Showing posts with label Art Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Review. Show all posts

21 May 2020

Review: Mapping Places and the Self

Review: Neha Chandaria

Work by Neha ChandariaNeha Chandaria’s ongoing series comprises minimalist works on paper with markings and calligraphic text. Furniture and other functional household objects are rendered as a letter/text, filling the motif with the grey of the pencil on notebooks and writing sheets. The intimate drawings on personal writing materials are akin to journaling, perhaps a process of reconciliation with various transitions occurring at multiple levels in her personal life. Her recent relocation to UK from India, with its inherent geographical, social and cultural changes involved in the process, amidst notions of identity and displacement, contribute to the subtext in the journaling. There is an evident mapping of the associated anxieties to locate one self and the landscape in and through the art making. The unoccupied chair in its diverse forms is a repeated motif, deployed symbolically, its spatial display leading to several interpretations. 

Work by Neha ChandariaChandaria completed her Masters in Fine Arts from Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda and went on to teach at Sir J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai and worked as a product designer before relocating to London. Her early works, while living in Baroda, were oil on canvas, in a large format, depicting architectural elements as sliced off sections in warm tones, experimenting with light as a spatial theme. Symmetrical patterns predominated, with minimal motifs, the layers and textures built up to depict sections of dwellings, and the warmth and sensitivity alluding to human presence. The paintings appear to be anchored in realism; the absence of sentient life palpable in suggestions of another world or existence beyond the walls, doors and niches. The structured enclosures formed a metaphorical ground for stories that lay outside its periphery. Another series from this time period, done with gouache on paper in a small format, layered and textured with the occasional motif, appears to lay the foundation for her later works. 
Work by Neha Chandaria

After shifting to Mumbai, a large bustling city known for its tiny living quarters seemed to impact Neha’s art making in numerous ways. She gravitated towards a minimalist palette and small works on paper. There is a visible anxiety apparent in the works, fragmented, ragged edges and short rapid brushstrokes – perhaps a reflection of the pace of the metropolis. On a short trip to Scotland in 2010, the travel to Honister slate mine had an enormous influence on her palette. She found the colour grey of the stone – slate, resonated with her on psychological and philosophical planes. She could relate to the metamorphic layering of the stone, its distinctiveness, the imperfection, the texture and its unique colour. It also appeared to reflect her state of mind, the in-between zone linking physical places and her art practice. The subsequent works created around this concept were exhibited as a solo show titled ‘Grey’, at Gallery Knots, Baroda. 
Work by Neha Chandaria

Work by Neha ChandariaIn a marked shift, Neha was then drawn to further strip away unnecessary elements from her works. It became increasingly minimal, characterized by markings with pencil, exploring interplay of lines, geometry and grids. The markings highlighted the essentials and attempted to negotiate the need for compositional space and art materials. These works were sparse and pared to a bare minimum, which she explains as a conscious decision to strip the excessive layering, while evaluating the kind of medium she wanted to work with. She says, “I believe in these set of works, I am celebrating my penchant towards mark making, pencil became my favourite medium, and this minimalism somehow is influenced by my interest in philosophy of Aparigraha (desire for possessions to what is necessary or important).” 

Chandaria’s works are at an interesting juncture, an additional distancing from motifs and visual associations could imply a prominent shift towards minimalism, whereas retaining pictorial metaphors will augment the personal narrative.

Chandaria is currently working as a community art practitioner and a freelance artist in London.


All images courtesy the artist

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10 Apr 2019



By Nikhil J L Purohit

The compulsion of reading textual works is found to be influential for all kind of scripts, with the reader trained to read the text or not. A logical mind is aware that the texts, unlike the visuals, have a relatively higher probability of correct interpretation of the message. Yet the diverse modes of linguistic constructs succeed in maintaining the barrier for direct communication.

The artists grouped together in the exhibition curated by Shubhalakshmi Shukla have congregated from various cities, with their individual responses to the curatorial concept of Pure Text as a point of entry for the viewers. The separation of retinal pleasure (of visuals) is a crucial element followed by most artists succeeding in a rendition of the textual-imagery invoking subtle yet unpoetic assimilations and metaphoric, direct, intriguing array of words striking the visual-readers.

Work by Jeetandar Ojha, Art Scene India

Through an irregular display of works, quick surprises are sought as some works are minimal with a strong punch of socio-political critique, satire, and anecdotes. Perhaps the larger perception relays an insight to the positions of each artist responding to the ideas of ego, presence, inaccessibility, societal disparities, personal associations to city, land, neighbourhood, body, and gender. Perhaps this show is an extension of how art today is blurring the boundaries of different disciplines of arts viz. performing and plastic arts. 

Work by Prasanta Sahu, Art Scene India

One observes Moutushi Chakravorty’s ‘Home Body Soil’ are the hand-written gestalt images comprised of existential dialogues explaining…immortality, vanity, building, breaking, urban-rural etc relevant to each encapsulating word of home, body, and soil. Mithu Joardar’s works titled ‘ID’ that reads Intra-dermal/ Inner Diameter are allegorical and bold in stating the sexual urge of the beings of pleasure principle and mutual exchanges. Nilesh Shilkars’comment on the violence within oneself has an exciting tactility provoking the viewer of the need to shun the violence within.

