4 Jun 2008

The week that was - Bangalore

Surprisingly, just when I thought nothing happens in summer, there was a lot of creative activity in the city. Remember the sculpture workshop I had talked about a couple of weeks ago? Well it ended recently with all the artists having created at least 1 sculptural piece. The good thing about a workshop such as this is that it offers a fantastic opportunity to watch artists at work. To see the changing shape of the clay over the days was an exciting process. The inimitable Laxma Goud finished with three pieces – complete with ornate designs and elaborate detailing. Talk about energy! Alex Mathew created a fascinating clay model of Francisco Goya’s etching ‘The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters’. I look forward to seeing that in bronze. Jyotsna Bhatt from Baroda worked and conditioned the clay diligently over and over again just as she does with her ceramic pieces, to finally make a delightful cat. Some of you will remember the Ahmedabad based sculptor Karl Antao who had an exhibition of his sculptures in the city last year. Working along similar lines, he made busts of a man and woman joined together at the base. I have to say his works are quite intense and cerebral. I enjoyed Manjunath Kamath’s self-portrait with a quizzical and satirical touch. Reghu and his take on rural men and women are quite well known in Bangalore, he made a similar model here too. All the clay models will be cast in bronze later on and will hopefully be put up for public viewing.

The Kala Utsav was organised by the Department of Kannada and Culture at the newly renovated Venkatappa Art Gallery. Artist SG Vasudev’s catalogue - the Kannada version of his last show ‘Past Forward’ was released during the festival. There seemed to be quite a few artists (50, I’m told) participating in the 5-day event, but unfortunately most of the works that were put up were quite mediocre. However, there were some interesting paintings from Ken School of Art and a few sculptures from CAVA, Mysore.

Finally, last Friday, Ravikumar Kashi held a daylong informal preview of his paper installations that are going to be a part of an international art fair to be held later in the year in Santa Fe. The books have been made out of paper pulp and I had seen some of them before at his studio, but the other works titled ‘What if’ have been made recently. These are similar to an earlier series ‘Armour’ that he had done a couple of years ago.

(Published in Bangalore Mirror)

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