their significance lies in their candid communication the various issues that shape contemporary life. In her works, Gupta touches on aspects of current, universal issues including environmental degradation, globalization, terrorism, war, intolerance, gender politics and human rights.

Vishal K Dar
Mention must also be made of artist Vishal K Dar who features in the Skoda Prize long list for an exhibition: NAAG, New Delhi. His projects often encompass digital, manual, material and monumental worlds; he looks to merge visual spectacle with socio-political concerns.

A prestigious prize for India’s influential artists

The Škoda Prize is now considered among the most prestigious and influential ones in contemporary Indian art. Its organizers have just announced the long list of select artists for the 3rd edition.

Those selected for the long list are  Aditi Joshi, Aditi Avinash Kulkarni, Adip Dutta, CAMP (Ashok Sukumaran & Shaina Anand), Jagannath Panda, Hema Upadhyay, Manmeet Devgun, L N Tallur, Mariam Suhail, Priyanka Choudhary, Praneet Soi, Sharmila Samant, Rohini Devasher, Shilpa Gupta, Srinivasa Prasad ,T Venkanna, Tushar Joag, Vishal Dar, Zakkir Hussain and Yardena Kurulkar. CAMP is the lone collaboration project that forms part of the prize nominees this year.

The top 20 have been chosen on the basis of solos held in the country over the past one year. Solos for them include those hosted in Delhi / NCR, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai. Mariam Suhail, a Pakistani citizen resident staying in India qualified under the new norms that let all those domiciled in India apply for the prize). The jury panel is chaired by Geeta Kapur, eminent art historian-critic.

Regarding the selection The Škoda Prize (Director of Art) Girish Shahane, mentions: “This year choosing the top-20 was even more difficult and as a result of it quite a few good solo shows couldn’t be accommodated. The list is a very good blend of emerging talent and established names.”  The works reflect both diversity and depth of contemporary Indian art practices. They include innovative site specific installations, video installations, prints, drawings, photo collages, paintings, and performance art.

The emerging artists in the top-20 list this year include Mariam Suhail (installations for ‘Breakdown of shorter concerns’, Gallery SKE), Rohini Devasher (video installations for ‘Permutation’, Nature Morte), Aditi Joshi (installation for ‘New Works’, Gallery Maskara), Aditi Avinash Kulkarni (‘Alienation of the space’, Seven Art), and Priyanka Choudhary  (‘Tetanus Midas’, Gallery Maskara), Yardena Kurulkar (‘Transience’, Gallery BMB). The top 20 names have been chosen by the jury panel including the co‐founder of Devi Art, Anupam Poddar, and leading artist Sheela Gowda.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Manmeet Devgun, Sharmila Samant and Zakkir Hussain

The Škoda Prize and exhibition initiative offer a great opportunity for India’s mid-career artists to showcase their artworks to a discerning audience in India as well internationally. They will show their works at the ‘20 exhibition’ in February 2013.

Sharmila Samant courtesy Lakeeren
How do we see? What is the hidden agenda behind appearances? Is what Sharmila Samant in her monographic series, entitled ‘Listen to your Eye’, looks to investigate. The artist retrospectively draws on her earlier projects continuing her critique of globalization, genetically modified foods and commentary on current socio-political undertakings.

Comprising of sculptural-installation and neon, her new body of work subverts the materialty of the objects in relation to its function bringing to a fore issues of corruption, notions of progress and making visible the detritus in society through a trompe-l'œil. Listen to your eyes… could be viewed as a cautionary note of events taking place in our world that need to be urgently addressed, as they pose consequences for us if they continue to go unaddressed and unarticulated in the future.

Manmeet Devgun from a show at Abadi Art Space, New Delhi
Manmeet almost by stating it aloud that ‘I don’t need your help’, tends to sear herself apart from the painful past as someone’s ‘wife’ or companion, the better half of someone who is supposed to rely on th person emotionally and otherwise. She seeks recognition and respect not only from the man she has opted to leave behind but also from the surrounding world as an individual complete in herself.

Zakkir Hussain at Vadehra
The artist’s mixed media works on paper and canvas offer viewers a colourful and fantasy-like take on the bond between humans and nature, and are bestowed with a sense of exuberance and dynamism through his incorporation of a variety of images and influences. They come largely from the visual news media, objects, shops, streets, and smells.

While his earlier works explore deeper ecological and imaginary links with subdued tones, and consist of primary, dominating metamorphosis-like creations set against calmer backgrounds, his more recent works are quite the opposite. Not only are they more realistic, but he has made them deliberately aggressive to evoke various personal thought processes in the viewer.

An initiative to recognize the best artistic talent of India

Skoda Auto India has conceptualized a prestigious award to celebrate contemporary Indian art. The prestigious car brand runs a major initiative in form ‘The Skoda Prize’. It strives to highlight the work of established mid-career artists and give a channel to new voices. Backed by well-known jurors and a dedicated group of art advisors, it promises to be one of the most keenly awaited events in India’s annual arts calendar.

The company is looking to promote contemporary Indian art as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative. The award and the event are planned as an annual celebration that will honor am outstanding work of art in the country. In India, it’s probably a first of its kind idea the core of which is to recognize and honor young and talented artists.

Each individual artist is judged on the exhibits, or other comprehensive presentations of their work produced in the year preceding the award. The Skoda Prize Catalogue features top 20 shortlisted artists. All the names chosen stand for the new wave of talent in contemporary Indian art. They are among the country’s finest and most innovative artists, besides being well established with the support of major galleries in India and abroad.

The Skoda Prize aims to be the deserved recognition for quality in the world of art, endorsed by high priests of the art industry. It’s probably the largest on India’s visual arts scene to appreciate cutting-edge work that demonstrates vision, innovation, as well as an in-depth understanding of both material and form. The prestigious prize, as the website notes, tries to bring to public notice some of the exciting trends in contemporary Indian art.

The finalists’ artworks will be hosted as part of an exhibition after which the winner will be announced. Its shortlist for the year 2010-11 included Balasubramaniam Alwar, an artist from Bangalore, Mithu Sen from New Delhi and Kiran Subbaiah.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Analyzing Alwar Balasubramaniam’s oeuvre

Considered one of the most innovative and talented contemporary Indian artists, Alwar Balasubramaniam’s diverse body of work looks to draw attention to the overlooked, bring to fore the invisible, and express the inexpressible. Here, we try to analyze and fathom his oeuvre:
  • A skilled sculptor, painter and printmaker, all rolled in one - this multi-faceted practitioner often crosses the fine boundary between art, perception and real life through his work. He is known to experiment with a wide range of materials (fiberglass, gold, wax etc) to construct pieces that reveal his deep artistic concerns and his intense search process.
  • Often very tactile, at times very physical, his work symbolizes an intense exploration of questions like what really defines the self and what confines us? The idea is to visualize how light and shadow can shape our view of the world around.
  • The Bangalore-based artist in his constant quest for the unconventional has been casting works using his own body and placing himself literally between the art and the viewer, negotiating the skin as an edge where one’s own individual physical self ends and everything else begins.
  • Employing the cast from his hands, he materializes a form that exists only when the hands are clasped and ceases to exist when they are opened. However, by casting that space he has allowed us to view something which would not be visible directly. This casting method also enables the interior (between the hands) to become the exterior. Girish Sahaney, head of The Skoda prize selection advisory committee, had stated of his work, “He has not got his due, since he is not one of those more prolific and visible artists. His work is not that easy to appreciate.”
  • The New York Times critic Holland Cotter a few years ago had mentioned of him as ‘a young, savvy and in the middle of a spurt of growth. ‘It could take him anywhere, but there’s already a lot here,” he added. And the prophecy has been proven to be true…

A precursor to Contemporary Istanbul 2012

Contemporary Istanbul, among the largest art fairs in Turkey, will host its 7th edition in November. The event will offer a comprehensive and vast range of both international and Turkish art including sculpture, video works, painting, installation works and limited editions presented by known galleries across the world.