Work by Moutushi Chakravorty, Art Secene IndiaWork by Moutushi Chakravorty, Art Secene India

Work by Moutushi Chakravorty, Art Secene India
Work by Moutushi Chakravorty
The sentences ‘Art without Penance is Dead,’ ‘My grace is sufficient for you,’ by Jeetandar Ojha are subtle, yet intriguing, offering a sense of compatibility and equation. The idea of grace hints at the Gandhian peace movement provoking far-reaching action. Roul Hemanta’s simple handwritten lines on the wall are easy yet satirical pointing to the major banking frauds that have occurred in the recent past of our country. The lines interestingly state ‘Apply lime to the Bank walls, jump over the wall’ (बैंक के दीवार में चुना लगाएं । दीवार के ऊपर छलांग लगाएं।). They incite an amusement of a rural smart humour.

Less emphasized facts of city life where our neighbours are shadows, and we all stay under the same water tank formulates the works highlighting the unobserved by Yashwant Deshmukh. An interesting twist to the show is the inclusion of Marathi rappers’ troupe comprising Mayur and Yugal Waikar, Ankit Hachekar, Ashok Kadam, and Pranav Rajput with their rapping critiquing, a sympathizer of the downtrodden, underdogs and taking a stand against the governmental enactments.

We rely on the medium of textual review to stray into the actual works in anticipation of reducing the communication barrier for an afterlife to the dialogue of the ephemeral nature of words.
The exhibition was held at Gallery Art and Soul, Mumbai

Images provided by the curator

About: Nikhil Purohit is an artist and a pedagogue working in arts management, writing, arts documentation and archiving. He is also the editor of India Art Journal.

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28 Aug 2014

Review: ‘Torrents’ at Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore

Gandhi by Anthony Joseph, Art Scene India, Image courtesy artistArt Review:  ‘Torrents’ - Conflicts of power, self and society at Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore

Six young artists from Southern India, some of whom have recently passed out from art college and others who are still studying in their final year have brought together an exhibition of their recent works in Bangalore.

Although, it might be considered a tad early for them to think about exhibiting their works, I feel that it actually gives them a head start. Based on critical opinion and other feedback from visitors, these artists have an excellent opportunity to expand their oeuvre and fine tune their skills. How they choose to use these inputs is of course entirely up to them.

Painting by Anju Acharya, Art Scene India, Image courtesy artistGandhi as an image and an icon is revered universally, but at the same time the name is often racked by controversies and scandals by a certain segment of the population. Anthony Joseph explores and portrays these paradoxical elements. One of the works titled, ‘The Story of My Experiments with Gandhi’ is quite apt for most of his works on display. Collages made of currency notes folded in a manner similar to Origami question the relevance and interpretation of Gandhian values in today’s context.

Anju Acharya’s fantasy world imagines humans and mutants, symbolizing a mutating world perhaps the effects of environmental degradation. A glimpse into a future, which may well be taking shape. After all, we are playing God!

Vikas S draws inspiration from the simple beauty of patterns in nature and recreates the rhythm and form through shapes, symmetry and movements of primitive organisms such as snails and centipedes. Pleasant works!
Painting by Vikas S, Art Scene India, Image courtesy artist
P Ramesh has sometimes borrowed figures from Greek mythology to represent and emphasize contemporary urban issues. Male dominance, violence against women, literacy and again the burden of decay in environment are some of the issues highlighted here.
Painting by P Ramesh, Art Scene India, Image courtesy artistPainting by Ebey Edassery, Art Scene India, Image courtesy artist
Bird Painting by Ashil Antony, Art Scene India, Image courtesy artistAshil Antony's paintings appear to be spontaneous sketches of birds, placed stark and dark against a white background. Ebey Edassery paintings are based on human emotions - angst, greed and desire which are depicted through a few figurative works and others which on the surface appear to be constructed from repetitive patterns and motifs.

Overall, the exhibition is a good attempt to reach out to a larger audience and there are a few interesting works here. However, I feel the disjointed effect could have been completely avoided by careful selection of the works either through a self curatorial effort or with the help of an external advisor.

On view till August 31st at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore. 
Let me know if you visit the show. And, which works did you like?

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1 Jul 2014

Review: Sleeping through the Museum by Waswo X. Waswo

A Thing is a Thing is a Thing

Yasra Daud Khoker views Waswo X. Waswo’s exhibition ‘Sleeping through the Museum’ at Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai and is reminded of Astrid Lindgren’s popular character Pippi Longstocking, the thing-finder. Read on to see the interesting parallels she draws between the work of fiction and the exhibits.

