Elizabeth Prendiville of Saffronart shares a note about Talwar Gallery’s intimate look into Nasreen Mohamedi’s work, “Becoming One”.
“Becoming One” by Nasreen Mohamedi
New York: This fall at the Talwar Gallery in New York a collection of artist Nasreen Mohamedi’s work will be on display in “Becoming One”. The exhibition will include photographs, drawings and diaries encompassing work from much of her lifetime (1931-1990). Her work utilizes universal themes in an aesthetic that is neither representational nor abstract. This independent quality has set her work apart in Indian art. Her series of drawings on graph paper appear to be embryonic life forms growing and evolving. This variety of subject matter encompasses her approach to the familiar and unfamiliar in our world.
“Becoming One” by Nasreen Mohamedi
“Becoming One” not only showcases her technical execution in her creative craft, but also shines line on the motives and perspectives of the artist herself. Her diaries, displayed in the show, hold a wealth of knowledge about the artist’s commitment continual exploration in her artistic practice. Through these diaries we see that her creative practice was truly embedded in her existence. These autobiographical notes contain Mohamedi’s continual conversion of life and art.
Nasreen Mohamedi’s work was unprecedented in India’s art scene. Her approach was completely unique and is seen as a crucial piece in the development of modernism in Indian art. “Becoming One” will be on display through November 24rd. This will be Nasreen Mohamedi’s third solo show at the Talwar Gallery.
To learn more about “Becoming One” please visit Talwar Gallery’s website here.
The Saffronart team has been scuttling around to put together a handy list of exhibitions to check out this month. Some end soon, and with some others you can take your time, though we wouldn’t really recommend waiting too long. So if you’re in Mumbai, Delhi, England or the U.S. of A. this month, you know where to go.
From the Exhibition The Florentine Renaissance: “The City as a Crucible of Culture” Ghiberti, Lorenzo (1378-1455). Gates of Paradise. Credits: Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum website
The Florentine Renaissance: “The City as a Crucible of Culture” Where: Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum City Museum, Byculla On View Till: July 8, 2014
You don’t need to travel all the way to Florence to get a glimpse of Italian Renaissance…not this week anyway. The Bhau Daji Lad Museum has extended this exhibition which features prolific early renaissance artist Lorenzo Ghiberti’s masterpiece, ‘The Gates of Paradise’: a work also revered by other artists such as Michaelangelo himself. The interior and permanent collection at the museum will be an added bonus to your visit.
Mansoor Ali: “Anatomy of an Unknown Chair” Where: Gallery Maskara, Colaba On View Till: July 31, 2014
Ever thought about chairs beyond their functional and aesthetic qualities? Mansoor Ali’s ongoing show at the Gallery Maskara is sure to provoke you to think about much more through his installations that employ chairs as a primary medium. His five installations address several issues pertaining to politics and power play, reminding us of the effectiveness of found objects in art.
If the idea of visiting this exhibition hasn’t incentivized you enough already to make your way to Colaba, you should know that the nearby Mumbai Art Room, Sakshi Gallery and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke have ongoing exhibitions too. You could combine visiting the three galleries to make for an enjoyable, art-filled afternoon.
Amshu Chukki, Kaushik Saha, Anil Thambai, Pradeep P.P., Yasmin Jahan Nupur and Sangita Maity: “Art for Young Collectors” Where: Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Colaba
On View Till: July 31, 2014
As per tradition, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke is currently hosting its ongoing exhibition, ‘Art for Young Collectors’. While each artist has a unique approach and style, all the works are connected by a similar theme: “the common trail of seepage–the flowing of one system, one suite of meanings, one realm of belief into another, creating an uneasy ecology and forever changing both in the process.”
Anirban Mitra, Arunkumar H.G., Jagannath Panda, Jitish Kallat, Manjunath Kamat, Ravinder Reddy, Shilpa Gupta, Surendran Nair, Vivek Vilasini: Group Show
Where: Sakshi Art Gallery, Colaba On View Till: July 31, 2014
Don’t miss Sakshi while on your mini art excursion. This exhibition features a mix of paintings, photographs and sculptures by important contemporary artists whose works you should be acquainted with.
