Showing posts with label Riyas Komu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Riyas Komu. Show all posts

13 Dec 2017

Art News: Noted painter Nilima Sheikh becomes first artist to be selected for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018

Noted painter Nilima Sheikh becomes first artist to be selected for Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018  

Kochi, Dec 12: Versatile and provocative painter Nilima Sheikh, whose illustrious body of
Nilima Sheikh, the first artist who got the curator's nod for the fourth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale which begins on December 12, 2018, Art Scene India
works is a scorching portrayal of the turmoil in Kashmir valley and a mystical depiction of women-centric issues, has become the first artist to get the curator’s nod for the fourth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), which begins exactly a year later -- December 12, 2018.
Anita Dube, the curator of the upcoming KMB that is hosted by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), announced Sheikh’s name today, formally setting in motion the process of selection of her artists for the high-profile contemporary art event that has redefined the cultural landscape in Kerala and India.     

During her over five-decade career, the 72-year-old Vadodara-based painter has produced an incredibly magnificent oeuvre, wielding her brush to make an intense depiction of subjects, with particular emphasis on Kashmir, Partition and displacement. Her strength also lies in the portrayal of grimness of contemporary life like oppressive patriarchy and the silent suffering of women that crack social fabric and she does it through use of traditional idioms and motifs.  

A historian by training before she focused her attention on the canvas, Sheikh delved into the history of Kashmir, and believes that the valley’s turmoil “is owing to our lack of understanding (of the place and people there) as Indians…The artist’s role is to bear witness - to both the past and present.”

“The tender compassion in the paintings of Nilima Sheikh, in their quiet grandeur, aligns the feminine with the mystic and subversive strains in our tradition. She is a voice we must listen to, especially in these violent troubled times,” said Anita Dube.

Hailing the selection of Sheikh, KBF President Bose Krishnamanchari said, “The Kochi Biennale Foundation is thrilled that we are able to make this announcement on 12/12/17, exactly a year to the day the next edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale will start. Curator Anita Dube's intentions and ideas for KMB 2018 are reflected in Nilima Sheikh, the first artist she's presenting of the lineup. I can see in her choice reflections of the socially and politically sensitive aesthetics that Anita would bring to KMB-2018.”

Heavily inspired by the literary works of Rabindranath Tagore, Sheikh became interested at an early age in the connection between stories and images, between murals and ancient manuscripts. Beyond appropriating traditional techniques in her paintings, she works with figure and narration in her practice, which has famously translated into theatre sets such as Umrao as well as children’s books.

Her works are rooted in Eastern painting traditions such as miniature painting and oral traditions of vernacular folk songs. For her paintings, she drew inspiration from artists like Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose and K G Subramanyan. Through her own life experiences, Sheikh continues to create bodies of work that evoke mystical imaginary landscapes that address feminine experiences.

Her most recent work, titled Terrain: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind, was produced for Documenta 14, a leading global exhibition held in Kassel (Germany) every five years.
The artist also includes song and poetry as a performative mode of public address, echoing the 14th century female mystic Lal Dĕd of Kashmir (translated by Ranjit Hoskote), along with references to texts from several writers who have written about Kashmir such as Aga Shahid Ali and Salman Rushdie. 
About Kochi Biennale Foundation

The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), founded in 2010 by prominent artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, hosts the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), which made its debut in 2012. A non-profit charitable trust engaged in promoting art and culture and educational activities in India, it works round the year to strengthen contemporary art infrastructure and to broaden public access to art across the country. These programmes include talks, conferences, performances, educational initiatives, workshops and other forms of wide public engagement.

The KBF is also engaged in the conservation of heritage properties and monuments and the upliftment of traditional forms of art and culture.

A biennial exhibition on the best of contemporary international art, the KMB has shaped up as a seminal event in the realm of art and culture. The 108-day-long third edition of the biennale (12 December 2016-29 March 2017), held at 12 sites, showcased installations of 97 artists from 31 countries and drew over six lakh visitors.

Prominent artist Anita Dube is the curator for the fourth edition of the KMB, beginning December 12, 2018. Her selection by the KBF was in keeping with the Biennale’s long-standing tradition of being an artist-led exhibition. Based out of the National Capital Region, she is renowned for her conceptually rich, politically charged works. An art historian and critic by training and a visual artist in practice, she has been widely exhibited across the Americas, Europe and Asia, including at the first edition of the KMB in 2012.

