Monday, March 11, 2013

A Sheela Gowda retrospective at Van Abbemuseum

Netherlands’s Van Abbemuseum presents a retrospective of works by Sheela Gowda. It includes an overview of the artist’s photography and painting, revealing her exploration into the makeup of images, which runs alongside her sculptural practice. It’s probably the first time that the different elements of her practice are being shown alongside one another, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the artist’s historical and cultural significance.

The showcase forms part of the series of major solos at the venue in 2012-13, which has thus far included David Maljkovic, Yael Bartana, Piero Gilardi and René Daniëls. Programmed to highlight the acclaimed Indian artist’s visual concerns, 'Open Eye Policy' will occupy the classic space of the Oudbouw (old building) and will span the last twenty years of Gowda’s practice, including the artist’s large scale installations, painting and photography, as well as smaller sculptural works.

Initially trained as a painter, since the 1990’s she has increasingly developed a sculptural and installation practice, employing materials to draw out references to the social and cultural context of India. Her artworks, both sensual and unsettling, conjure some of the darkest aspects of human experience, wherein poetically invested materials evoke. The artist terms them ‘the insidious nature of violence, overt and insidious in our psychic makeup’.

An accompanying note states: “Her use of unconventional materials is highly evocative: the tactile qualities of thread, hair, traditional dyes, pattern and weaving are transformed into socially loaded objects and configurations, located within the network of production and distribution of India’s socio-political legacy.”

The Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven is one of the first public museums for contemporary art to be established in Europe. The museum’s collection of around 2700 works of art includes key works and archives by Lissitzky, Picasso, Kokoschka, Chagall, Beuys, McCarthy, Daniëls and Körmeling. The museum has an experimental approach towards art’s role in society. Openness, hospitality and knowledge exchange are important.

1 comment:

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