Anna Ostoya, Agnieszka Polska, Karol Radziszewski, Janek Simon, Rafał Wilk: “We Rather Look Back to Futures Past”
Where: Mumbai Art Room, Colaba On View Till: August 7, 2014
This is a unique exhibition that is presented in collaboration with the Polish Institute. The exhibits include photomontages, films and sculptures by five contemporary artists who share a common Polish background. While the artists explore the common theme of looking back and questioning the past, they each employ a unique individualistic approach. Not only does this exhibition give you the chance to learn more about Polish contemporary art, but it should also compel you to think about your own associations with the past.
From the Exhibition “Invisible Cities” Gauri Gill, “Hall of Technology – Diptych 1”, Archival Pigment Print, 9″ X 12″, 2010 Credits: Vadehra Art Gallery
Group Show: “Invisible Cities” Where: Vadehra Gallery, D-53 Defense Colony On View Till: July 12, 2014
If Italo Calvino popped into your mind on reading this, you’re quite close to guessing the theme of this exhibit. “They are stories of spaces that are invisible or underground, mute spaces hidden under the bustling cover of the city. They are stories of people and their relationships, of which the artist is part of”, reads the Vadehra Art Gallery press release. Featuring well-known artists and photographers such as Atul Bhalla, Gauri Gill, Sunil Gupta, Malini Kochupillai and Asim Waqif, this group show highlights aspects of cities that may otherwise remain unnoticed. Perhaps your otherwise hectic urban life doesn’t give you the opportunity to actively observe the little details that are easily missed. Don’t miss this chance to see the work of these acclaimed artists, under a single roof.
Pradeep Puthoor: “New Paintings”
Where: Nature Morte, Central South Delhi When: July 5– August 2, 2014
Pradeep Puthoor, an artist from Kerala who has shown his works in a number of galleries across India and abroad, is featuring his new mural-size paintings in this exhibition. These paintings depict the meeting point between computer science and biological engineering, and create a space for viewers to “swim in and get lost, to drown in their luscious complexities.” The unique theme and large paintings are sure to entice a wide audience, making Nature Morte an ideal gallery to visit this July.
Raj Rewal: “Memory, Metaphor and Meaning in his Constructed Landscape” Where: National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi On View Till: July 20, 2014
Did you think you missed this show? You’d be happy to know that the NGMA has extended this exhibition, giving you the opportunity to visit it this July. This retrospective features five decades of work by renowned architect Raj Rewal. The works on display will make you see architecture as a field of visual art, as structures may otherwise be judged mostly on their functionality. Of course, Rewal’s own achievements, such as his work being featured at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, make visiting this exhibition even more compelling.
“Smart Art Cart” Where: Gallery Espace, Delhi On View Till: July 31, 2014
On view and on sale at Gallery Espace are a collection of works by Amit Ambalal, Rajendar Tiku, M.F. Husain, Manjunath Kamath, Owais Husain, Suddhosattwa Basu, Mala Marwah, Mekhala Bahl, Chintan Upadhyay, S.H. Raza, and Jai Zharotia, among others.
From the Grosvenor Gallery Exhibition of Senaka Senanayake’s works Butterflies, 2014, Oil on canvas, 122 x 182.9cm. (48 x 72in.) Source: Grosvenor Gallery Website
Senaka Senanayake Where: Grosvenor Gallery On View Till: July 11, 2014
If you’re ever at Green Park this week or the next, pop by Grosvenor Gallery to take in a tropical medley of colours, all harmoniously arranged by one of Sri Lanka’s most important artists, Senaka Senanayake. The prodigal artist has been exhibiting internationally since his teenage years. His recent work is inspired by the plight of the Sri Lankan rainforests, many of which have been subject to intense deforestation to make way for tea plantations.
Nasreen Mohamedi Where: Tate Liverpool On View Till: October 5, 2014
Nasreen Mohamedi is one of the most significant women artists of Modern Indian art, and a critically acclaimed one at that. Tate Liverpool is hosting Mohamedi’s largest solo exhibition in the UK. The show includes more than 50 of her works spanning paintings, drawings and photographs, especially highlighting the most significant artistic phases in her career, and runs in parallel with “Mondrian and his Studios”, exploring how she moved from the figurative to the abstract like Mondrian. Tickets for the latter include admission into the Nasreen Mohamedi exhibition.