Featuring many top exhibitors like GALERIST, Dirimart, Galeri MANA, Marlborough Gallery, MaM-Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art and Haunch of Venison among others, the fair will showcase works by around 600 artists. The 2012 edition of the fair is going to be one of the largest of its kind in the country event to date.

The Chairman of fair, Mr Ali Gureli, states, ‘We’re excited to host a very comprehensive Contemporary Istanbul that will contribute to Istanbul’s gravitational and cultural pull, helping it become a hub for arts and also supporting Turkey’s contemporary artists.”

This year is a special one for Contemporary Istanbul. In honor of 4 centuries of diplomatic relations between Netherlands and Turkey, it’s featuring a selection of top Dutch galleries such as Galerie Akinci and Grimm Gallery. Many renowned gallerists, collectors and artists will take part in different panel discussions and CI dialogues, which revolve around the theme of ‘Art as a collective space’ this year.  The New Horizons segment will explore new artistic expressions and idioms of the region.

Having featured contemporary works of art from the Gulf countries, Syria and Iran, the focus in this edition is specifically on Eastern and Central Europe, with galleries like Molnar Ani Galeria,  and Galerie Vernon showcasing the top artists from this part of the world. Curators, critics, collectors and publications from Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Latvia, Hungary and Estonia are going to be present at the event.

Art Istanbul, a diverse celebration of contemporary culture, will also be held simultaneously,  A contemporary art magazine , Istanbul – Contemporary – Etc.( ICE) is also available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices! Contemporary Istanbul will run from 22 – 25 November, 2012 at the Congress Center and Convention & Exhibition Center (ICEC) in Istanbul.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spotlight on Nishtha Jain, Chandan Gomes, Vicky Roy and Samudra Kajal Saikia

Nishtha Jain has completed her graduation from Jamia Mass Communication Centre, Delhi and did her specialization in film direction in 1998. 

Through her films, she has explored the theme of self-representation in photography, tackled the issues of dignity of labour and documented women’s struggles for social change. Her work emphasizes her subjective gaze and lingers on the quotidian.

Her films include the critically acclaimed ‘City of Photos’ (2005) which explores the fantasy worlds of street-side photo studios and the much acclaimed ‘Lakshmi and Me’ (2008), which explores the symbiotic roles of mistress and maid, filmmaker and subject, speaker and listener to raise key global issues as diverse as the politics of domesticity, gender and class relations, ethics and documentary. 

Chandan Gomes has done his Bachelors in Philosophy from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He became the youngest recipient of the prestigious India Habitat Centre Fellowship for Photography in 2011. Photographs from his awarded essay were a part of the Inaugural Delhi Photo Festival. His first photo book is due for release later this year.

Originally from Bengal, a graduate of the Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT), Vicky Roy studied photography at Triveni Kala Sangam. In 2007, he had his first solo exhibition ‘Street Dream’ at India Habitat Centre. In 2008, Ramchander Nath Foundation nominated him for a mentorship program, for which he was selected by the US based Maybach Foundation wherein he photo-documented the reconstruction of the World Trade Center in New York, from March to August 2009. On his return, a solo show titled, ‘WTC: Now’ was held at Bodhi Art, Mumbai.

An artist-writer, Samudra Kajal Saikia working in multidisciplinary fields including performance, theatre, video, animation and public art, is a master of Visual Arts, specialized in art history.  Being a practitioner of multidisciplinary practices of art and theory his artistic interest lies in the problematics of locating the conceptual ‘spectator’.

Having a family background of a theatre practitioners, going through an academic  background of art history in two major institutions like Santiniketan (BFA) and Baroda (MVA) , and working in some other technical/ commercial/ popular idioms like animation, public performances, Samudra owes a diversified experience in the art practice and art writing.

‘Apna Ghar’: Relooking at the prevailing concept of home

Vadehra Art Gallery hosts a new group show, entitled ‘Apna Ghar’ featuring the artworks of Chandan Gomes, Vicky Roy, Samudra Kajal Saikia and Nishtha Jain. In keeping with its vision and aim to give platform to new talent from contemporary Indian art world, and bring to the fore today’s perspective, the venue introduces the three artists, apart from Vicky Roy, who has been part of their earlier photography exhibit, ‘Click! Contemporary Photography in India’.

Based out of the country’s two major metropolitan cities, Delhi and Mumbai, the four participating artists probe the theme of ghar (home) through a series that unhinge the prevailing popular notion of it as an ‘exclusive private domain’. They try to dismantle this simplistic definition, addressing complex rituals, processes and relationships, which go into making of a home.

The exhibit collates projects, which have emerged out of each individual artist’s act of re-looking, evaluating and documenting their lives, in backdrop of everyday spaces, daily rituals, people with whom they share their own lives, and broader contemporary conditions of livelihood. These in a way are equally external and internal processes of looking.

How exactly is the core idea of ‘ghar’ or ‘home’ conceived? What kinds of spaces that we are addressing here?  These works are individual journeys by these artists, leading to the deciphering of underlying connection existing between people, objects, spaces, everything that makes up one’s home; a journey that leads to moments of anxiety, reassurance and self-discovery.

Curatorial inputs and context to their works have been provided by Bhooma Padmanabhan and Vidya Shivadas. Curatorially, the theme was explored in a rather organic way, with a series of photographic works by Chandan Gomes and Vicky Roy forming the initial framework for it. Both have been working around the subject of their homes and documenting the milieu within which they are set.

In the case of former, it was giving an insider’s perspective into the lives of the children at a home for street children in New Delhi, Salaam Balak Trust, where he grew up. For Chandan Gomes it was a sort of return to his parent’s humble house located in old Delhi as a photographer.

‘Disposable House’ and other artistic viewpoints of our affectionate abodes

Artists Chandan Gomes, Nishtha Jain, Vicky Roy and Samudra Kajal Saikia feature in a new show at Delhi-based Vadehra Art Gallery woven around the concept of home. 

Vicky Roy’s photographs resemble truly poignant frames shot in black and white. They draw out the peculiar characteristics of what makes a temporary space, Salaam Balak Trust, a home for street children in New Delhi. It incorporates the daily rituals of cleaning, studying and common dining, to curious portraits of young boys on the brink of adulthood sharing their lives.

Chandan Gomes’s cluttered and colorful interior of his parent’s home offers a different perspective. Brimming with objects and devoid of people it tells a very personal story about the people who live there, their likes, obsessions, habits and beliefs, through the inanimate objects that populates their home.

Extending these camera conversations is the film by Nishtha Jain, a Mumbai-based filmmaker. Her self-critical documentary ‘Lakshmi and Me’ offers a more nuanced look at her home as a shared space. This film on the life of the young girl who works at her house, and the unexpected new bond that develops over the period of making this film, puts forth a new set of questions about the invisible imprints of the people and events that makes one’s house home. It throws up questions about class and social behavior.

