Our upcoming auction Alive: Evening Sale of Modern and Contemporary Art on 17 September features two paintings that encapsulate not only the various spiritual associations of this city, but also the nuances of a friendship between two of India’s greatest modernists – M F Husain and Ram Kumar.
The folks at Saffronart have put together a compact list of art events in Mumbai, Delhi, London and New York. All you need is a fully-charged phone to guide you and enough money if you’ve got travel plans.
There’s a lot happening in the South Asian art world that shouldn’t be missed. We’ve got it mapped for you, so head out and start taking it all in, beginning with…
From the exhibition Meera Devidayal: A Terrible Beauty, at Gallery Chemould Source: Gallery Chemould Website
Waswo X. Waswo: Sleeping Through the Museum Where: Sakshi Art Gallery, Colaba On View Till: June 21, 2014
Has the title of the show piqued your interest yet? Udaipur based American artist Waswo X. Waswo simulates a museum in this solo show through numerous “artifacts” and photographs arranged to replicate the look and feel of one. On a deeper level, it questions the act of preserving and displaying such pieces as perpetuators of culture and heritage. For folks hanging out at SoBo and looking to do more than just kill time, head to Sakshi Art Gallery between 11am and 6pm, except on Sundays when they’re closed.
Amrita Sher-Gil: The Passionate Quest
Where: National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
On View Till: June 30, 2014
Commemorating the birthday of the well-renowned late artist Amrita Sher-gil, this exhibition curated by art historian Yashodhara Dalmia presents a range of her oeuvre including works depicting her life in Paris, nude studies, still-life studies and portraits of her friends and her fellow students. Sher-gil, who is also recognized as India’s own Frida Kahlo, has been the youngest and only Indian artist to be elected as an Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris. The exhibition also includes her photographs, and original letters. A must-visit show for art enthusiasts in the city.
A Terrible Beauty
Where: Gallery Chemould, Mumbai
On View Till: July 9, 2014
This exhibition includes works by Delhi-based artist Meera Devidayal who has adopted the theme of the dilapidated mills of Mumbai and their future as the subject for her works. Her unique style and extremely sight-specific theme make this a show that is bound to make viewers not just appreciate the aesthetics of the works but also ponder about the future of the mills.
Figures of Speech: Using the Written Word in Contemporary Art Where: Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai On View Till: July 15, 2014
Exploring the relationship between words and images, this exhibition features the works of contemporary artists such as N. Ramachandran, Bhavna Sonawane, Brinda Miller and Rajesh Patil among others. Of course, you can combine a visit to this exhibition with a meal or a coffee at the Four Seasons Hotel to make for a lovely afternoon or evening.
Walk the Line with Sudhir Patwardhan
Where: Jehangir Nicholson Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
Walkthrough: Wednesday 11th June, 5 – 6:30 pm On View Till: August 30, 2014
If the ongoing exhibition, “Taking the Line for a Walk” at the Jehangir Nicholson Gallery already doesn’t sound exciting enough to visit, the idea of being walked through it with contemporary artist Sudhir Patwardhan himself certainly makes it hard to miss. The exhibition showcases 45 drawings by well-acclaimed artists such as Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Laxman Shreshtha, Manjit Bawa and Sudhir Patwardhan. A message especially for the drawing enthusiasts out there: don’t miss this event!
From the exhibition Raj Rewal: “Memory, Metaphor and Meaning in his Constructed Landscape”, at NGMA, Delhi Source: caravanmagazine.in
Kaleidoscope: Group Art Show Where: Chawla Art Gallery, Delhi On View Till: June 14, 2014
This group exhibition shows some of the finest works of contemporary artists such Asit Kumar Patnaik, Bharat Bhushan Singh, Farhad Hussain, Jayasri Burman, K.S. Radhakrishnan, Ramesh Gorjala, Satish Gujral, Shipra Bhattacharya, Surya Prakash, Thota Vaikuntam, Tapas Sarkar and Manu Parekh. Having works by so many artists under one roof makes for an interesting variety of styles and themes. There is bound to be something that catches the eye of every individual view!
Raj Rewal: “Memory, Metaphor and Meaning in his Constructed Landscape” Where: National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
On View Till: June 15, 2014
This is a retrospective show of the works of Raj Rewal, one of India’s finest architects. Known for several iconic buildings in India and abroad, his works have also been showcased at famous museums abroad such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Looking at architecture as a visual art allows for a unique experience for many viewers who may otherwise overlook the artistic element in buildings, which are typically judged by their functionality.
Identity Control Where: Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi
On View Till: June 17, 2014
This exhibition features works that deal with “notions of policing, tracking, security, immigration, loss of individuality and rebellion, all of which are issues that affect us in more than one level.” Considering the different perspectives and approaches of leading contemporary artists such as Shilpa Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Karthik KG, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Natalia Ludmila, Armando Miguelez, should allow you to gain an extensive view of the complexities surrounding one’s identity.
