Companionable Silences at Palais de Tokyo

Shradha Ramesh shares a note on the new exhibition, Companionable Silences, at Palais de Tokyo, Paris

New York:  “Companionable Silences” is a group exhibition of artists from various trajectories on view at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, from June 21 to September 9, 2013.

The connections between these artists are their encounters with the city, Paris, and its ground breaking approach to art – a break away from western archetypes.

According to the curator, the main focus of the exhibit “…is on artworks and artistic lineages that are worthy of study in their own right, with particular attention drawn to the contexts in which the artists’ ideas were formulated and executed.”

Besides the global artist profiles the exhibition representss a visual congregation and interaction between primitivism, modernism and orientalism. An assorted list, the artists are of divergent geographies, ages and genders. The list is dominated by internationally recognized women artists including Tarsila do Amara (1886 – 1973) Brazilian, Saloua Raouda Choucair (b.1916) Lebanese, Camille Henrot (b.1978) French, and Zarina Hashmi (b. 1937), Anjalika Sagar (b. 1968) and Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941), Indian. The male artists included in the exhibitions are Adolf Loos (1870 – 1933), Kodwo Eshun (born 1967) and Umrao Singh Sher-Gil (1870-1954).

Self Portrait as Tahitian, Amrita Sher-Gil, 1934. Collection of N. and V. Sundaram

Self Portrait as Tahitian, Amrita Sher-Gil, 1934. Collection of N. and V. Sundaram. Image Credit: http://www.palaisdetokyo.com/en/ressources/biography/companionable-silences

Among the works in the exhibition is a film by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun of the Otolith group titled “I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another (2012)” which narrates the life of Etel Adnan -a poet, essayist, and painter, from Lebanon.

On the other hand, works by the Indian artists Zarina Hashmi, Amrita Sher-Gil and Umrao Singh Sher-Gil show their different relations and timeline with their art and Paris.

Among the vagarious arrangement, the most striking is the father daughter duo Umrao Singh and Amrita Sher-Gil. Umrao Singh Sher-Gil’s photographic portraits of his family and himself are of complete contrast to his daughter’s works, which are influenced by Ajanta cave paintings, Paul Cezane and Paul Gaugin. Born in Hungary, Amrita Sher Gil is well known in the Indian art circle for her modern and unconventional thinking. Born to a Hungarian mother and Sikh father, she trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris where she became influenced by Realism. Her time in Paris was era of experiment and exploration. She was the first Indian woman to be recognized at international art forums.

This exhibition is definitely a must see if you are in Paris. To learn more about the show, click here.

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Art, Exhibitions

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