Showing posts with label Krishna Reddy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Krishna Reddy. Show all posts

24 Sept 2013

Book Review: Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power

The publication accompanying the exhibition of selections from the Waswo X. Waswo‘s collection of Indian printmaking traces the growth of Indian art in a sociological and historical context. The scale of the exhibition and its significance in mapping the evolution of printmaking from 1916 onwards makes this publication much more than a catalogue. And, as Jyoti Bhatt has aptly pointed out in the introduction that a book has a much larger reach as compared to an exhibition which becomes limited by time and geography, this publication becomes an important documentation effort.  

In this survey of Indian print making, art historian and curator Lina Vincent Sunish explores notions of identity, place and power that shape artistic creation.  The exhibition of prints (from Waswo’s collection) held at NGMA earlier in the year, represented 79 Indian artists from diverse geographical regions and featured woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and screenprints spanning an almost 100 year period from 1916 to the present. “The thematic distribution of works according to the interconnected concepts of identity, place and power originates from the desire to take advantage of the time span the collection represents, and the Indian histories that directly and indirectly played a part in the creation of the works.”

During this phase, the transformations in the Indian landscape have been enormous and the collection attempts to ‘generate connections of thought between artists disparate in time and space, and make them visible to a viewer in the context of an exhibition’ while rejecting chronology.  The emphasis is on exploring imagery and meaning in the printmaking practice of various artists.

The works by some of the finest printmakers are a part of Waswo’s collection and are therefore featured in the book.  One cannot help but recall the exhibition and appreciate the effort behind it.  From senior artists such as Mukul Dey, Haren Das, Nandalal Bose, Jogen Chowdhury, KG Subramanyan, Laxma Goud, Krishna Reddy, Somnath Hore, Anupam Sud, Bhupen Khakhar and Chittaprosad Bhattacharya to works by the new generation of Indian printmakers like Maripelly Praveen Goud, Kurma Nadham and Jagadeesh Tammineni, the vast collection presents a remarkable selection of prints across time, location and artistic sensibilities.

The afterword by Waswo is a fascinating account of his collecting journey detailing his passion for artworks on paper; a modest beginning which soon grew into an extensive and noteworthy collection.

One of the highlights of this book is definitely its readability factor and this book is as much for the lay person curious about Indian printmaking as for the art connoisseur. In a sense, a large format coffee table book would have perhaps done more justice to this publication.

Between the Lines: Identity, Place, and Power can be purchased here

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23 Jul 2008

A Veritable Treasure Trove - Art Collection at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore

How many people know that Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath houses collections of art from early 19th century onwards? I have been a frequent visitor to their campus and have often visited the art exhibitions that are organized here on a regular basis, but somehow never went upstairs, which is where the galleries are. So, last week, at the behest of Harish Padmanabha, who incidentally is an avid art collector, I went there in search of Krishna Reddy’s prints.

I found that the Parishath has permanent galleries that showcase paintings by the Russian painter Nicholas Roerich, his son Svetoslav Roerich (whose estate is in the news for all the wrong reasons!), HK Kejriwal’s art collection, traditional and folk paintings, and leather puppets from the private collection of Nanjunda Rao.
Nicholas Roerich
The Roerichs’ collections are quite comprehensive and one can see Nicholas’s brilliant landscapes, Svetoslav’s fascinating portraits including those of Devika Rani and Nehru, and the Himalayan landscapes.
The Kejriwal collection features mainly the Bengal artists and a few other prominent artists from across the country. Whether these are the best works from the concerned artists is debatable, but the fact remains that it offers a fantastic opportunity to students and art lovers to get acquainted with a cross-section of some of India’s finest artists. Amrita Sher-Gil, Jamini Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, AR Chughtai, MF Husain, SH Raza, FN Souza, Shayamal Dutta Ray are just some of the names on these walls. The gamut of works (1830 to 1995) offers valuable insights into the history of art as it evolved from modernism to contemporary style. And, the art of Bengal, in particular that ranges from its folk art traditional format to its contemporary form.

painting by Svetoslav Roerich
The abstract graphic prints by Krishna Reddy, an internationally acclaimed printmaker are spectacular and a must watch. They are placed towards the far end of the exhibit space and one must remember to see them.
By the time I finished the contemporary art gallery my energy levels were flagging and I could not do justice to the traditional artworks, so another visit is on the cards.

Incidentally, the Parishath also has an ‘Art Mart’ where it sells works by upcoming and fairly established artists. Priced between Rs 2000 to a lakh or so, it offers a variety of pleasant pictures at an affordable price. But, if you looking for art as an investment then you need to come here armed with all the information. Also, there are various publications on sale, such as from the Lalit Kala Academy and Marg, books on art and prints.

(Published in Bangalore Mirror)

Updated on 8th Jul 2013 for title tags and labels