"What did you say you are?” asked Annika.
“What’s that?” asked Tommy.
“Somebody who hunts for things, naturally. What else could it be?” said Pippi as she
swept all the flour left on the floor into a little pile.
“The whole world is full of things, and somebody has to look for them. And that’s just that a Thing-Finder does,” she finished.
“What kind of things?” asked Annika.
“Oh, all kinds,” said Pippi. “Lumps of gold, ostrich feathers, dead rats, candy
snapcrackers, little tiny screws, and things like that."
Sleeping through the Museum at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai by Waswo X. Waswo, Art Scene India
Sleeping through the Museum at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai by Waswo X. Waswo, Art Scene IndiaFrom humanity’s first and most successful adaptation - hunting and gathering, to its most popular adaptation- thing collecting, we have come a long way. As a mode of subsistence, just as our ancestors foraged for things to eat, scouring anything edible, we rake our fingers through vapors of postmodern life and a variety of things materialize like fungal growth in a forgotten jar of pickle. We feed on these by-products and remnants of memory. These things keep us going.

Thing. Things. A whole lot of things. Not just things, but things. That is what we are surrounded by. As I look around, I see a variety of things collected by me- some impulsively, some after much planning and some gifted by family and friends. Each of these things is unique and has a story that reminds me of the person I used to be and the one I am today.

Things are mute signifiers of our lives and existence, speaking much through their surface, sometimes worn-out, at other times well-kept. People generally scan items ejected from a Packers and Movers truck, attempting to paint a picture of the new neighbors. Their financial stability, family planning, pets and the dominant person in their marriage- everything about them is discussed roughly based on the things unloaded from the truck, over a routine gathering at the vegetable cart.
Requiem for an Other - The Central Vintrine from Sleeping through the Museum at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai by Waswo X. Waswo, Art Scene India
I am reminded of these as I flip through a booklet titled ‘Your Handy Museum Guide Book’ which accompanies Waswo X. Waswo’s exhibition ‘Sleeping through the Museum’ at Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai. Modeled after the generic spatial and visual configurations of museums with their rectilinear circulation paths, controlled movement and informatory notices, the space becomes an intended thing-asylum displaying painted photographs, labeled diagrams, terracotta artifacts and specimens in jars. Thirty glass jars arranged in a grid sit atop a surface, containing various things in paraffin and beeswax that replay memories. Remnants of a meal, a burned hat, a sliced book, crumpled piece of art etc bring Astrid Lindgren’s character Pippi Longstocking, the thing-collector to mind.

Preservation stuns time, extending the present. Nature never intended for anything to remain pristine, untouched by time -including our memory. That perhaps, is why we forget. The glass jars have imprisoned memories of things that the museum forces us to remember. One thinks a number of thoughts reading the often unnecessary, hence museum-like labels on the jars - why have these particular things been chosen for display and not others? Why do/should they form a part of history? What scattered history are these things alluding? More importantly, why is this piece of history relevant today?
Glass Vial, Requiem for an Other - The Central Vintrine from Sleeping through the Museum at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai by Waswo X. Waswo, Art Scene IndiaRequiem for an Other - The Central Vintrine from Sleeping through the Museum at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai by Waswo X. Waswo, Art Scene India
The objects in the jars play on individual imagination as one is sure to find something in his/her clutter of memories that resonates with the visual language of the exhibit (Requiem for an Other). We look at museums as preservers of history and never once question anything on display- the veracity of its claims or the authenticity of the objects. History taught at schools in different parts of the world varies. The British exploited, plundered and looted India according to Indian history but British history speaks of the ‘white man’s burden’ of civilizing the rest of the world. History is ‘his story’, a one-person perspective of events, in some cases propaganda. Museums are a part of it. In placing rather mundane objects in sparkling jars on pedestals, Waswo questions the relevance and authenticity of what we understand as history. Does our past limit itself to rugs once used by royalty and nail-clippers or clothes used by someone well-known? How about those who were always present in the faded backgrounds and sidelined in history?
The Eternal Dance of Tribal Drama - Gauri Dancers and Masks from Sleeping through the Museum at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai by Waswo X. Waswo, Art Scene India
The ‘Evil Orientalist’ peeks from beneath terracotta masks crafted by village potter Shyam Lal Kumhar in such labeling as ‘a mask for our people not yours’, ‘a mask of open-mindedness’, ‘a mask demanded to be worn’ etc. The fixed, startled expressions of the masks along with hand-colored photographs from the Gauri Dancers series bring attention to the blurry lines between reality and folklore. Quite like the dancers in their heavily made-up and elaborately costumed avatar, people play a variety of characters daily. We seek to fabricate a version of the self that mimics the exaggerations of a stage play. The real and the unreal are all the same. Happiness, anger, open-mindedness, fear, ownership, authority etc are all reduced to a mask, a thing. Each of us carries many such masks everyday along with invisible jars of old sights, smells and words, clinking, making much noise. We are museums in ourselves, our faces bearing old scars and the etchings of harsh times.