Empire, Faith and War: The Sikhs and World War One Where: The Brunei Gallery, SOAS On View Till: September 28, 2014
The UK Punjab Heritage Association has organised an exhibition to remember the invaluable contribution and experiences of Sikh soldiers during the Great War. The exhibition features rare and unique finds such as unpublished photographs and drawings, newspapers and comics, postcards, works of art, uniforms, gallantry medals, and folk songs sung by wives left at home, as well as a unique album of X-Rays of wounded Indian soldiers’ injuries lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection.
London Indian Film Festival Where: BFI Southbank, ICA, BAFTA and Cineworld cinemas across London On View From: July 10-17, 2014
The London Indian Film Festival is back in town for its 5th edition. Following last year’s success, some of the best Indian independent films will be showing in several venues across London accompanied by talks with cinema personalities such as Santosh Sivan and Farhan Akhtar and a Q&A with film directors. For the full programme, check the London Indian Film Festival website.
From the Exhibition Gateway to Himalayan Art & The Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room Photo by David De Armas Source: Rubin Museum Website
The Rubin Museum of Art has its eyes on the Indian subcontinent. Head there this month and combine your visits into one eventful day.
From India East: Sculpture of Devotion from the Brooklyn Museum Where: Rubin Museum of Art, New York On View Till: July 28, 2014
Given the temporary closure of the Asian art galleries at the Brooklyn Museum, this exhibition allows visitor to partake from this significant museum collection. Curated by the Rubin Museum, the objects trace the development of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures to its root in ancient Indic art. On view are selections of works from various regions including Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, and Japan, which together map the wide-spread evolution of Asian art in the regions.
Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine Where: Rubin Museum of Art, New York On View Till: September 8, 2014
This is one of the first major exhibitions which chronicle the origin, history and practice of the Tibetan science of healing. It brings to the viewers a visual narrative on the subject by presenting 140 objects dating from the 9th century to the present which includes manuscripts and paintings on medical practices and medical instruments. The exhibition highlights the relationship shared between Tibetan medicine and Buddhism and how it has shaped the visual arts in the Himalayan region. In addition to the historic objects is a multi-media installation which explains how Tibetan medicine is used today and allows visitor to find out personalized health information through questionnaires, making the visit informative and interactive. There’s also a quiz online.
Curated by Karl Debreczeny and Elena Pakhoutova, this exhibition gives its audience an introduction to the principal concepts of Himalayan art and its cultural contexts. Visitors are welcomed by a large multimedia map of the Himalayan region which highlights the diversity in the region. This exhibition is divided into four sections: Figures and Symbols, Materials and Techniques, Purpose and Function, and Tibetan Art in Context. The centerpiece of this exhibit is the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room- a recreated model for everyone to experience. This well-documented exhibition has many learning tools making it an interesting visit for a diverse audience.
Mithu Sen: Border Unseen Where: Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, On View Till: August 31, 2014
Mithu Sen’s first solo museum exhibition in the US is a massive installation in dental polymer, tracing a pink toothy line across a long prism-shaped room. This is the first of Mithu’s teeth works installed on suspended armature. The 80 feet long hanging sculpture inhabits the gallery space, its sheer scale and texture eliciting strong reactions from viewers. This monumental yet minimalist work reaffirms the artist’s exploration of the connotations of bodily materials like hair, teeth and bone in her works.
Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation Where: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Washington D.C. On View Till: August 16, 2015
This iconic exhibition chronicles more than 200 years of Indian American contributions to the U.S. The 5,000-square-foot exhibition features Indian Americans’ migration experiences, working lives, political struggles and cultural and religious contributions. Highlighted artifacts include a dress worn by First Lady Michelle Obama designed by Indian American Naeem Khan; the 1985 National Spelling Bee trophy awarded to the first Indian American winner, Balu Natarajan; and Mohini Bhardwaj’s 2004 Olympic Silver Medal for gymnastics. Public programs include performances featuring Indian American art, comedy, cuisine, dance, film, television, literature and music. The exhibition will be travelling around the US for four years beginning May 2015.
There’s plenty more out there, so don’t forget to drop by our events listing page, updated each month.