Degenerate Where: VadehraArt Gallery, Delhi
On View Till: June 17, 2014
Featuring the works of contemporary artists such as Atul Bhalla, Ruby Chishti, Minal Damani, Jagannath Panda, Ashim Purkayastha and B. Ajay Sharma, this exhibition focuses on the different facets of Indian urban life in contemporary times. Combine a visit to this show with the ‘Identity Control’ exhibition, taking place in the same gallery!
S.H. Raza: Pyaas
Where: Grosvenor Gallery
On View Till: June 14, 2014
What would you say to being in London in summer for an exhibition of paintings by one of India’s most revered Modern artists? If it isn’t a whoop and a jump (or an acknowledging smile for the more poised amongst you), we can only surmise you don’t have a visa to make the trip. The exhibition ‘S.H. Raza: Pyaas’ is just the thing for art enthusiasts—it intends to display the development and range of styles in which Raza has depicted his characteristic subject matter in recent times. The paintings contain a great deal of vigour, vibrancy and a strong connection to India and its religious heritage.
Art Antiques London
Where: Kensington Gardens opposite the Royal Albert Hall On View: June 12 – 18, 2014, 11am onwards
‘The most important Asian sales of the year will be held in London during this annual event.’ —BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine
‘Asian Art in London is a brilliantly conceived celebration of Asian Art and has made London the undisputed Asian Art capital of the world.’ — Essential London Magazine
Accolades alone won’t do it, so hear it from us. Asian Art London has grown to become a highly prestigious art fair dealing in antiques and art, bringing together renowned dealers, collectors and enthusiasts. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to procure beautiful and rare items in antique and contemporary Asian art. Among participating galleries from London and Paris, Galerie Christophe Hioco is one to look out for. Crowning this is its convenient location opposite the Royal Albert Hall, against the backdrop of the verdant Kensington Gardens—you certainly can’t say no to that!
Olivia Fraser: Subtle Bodies Exhibition Where: Grosvenor Gallery On View Till: June 21, 2014
India’s art traditions draw the internationally-acclaimed artist Olivia Fraser to reference it in her works, and her latest paintings attest to this. Having lived in India for the last ten years, Fraser’s work reflects a grasp of Indian traditional iconography, but used to express sensations of a meditative process. ‘Subtle Bodies’ displays a mix of paintings on hand-made paper and limited-edition prints prepared during the last few years and the work announces Fraser’s emergence. The incredible blend of east and west, traditional, and contemporary for the new exhibition is a direct reflection of Fraser’s ideology.
M.F. Husain: Master of Modern Indian Painting Where: Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington On View Till: July 27, 2014
Seems like there’s no end to exhibitions featuring South Asian art in Central London. Head to the V&A for a sumptuous collection of paintings by Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2011). A member of the Bombay Progressives, he was famed for his freehand drawing and vibrant colours and was among India’s pioneering Modern artists. The eight painted triptychs on display illustrate Indian civilization and were commissioned in 2008 by Mrs Usha Mittal as a tribute to the richness of India’s history. The artist was still working on the project at the time of his death and originally envisaged a series of 96 panels. History and religion feature in a feisty splurge of colours and expression—be sure to not miss out on this one!
Sadequain: A Retrospective
Where: Aicon Gallery, New York On View: June 12 – July 12, 2014
When the Moderns were earning a name in India, Sadequain Naqqash carved his path to fame and later came to be known as a pioneering Pakistani artist in his country and the world. He came from a family of scribes and the background served him well: Sadequain came to be recognised as Pakistan’s foremost calligrapher and painter and is credited with the renaissance of Islamic calligraphy in Pakistan. His vocabulary developed through a mingling of Eastern and Western artistic traditions, as well as Hindu and Muslim ideology. Aicon Gallery hosts a collection of 24 works from the 1960s to the ’80s that trace the trajectory of his artistic development.
Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century
Where: Metropolitan Museum of Art On View Till: July 27, 2014
This monumental exhibit is the first of its kind and scale to bring together works on loan from South East Asia’s distinguished national collections, showcasing sculptural art produced in the earliest kingdoms of the Southeast Asian region. The Lost Kingdom features some 160 sculptures representing distinct Hindu and Buddhist cultural groups that flourished in the Southeast Asian region, that has been out of view owing to the shadow of time. Epigraphic efforts of the 20th century brought to the fore the cultural practices and remains of the Pyu, Funan, Zhenla, Champa, Dvāravatī, Kedah, and Śrīvijaya groups, which date back to many centuries. The art works highlight the influence and local amalgamation of Indic culture in regional belief systems and practices. It is interesting to see popular deities from India being depicted in a different avatar by these regional patrons. Many of the works have never travelled outside their source countries before providing visitors an opportunity to view works they may not have access to easily.