Masks are societal expectations and most other such manufactured rules of social conduct that we live by, are as necessary and functional as curios and baubles. In ‘Exhibit One: Migration of Desire’, a set of ten identical walking canes rest before us. Without glancing at the labels, as a creature of habit, one thinks a cane is a cane is a cane. Apparently not. Each of the ten canes has a label informing us of its utility and character. From beating a snake to beating a dog to beating a wife. From instructing a child to walking upright to shifting homes. In the end, just a physical sign of someone’s existence. A mark that he, too, was once there. In his absence, his things speak for him, revealing much, allowing us a peek in to what he did, what he did not and hence, who he really was. How then, dear reader, is a thing, just a thing?

['Sleeping Through the Museum' at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai by Waswo X. Waswo with Rajesh Soni, Subrat Behera and Shyam Lal Kumhar]

About the Writer: Yasra Daud Khoker is a writer of Art & Architecture, currently writing for Art & Deal and Architect Weekly. A graduate from the College of Architecture and Design of the American University of Sharjah, she writes with a special interest in Art & Architecture Theory, History and Criticism. She can be reached at

25 Jun 2014

Review: ‘Crosstalk’ at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore

Art Review: ‘Crosstalk’ at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, a group show by four artists Lokesh BH, Naveen Kumar A, Aishwaryan K and Mohan Kumar T

Yesterday, I visited ‘Crosstalk’ at Gallery Sumukha, which is a group show by four artists Lokesh BH, Naveen Kumar A, Aishwaryan K and Mohan Kumar T. For me, Lokesh was the unknown entity here as I had not seen his works earlier. The other three artists have shown their works in Bangalore, whereas Mohan Kumar was part of a show that I had conceptualized a while ago (it was later shelved). 
‘Crosstalk’ at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, Art Scene India
Crosstalk is intended to be “about the four artists’ personal attempts to grapple with contemporary living, and find their place in the larger scheme of things. Binding the body of works together are several common concepts, noticeable in the multiplicity of urban motifs, objects and attributes. However, each artist sees and underlines distinct elements in this constantly changing life-scape."
‘Crosstalk’ at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, Art Scene India
As an exploration of the self and survival, and the artist’s individual take on contemporary living, the works are diverse and present interesting perspectives. Mohan Kumar’s works are filled with satire and dry wit as they comment on social situations, which are commonly accepted and have become the norm, but can be comical and at times farcical. He is particularly adept at story telling through his drawings.
Aishwaryan transforms familiar materials and media into works which offer multiple possibilities of interpretation. These may represent objects of desire and aspiration, yet are fraught with artifice and may eventually be inconsequential. On a personal level, I could relate better to the two mixed media drawings.

 ‘Crosstalk’ at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, Art Scene IndiaLokesh’s works are autobiographical in nature and explore the consumerist culture and also human relationships, the former with a wry humour, while the latter is laced with sadness and confusion. About ‘Black Cycle’, he explains, “it represents my journey and life experiences during the period of my ‘Art education’. It was a phase fraught with confusion, in which the self underwent struggles that have been symbolized in this work.” Lokesh seems to present two distinct bodies of work here, perhaps from two different time periods. As a skilled and able artist embarking on his career, he could focus and elaborate on a single concept and allow it to grow organically – build layers into the narrative to make it more meaningful and coherent.

‘Crosstalk’ at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore, Art Scene India
Naveen Kumar surprised me with his large work composed of miniature vignettes, a montage of mixed media drawings on pages of an art book. Compiling stories – tales from childhood, personal experiences and even popular expressions, the result is a delightful installation weaved out of ‘magical stories’ as the title suggests. The drawings have been rendered in minute detail and form a whimsical collection.

It's a good effort by this group of young artists and if you are in Bangalore, drop in at the show and let me know which of the works you liked.

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15 Apr 2009

Art exhibitions in the city - Bangalore

Slumdog inspires artists
After the movie Slumdog Millionaire captured the imagination of many at the Oscars earlier this year, it is now inspiring visual artists, enough to dedicate an entire exhibition to it. According to Crimson art resource, “Slumdog Millionaire is a story that any one in the world can identify with. It is a story of rags to riches, optimism amid adversity, ghetto-to-glory. It is a story of love until death do us part. It is a story about people who rise above their circumstances, who are given nothing, who create a dream and become somebody. It is a story of survival, of hope, of destiny and of dreaming big.” Well, titled ‘Big Dreams’, this particular exhibition portrays works by 14 artists who attempt to present their aspirations and ambitions on the canvas.

Murali Cheeroth
GR Iranna, KT Shivaprasad, Murali Cheeroth and Babu Eshwar Prasad are some of the artists participating in this show. The works explore urban dichotomies, everyday realities, and consequences of mindless development. Hope and aspirations of people caught up in this web are also dealt with in some places. Slumdog or not, what makes the show interesting is that it is thematic and the most of the works have been created specifically for the event, which adds a thread of commonality that makes it more cohesive.

