Madhvi Parekh’s Vision of “The Last Supper”

Elizabeth Prendiville shares a note about Madhvi Parkeh’s “The Last Supper” before it concludes it’s show in New Delhi.

New York: September 3rd through the 7th Madhvi Parekh’s works will be shown at the Visual Art Gallery in the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.


Proudly produced by the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, “The Last Supper” will feature the artists collection of dynamic reverse acrylic works. These works focus on iconographic biblical scenes with a rich eye for color and development of characters. The artist displays familiar narrative while simultaneously introducing a new aesthetic approach.


Previously in 2011, these works were show at the St. Thomas’ Chapel at Bishop’s College in Calcutta. For the past twenty five years the Seagull Foundation for the Arts has supported creative works in a variety of mediums, specifically in India. This dedication to art in cinema, visual art, performing arts and more has made them an unprecedented arts organization in India.  While in New Delhi be sure to catch Madhvi Parekh’s work before the show concludes on the 7th.


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Art evoking the spirit of hospitality at Mumbai International Airport Terminal

Ipshita Sen of Saffronart comments on Rajeev Sethi’s new project

New York: Rajeev Sethi, a prominent Indian scenographer, fills up the void of public art by initiating a phenomenal art project that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but at the same time acts as a gateway to India and its magnificently diverse and unique cultural heritage.

The installation, commencing September 2013, will convert over 4,39,000 square meters of space at terminal 2 of the Mumbai Internal Airport into a large installation of art works of different mediums ornamenting it. Mumbai, being one of India’s largest metropolitan cities, attracting vast numbers of international visitors, could not have been more apt a location to house a project of such scale and motive.

Sethi says “The art programmer seek to convert the airport into a spectacular doorway into India, integrated into the fabric of the city it is located in and initiating the visitor into the experience that lie beyond its doors”

Passengers flying into the new international airport terminal will be gracefully welcomed with Sethi’s magnificent project, aiming to introduce swarming passengers at the busy terminal with Indian art and a gateway to the culture, arts and crafts of India.

Art should not be the privilege of just the rich or museums, it should be displayed in large public places” says Sethi.

The entire project is a creative collaboration between contemporary artists and artisans of the state whose arts are being represented. It is an intriguing juxtaposition between age-old tradition and continuity. It lays emphasis on India being a country of dynamism and complexity, as it exists in several centuries simultaneously. The project defines what India is and how it is through layered narratives, simplistically representing India. It will take viewers on to a unique experience, one that’s unexplored.

The artists involved in the project are a mixture of local artisans and established artists such as Gulmmohammed Sheikh, Amitavada Das, Jagannath Panda and Riyas Komu amongst several others.

A few highlights of the project will include: recently unveiled segment of the project called “Udan Khatola’, ‘Touché’ and ‘Reappearances – Below the Tarmac’ in the capital, New Delhi, before it was transported to Mumbai. This too along with several other works of art, was created mostly by artisans from different states of India in the North, South, East and West. Overall, the project is funded by GVK and is the collaboration and coordination of over 1000 artists all over the country.

“There is no dearth of vision in this country. What’s more important is how you implement an idea. And in a country like ours where we have a luxury of committed skilful people, we can realize some of the most difficult visions. Machines would stay but I believe hands would always stay one step ahead,” says the scenographer,

Udan Khatola, is a piece of work where a couple of artists have collaborated on. It is a 6.5ft papier-mâché sculpture conceptualized by Sethi, made by Sabtir Kanjania and painted by artist Madhvi Parekh. The piece is enamored by various techniques used by scenic painters of Chandan Nagar during local rituals as well as ornamented with different kinds of horses as interpreted by different traditions across the Indian subcontinent.

“It is an amalgamation of Indian mythology and machines. Its structure and colours—blue, black and silver—give it a bright and royal look, making it look like a royal carrier and yet a fantastical flying plane,” says Parekh
The project is centered on six themes. The common umbrella theme is of ‘seamless India’ and constitutes the western gateway of Molela as described by Sethi. He adds “The northern gateway displays art from Kashmir; the eastern from Kolkata, and the southern gateway represents a very whimsical gopuram with gods and goddesses flying off”

The art displayed representing Northern India will cover at least 1.5 km of the terminal space. Srinagar hosted an event for the preview of murals before it was due to travel to Mumbai.