On a similar political note is the work of Samudra Kajal Saikia, whose project ‘Disposable House’ has been an ongoing effort to engage with questions of home as space, as security, as ritual, and as disposable and sustainable. Working across mediums like poetry, artists books, videos, paintings and performances, The artist’s work moves away from the purely personal into looking at home and making-home as a political and social act. In his work the disposable house becomes a metaphor for security at a time of increased migration, displacement, and mobility.

There will be related outreach & education programs during the exhibition.

Monday, October 22, 2012

‘Room for erasures’ at Chemould Prescott Road

In her new series, entitled ‘Room for Erasures’, artist Anju Dodiya returns to rather familiar ground to mark a sort of new beginning, trying to re-engage with certain old preoccupations albeit through carefully redrawn positions and fresh perspectives.

In this new series, the artist draws from 19th century Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and sports photography. The former depict Samurai figures that manifest an ‘obsessive lunacy’ which for her evokes the world of sport, and mimics some of ‘its desperate moments of winning and losing’.

Born in Mumbai, she did her graduation from the JJ School of Art in 1986. In 1991, she had her first solo at Gallery Chemould; now almost two decades later, she engages the larger space of Chemould Prescott Road, completing a journey she terms 'singularly sharp and linear'. In it old anxieties and recurring themes of the body embattled, decaying and in pain, exhibiting the stigmata of suffering, are granted reprieve by their revision and re-envisioning through the subtle staging of emotional distance.

As the artist clarifies, what she creates through these large paper works is a performance - a pantomime of suffering and self-doubt, choreographed as "studio-dramas", stilled in extreme gestures of restlessness and madness. An accompanying note by Mishka Sinha elaborates: “While her exploration of the human self through the experience of her own interiority forms a focalizing point for her work, the artist has taken inspiration over the years from a variety of sources, historical and contemporary, esoteric and popular, aesthetic, cinematic, and textual.”

The tragic/heroic aspirations and semblances of death the artist and her image narrate within the works, display an almost martial energy, a ritual of rigor and tension emerging from the dual elements of concealment and display that characterize these tightly controlled performances carried out in carefully structured tableaux. Yet this theatrical telling of the self, its private emotions and its secrets, are played out with irony and humor and warmed with the gossamer-light touch of earnest humanity.

The medium of watercolor is vital to the careful calibration of emotion here. Anju Dodiya indicates the language of her performance through what she describes as the ‘luminous density’ of the paint, its ‘corruption by charcoal’, and the apparent erasure that occurs as water works its way through the image, Mishka Sinha mentions. The erasures reappear within the suite of photographic works, where the images are disfigured with stains that appear on paper and skin, playing with memory and its loss.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Exhibition designing gains in prominence

India doesn’t have many qualified and experienced exhibition designers currently. Many gallerists and curators are increasingly paying heed to exhibition design. The recent Raja Deen Dayal photography show at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts was another example of the trend.

Of course, the realization has been there for the need to have expert exhibition designers to fructify an artist’s vision. In the beginning of her career, Nilima Sheikh in a show ‘When Champa Grew Up’ (1984) had made 12 folio-sized narrative works. The artist had intended for them to be bound and shown as a book. But as the exhibit neared, she decided to abandon the idea. The paintings were randomly put up on the wall. However, she gave it a serious thought in her show ‘Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams’ that traveled from Mumbai based Chemould Prescott Road to the LKA, Delhi.

She wanted her viewers to enter 6x10ft scrolls of lavish, large-scale miniature paintings. They hung on a hardly visible aluminum substructure, making them seem like floating canvases to suit the fantastical nature of the works. This change of approach on her part suggests a desire to experiment with exhibit space and design, pointing to a greater focus on museology.

This is an important facet, which has been added to Indian contemporary art practice. However, it is largely the domain of specialists like Mark Prime who came to Mumbai from the UK five years ago. He has worked on various art projects. For Anish Kapoor’s grand Mumbai display some time ago, he worked as a as a consultant exhibition designer. He played a major role in transforming the Mehboob studio into a space for showcasing cutting-edge sculptures. He also helped design artist Ranbir Kaleka’s solo show at Volte, Mumbai.

A museologist cannot really replace the curator - who is essentially in charge of the show’s thematic, but is still needed right from the development stage, according to Vishal K Dar, one of the few experts in this fast emerging domain.

Analyzing Chinese domination of world art market

Considering the 50 new records in the time span of July 2011-June 2012, the domination of China is clear in the domain of art as nearly 58 percent of these were set by Chinese practitioners. Market research agency, artprice, provides a better perspective by analyzing the data in its latest Contemporary Art Market Report, as follows:
  • The vast majority of the highest-priced Chinese artists are unknown by Western collectors because their work does not correspond to the requirements of Western ideals and taste. The dominance of Chinese artists is therefore economic in nature and very local - the fruit of an art often subsidized by the Chinese government or that has had to be approved by censors.
  • Of the eight new records by Contemporary Chinese artists, three were related to figurative works that we might qualify as academic with a bias towards generic scenes (Yang Feiyun, Zhao Bandi and Long Liyou); three offered a revisited ver¬sion of traditional drawing (Wang Xijing, Yang Xiaoyang and He Jiaying). Only two Chinese artists can be said to enjoy access to a global market: Zhou Chunya (born in 1955) and Liu Wei (born in 1965).
  • What are the keys to the incredibly rapid success of Poly International as an auction house? First of all, the operator is part of China Poly Group Corporation1 that was created by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).Subsidized by the Chinese government, Poly International immediately offered an aura of prestige and major financial resources. In addition, Chinese auction operators benefited from protectionism via the implementation of government restrictions on foreign sales companies in mainland China.
  • In Beijing, as everywhere in mainland China, most auctions companies are under state control and collectors from mainland China almost exclusively buy works created by their compatriots.The majority of them are neither trained nor in¬terested in producing Contemporary Western art that happens to be far removed from their cultural codes.Meanwhile, Western collectors prefer expatriate artists who contrast strongly with the local subsidised production.
  • It is in Beijing and Shanghai, aptly referred to as “villages of the cultural in¬dustry” by the Chinese state, that the new stars of Chinese painting and sculpture have emerged. However, Zhou Chunya, as Zhang Xiaogang and Zeng Fanzhi, who are among the artists collected by Westerners, began by selling in Taipei and Hong Kong before being sold in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sculptural works by Alwar Balasubramaniam at Talwar Gallery

Talwar Gallery is currently hosting twin solos of sculptural works by Alwar Balasubramaniam in New York as well as New Delhi. The former marks almost a decade since his US debut solo at the venue.

Expanding on the dialogue created by his past works, his most recent series of works push the boundaries of his practice conceptually and materially. Imperceptible folds and lines between the artist’s closed hands are monumentalized in works carved from sandstone and granite, while in other works cast from the artist’s body, the exterior is all that remains: a folded layer existing only as skin, cast off like clothing is a poignant remnant embodying absence.

Another work, hovering in mid-air, entices the viewer to believe in the unseen. In an interplay of forms taken from the body, the works become increasingly abstract as they move from the outside to the spaces enclosed within—the familiar sources of their creation dissolving into unexpected and ethereal formations.

An accompanying note elaborates, :Seeing is not believing and believing is what is in the unseen. Bala works with the thresholds of the physical, the visible, the perceptible, allowing the viewer to transgress all boundaries. His works materialize the non-physical, show the invisible and permit the experience of the imperceptible.”

The solo at the gallery’s Delhi venue primarily comprises of sculptural installations in continuation of his pursuit to bring to form the formless, in the process, making the viewer realize the potential of the hidden. A conceptual premise forms the core of his new series, entitled ‘Nothing from My Hands’, proclaims, “Our respect for material reality is more than that for the non material and non visible, we think of nothing as negative. I’m attempting here to show even nothing is something beautiful.”