Incidentally, I must share this piece of new with you, Murali who lives in Bangalore but has shown mainly in Mumbai and Bangalore, is a part of the “Passage to India Part 2 – from the Frank Cohen Collection” which is ongoing in UK. His works are being featured alongside biggies such as Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Reena Saini Kallat, TV Santhosh and Thukral and Tagra.

(The exhibition continues till April 30, at Crimson - Hatworks Boulevard, Bangalore)

A ‘Skin’ Show
Shibu Arakkal
Shibu Arakkal continues his tryst with photography and his recent series focuses on the human skin. Training his lens on to various parts of the human body, Shibu has come with some poignant and some disturbing images. Using a format where motifs recur, Shibu replicates the images to produce a set of stark black and white photographs. As Giridhar Khasnis, who has curated this exhibition, says, “With Skin, the young photo-artist seems to have scaled yet another creative peak. In this series, Shibu explores the landscape of the body through a language of silence.” Having worked on this project for two years, Shibu has attempted to capture various textures, contours, colours, aberrations and beauty of the skin.

(The exhibition will be held between April 16 - 22, at WelcomArt Gallery, ITC Windsor Manor, Bangalore )
(Published in Bangalore Mirror)

18 Mar 2009

So much to see

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

A Sculptural Lineage
A sculpture show by Chennai based artist V.R Raviram previewed last week and presents his recent series titled A Sculptural Lineage. A majority of his works resonate with folk art elements and traces of Cholamandal style. The sculptures appear to be heavily influenced by renowned sculptors P.V.Janikiram (his uncle) and also S Nandagopal, but probably this has more to do with the Cholamandal aesthetics that experimented with frontal sculpture and elaborate embellishment on the metal surface.

Traditional motifs, mythological figures, animals and birds form the themes in copper. There is a small set of works that are radically different from the conventional decorative mode and are meant to be more contemporary. A simple and minimal approach has been adopted here. It could not have been easy for Raviram to break away completely from his old style that he has perfected over the years. One looks forward to his new works and see how he balances the two diametrical opposite styles and sensibilities.

(The exhibition continues till March 25 at Gallery Mementos, Bangalore – 1)

Myth and movement
The other exhibition Myth and movement is a thematic show that exhibits the recent works of four artists Seema Kohli, Ramesh Gorjala, Atul Talukdar and Dimpy Menon and explores “ideas of myths and cosmic energies and movements of forms in space”.
Seema, a self taught artist indulges in a quest for the spiritual and self. Her elaborately executed canvasses are rich in details with every inch of the canvas covered meticulously. Repeated patterns and motifs add an element of design while gold leaf embellishment gives it an exotic look. Ramesh presents traditional myths and folk arts with a contemporary touch. Kalamkari motifs form the backdrop in most of his works.

Dimpy’s sculptures are minimalistic in their approach, and lyrical and graceful in their form with emphasis on the finished surface. Atul, an artist from Bangladesh also presents bronze sculptures of human figures such as musicians and dancers. There is a distinct earthy appeal to his works.

(The exhibition continues till March 31 at Mahua Art Gallery, Bangalore – 80.)

For a good cause
Incidentally, another art exhibition A Wonderful World, a benefit for the New Delhi-based NGO Four Steps (a research, training and rehabilitation centre for Children with special needs) will be held in Bangalore. Works by artists such as Jamil Naqsh, Amiya Bhattacharjee, Kamar Alam and Seema Kohli amongst others will be part of the show to be held between March 18th - 20th, 2009 at Olive Beach.

Published in Bangalore Mirror

17 Feb 2009

Essence of art

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Crimson Art Resource organized an exhibition of drawings and paintings titled ‘A tribute to Adimoolam’ a year after he passed away. The display comprising of twenty works sourced from a few art collectors (and from the gallery) presented a small but personal collection which gave insights into some of his early works as well. According to Naozar Daruwalla, the gallery owner, the intention of the show was to present an intimate compilation rather than aim at a large but scattered one. One of the sketches, a life study was done in the 1960s when Adimoolam himself was a student. The drawings were mainly of musicians, horses and still life. The few oil paintings that were on display were landscapes done in his characteristic impressionist style – broad brushstrokes that create a soothing ambience. Adimoolam was known as much for his drawings as for his abstract naturescapes. The exhibition has officially ended, but viewers may still be able to see the works at the gallery in The Hatworks Boulevard.

The other exhibition that previewed a few days ago at Gallery Mementos features drawings by 38 artists from across the country. Curated by Giridhar Khasnis, the show ‘The root of everything’ presents a good cross-section of artists across different generations and varying styles. From artists such as Paritosh Sen, Ganesh Pyne, Jogen Choudhury, Shuvaprasanna, Vivan Sundaram, Ravi Kumar Kashi, Suchender amongst others, there is a wide range of creativity on exhibit. In most of the drawings the artists have followed a similar style and theme as they do in their paintings. The exhibition presents drawing as the essence of all arts, and one finds a wonderful spectrum of interpretations by the various artists – portrait sketches, animal forms and other equally mesmerizing compositions that are rendered skillfully. The few odd paintings that are on display create a jarring effect amongst the exhibition that is otherwise primarily dedicated to drawings. Overall, a must see for art aficionados.

