Harsha Dehejia’s New Book on Rasikapriya Paintings

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart recommends Dehejia’s latest book Rasikapriya

Rasikapriya, H. Dehejia

Rasikapriya, H. Dehejia. Image Credit: http://www.dkprintworld.com/pr
oduct-detail.php?pid=1280857190

London: Harsha Dehejia, a practicing physician and well known scholar of ancient Indian culture and Hindu aesthetics who teaches at Carleton University in Canada, recently published his latest work: Rasikapriya: Ritikavya of Keshavdas in Ateliers of Love. This book brings together, for the first time, the full translation of the text in English and includes more than 470 illustrations of paintings related to it.

The rasikapriya is one of the main texts of mannered poetry, or ritikavya, which was composed by Keshavdas during the 17th century. Keshavdas was the court poet of Raja Indrajit of Orchha in Bundelkhand. The poet created short verses dedicated to and inspired by love, to which musicians and dancers at the court would respond in their own artistic ways. In addition, many artists produced beautiful miniature paintings to illustrate his words, which now enjoy pride of place in private and museum collections worldwide.

Some of Dehejia’s previous publications include The Advaita of Art, Parvatidarpana, Despair and Modernity, Leaves of the Pipal Tree, Parvati Goddess of LoveThe Lotus And The Flute: Romantic Moments in Poetry and Painting, Celebrating Krishna: Sensuous Images and Sacred Words, and A Celebration Of Love: The Romantic Heroine in the Indian Arts.

Like the rest of these books, Rasikapriya is definitely a ‘must read’, both for its literary and artistic value.

8 Themes in Miniature Paintings

Our upcoming exhibition, Living and Inspired Traditions, features works by contemporary artists that draw from the various schools of Rajput and Mughal miniature painting, and portray iconic themes and subjects including the Ragamalas, Baramasa, Gita Govinda, royal portraiture, mythology and more.

Read more ›

Art+Auction’s Power Collectors 2012: Kiran Nadar

Medha Kapur of Saffronart shares a note on Art+Auction’s 2012 Power Collectors List which features Indian collector Kiran Nadar

Art+Auction's Power 2012Every year, Art+Auction publishes its ‘Power’ list, spotlighting those individuals who have stood out in the art world over the year. This year, the nine-part list, which was released last week, includes experts from all corners of the arts: Auction Power, the Power of TraditionPower CollectorsDesign PowerPower DealersPower PatronsPower PlayersPower to Watch, and Power Personalities.

Being on Art+Auction’s Power 100 list, an individual shares only one characteristic with the fellow listees: distinction! So,how is who does and doesn’t make the list determined?

ARTINFO, under whose banner Art+Auction is published, canvas widely, soliciting contributions from all over the world to make sure the list is comprehensive. They aim to strike a balance between equally valid yet frequently competing areas of influence —weighing curatorial prominence against the character, agency, and the clout of individuals. Connections, magnetism, and leadership also play a role, especially when it comes to private collectors. A candidate’s future potential or ascendancy is also a quality they try to assess when considering for potential inclusion on the list.

The third of nine installments published by Art+Auction this year includes a list of individuals who are putting together groundbreaking collections: ‘Power Collectors.’ Among the top power collectors of 2012 is one well known name in India – one of the most important collectors of modern and contemporary Indian art – Kiran Nadar. Other collectors on the list include François Pinault, George Economou, Leon Black (who recently acquired Edvard Munch’s 1895 pastel version of The Scream for $120 million, the most expensive work of art sold at auction to date), and Len Blavatnik.

Kiran Nadar

Kiran Nadar with an installation by Subodh Gupta.
Image Courtesy: http://www.artinfo.com

Nadar established the KNMA (Kiran Nadar Museum of Art), India’s first privately owned museum, which has an illustrious collection of about 700 modern and contemporary works. In 2010, Nadar bought S.H. Raza’s 1983 painting Saurashtra for a record-breaking £2,393,250 ($3.5 million) at an auction house in London. In April 2012, Nadar unveiled her most ambitious acquisition yet — Subodh Gupta’s 26-ton, 30-foot-high Line of Control, first displayed at the 2009 Tate Triennial. Line of Control was installed at the central foyer of the DLF South Court Mall in Saket, Delhi. It took 80 man hours, about 3 dozen people, unimaginable logistical effort, and superb execution to erect one of the largest public sculptures in the country.

Saurashtra | S H Raza 1983

Saurashtra | S H Raza
1983
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

Line of Control | Subodh Gupta 2008

Line of Control | Subodh Gupta
2008
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

The KNMA possesses works by other artists including Tyeb MehtaNasreen MohamediM.F. HusainAnish KapoorArpita Singh, F.N. SouzaJamini RoyA. Ramachandran , S.H. RazaSubodh GuptaJogen Chowdhury, Krishen KhannaManjit BawaN. S. HarshaRam KumarRameshwar Broota, and V.S. Gaitonde among others. Some of the more noteworthy ones include Bharti Kher’s The Skin Speaks A Language Not Its Own, Rina Banerjee’s The world as burnt fruit and Akbar Padamsee’s Grey Nude.

The Skin, Speaks a Language Not Its Own | Bharti Kher 2006

The Skin, Speaks a Language Not Its Own | Bharti Kher
2006
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

Grey Nude | Akbar Padamsee 1960

Grey Nude | Akbar Padamsee
1960
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

The World as Burnt Fruit | Rina Banerjee 2009

The World as Burnt Fruit | Rina Banerjee
2009
Image Courtesy: http://www.knma.in/

Kiran Nadar is married to Shiv Nadar, founder chairman of HCL Technologies and the Shiv Nadar Foundation.