A bewildering body of metal sculptures is created with an intricate lattice construction of lines, flowing gracefully with no apparent endings or beginnings, where the form merges onto itself, where there is no clear demarcation between the inside and outside, the self and the other, where both exists together as one. For the metalworks in it, he has employed cycle spokes (they are flexible and can withstand tension). He also has made use of stone and metal in the works.

An overview of Indian representation at the Beijing Biennale

At the 5th Beijing Biennale, the Indian Special Exhibition has been organized by the Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) in collaboration with the China Artists Association in Beijing. The event started on 28 September will go on until 22nd October, 2012.

Several talented contemporary Indian artists are taking part in this prestigious international show. They are all among top contemporary artists of the country, who have been showing their artworks at world-renowned galleries, platforms and art fairs. In an effort to make sure the Special Exhibition is a capable platform for the best of art practices from India, these artists have created new works for the exhibition.

The Special Exhibition comprises more than two dozen works of art in various mediums, including video works, installation, sculptures, printmaking, and paintings. The works will give the art fraternity the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the newer trends and forms contemporary Indian art is following.

The artists featuring in the Indian Special Exhibition include Anju Dodiya, whose proficiency in watercolor is well known. Chittrovanu Mazumdar’s video installation configures the magic of vivid colors as it seamlessly spills over a wet surface. K K Muhamed looks to examine the contemporary societal pressures. N N Rimzon offers a straightforward vision and perspective of the immediate milieu through his creations. Deepak Shinde is well renowned for his knack of using animal as motifs. Poosapati Parameshwar Raju explores the calligraphic medium so as to review the classic motifs in a totally new light.

Seema Kohli’s multi-colored butterfly installation incorporates forms not merely decorative in nature but also making metaphysical statements. K S Radhakrishnan expertly sculpts his forms into a captivating conglomerate, which holds deeper meaning hidden within the intriguing arrangement. Suman Gupta examines ordinary people’s life cycle in compelling works. Also on view are Riyas Kommu’s video work and Vijay Bagodi’s etchings, exuding their command over both technique and subject matter.

The works are expressive of each individual artist’s persona and artistic concerns. Besides their intrinsic Indianness, they are universal in nature. The visitors at 5th Beijing Biennale get an opportunity to savor the best of contemporary Indian art in these select representative offerings.

Best of Indian art showcased in Beijing - I

The theme of the India Special exhibition at Fifth Beijing Biennale is ‘Future and Reality’. It includes paintings, sculptures and video works. On the whole, works of these handpicked artists is highly representative of the country’s art scene, representing the evolution of contemporary Indian art.

N N Rimzon

Among the artists selected for the special section, N N Rimzon utilizes the magnetic draw of symbols to effectively present challenging ideas. His symbols are derived from his pastoral roots in the verdant countryside of Kerala. In ‘A House under the Tree’ the compact space defines the rural home within a compound-like setting with an overhang of tendrils from a giant tree form. On second thoughts this seemingly pastoral idyll gives way to a more sinister throttling symbolism, where the tree seems to represent within its form an eerie and undercover cynicism.

Poosapati Parameshwar Raju
The calligraphic creations of artist Poosapati Parameshwar Raju who is known for his modern take on the ancient art of calligraphy, in his work titled ‘Sun’, celebrates the winter solstice or Makar Sankranti. The vibrant strokes of his work generate a rhythm suggestive of the beginning of life, its continuance and its end. In an overlay of calligraphic lines suitably adopted to create forms instead of lettering, a whirl of energy is exuded in the stylized play of ink on paper.

Anju Dodiya

The minimal and consummate art of Anju Dodiya showcases her uncanny knack to use the most striking sources for obtaining symbols to express her personal agenda. In the work, titled ‘The Dark Milk of Dawn’, the convolutions and lines on the surface suggest an insight into moments when the artist is in a private and silent conversation with nature at dawn.

Riyas Komyu

Using film and video as categories for depicting their art are Riyas Komu and Chittrrovanu Mazumdar. The former’s projection of Kannagi the archetype of womanhood who never lets injustice pass unnoticed by her, draws from the symbolism of modern politics and military industrial style music to narrate modern evils such as injustice, war, indiscipline. The deliberately loud noise of the video is symbolic of the situation, for according to the artist, we have all become lifeless and dumb beings.

Chittrrovanu Mazumdar

His work, a selection of two digital prints on archival Hannamule Rag Paper, captures oblique recipients of light and dark noticed by him in puddles of water, on the floor of a temple. Above this concentrated image is the vast sky which in his interpretation acts as a catalyst of nostalgia for a time that came before. While one of these works can be seen on a wall, the other can be viewed on a sloping wooden structure in a darkened room.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Best of Indian art showcased in Beijing - II

The venue of the 5th Beijing Biennale is The National Art Museum of China, also giving a special place to India through a special exhibition courtesy the Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA). A special catalog by the Beijing Biennale Office of the China Artists Association contains elaborate write-ups. The LKA website provides insight into the exhibition and participating artists:
  • Artist K S Radhakrishnan has created a total of two sculptures on the lines of his miniature works with forms that the artist has fashioned after his characters Musi and Maiyya.
  • Balan Nambiar has created a stainless steel sculpture where the geometric proportions of the circular discs of stainless steel sit with an exactitude that suggest well thought principles of construct, where mathematics and aesthetics partner together to deliver elegance and lightness. In the balance, the work resembles a ballerina on stage.
  • For artist Seema Kohli, who has included a sculpture as her third entry into the exhibition, her work is representative of the opening of inner channels and merging with nature around.
  • Deepak Shinde’s works investigate the passion aroused for marked territories by both man and animal. He uses the form of a tiger to bring home the idea, also focusing on the powerful animal’s precarious condition, thereby focussing attention on the ecological system.
  • Suman Gupta’s art takes shape to glorify the individuality of man. For this he chooses the ordinary individual in his moment of relaxation, when he is freed of the burdens of existence and seeks refuge in temporary spurts of happiness. 
  • In the works of K K Muhamad, the role of violence in enhancing the power of art is a recognized fact, and his art is a response to this powerful theme. Examining the historical and religious context of violence, his mixed media work assembles a multiplicity of lines, strata, machines and bodies sourced from nature, architecture, technology, all of them creating an expansion of possibilities.
  • Moving away from the purely personal on to a more socially recognizable domain is the work of Vijay Bagodi titled ‘Between Shades and Shadows’. It depicts the factual contradiction emanating from the much touted philosophy of advising the viewer not to speak, hear or see evil. Made in the intaglio process on zinc plate and aquatint, it sharply points to the compromising of this issue in today’s circumstances.
(Information courtesy: Lalit Kala Akademi)

‘Prisms of perception’ of a new-generation Indian artist

During September-October 2012, Gigi Scaria is in Melbourne, supported by the Macgeorge Bequest. 

Simultaneously, the Ian Potter Museum of Art presents a selection of artist Gigi Scaria’s recent videos (Curators: Bala Starr and Natalie King) for the 2012 Melbourne Festival in partnership with Utopia@Asialink. It provides audiences with the opportunity to experience his work for the first time in this city.

Since 2002, he has made thirty independent films which explore a range of topics inspired by place and the people who inhabit particular locations that are imbued with different social and political conditions. The films include: ‘A day with Sohail and Maryan’ (2004), ‘Home: in/out’ (2005), ‘Raise your hands those who have touched him’ (2007), and ‘All about the other side’ (2008).

