Sunday, February 10, 2013

‘Life is movement’ for this enchanting art form

The Warli art is largely driven by their simple albeit interesting day-to-day life, which includes activities like hunting and fishing. Trees are quite common in their paintings, depicted meticulously. Their art is largely comprised of the two inverted triangles that symbolize bodies, whether of animals or human beings. By altering the alignment of the triangles, the fascinating figures are given a feel of movement.

Describing the aspects that move the Warli soul, renowned painter Jivya Soma Mashe has been quoted as saying, “There are human beings, birds, animals and insects. There is movement all day and all night. Life is movement.” Several artists including Mashe have been invited to exhibit in prestigious museums and galleries across the globe, including the Quai Branly, Paris; and the British Museum. Their work is in several renowned collections like Devi Art Foundation. Delhi, Foundation Cartier of Contemporary Art, and many private collectors like Agnés B.

Mashe has showcased his work in India and abroad for close to three decades at venues including Gallery Chemould, Jehangir Art Gallery (in Mumbai); the Palais de Menton, France (his first exhibit outside India in 1976); the Pompidou Centre, Paris; Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milano, Italy; Shippensburg University, the US; and Halle Saint Pierre, Paris. He had had a joint show with Richard Long at Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, Germany. He received the National Award for the Tribal Art and has also been honored with the Padma Shri by the Government of India.

A curator of the upcoming show of Warli art at London-based Grosvenor Gallery, Hervé Perdriolle, is a known collector, critic and art curator. In 2003, he organized an encounter between Jivya Soma Mashe and Richard Long. This resulted in two milestone exhibitions, one in 2003 in Düsseldorf, and the other in 2004. He has contributed in the hosting of several exhibits like ‘(M)other India’ at the Galerie du Jour/Agnès B and ‘Show & Tell’ at the Foundation Cartier, Paris( 2011-12).

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