Shradha Ramesh shares a note on the current exhibition at Gallery L8, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art New York: “Echoes: Islamic art and Contemporary Artists” resonates an epoch of Islamic art and culture from across the globe, dating from 9th century to 21st century. The works on display are a visual diary of Islamic art through time and geography. A narration tracing from Nelson Atkins 17th century mosaic Persian arch, being juxtaposed with variegate Islamic inspired contemporary art. The Director of the Nelson-Atkins, Julián Zugazagoitia, during the press release said “This exhibition highlights some of the outstanding works in our collection that have not been seen in a long time,”
The geographic chronology of Islamic art and architecture ranges from west to east. The region of influence starts from North Africa and Spain on Western region; then the Middle East (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula), Anatolia and the Balkans (Turkey and Southeast Europe), Iran and Central Asia (including Afghanistan and the Central Asia Republics) and eventually the Indian subcontinent.
Image Credit: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Bowl, Iran, late 12th–early 13th century. Fritware with opaque turquoise glaze and over-painted decoration. 35-31/4
The Contemporary artists represented at the exhibition are primarily from Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Though they are from these regions they work and live in different parts of the world, adding to the diverse Islamic impression. The artists represented are Shirin Neshat, Asheer Akram , and Hayv Kahraman and Shahzia Sikander live and work from United States. The others work from their respective native land Hamra Abbas (Pakistani), Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabian), Nasser Al Salem(Saudi Arabian), Gohar Dashti (Iranian) , Ayesha Jatoi(Pakistani), Nasreen Mohamedi (Indian), Rashid Rana (Pakistani). Given their background and the vast medium on display one gets transported to a different visual space.
Image Credit: Eye Burfi Shirin Neshat, Iranian, b. 1957. Stories of Martydom , 1994. Black and white RC print and ink
The common visual ground, upon which the exhibit traverses are the geometric or vegetative design with intricate details and patterns of Arabic calligraphy, rendered in rich colors and forms in an anomalous vista. Kimberly Masteller, the first Jeanne McCray Beals Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, explains the concept behind the exhibit “The overarching theme here is dialogue,…We use the installation and the artists’ interviews to invoke conversations between the works and their cultures, and also between past and present.”
The 28 featured art works include ceramics, textiles, miniature paintings, decorative brass, photographs and video art. The magnum opus is a Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative at the entrance made by artist Asheer Akram, from Kansas City.
Image Credit: The Kansas City Star Magazine Asheer Akram’s “Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative”
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art began was started in late 1800 and early 1900 by two ardent art lovers, William Rockhill Nelson and Mary Atkins as two separate art museum. Both the museum merged to form the Nelson-Atkins. “Echoes” is joint venture by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kansas City Artists Coalition, and the Kansas City Public Library. The exhibit runs until March 30, 2014 at the museum’s Gallery L8.
Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart reflects on an interesting article on the India Art Fair by Girish Shahane
India Art Fair. Image Credit: http://www.indiaartfair.in/
London: For people who like me sadly could not make it to the India Art Fair 2013, Girish Shahane, Mumbai based art critic and curator, wrote an interesting blog post about the exhibit.
Comparing this edition to last year’s, the author notes that the fair was much clearer on its purposes and better organized. Some international galleries such as Houser and Wirth, Lisson and White Cube preferred not to join the fair again, partly because of the stringent Indian regulations and partly because they found the market underdeveloped. However, this withdrawal was not necessarily a negative move since it opened up space for other galleries such as Daniel Besseiche who was showing Bangladeshi artist Ahmed Shahabuddin and was appreciated by the Indian art lovers.
Ahmed Shahabuddin. Image Credit: http://www.departmag.com/archive/5th_issue/shahabuddin_in_india.html
Shahane pointed out that this year the fair was more accessible to everyone. The subject matter of the exhibited works was more easily recognizable and the colours and visible skills of the artists took over from last year’s conceptual works which were appreciated only by a few. In addition, the occurrence of many galleries in one place was a great time saver for the people looking to purchase artwork but who didn’t want to spend the entire day roaming around Delhi or Mumbai.
Although this year the art fair was made for a wider audience, many events and parallel exhibitions were organized around Delhi for the art experts. A Nasreen Mohamedi Retrospective was held at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and other exhibitions at the British Council, IGNCA, National Gallery of Modern Art, Khoj Artist’s Workshop and the Devi Art Foundation.
