From Delhi to London: Atul Bhalla’s Yamuna Walk

Elisabetta Marabotto recommends a visit to ‘Walk On: 40 Years of Art Walking’ at the PM Gallery & House in London

London: If you are looking for something interesting to do during the Easter break in London, one of the options is a newly opened exhibition “Walk On: 40 Years of Art Walking” at the PM Gallery & House.

Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk, 2010

Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk, 2010. Image Credit: http://sepiaeye.com/atul-bhalla-s-yamuna-walk

This is the first exhibition revolving around the basic and natural act of walking. This show looks at the different ways artists from all over the world have tackled this theme in the last 40 years. Many different media are involved in the exhibit, and every artist worked in a different setting, some in the countryside, some in the city, but they all shared the act of walking and the experiences and memories around it; ultimately all thinking that walking is a way of freeing their imagination.

Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk, 2010

Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk, 2010. Image Credit: http://www.atulbhalla.com/images/thumb/instthumb/ecoart/1st_text.htm

Atul Bhalla is one of the artists whose work is featured in the exhibition. His work, “Yamuna Walk” made in 2010, is a photographic account of the journey the artist undertook around Delhi along the Yamuna river. Bhalla shows how different the life along the river is, depending on the area, underlining the recurrent paradoxes within India. While some areas are breathtakingly beautiful, others are laid to waste by poverty.

Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk, 2010

Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk, 2010. Image Credit: http://www.atulbhalla.com/images/thumb/instthumb/ecoart/1st_text.htm

Through this work, Bhalla also highlights the paradox of the Yamuna river, considered sacred by Hindus but at the same used for refuse disposal. The artist believes that by doing so we are  polluting the city aesthetically but also spiritually.

Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk, 2010

Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk, 2010. Image Credit: http://www.atulbhalla.com/images/thumb/instthumb/ecoart/1st_text.htm

Click here to see the full work by Atul Bhalla, and here for more information about the exhibition.

Bal Chhabda passes away silently…

Bal ChhabdaTarika Agarwal of Saffronart discuss the life left behind by famous artist and collector Bal Chhabda

Mumbai: Born in 1923, in what is now Pakistan, Bal Chhabda was a self-taught artist. Sadly, he passed away in the second week of March this year. He was a man who wore many hats. He started his career with film making but soon gave that up and founded the well-known gallery in Mumbai, Gallery 59. Soon after, Chhabda took to painting as well. And not much later he started collecting art.

Bal Chhabda with M F Husain --Image Credit TOI

Bal Chhabda with M F Husain
Image Credit:The Times of India

After the demise of his wife, and his good friends Tyeb Mehta and M.F. Husain in a span of three years, it is a well known fact that Chhabda lost his will to live and became a recluse.

At first glance, Chhabda’s work seems abstract, but on closer inspection it reveals various distorted shapes and forms that create intriguing visuals. He was one of the distinguished artists associated with the Progressive Artist’s Group, which made a tremendous contribution to the modern art movement in India by consciously seeking new idioms. The group included almost all the important artists working in Mumbai in the 1950s. Read more about his practice.

Bal Chhabda, Sitting Nude, 1969Oil on Canvas

Bal Chhabda, Sitting Nude, 1969
Oil on Canvas
Image credit: http://www.contemporaryindianart.com/bal_chhabda.htm

He participated in several exhibitions in India and internationally including Salon de la Jeune Peinteure, Paris, and the Tokyo Biennale, in 1960. He received the Governor’s award, one of the three major awards, at the Tokyo Biennale in 1961. He has also participated in the exhibition, Seven Indian Painters at Gallerie Le Monde de U Art, Paris, 1994.

Read more.

Bal Chhabda, Nostalgic Moments, 1993Oil on Canvas

Bal Chhabda, Nostalgic Moments, 1993
Oil on Canvas
Image Credit- http://www.contemporaryindianart.com/bal_chhabda.htm

Good Read: A Conversation with Video Artist Nalini Malani in the the New York Times

Manjari Sihare recommends reading this conversation with Nalini Malani, recently featured in The New York Times

Nalini MalaniNew York: The India Ink section of The New York Times recently featured an interview with eminent Indian artist of international repute, Nalini Malani. One of the best known experimental artists from the country, Malani hardly needs an introduction. Born in Karachi in 1946, she came to India as a refugee of the partition of the Subcontinent, an experience that deeply informs her artistic practice. Committed to the role of the artist as social activist, Malani often bases her work on the stories of those that have been ignored, forgotten or marginalized by history. Her practice encompasses drawing and painting, as well as the extension of those forms into projected animation, video and film. Her work “In Search of Vanished Blood” was featured at the 13th edition of dOCUMENTA  and thereafter at the recently concluded Kochi Muziris Biennale. Click here to learn more.

‘Huma Bhabha: Unnatural Histories’ at MoMA PS1

Installation shot: Huma Bhabha: Unnatural Histories at MoMA PS1

Installation shot: Huma Bhabha: Unnatural Histories at MoMA PS1

Manjari Sihare recommends Huma Bhabha’s Unnatural Histories, currently on at MoMA PS1

New York: If you are in New York or surrounding areas, please visit Huma Bhabha’s (Pakistani, b. 1962) first solo exhibition at MoMA PS1. Titled “Unnatural Histories“, the show comprises nearly 30 sculptures and more than a dozen photo-based drawings including some new works, never seen before. The exhibition is on view on the 2nd floor of MoMA PS1 until April 1, 2013.

Bhabha, a New York based artist of Pakistani origin, is best known is known for her engagement with the human figure and for her use of found materials, working primarily in sculpture. Having exhibited her work since the early ‘90’s she was recently included in the 2012 Paris Triennial at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and in the 2010 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City. Bhabha was included in a group exhibition of sculpture at City Hall Park in New York City organized by the Public Art Fund as well as a group exhibition focusing on intercultural dialog at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, both in 2010. She has also exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and The New Museum, both in New York City, and was included in the 2008 Gwanju Biennial, South Korea. Her current solo exhibition at MoMA PS1 includes a sculpture that was first shown at MoMA PS1 in Greater New York 2005.

Huma Bhabha, Thot and Scribe, 2012, Mixed Media. Courtesy: The Artist and Salon 94. Image credit: MoMA PS1

Huma Bhabha, Thot and Scribe, 2012, Mixed Media. Courtesy: The Artist and Salon 94. Image credit: MoMA PS1

MoMA PS1 is one of the largest and oldest organizations in the United States devoted to contemporary art. Established in 1976 by Alanna Heiss, MoMA PS1 originated from the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, a not-for-profit organization founded five years prior with the mission of turning abandoned, underutilized buildings in New York City into artist studios and exhibition spaces. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, as it was then known, became an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art in 2000.

To learn more about the show and Bhabha, please read Karen Rosenberg’s review in the New York Times.

Spring Art Auction – New York Preview

A selection of snapshots of the display and preview for our Spring Art Auction at Saffronart, New York.

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Bidding begins 25 March 2013 at 9:00 a.m. IST

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