Vivan Sundaram

Laxma Goud

On a sad note, the sudden demise of R. K. Dugar, owner of Gallery Mementos, last week a few days after the exhibition preview has been a shock to many of us. May his soul rest in peace.

(The exhibition continues till February 28 at Gallery Mementos, The Chancery, Lavelle Road, Bangalore)

(Published in Bangalore Mirror)

6 Jan 2009

Art bytes

(Nalini S Malaviya)

Narrative Movement is a group of artists from Shantiniketan who is organizing its first show in Bangalore. Gopa Sikder, Kousik Roy, Monoj Poddar, Pratyusha Mukherjee, Ram Kishu, Subrata Mete and Taslima Akter form the seven core members who are currently studying in their final year Masters programme in Fine Arts. These young artists bring in a raw energy in their paintings that are mostly figurative in genre, where some images are dark and surreal, while others romanticise spaces. What one notices is that most of the works involve a complexity in narration and go beyond the superficial decorative content. What is also interesting is that all these works are very different from the traditional format that one is familiar with from this region. It is good to see young artists exploring diverse themes, concepts and media.

Gopa’s imagery is surreal with animal forms overlapping with elements from nature in a vividly colourful world. Kousik’s imagery is dark and intense on one hand, whereas in “Innerview” he presents bright details of a bustling world reflected on the lenses of a pair of spectacles. Monoj’s mixed media works on canvas and board are intensely compelling with their complex narratives and overlapping forms. Pratyusha’s dreamscapes create a fantasy world around architectural spaces. Ram’s works depict figures from everyday life, while Subrata’s figures are also inspired from everyday life but involve a more multifarious approach. Taslima presents interiors and spaces in a romanticised form. The group presents a refreshing range of art that also happens to be affordably priced.

The exhibition was held at Gallery Mementos, The Chancery, Bangalore.

There is yet another gallery - Inspirations that will open its doors on January 4th with an art show that will feature paintings by 12 Indian artists. The works were in fact created at an artists’ camp held last week between 24th to 28th December, at the gallery premises. The art camp was inaugurated with a great deal of zest and the gallery appears to be well stocked with prints, reproductions, traditional paintings and other art.

The film ‘Rang Rasiya’ based on the legendary artist Raja Ravi Verma, a 19th century painter is set to release on January 23. To create interest in the film, a nationwide art competition has been organized on a massive scale. Anybody over the age of 18 can participate in it and there is more than Rs 25 lakhs in prize money involved. Details are available on Incidentally, the competition will be held on an all India basis with regional centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram and Bhopal.

(Published in Bangalore Mirror)

20 Nov 2008


Art show by artist Pulak Ghosh
Nalini S Malaviya

A profusion of birds on artist Pulak Ghosh’s canvas greet the viewer, as he contemplates on the best possible display for his paintings. In Bangalore, with his recent series of works, Pulak has studied fine arts at the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. Born in 1954, he has been a part of several shows but this is his first solo in Bangalore.

This latest series of works is titled ‘Entanglements’ and it stands for a lot more than just the tangling of the long necks of the cranes (birds that are seen along the west coast of America). At the first instance the theme somewhat surprises with its simplicity and its apparent decorative quality. But, a closer look reveals more elements - the overlapping of the traditional with the modern, the dormant violence and the exquisite detailing.
In reality, these white and grey birds with their elongated necks entwine and suffocate each other with their intensity. The artist has attempted to highlight social and political deceptions. The difference between perceived reality, delusion and the truth will always concern us and it is this very aspect that Pulak attempts to compose on his canvas.

Outstretched hands dominate the lower part of the canvas; the black and white palms denote the diverse human traits. Often, basing his protagonist on the Kalighata patas and combining them with the elegant birds he creates an unusual and unlikely pictorial language. The colourful folk art and the elegance of the pure white birds contrast and complement interestingly. Similarly, the elaborate detailing on the birds stand out against the solid blocks of colours found on the protagonist. He also has acrylic and ink drawings on paper and a few works in vitreous enamel.

(The exhibition continues till November 16 at Times and Space Art Gallery, Bangalore)

31 May 2008

Art : Anu Jain

One of my readers Abha told me about artist Anu Jain. Anu had her first art exhibition in Bangalore recently, and although I could not see the works at the gallery, I did visit her website and I have to say I'm so impressed with this gutsy girl. Differently abled, she paints by holding her brush in between her elbows, but you need to look at her sketches and paintings to realise the amount of effort she must be putting in - incredible detailing and layering. There is so much of spontaneity and joy in her paintings that one can only applaud her indomitable spirit. Do see her works at her website.