SxSE: Selections from the Asia Society Museum Collection
Where: The Asia Society Museum On View: June 17 – August 3, 2014
Don’t miss out on this selection of video artworks which will be on display at the Asia Society Museum, starting June 17. It features works since 2000 by South and Southeast Asian artists that highlight current artistic trends in the region, with a special focus on disparities between globalisation, modernisation, urbanisation and tradition.
For the insatiable among you, we have an events listing page that is updated each month. Be sure to drop by regularly for updates.
Rashhi Parekh of Saffronart picks her five favourite pieces being offered for sale in the boutiques and collections on newly launched website, StoryLTD
Mumbai: Launched earlier this week, StoryLTD by Saffronart brings together carefully curated collections of beautiful and significant objects from the past and present. At StoryLTD, you can browse through, learn the nuances of, and acquire some of the most coveted objects – ranging from fine art, antiquities and jewellery, to vintage and designer furniture and unique accessories for the home.
Partnering with some of the most creative artists, designers, collectors, manufacturers and dealers from India and soon, around the globe, StoryLTD offers consumers a unified and convenient shopping experience for objects and collectibles encompassing all styles, designs and budgets.
Here are my five picks from the many beautiful objects available on the website. Not surprisingly, they are all art related!
The venerated figure of Mother Teresa first appeared in Maqbool Fida Hussain’s art in 1980. Since then he has devoted a number of his works to Mother Teresa, whom he depicts as a faceless entity. This approach underlines his efforts in exploring not just the figure of Mother Teresa, but motherhood in general.
Having had the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa in 1994, he says, “I have tried to capture in my paintings, what her presence meant to the destitute and dying, the light and hope she brought by mere inquiry, by putting her hand over a child abandoned in the street.. That is why I try it again and again, after a gap of time, in a different medium.”
Works like the ‘Eternal Mother’ have been converted into serigraphs by Husain, to make his art more widely accessible. He stated that the idea of creating prints from canvasses was to make his work available to common man and also make his inner psyche available to a larger audience. This painter is distinct and different from most others because he wants to share his paintings. He says that all his life, he has sought just one image – the image of his mother, whom he had never seen. He tried to depict his mother whenever he painted women; that is why he never painted their faces, merely just an outline as shown in this serigraph of the Eternal Mother.
Raja Ravi Varma, Shri Shanmukha Subramaniaswamy, Dressed oleograph on paper
Considered one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian Art, Raja Ravi Varma was an artist who achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. This oleograph like many of his other works, is a fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. His representation of mythological characters has become a part of the popular Indian imagination of the epics. Although his works are often showy and sentimental, they are very popular throughout India.
Here, Shanmukha or the six-faced Karthikeya, the elder son of Shiva and Parvati, is pictured on his peacock mount. Also known as Skanda, Subramania and Murugan, he is the God of War and Victory. Ravi Varma has depicted Shanmukha flanked by his two wives, Valli and Devasena, while the snake he is frequently associated with lies at their feet. The group is framed by the magnificent plumage of Shanmukha’s peacock, which symbolizes the deity’s victory over the ego.
Due to his vast contribution to Indian Art, in 1993 art critics curated a large exhibition of Raja Ravi Varma’s works at the National Museum in New Delhi.
Bhuri Bai made her first mural painting at the age of ten. She was one of the very first women of her tribe to paint on paper and canvas. The forms depicted in her paintings appear to be in a state of weightlessness. The figures in this painting are made in bright colors, similar to paper cuts.
Many of the subjects in her painting depict the conflict between the woman, as a creator and the man, as a predator. These themes, which are often found in other early painters, may also be seen as metaphors for the theft of land, the relationship between man and animal, the domestic and the wild, the nature and the modern world. Her works share an ancestral view according to which every body is made out of particles.
Lado Bai started painting on canvasses at the same time as Bhuri Bai. Her main motifs are taken from the animal kingdom and Bhil rituals and festivals. Lado Bai’s art reflects “the flora and fauna of her environment along with rituals and festivals of her tribe. She draws Bhil Gods and Godesses in the centuries old Bhil style which is steeped in ethnic animism and spirituality.”
Today, this artist works at Adivasi Lok Kala Academy; however she was guided by artist Jagdish Swaminathan, who encouraged her to paint on canvasses instead of painting on mud walls in her village. Lado Bai has been able to make new statements through her art within the ambit of traditions, like other fresco painters of her generation.
Bose Krishnamachari’s stainless steel chandelier is an extremely unique piece of art. This chandelier can be viewed as an installation piece as well as a piece of furniture, because it has a unique combination of utility and design. The chandelier which appears to be the culmination of a number of individual lights put together haphazardly, is actually an extremely well designed object. It allows the viewer to depart from the perceived notion of a chandelier which is supposed to look elegant and somewhat symmetric. This chandelier is made with an extremely modern and contemporary outlook, almost as if it were the result of an experiment. According to some, it also looks like an asymmetrical space station.
This work by Bose Krishnamachari is abstract and dynamic. In all his works, weather it be paintings, photography or installations, these are dominant forces.