*press release

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6 Nov 2014

Interview: Renu Modi on 25th anniversary of Gallery Espace

Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversary

In a discussion with Art Scene India, Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace reflects on her enriching journey in the world of art and reveals her plans for celebrating the gallery's 25th anniversary this year. Hosting one of the most ambitious shows ever featuring ‘Drawings’ by over hundred Indian contemporary artists spanning seven decades, the show promises to be a mega event.

1. Twenty-five years is a long time! How has the journey been?
Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversary It’s been an enriching journey. It was on M F. Husain’s insistence that I started the gallery 25 years ago, but without any expectations, without any road map of how to go forward. I knew I had to just follow my instinct and the passion for art, inculcated in me by stalwarts like Manjit Bawa, Swaminathan, Laxma Goud, K K Nayar (art critic) and so many others. I remember sitting with them in their studios for hours just interacting with them and that gave me an immensely enriching world-view about the world of art. I have, by now, witnessed the changing dynamics in the art practice of three generations of artists, starting from Husain to Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh to the really young lot. The mantra has always been to readapt myself to changing times.

2. When you look back how difficult was it in the initial stages?

It was very difficult initially having no experience of the art market. Many people thought it would be a Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversarypassing fancy for a corporate man’s wife but I stuck through. In fact, I remember NS Bendre telling me that it would take me three to four years to establish myself and that is what exactly happened.

3. There are so many galleries does that affect you?

It doesn’t affect me at all. There is space for everyone and newer galleries bring in young energy which is very welcome.

4. When the art market crashed (and it still hasn't recovered!) what were your thoughts?

Like everyone else, it was tough for us as well. We did curb our expenses a bit and did fewer shows for a few months but that was only for a short period. As I said I have always followed my instinct and shown art which I have believed in. Monetary benefit is important but not the prime reason to hold shows.

"I feel artists bare their souls in drawings, these are like musical notes, their mental notes."

5. I remember Manjunath Kamath's show a few years ago, where he drew on the gallery do seem to have an affinity for 'drawings'...

The USP of the gallery has always been the medium based shows. The gallery has done at least five Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversaryexhibitions based on drawings starting from Drawing '94, Lyric Line, The Paper Flute to name a few. And now we are ready to have another presentation in the form of Drawing 2014, due to open on November 9, 2014 at IGNCA. Similar has been the case for sculptures and even printmaking, with the gallery putting forward exhibitions like Sculpture '95 and Mini prints respectively. I feel artists bare their souls in drawings, these are like musical notes, their mental notes. Drawings are also the foundation of any art, any discipline. Also the approach to drawings has changed so much, they are no longer pen and ink works, or sketches on paper, For instance, in the 25th anniversary show, we have embroidered drawings by Rakhi Peswani, print-based scrolls by Paula Sengupta, very minimalistic works by Somnath Hore, video by Sonia Khurana, installation by Chintan Upadhyay, a sculptural drawing by Riyas Komu...and so much more – but all celebrating drawings.

6. What was the idea behind having an anniversary show exclusively around the concept of drawings?

I didn’t want to have a regular show and wanted to do one where I could contribute too. Since drawing has been one of my favourite mediums and Espace has consistently been doing exhibitions around this theme, it befits Espace to do this show. It was due to the boom in the market that people have forgotten works on paper and we want to showcase the evolution of drawings that has taken place in seven decades. I also wanted to bust the myth that one cannot invest in drawings.

7. On a personal level, what do you feel are the shifts, if any, in the use of line as a tool in contemporary art?

There has been a circular shift. From using classical lines to using material and technology, there has been a sea change. For instance, Mithu Sen has a light box in the show which lends such a tactile feel to her work. So the time of two-dimensionality in art is over, it’s now about functionality, materiality and performative aspects of drawings that are being looked at.
Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversary
8. How has the perception and critical appreciation of Indian art changed - for buyers, collectors and viewers in India and abroad?

The art scene over the past 25 years in my view has undergone a 360 degrees change. From something which was unstructured, it’s becoming more structured now. Buyers’ profiles have changed, they are younger and upwardly mobile, they can explore so much over the internet, auction houses have started guiding price lines to some extent, developments in technology have also added changes. Investment in art has grown for sure, especially coming now from the NRI segment.

This interview was coordinated via e-mail.

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