Subjects such as the children who inhabit the streets of New Delhi and the memories of people who have met or seen Mahatma Gandhi inspire him, whereas his recent video work deals with the impact of the rapid growth of India’s cities and the social conditions that have been affected by this change.

Gigi Scaria’s experience of moving from his village in the southern state of Kerala, to the sprawling national capital of India made clear to him the sense of alienation commonly experienced by migrants. His videos are informed by this experience and the change and constant flux of great cities. He is interested in the effect of this change on newly arrived and long-established residents.

Founded in 1972, the Potter Museum is the University of Melbourne’s art museum. Housed in an award-winning building opened in 1998, the Potter is the largest university-based art museum in Australia and a national leader in the field. The Potter manages the University Art Collection, a rich resource of art and artifacts spanning neolithic to contemporary.  We are a cultural and educational facility, serving both the campus community and the general public.

The Potter will also present a major solo by Gigi Scaria in September 2013.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

‘I Am Here’ at Galerie Mirchandani+Steinruecke

A solo exhibition of works by artist Nicola Durvasula, entitled ‘I Am Here’ takes place at Galerie Mirchandani+Steinruecke, Mumbai  

A sort of mini retrospective, it presents a wide range of material such as witty polemical plus conceptual works done on paper - intricate and accomplished figure drawings, as well as small sculptures that reveal her often absurd sensibility as well as poetic imagination.

The time span covered by the solo exhibition importantly coincides with the decade during which she has had a very strong association with India as evident in her art practice through subtle references to the region. These include stylistic elements drawn from art traditions of India as well as several biographical details, which appear in a curatorial text, accompanying the show.

Born  in Jersey, British Isles, in 1960 Nicola Durvasula did a Diplome National Superieurd ’Expression Plastique from the Ecole des Beaux Arts du Havre, France, and later an M.A. (Fine Art) from the Kent Institute of Art & Design. Among her solos are ‘Blame it on the sun’ (2011), Rachmaninoff’s, London; ‘Life is but a dream’, part vii (2008), Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai; ‘Static lines and where they take you’ (2007), Thomas Erben Gallery, New York; ‘Nicola Durvasula’ (2004), Nature Morte, Delhi and ‘D. Nicola’ (2000), Gallery Chemould, Mumbai.

Her work was featured in ‘Watercolour’ in 2011, at Tate Britain, London. Among her recent participations are ‘Homespun’ (2011), Devi Art Foundation, Delhi; ‘Les Printemps des Poetes’ (2010), Salon de Lecture, Musee de Quai Branly, Paris; ‘Progressive to Altermodern’ (2009), Grosvenor Gallery, London; ‘Three Points of View’ (2008), GalerieMirchandani + Steinruecke; and ‘Nicola Durvasula, Chitra Ganesh, Tejal Shah’ (2006), Thomas Erben Gallery, New York. 

Her artworks will be showcased at an exhibition, entitled ‘The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989’ in February 2013 at the Chicago-based Smart Museum of Art.  She lives and works in Walmer, Kent.

‘The Flashback’ of a master sculptors work

Anish Kapoor is one of Britain’s most distinguished artists. He has achieved international acclaim for his sensual and beguiling sculptures created using pigment, stone, stainless steel and wax, and his work is represented in major exhibitions, collections and public spaces across the globe.

‘The Flashback’ exhibition is the first survey of Anish Kapoor’s work to be held in the UK outside of London. The exhibition at Longside features earlier work form the Arts Council Collection, with more recent sculpture on loan from the artist and public collections.

The starting point for this exhibition is the Arts Council Collection’s ‘White Sand, Red Millet, Many Flowers’, a very early pigment work which Kapoor has returned to in his thinking over many years. Infectious experimentation with a vast range of materials and forms has continued ever since, as has his investigation into universal themes concerning belief, passion and experience. The exhibition reveals many of the outcomes of the artist’s unique endeavor, including his exploration of voids, mirrored surfaces and vortices.

It's a major series of touring exhibitions from the Arts Council Collection. A new illustrated publication featuring an interview with Anish Kapoor accompanies the exhibition, shop in store or online. For further information visit or join us for free lunch time talks. The exhibition was previously seen at Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Nottingham; Sculpture Court, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh Festival; and Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester.

The Mumbai-born world-renowned artist has a lot going on for in recent months. His ‘Orbit tower’, a bright red mass of captivating crisscrossing metal beams, was a centerpiece of the London Olympics.  He had said, “An Olympic project is kind of like a national project. Think of what the Chinese did. They had Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei build a stadium for them: politically, they were able to use good design for their own end, to justify the modernity of the Chinese state. We may all roll our eyes, but they did it and got away with it: politically, aesthetically.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

‘Local Color’ at San Jose Museum

From the color of our cars to the colors we choose to wear, one thing is certain: our preference for particular colors is a personal one.  Many of us have an opinion about color, whether it involves selecting a range of colors for the walls in our homes or deciding on the appropriate color scheme for a company logo. 

Treatises have been written on the psychology and spirituality of color, and theories abound on how colors are named or created.  For artists, the choices to use color are no different than the choices we make about color in our daily lives.  Color may be a vehicle for pure pleasure; for shaping the liveliness of a composition; or for invoking a particular emotional tone or volume.

‘Local Color’, drawn from the San Jose Museum’s permanent collection, explores the primacy of color in a range of works, from Alexander Calder’s whimsical mobiles to Elmer Bischoff’s luscious, light-filled canvases to David Levinthal’s slick, color-saturated photographs of Barbie dolls. 

Also featured are works by artists who consider the quiet, meditative nuances of black and white.  This exhibition encourages viewers to look at color as content.  How does color play into your intuitive experience of a work of art?  What are some of the ways artists use color as the subject of their work?

In Barbara Takenaga’s hypnotic painting Wheel (SJ) (2011), abstract patterns of circles, spirals, and pinwheels may recall star-filled galaxies or psychedelic visions.  Takenaga employed a modest palette of colors (blue, gray, and black) to intense effect.  Sam Tchakalian took a different approach in his painting   Hole in One (ca. 1990), in which his limited selection of blue-green, gray, and white colors allude to the glossy, sunlit surface of a lake or pool.  Tchakalian’s watery reference produces a sensation of respite and calm.

This exhibition also includes work by Josef Albers, Fletcher Benton, Mary Corse, Tony DeLap, Sam Francis, Sonia Gechtoff, James Hayward, Paul Jenkins, Amy Kaufman, Markus Linnenbrink, Nathan Oliveira, Fred Spratt, Raimonds Staprans, Amy Trachtenberg, and Patrick Wilson, among others.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ranu Mukherjee: Telling Fortunes at SJMA