29 May 2008

A world of fantasy - Gurusiddappa GE

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Bangalore based artist Gurusiddappa GE held a special preview of his recent works in the city. Titled ‘The first rain after a long summer’ this particular series will be exhibited later in Mumbai. A world of fantasy is created where ordinary people - men, women and children are transported into the realms of an imaginary zone. There are only 14 canvases on display, but Gurusiddappa’s predilection with larger than life images continues, and therefore his paintings dominate through sheer size and fantastic imagery. Technically Gurusiddappa is extraordinarily competent and his skill is remarkably demonstrated in these works as well.

Gurusiddappa GE
Gurusiddappa won the National Award from the Lalitkala Academy, New Delhi in 2004. He completed his BFA in Painting from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat and then went on to do his MFA from MS University, Baroda. Gurusiddappa belongs to Chitradurga district in Karnataka and traces of his early days of childhood are evident in this particular series. The star lit sky, magical moments found in everyday elements, and ordinary people who dominate the canvas. Not to forget the children who caress the moon and ride mythical creatures against a backdrop of a glittering sky. What stands out is that there is a sense of theatrics and drama in his paintings. When you look at the dark sky with a million stars, or the moon held in the palm of a child as he flies across the sky riding a fabled creature, a delicious sense of nostalgia and warmth pervades. The canvases with children - presented in various forms – playful, innocent, curious and mischievous invoke a naïve appeal. In most of these works there are surreal elements that have been cleverly infused along with other elements of fantasy, which only add to their visual charm. This seems to work well in most of the paintings, except a few.
Gurusiddappa GE
Gurusiddappa has drawn from his own experiences; for instance he worked earlier with street children and this has helped him to relate to their perspective and present it effectively. In one of the works, a couple of children look on while a pair of street dogs sway on a swing.
The other strong influence that is evident is his theatre experience - as an actor and a set designer – in the larger than life imagery and the arresting backdrops. According to Gurusiddappa literature and poetry in particular has also given shape to his art. This series is in many ways like the stanzas of a poem - each verse unfolds with a new canvas. However, some of the works appear repetitive, where the content remain the same and there are only slight variations, which makes them somewhat monotonous for the viewer. For instance, in a painting that could be autobiographical, Gurusiddappa balances his daughter on his legs, while resting against a delightful crescent moon. In the next painting the image is repeated with a woman holding the child on her lap.

The first rain after a long summerOctober 30 – November 2, 2007
Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore
The exhibition then moves to Mumbai from November 30 to December 17 at Sakshi Gallery.
(Initially published on, but now the site seems to have closed down, so here's the review - NM )

27 Feb 2008

An interesting collection of art from teachers

The faculty of visual arts from Rabindra Bharathi University, Kolkata have come together to present their own works in an exhibition titled ‘Changing Images’. Nikhil Ranjan Pal, the convenor of this show has worked with Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in the past and is now associated with Rabindra Bharathi University. According to him, “Our ‘teachers’ group show is an outcome of those creative reactions where anybody can easily witness a very distinct individual response, style in their separate individual creative manner.” All the works have been done on paper and form an affordable series.
The show sponsored by the University offers the teachers an opportunity to explore their own creativity and put up their works before the public.

Nikhil’s portraits done with colour pencils in a subdued palette have an understated elegance, while Surajit Chanda’s urbanscapes pay tribute to the monuments and historical sites he has visited in the past. Parag Roy from the department of printmaking, has a set of 6 paper constructions that juxtapose images from different cities in a sartorial style that is humorous yet nostalgic. The other ‘painting’ titled ‘Wizard of Baghdad’ that combines the Harry Potter mania with the war-ravaged Iraq is a striking piece of work. Sandip Chakraborty’s sculptures are minimalist in design and Atanu Basu’s abstracts immediately attract with their spontaneity and the bold colourful strokes. Dolanchampa Ganguly’s collages are quite fascinating. The other members of the faculty also offer an interesting mix of styles and some experimentation. In all a show worth visiting for its variety and the delightful range it offers.

(The exhibition is on till February 23 at Time and Space Art Gallery, 55, Lavelle Road, Bangalore 1. Phone: 22124117)

20 Feb 2008

Art shows in Bangalore

Bangalore is surely catching up with Delhi and Mumbai when it comes to the number of art shows happening in the city. Anjana Kuthiala, a Delhi-based artist, is displaying her recent works in an exhibition titled ‘Anarkali Reborn’. Then there is a group of artists from West Bengal who have come together as part of a gallery’s anniversary celebrations.
Anjana is a former Miss India who later turned to a career in painting. She is known widely for her numerous drawings and paintings of Shah Rukh Khan. In this series, Anjana attempts to pay a tribute to a forgotten legend and presents the new millennium Anarkali. According to the artist, the paintings celebrate the Indian woman as an embodiment of love, beauty and spiritual power. The paintings centre on aesthetics and beauty – the protagonist in this case, Anarkali, is beautiful and wide-eyed as she appears poised and graceful against various backdrops. Large almond-shaped eyes and perfect lips - they remind you of the Rajasthani folk paintings that you often see at the Chitra Santhe.