“The force of art and craft can create bonds of unity and cooperation between artisans of different areas and cultures. These arts and crafts act as brand ambassadors of civilization, heritage, culture and detail about the people, their living and status,” said chief minister Omar Abdullah, at the preview in Srinagar.  The large 32 by 16 foot mural represents Srinagar incorporating various places of worships from Mosques to Gurudwaras. A local artist, Fayaz Ahmed Jan, one of fourteen, working on it claimed to have spent over a year working on the mural.

For a personal touch, each of the commissioned artists was given a mobile phone encouraging them to document the works being made. These would be placed near the respective works, complimenting the work of art, creating a dialogue between the viewer and the artist. Almost like a sneak preview in to the artists mind.

The project overall unfolds hidden treasures and stories, layer after layer, winding and unwinding fragments of the subcontinent’s rich histories and culture, continuing forward enabling the viewer, both international and local, to admire the riches that the subcontinent has to offer. Therefore, Sethi with this unique initiative uses art and artistic representations of Indian culture and tradition, to build a sustainable platform for Indian art, especially folk Indian art on the international market for art.

Below you can enjoy a video on the project and more information can be found here.

Convergence: Contemporary Art from India and the Diaspora

Shradha Ramesh summates a curatorial note by Professor Kathryn Myers

New York : “Convergence: Contemporary Art from India and the Diaspora” an exhibition held at the William Benton Museum, University of Connecticut (14 October to 15 December 2013) is visual entourage of Indian Modern and Contemporary art.This exhibit encapsulated a different perspective on Indian art, with artworks dating from 1940’s to the present.

Aptly titled, the oeuvres of fifteen artists with different stylistic rendition converge under one roof. Each one of these artists set out on their own creative expedition to explore a common issue of identity and the continued power of place in the current global scenario. While inquiring the conundrums of identity and place the exhibition walked through a vast expanse of repertoire ranging from photographs to new media.


Image courtesy Benton Museum. Convergence: Contemporary Art from India and the Diaspora”, 2013, installation view.  William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut.

Image courtesy Benton Museum.
Convergence: Contemporary Art from India and the Diaspora”, 2013, installation view.
William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut.

A combination of emerging and internationally recognized artists adds a new visual narration.The list of artists has stalwarts like Madhvi Parekh, Waswo X. Waswo , Ravi Agarwal, Anupam Sud ,Sanarth Banerjee, Siona Benjamin, Neil Chowdhury, Sunil Gupta, Hanuman R. Kambli, Bari Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Sachin Naik, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, along with  young emerging artists such as Sujith SN, and Avinash Veeraraghavan, are ensemble of contemporary Indian art. These artists are of Indian origin, of which nine artists are from India and the rest six live and work from United States and London.



Image Courtesy: Connecticut Suresh Playing Hanuman, from the series  A Studio in Rajasthan (2007–present). Black-and-white digital  Print

Image Courtesy: Connecticut
Suresh Playing Hanuman, from the series
A Studio in Rajasthan (2007–present). Black-and-white digital

Professor Kathryn Myers’s  passion and love for Indian art and culture that started in 1999, has transpired into a fine curatorial collection at the museum.According to Professor Myers, the concept “ “Convergence” emphasizes  how works of art continue to act as key avenues through which we increase our knowledge of and more fully invest in the world we inhabit.” One can experience this each of their works. Creating a strong link between Indian Art and education Professor Myer’s has played a pivotal role in compiling this collection.  Her collaboration with the William Benton Museum sowed the seeds for the first Indian Modern Art exhibit in 2004 called Masala: Diversity and Democracy in South Asian Art. The exhibit had 250 works of traditional, folk, popular, and contemporary art that filled three gallery spaces of the museum.  While “Convergence” is a contemporary sequel to “Masala” that revisits select work of the collection and also introduces audience to artists.

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