‘Ranu Mukherjee: Telling Fortunes’ is presented by SJMA in conjunction with the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial: Seeking Silicon Valley. Here’s a quick look at the artist and the show as elaborated in a  press release:
  • “We tend to think of nomads as age-old tribes who wandered the worlds’ deserts and plains in search of food, water, resources, or trade. But who are the nomads of the 21st century—e.g. migrant laborers, expatriates, transnationals, global high-tech virtuosos, international students, refugees, those who commute and relocate for work?
  • Ranu Mukherjee is fascinated by the idea of the contemporary nomad and the experience of repeated relocation that is common for so many of us today. What better place than Silicon Valley—with its rich history of immigration, itinerant workers, dot-com booms and busts, and outsourcing—to explore this updated notion of the nomad.
  • Memory, places, and possessions all contribute to our mutable sense of a “home” as something that you can take with you. For the ongoing project that she calls the “nomadic archive,” she collects images that represent people’s very personal experiences of moving or up-rootedness. The artist then elegantly renders the images in ink and paint on paper. The images contributed range from an airplane cabin to Rajasthani shoes (traditional Indian shoes).
  • For ‘Telling Fortunes’, a new show at San Jose Museum of Art, she has gathered diverse examples of contemporary nomadism in Silicon Valley – for example the bees at Happy Hollow Park and Zoo, San Jose; immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan; and the Buddhist temples followers in the area. Ranu Mukherjee wants her art to reflect the idea that ‘images are collectively made’.
  • For her, such creativity—a coming-together of the experiences of a community—generates positive energy and auspiciousness. Via painting, digital animation, and photography, Mukherjee transforms this crowd-sourced material into brilliantly colorful films. The result is a dazzling mix of fact and fantasy; digital and analog; and the spiritual and material.
  • Visitors can be a part of the exhibition (the third installment of SJMA’s experimental series, “Beta Space”) by contributing material to Mukherjee’s “nomadic archive.” They can send their reflections, experiences, or ideas of the nomadic (in image or story-form) to or visit

Works of seven Indian artists exhibited in Australia

The Contemporary Art Centre located in South Australia plays host to the artworks of several highly talented Indian artists who, as it describes, work with different avatars and extensions of the various photographic images. The exhibition, entitled ‘The Needle on the Gauge, curated by critic and scholar Ranjit Hoskote, features Gauri Gill, Ram Rahman, Gigi Scaria, Ryan Lobo, Samar Jodha, Ravi Agarwal, and Veer Munshi.

The showcase traces collective crises and afflictions visible in India through a series of documentary projects, posters, performance-based work, and composite media practices like blogs.

An environmental activist, writer and photographer, Ravi Agarwal is also the founder of Toxics Link and explorer of the embattled terrain of the ubiquitous urban self. A renowned designer, social activist, writer, curator, and photographer , Ram Rahman is among the founder members of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) fighting the cause of for cultural freedom.

Gigi Scaria is a sculptor, video-maker and painter, who reflects on various situations of power asymmetry, such as internal migration, apart from focusing on the deeper divides of myth and amnesia inadvertently encrypted into our collective, constructed shared histories.

Samar Jodha is a film-maker, photographer and social activist who is known to work with street children, the aged people, miners in strife-worn regions of north-eastern India and peasantry.
Ryan Lobo is an urban researcher, an avid blogger and photographer who has worked on many documentary projects in conflict zones of Africa and West Asia . Veer Munshi is a video-maker, photographer and painter,who deeply probes into the Kashmir situation, the immense human and cultural suffering inflicted because of terrorism and proxy warfare.

Gauri Gill, who earlier worked as a photojournalist, has developed her art practice at the intersection between critical ethnography, the photographic installation and reportage. Born in Chandigarh she did her BFA at the New Delhi College of Art. She later studied at the Parsons School of Design, New York, and Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, where she completed her MFA.

The work of all these artists has been exhibited extensively across India and the world. ‘The Needle on the Gauge’ is presented courtesy Adelaide Festival Centre.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A show on relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Passionate love, marriage, childlessness, affairs, divorce – and yet another reconciling marriage. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s passionate relationship was turbulent. Many exhibitions have emphasized private and personal matters when presenting works by the two Mexican artists. In a new exhibition, Denmark-based ARKEN chooses an alternative focus by examining how each artist regarded and represented themselves as well as the Mexican identity.
Frida Kahlo depicted everyday life and brought Mexican culture into her art. She became a pioneer of modern art by representing herself from the position of a female artist at the very periphery of the Western art scene. She questioned the issue of gender in both everyday life and art. She introduced new artistic themes which hardly had had any visibility in the history of art previously.

With simple forms and condensed motifs, Diego Rivera created a popular idiom accessible to everyone. In his own words he saw a potential masterpiece everywhere – in the local customs and in the everyday life of ordinary people. His paintings ascribe dignity to everyday life and can be seen as monuments of existential human conditions. In his art, Rivera included motifs and experiences that were unfamiliar to high culture.
Kahlo and Rivera each developed their distinct modern style rooted in the Mexican cultural heritage. In the exhibition you can experience the diversity in their artistic strategies; Frida Kahlo’s personal, autobiographic point of departure opposed to Diego Rivera’s existential yet revolutionary utterances. Common to Kahlo and Rivera was the wish to create new, closer connections between art and life.

Simultaneously, ARKEN, in collaboration with Carl-Henning Pedersen’s & Else Alfelt’s Museum in Herning, is showing a major exhibition of the work of this Danish Cobra artist on the eve of his 100th birthday. Like many other artists of his time, Carl-Henning Pedersen drew freely on inspiration from the art and artiefacts of other times and other cultures. In his wildly imaginative imagery, widely different visual idioms flow together across time and place. In his art, the artist sought the same special, universally human primal force that surged through his own being. The exhibition elucidates this theme through the selection and presentation of his works.

A unique international avenue to savor modern and contemporary art

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is a pioneering place that aims to challenge, inspire, inform and delight, welcoming over 300,000 visitors, including 40,000 learning visits each year. What makes its so special and so unique?
  • The only one of its kind international centre for modern and contemporary art is experienced and enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year through open-air displays by some of the world’s finest artists, enjoy fascinating exhibitions throughout four stunning galleries, the natural beauty of an historic estate, and get a dynamic line up of events and activities.
  • YSP seeks to provide a centre of international, national and regional importance for the production, exhibition and appreciation of modern and contemporary sculpture. Many inspirational elements combine here to create a unique and exceptional balance of art, heritage, learning, space and landscape.
  • YSP’s success is a testament to personal commitment and vision. The organisation has grown over the last 35 years: from humble beginnings with £1,000 to fund a small exhibition of 31 sculptures, to now contribute £5 million to the local economy and is responsible for five indoor galleries set in 500 acres of the 18th century-designed Bretton Estate, reunited in recent years under YSP’s stewardship.
  • Within a national and European context YSP is unique, offering artists and visitors experiences and opportunities unlike anywhere else. ‘Great art for everyone’ has been YSP’s goal since opening to the public in 1977, enabling access, understanding and enjoyment of art and landscape for everyone, whilst dismantling many of the barriers that often exist between the public and contemporary art. This vision remains as strong as ever.
  • The revelatory nature of the Park’s setting opens up many possibilities and encourages exploration of the relationship between art and nature, stimulating engagement and adventure in the surroundings. To look out across carefully designed vistas in the parkland, to chance upon a sculpture in the landscape, to make personal discoveries whilst seeing and touching sculptures by some of the leading artists of the 20th century – there is nowhere else like Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Contemporary artists from India draw critical acclaim

Driven by a belief that globalization is a complex challenge and not merely a convenient tag to substitute the typical ‘internationality’ of the modern age, several prestigious art institutions world over are keen to investigate art trends in emerging social and economic superpowers like India.

This line of thinking in spheres of contemporary art is well reflected in a series of recent curatorial ventures as well as the choice of names, who are known to respond to deeper criteria than just belonging to a particular state or nation (though that too is significant!).

Over the last few years, renowned galleries across the world are hosting acclaimed artists from India in a series of group and solo shows in order to deepen the audience interest in contemporary Indian art. Many of the now regularly feature at the prestigious shows and art events that question today’s consumerist culture, pointedly questioning the relationship between use and value, as well as highlighting contradictions inherent in everyday life with a touch of irony and crude aesthetic, at times.

