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.

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