The only drawback was that the last of the three pavilions at the fair was not as good as as the others, but still managed to attract many lesser-known art dealers.
Detail of Sold Out, Raqs Media Collective. Image Credit: http://in.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/863167/fifth-edition-of-india-art-fair-kicks-off-on-a-high
All in all, the fair has been a great success for the galleries, viewers and the organizers, perhaps a sign that the economy is slowly raising up again.
Click here to read the full Girish Shahane’s blog post.
Manjari Sihare shares details of some must-attend exhibitions and symposia in New Delhi coinciding with the India Art Fair
New Delhi: If you are in India right now, Delhi is the place to be. The art world is gearing up for the country’s biggest annual art extravaganza, the India Art Fair starting on Friday, February 1 (with a preview the day before). Each year since its inception in 2008, the fair has grown larger. The 5th edition is bringing together 105 exhibiting galleries from 24 countries, presenting over 1000 works by some of the most exciting artists from across the world. But the action is not just limited to just the Fair. Outside of the Fair, there are some collateral exhibitions and events that I believe are MUST ATTENDS. Here is my list:
A private museum for modern and contemporary Indian art, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) is known to line up an ambitious program each year to mark its birthday (three years ago in January 2010, KNMA opened its first location in the HCL campus in Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi). The museum lives up to its reputation once again this year by unveiling an ambitious series of events. The first in line to open on January 18th was Zones of Contact an exhibition curated by three young and dynamic curators, Deeksha Nath, Vidya Shivadas and Akansha Rastogi. The curatorial note for the show notes that it is an attempt “to envision the museum as a site and an idea in flux, as a catalyst that by undergoing redefinition allows for concretized notions and experiences of modernity and post-modernity to be revisited and rethought.” In a country where there is really no state owned museum of contemporary art, an exhibition such as this one speaks volumes of the mission this private museum has set for itself to showcase and re-define contemporary art in the region.
On view from today is Difficult Loves , a trilogy of exhibitions curated by the Director and Chief Curator of KNMA, Roobina Karode. This includes the largest retrospective ever of the late Nasreen Mohamedi, an artist whose minimal works leave an unforgettable impression on the viewer, a tribute to India’s Frida Kahlo, Amrita Sher-Gil, and a group exhibition featuring iconic installation works of seven leading contemporary women artists – Ranjani Shettar, Anita Dube,Sheba Chhachhi, Bharti Kher, Dayanita Singh, Sheela Gowda and Sonia Khurana. My personal favorite is Sheba Chhachhi’s Water Diviner, a version of which I first saw at the National Museum of Natural History in 48’c public. art.ecology curated by Pooja Sood and organized by the South Asian Network of Goethe Institutes in 2008. This series of shows promises to be spectacular. Not to miss at all!
Tomorrow, the museum will be hosting two talks under the Critical Collective Symposia conceptualized and organized by veteran Delhi based critic and curator, Gayatri Sinha. The first of these is panel discussion between renowned South African contemporary artist, William Kentridge and Indian veterans, Vivan Sundaram and Nalini Malani. The second one is a talk by UK based art historian, TJ Demos, who is best known for his published work on the conjunction of art and politics.
The India Art Fair always ends with the opening of an exhibition at the Devi Art Foundation. This time, it will the third and last edition of the Sarai Reader, an exhibition conceptualized by the Devi Art Foundation and Raqs Media Collective. Sarai Reader 9 is a nine month long project envisaged to draw on ‘exhibition’ as an evolving process, introducing new forms of creative thinking and methodologies. Invitations were open to anyone and everyone with an interesting idea and an engaging means of presentation, limited to a fixed duration and applicable within a space. The first episode opened for viewing on 13 October, 2012, followed by another on 15 December last year. Read more about these episodes. This current episode will be on view until April 16, 2013. For more information, click here.
All the activity is not limited to Delhi only. Mumbai will see the opening of the first ever exhibition of William Kentridge’s work in India hosted by Volte Gallery. Of South African descent, Kentridge has exhibited worldwide in major venues such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York. His works mostly deal with subjects of apartheid and colonialism. This show featuring Kentridge’s eight multichannel projection installation, sculptures, drawings, tapestries, videos and prints, promises to be a blockbuster. The exhibition will be on view from February 6 to March 20, 2013.