Studio la Città in Verona, Italy (Riyas Komu, Jagannath Panda, and Hema Upadhyay); Berlin based Arndt & Partner (ARNDT) hosting a Jitish Kallat solo, entitled ‘Likewise’; his ‘Public Notice 3’ at The Art Institute of Chicago; Indian Highway’ at the Reykjavík Art Museum, Iceland; Hauser & Wirth presenting paintings by Subodh Gupta in its new Zurich space, an installation by Raqs Media Collective at York based e-flux; and Nalini Malani’s retrospective at Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne are some prominent examples of this trend.

'In Transition: New Art from India’ (TV Santhosh, Sudarshan Shetty, Shilpa Gupta, Reena Kallat etc) at Richmond Art Gallery in Canada are some of the prominent examples. ‘India Awakes: Under the Banyan Tree’ at the Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg in Austria, ‘Chalo India’ at Victoria Miro, Thomas Gibson in London, Gallery Krinzinger in Vienna and Berlin based Gallerie Christian Hosp are other major instances.

Sidelights of Frieze London 2012

Sculpture Park
The Sculpture Park at Frieze London 2012 has been selected by Clare Lilley, Director of Program at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Located in the beautiful surroundings of the English Garden, it is within a three-minute walk of Frieze London and exhibits new works by both established and emerging artists represented by Frieze London exhibitors. Entry to the Sculpture Park is free to the public. In 2012 the following artists’ work will be exhibited in the Sculpture Park:

Hemali Bhuta, Adip Dutta, Sam Falls, Hans Josephsohn, Alan Kane and Simon Periton, , Yayoi Kusama, Sean Landers, Michael Landy, Peter Liversidge, Andreas Lolis, Jean-Luc Moulènem, David Nash, Damián Ortega, Anri Sala, Thomas Scheibitz, William Turnbull, and Maria Zahle.

Frieze Projects
  • Thomas Bayrle will present two patterned works along the entrance to the fair and in the public squares using designs originally conceived in 1967. Working since the mid-sixties, Bayrle is now recognized as key figure in European ‘Pop Art’, sometimes referred to as Grey Pop.
  • Aslı Çavuşoğlu: Murder in Three Acts is inspired by the representation of art in popular media, particularly in television crime series.
  • DIS magazine: DIS is a post-Internet lifestyle magazine about art, fashion and commerce with collaborators from the worlds of fashion, art, music and technology.
  • Grizedale Arts / Yangjiang Group: For Frieze London, Grizedale and Frieze Foundation will host a programme of food-related performance, discussion, representation and retail.
  • Joanna Rajkowska: Forcing a Miracle is a project that is intended to make the ground - soil, grass and stones - burn and produce smoke.

Frieze Music
Frieze Music was established to develop the crossover between contemporary art and music. Frieze Music was originally created by Dan Fox, Senior Editor of frieze magazine, and Steve Mackey, producer and musician. Frieze Music’s varied programme has featured bands, avant-garde classical composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and pop series, such as that co-ordinated by Franz Ferdinand in 2004. Frieze Music has taken place during the week of the fair and attracted a wide audience.
Frieze Foundation
Frieze Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2003 and is responsible for the curated program at Frieze Art Fair, comprising artist commissions, talks, films, music and education.  It’s  funded by the European Commission’s Culture 2007 program and Arts Council England.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rohini Devasher’s artistic concerns

Rohini Devasher’s work features at a group show, entitled ‘Rendez-vous 12’, conceptualized by ten international curators at the Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG)’

Key areas of contemplation and discovery to artist Rohini Devasher remain pattern recognition and pattern formation within organic form and an understanding of the universal underlying structure within nature’s complexity. She elaborates: “In the scientific realm, as the rate of genetic modification accelerates, the boundary of form and function blurs and these chimeras become more of a possibility of what could be.”

In her quest to define the ambiguous space between science and art, imagined and observed reality, Rohini Devasher’s continues to experiment with different mediums, such as digital prints, drawing and video. Each of them brings something unique to the respective work and consequently carries with it an uncharted territory to explore.

Born in 1978, the artist lives and works in Delhi. She received her MFA in Printmaking from Winchester School of Art in the UK and her BFA from the College of Art, Delhi. She has exhibited in group shows at the Apeejay Media Gallery and Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi; Green Cardamom & the British Library, London; Bose Pacia, Kolkata; and the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh. She was awarded the KHOJ International Arts & Sciences Residency as well as the INLAKS Fine Art Award and a Sarai Associate Fellowship.

Her ‘Bloodlines’ featured at The Hong Kong International Art Fair 2010, courtesy Mumbai’s Project 88, enlivened ‘a warehouse, full of impossible monsters…’. It took a cue from evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, who put forward this intriguing idea in his document 'The Blind Watchmaker'. Exploring the theory of cumulative selection, it presented a curious family tree of constructed artificial evolution.

Explaining this unusual piece of art, the write-up had stated: “It begins with seven forms; parents let us say. Each ‘parent’ form is the result of a gradual construction of an intricate skeletal structure made of individual, manually placed layers of video. The original footage consists of video feedback that occurs when a loop is created between a video camera and a television screen or monitor.” And what did it lead to? An astonishing array of spatiotemporal patterns spontaneously emerged from the feedback system.

Tantalizing ‘Table Wide Country’ at Frieze fair

Bani Abidi presents a solo showcase in the ‘Frame’ section of the Frieze fair dedicated to art galleries under six-years-old. Mumbai-based Chaterjee & Lal and Project 88 are featuring here.

The artist is very much excited over her participation at the prestigious fair. She is renowned for her sharp visual commentary on immediate socio-political milieu. The artist hosts in her solo a set of photos that have been shot in a fictitious character’s home. The series, entitled ‘Table Wide Country’, aims to capture eccentricities of human beings in make-belief realms, which often turn into psychological cushions. This particular character is a war models collector, but his is an effort to react to the history of a conflict with his own provocative and uneasy, albeit perhaps therapeutic narratives.

As an artist, she is conceptual in approach. She works primarily with video and photography. They often comprise humorous moments drawn from everyday life that she employs to comment on various socio-political and cultural situations that concern her. Her new video and photographic works are about people who are going elsewhere. Through multiple frames and gestures she builds up an anatomy of preparation, anxiety and patience. The entire video is a play on coercion using migration as a metaphor.

Born in Pakistan, Bani Abidi completed her graduation from the National College of Arts in Lahore in 1994 and completed her Master’s from Art Institute of Chicago, in 1999. Her works have been exhibited widely in solo and group shows such as ‘Karachi’, Green Cardamom, London 2010, ‘Where Three Dreams Cross', Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; The X Lyon Biennale 2009, Lyon, France; 7th Gwangju Biennale 2008, Kwangju, South Korea, among others. Her works are in the collections of MoMA, New York and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi, and several other prestigious private collections. In 2011 she was an artist in residence at the prestigious DAAD Artists –in –Berlin program.

Works that encapsulate Bani Abidi’s artistic concerns

In her work, Bani Abidi generates an atmosphere that evokes the personal, domestic and the familiar, set against the larger tectonic forces associated with nationhood and citizenship within Pakistan today.

The first ever UK solo public exhibit, entitled ‘Section Yellow’ (2011-12), comprising recent works by the renowned Pakistani artist took place courtesy BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. ‘The Distance from Here 2010’, a central work in the show, according to the gallery press release, was a video that panned between two distinct environments; the sanitized interior of a generic waiting room and a vast outdoor ground circumscribed by security scanners, guards and surface markings.