FIAC, Paris – An Art Fair Showcasing the Regulars

Guest blogger Kanika Anand shares her impressions of FIAC and its representation of Indian artists 

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Paris: Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, popularly know by the acronym FIAC, is France’s primary fair of contemporary art, hosted at the Grand Palais in Paris in October every year.

Enthused by my first visit to the fair and the general buzz of art events around it in Paris, I made my way one rainy evening to discover for myself the depth of the hullabaloo. The fair offered the usual suspects of the contemporary art world, both in terms of galleries as well as artists, such as White Cube, David Zwirner, Lisson, Victoria Miro, Galerie Perrotin along with their blue chip artists Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Cindy Sherman, Anish Kapoor & Yayoi Kusama. Takashi Murakami bedazzled and Paul McCarthy mocked… and shocked! Incidentally, this edition of FIAC marked Gagosian Gallery’s debut at the fair. These art market biggies dominated, if not wholly comprised the selection at FIAC.

Indian representation was limited to artists who already have a market in Paris and could be better defined as international artists of Indian origin. Widely exhibited in Europe, Mithu Sen’s solo show ‘Devoid’ opens today at Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris. This will be the artist’s first solo in France, although her work has been exhibited at FIAC before. Hanging in the gallery’s booth at FIAC was Mithu’s You taste like Pao Bhaji alongside a sculptural work by the gallery’s long time represented artist, Rina Banerjee. Banerjee already has a marked presence in Paris; noteworthy of mention was her solo exhibition, Chimeras of India and the West at the prestigious Guimet Musee in 2011.

A series of 10 ‘Untitled’ drawings by N.S.Harsha hung on the outside wall of Greene Naftali Gallery (New York). Zarina Hashmi’s beautiful gold flaked ‘Tasbih’ hung in the corner of Jeanne-Bucher/Jaeger Bucher’s  (Paris) booth, in the deserving company of Joan Miro and Susumu Shingu. Tasbih is from Zarina’s most recent body of work shown at the gallery in a solo exhibition titled Noor last year.

A painted store shutter titled Mumtaz by Atul Dodiya and a painting by Jitish Kallat adorned two main walls of the large booth of Galerie Daniel Templon (Paris). The last day of FIAC coincided with the conclusion of Atul Dodiya’s first solo exhibition in Paris – Scribes from Timbuktu at their gallery space. The gallery has in the past supported Indian and other Asian artists, showcasing works by Sudarshan Shetty, Anju Dodiya, Hiroshi Sugimoto & Yue Minjun.

Two round shiny Anish Kapoor steel works in gold and purple, one each at the booths of Lisson (London/ Milan/ New York) and Gladstone Gallery (New York/ Brussels) shimmered akin to the gloss of the fair itself. But for me, the fair lacked spunk – no experimental works, no new names, no interesting project booths and notably no Indian galleries! It was all that I ‘expected’, but then again I’m no collector.

FIAC, Paris runs several parallel events and programs around the fair. More information is available at http://www.fiac.com/.

Kanika Anand is an art professional and budding curator specializing in Indian contemporary art. She holds a degree in Art History from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi, and has worked in the field for five years with Gagosian Gallery, Gallery Espace and Talwar Gallery in New York and New Delhi. She is currently pursuing the Curatorial Training Program at the Ecole du Magasin in Grenoble, France, in line with her interest to responsibly curate projects towards making art more accessible as well as inter-disciplinary.

South Asian Contemporary Art at New Zealand’s Govett-Brewster Gallery

Manjari Sihare shares details of a new exhibition of South Asian art at New Zealand’s leading contemporary art museum

New Zealand: The contemporary art museum of New Plymouth in Taranaki, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, is currently hosting the region’s most extensive exhibition of South Asian contemporary art. Sub-Topical Heat: New Art from South Asia features the works of nine artists from the subcontinent, namely Naeem Mohaiemen, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Bani Abidi, Sheba Chhachhi, Raking Leaves, Gigi Scaria, Imran Qureshi, and Sharmila Samant.

Read more about this exhibition.

Govett-Brewster is recognized internationally in the world of contemporary art. In 2009, the Arts Foundation of New Zealand bestowed the Gallery with their prestigious Governors’ Award to acknowledge the institution’s singular commitment to the cause of contemporary art over four decades. Incidentally, this exhibition is not the gallery’s first showcase of art from the Indian subcontinent. In 2009, the Gallery hosted Nalani Malani’s compelling installation, Mother India: Transactions in the Construction of Pain.

Nalini Malani, Mother India: Transactions in the Construction of Pain, 2005 (installation view)
Image courtesy: http://www.govettbrewster.com/Events/EventDetail/e/130/title/nalini-malani.aspx

These exhibitions have been curated by the current Director of the Gallery, Rhana Davenport, a cultural specialist with substantial experience in the field of contemporary art in Asia, the Pacific and Australasia. Davenport is known for her significant experience with international cultural festivals and contemporary art biennial/triennial projects including the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery, and the Sydney Festival.

The current exhibition opened earlier this month, and will be on view until 4 November, 2012. Sheba Chhachhi, Gigi Scaria, N.S. Harsha and Sharmila Samant traveled to New Plymouth for the opening of the exhibit. The gallery organized a series of short dialogues between each of these artists and Davenport, which are available for free viewing on Youtube (see links below).

Interview with NS Harsha

Interview with Gigi Scaria

Interview with Sheba Chhachhi

Interview with Sharmila Samant 

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