(The exhibition is on till February 22 at the Welcom Art Gallery, Windsor Manor Hotel)

The other show has an interesting collection, which features names like Paritosh Sen, Suhas Roy, Jogen Chowdhury and Sohini Dhar, amongst others. The exhibition offers an intriguing amalgam of different genres in contemporary art. You can see traditional tales retold, allegories that bridge between reality and fantasy, and even glimpses of surrealism. The romanticism of Suhas Roy’s Radha, and Sita Haran by Bijon Chowdhury have a folk touch. Flower and Moon is a still life by Manoj Dutta, while Old Kolkata Afternoon by Subrata Gangopadhay has been rendered in a realistic style that evokes nostalgia with its charming portrayal of women spending their afternoons together. Sanatan Ninda’s Introduction - Next has a sculptural quality in its textures.

Prokash Karmakar, Isha Mahammad, Ramananda Bandopadhyay, Ajoy Kumar Ghose, Partha Protim Deb, Hiran Mitra, Rabin Dutta, Ashok Bhowmik, Ramlal Dhar, Kalyan Mukherjee, Saumen Khamrui and S K Shajahan are the other artists who are participating in this exhibition.

(The exhibition is on till February 23 at Gallery G, Maini Sadan, 38 Lavelle road, 7th Cross, Bangalore – 1. Phone 22219275)
(Published in Bangalore Mirror)

16 Sept 2007

Reviews - Chinmoy Pramanick and Kanika Mukerjee & Ashish Hazra

Chinmoy Pramanick, a Baroda based artist recently exhibited his installations in B'lore, which I reviewed. Here's the link...

Installation by Chinmoy Pramanick
Also, another B'lore showfeaturing Kanika Mukerjee & Ashish Hazra.

Painting by Kanika Mukerjee

11 Jun 2007

22 May 2007

‘Any Moment Now’ by artist Ravikumar Kashi

(By Nalini S Malaviya)
Ravikumar Kashi’s new works titled ‘Any Moment Now’ highlight the role of media advertisements in building up expectations, which subsequently breeds desire. The media focuses on creating and increasing dissatisfaction by continuously bombarding the viewer with something better and greater. The advertisements encourage people to spend more money in order to feel better. It is this aspect, which finds place in Ravi’s paintings. In his last show the artist had explored urban complexities and conflicts arising out of media hype. While, these present works are an extension in a sense, they also explore the idea of proximity of images (Sannidhi – the art of proximity), which in turn generate a meaning. For instance, any change in proportion or presence of text results in a change in the entire meaning of the composition. According to Ravi, “I am interested in how these images loose some of their original identity, get altered and gain new meanings when combined with other images and text.” He therefore uses Photoshop as a tool to experiment.

The artist continues his tryst with mediatic imagery, but this series brings out the sense of anticipation, expectation and unfulfilled desires, in today’s fast paced world. The protagonist as if suspended in time, awaits the next moment where an extraordinary future is round the corner. He hopes and waits to experience intense pleasure or maybe even a divine intervention. It also reflects the psychology of the human mind that is ever optimistic and always hopeful for a brighter tomorrow. And, this is what the media exploits and utilizes to the hilt, when selling a product. Ravi believes the media by itself has become an entire secondary reality by all these promotions, and has acquired an independent existence, which cannot be ignored.

The artist has borrowed symbols commonly seen on the computer screen, such as the cursor, sand timer, and hyperlinks to emphasize how deeply these icons are rooted in our consciousness at the moment, and to create the illusion that the painting itself is part of the electronic medium.
The title work, a triptych focuses on the theme of the series, where the central panel depicts a man running, while the two side panels are filled with splashes of color. The imagery hopes to convey the feeling of escaping from reality or running towards one’s goal. It plays upon the aspirational value, which causes such contradictions. The five stars on the top part of the canvas could signify a rating for a movie. ‘Wait a minute’ shows a closed door and a man sitting on an inflated balloon. The sense of waiting, underlying tension and anticipation comes through. ‘Wish’, a distorted and magnified image reflected on the petrol tank of a gleaming new red bike reiterates the desire for all material things - more expensive and more powerful whether it is automobiles or bikes. ‘Pinnacle’ a panel divided into two has a stepladder going up, where the top part of the canvas has a burst of colors, which symbolizes intense pleasure and once again draws attention to power games and the pursuit for happiness.

Painting by Ravikumar KashiPainting by Ravikumar Kashi
Painting by Ravikumar Kashi
In his compositions Ravi Kashi juxtaposes sometimes disparate images that complement to generate a new meaning or openly conflict to present a dichotomy. However, the latter works out well whereas, when the images are semi-coordinated the result is somewhat more straightforward and almost predictable. On the other hand, the conflicting images tend to engage the viewer to analyze and interpret the composition. There are a few paper cast works also in a diary like format where visuals and text are used to convey he narrative.

The series will be exhibited from 27 May – 2 June 2007, Air Gallery, London.