It elaborated: “In both locations a crowd of people quietly assembles and waits their turn, although for what one doesn’t entirely know. The artist develops a play on coercion and control, using migration and the movement of people as a subtle metaphor. Ambient sounds form the mood of the work: the deadly stasis and mechanical noise of the waiting area contrast with the sound of dawn in the world outside.

Bani Abidi’s recent photographic work ‘Untitled, One of Two and Two of Two’ (all 2010) well complimented the film. The series (Untitled) carried mundane plastic and paper folders, stuffed with stamped copies of personal documents. Text and image combined to create narratives of endurance, of longing and resignation. These works contrasted with the enlarged passport photograph ‘One of Two’ that made for a more intimate encounter, showing the haunted expression of an old man.

Another series of digital drawings by her looked at various types of surveillance architecture in Pakistan. Class disparity and the protectionist nature of gated homes were examined in Intercommunication Devices 2009, while Security Barriers A-L, 2008 showed security barriers found outside foreign embassies and government buildings in Karachi. Isolated from their context of use, both these series embodied hierarchies of power and partial, or selective, communication.

An iPad app to facilitate visitor-friendly exhibition experiences

The Kimbell Museum had just unveiled a new iPad application, featuring conservation-based information on artworks in its collection. This free app is going to be available on iPad devices that the visitors can borrow and utilize in the various galleries during the major anniversary show, entitled ‘The Kimbell at 40: An Evolving Masterpiece’ in the month of October.

“Conservation is a very important and fascinating thing that we do here. It’s rare to have the opportunity of sharing such kind of behind-the-scenes details with our visitors,” quipped the Museum’s director, Eric M. Lee. “With the app (developed by a Dallas-based company), we can deliver descriptive images, intriguing discoveries and in-depth research difficult to be included in the labels, in a highly innovative format that lets personalized exploration of our collection.”

In addition to the paintings’ restoration by its director of conservation Claire Barry, elaborate technical study has also been done on the works in its collection. For example, when the team examined ‘Christ and the Woman of Samaria’, Guercino’s changes (pentimenti) in the peculiar position of Christ’s hand, noticed through X-radiography, showed characteristic preoccupation of the artist with this significant gesture’s placement.

A wide selection of conservation discoveries have been featured on the iPad app, such as  insights into different artists’ techniques apart from stamps, labels, signatures etc, providing details of an artwork’s history or confirming its attribution. For each featured painting, large, zoomable images are inserted along with the text material that describes the conservation discoveries.

The app features 31 paintings by artists like Caravaggio, Picasso and Monet as well as many recent acquisitions by Bonington, Guercino, Poussin and Michelangelo plus a striking Pre-Angkor sculpture form Cambodia –that of a Hindu god, Harihara. Incidentally, the museum had done a similar experiment for one of its earlier exhibitions, entitled ‘Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment’.

It too incorporated a specially made iPad app for visitors to decipher finer aspects of Cubism, leveraging advances in advanced digital imaging and the unmatched convenience of the device. The idea was to offer newer ways of looking at and understanding the intricate processes, relationships and overall stylistic developments of Analytic Cubism.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Handmade weaver bird's delicate nests crafted by Adip Dutta

Born 1970, Adip Dutta did his Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) in 1998 and Master of Visual Arts (MVA), Dept of Sculpture, Faculty of Visual Arts at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata (2000). A member of Faculty of Visual Arts at the university, Calcutta

He has had solos including ‘MAN | NAM’, Aicon Gallery, London, UK (2007); ‘The Mould Confronting a Snake - The Theatre of the Absurd’ (an exhibition of sculptures, sculptural objects, drawings and period photographs), Project 88, Mumbai (2006); Installation in Sculpture, Art Heritage, New Delhi (2003), and ‘Sculptural Arrangements’, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata (2001).

His selected group exhibits include Art Dubai, EXPERIMENTER, Kolkata (2011); ‘Writing Visuals’, Harrington Street Arts Center, Kolkata (201O); ‘Tell Tale: Fiction Falsehood & Fact’, EXPERIMENTER (2009); ‘New Wave: Contemporary Indian Art’, Aicon Gallery, London and New York (2007); ‘Other Directions’, Birla Academy of Art and Culture (2006); ‘New Wave in Bengal Art’, Akar Prakar, Kolkata (2005); ‘Migration City, Home’, Lalit Kala Kendra, Kolkata and Birla Academy of Art and Culture (2003). His public installation, entitled ‘Celestial Angels’, in Delhi was widely appreciated.

Hand woven with shiny stainless steel wires, industrial scrubbers and loofahs, his creations on view at  the prestigious fair explore the subtle relationship existing between natural and cultural, and also the patient act of constructing a nest out of the instinct of protecting and preserving. This larger than life work is monumental forms is titled ‘Nested’.

In essence, the sculpture at Frieze, London by him is a meticulously created set of nests with which he explores the nuances of relationship between the seemingly ordinary, diverse material and nature. The artist weaves and layers the artwork - in an apparent act of replication very much akin to a bird's nest. This weaver bird's nest symbolizes delicate craftsmanship, aesthetic sensibilities, and perseverance, according to him. "It's an example of the natural nesting instinct in the mammals to offer a sense of care and protection, reflecting in the primal instinct of building a shelter that transcends both time and place."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A spotlight on Neha Choksi

  • Neha Choksi received her MA in Classics from Columbia University, New York and her BAs in Greek and in Art from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Her work has been shown in Los Angeles, London, New York, Madrid, Amsterdam, Sydney, Istanbul, Delhi, Bombay, and as part of the 10th Venice Architecture Biennale. 
  • She is a member of the Artist Pension Trust, Los Angeles, and serves on the editorial board of X-TRA, an arts journal published out of Los Angeles.  Her work is currently represented by Carl Berg Projects in Los Angeles and Project 88 in Mumbai. 
  • Among her selected solos are ‘Iceboat (From the Trilogy on Absenting)’, Project 88, Mumbai (2012); ‘If nothing else, just a smile’, Project 88; Recent Video Works, Carl Berg Projects, Los Angeles (2010); ‘don’t hold it in breathe out’, Project 88 (2009); ‘Who is in town anyway?’, Project 88 (2007); ‘Gravity’s Playthings’, Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles (2005); ‘Homeless Encounters’, Carl Berg Gallery at Scope NY, New York; ‘Renouncing the World’, Bir Dukkan: Sanat Mekanı, Istanbul; ‘The American President Travels (East), Block Gallery, Sydney’ (2002); ‘Floral Futures’, The Fine Arts Company Gallery, Mumbai (2001).
  • Among her collaborative or two person shows are a display with Sandeep Mukherjee at the 2011 Hong Kong Art Fair; ‘Leaf Fall II;, Project 88 at the Indian Art Summit, Delhi (with Rohini Devasher) in 2009; and ‘Reading ^ the lines’ (with Kapil Gupta, Niti Gourisaria, and Ashim Ahluwalia) in 2007, among others. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Mumbai.
  • Her photographic series ‘If nothing else, just a smile’ serialized a tour through a single cemetery approached as an altered garden in the tradition of nature-morte. In addition to selecting amputated trees, she had cropped them and made the view partial, and then she effaced them even further by drawing over them. This point of erasure--the place where absence get memorialized, i.e. headstone, cemetery, chopped tree limb node—was exactly where the drawing emerged. The site of loss was scratched with drawings of happy faces.
Her work featured at Frieze Fair ‘Poise II’ courtesy Mumbai-based Project 88 also brings out the crux of her art practice.