In Conversation With: Phaneendra Nath Chaturvedi

Phaneendra Nath Chaturvedi speaks to Saffronart on his work, “We Who Live By Myth”, fatherhood, and minimalism.

Read more ›

Balancing Act by LN Tallur

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart shares a note on LN Tallur current exhibition at the SCAD Museum of Art, Georgia

London: The SCAD Museum of Art is currently hosting the first solo US museum exhibition of the Indian artist LN Tallur.

Tallur’s art is an amalgamation of influences from rural India, where he grew up, to foreign lands, which he recently visited. This is reflected in his unique style and artistic vocabulary.

The New York Times described the artist’s work “each of his pieces is like a miniature curiosity cabinet, hand-assembled down to the smallest detail and packed with charmed and puzzling surprises.”

LN Tallur, Balancing Act, 2013

LN Tallur, Balancing Act, 2013. Image Credit: http://www.tallur.com/

“Balancing Act” is a comprehensive exhibition of past and recent sculptures, installations and interactive works by the artist. These were created using different media such as bronze, terracotta, wood, bronze, silver and concrete.

The leading theme of the exhibition are the dichotomies between the tangible and ethereal, the abstract and the figurative and the conceptual and the decorative.

The exhibition is on until March 23 and you can find more information here.

Saffronart New York hosts SAWCC’s auction benefit

Josheen Oberoi shares a note on an upcoming art benefit in New York

New York: Saffronart, New York is pleased to announce a silent auction benefit on November 21st for the New York based nonprofit South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC). Following on the heels of the auction held to benefit the +91 Foundation in September, Saffronart continues it’s commitment to supporting the arts and artistic community.

SAWCC, an arts organization established in 1997 and dedicated to the visibility and development of emerging and established South Asian women artists and creative professionals, SAWCC provides physical and virtual space to profile their work across disciplines. Visual arts exhibitions, literary and performance art festivals, film screenings – SAWCC’s programming provides visibility to a wide variety of creative disciplines.

Featuring fifty two works by young and established, well collected artists, this auction allows young collectors to buy art at affordable and sometimes below-market prices. After a landmark 15th anniversary in 2012, featuring the retrospective exhibition Her Stories at the Queens Museum of Art, and an outstanding performance, SUBLIME, at the Dumbo Arts Festival this year, this silent auction will raise funds to sustain SAWCC’s exciting future programming.

Here’s a snippet of what will be available. For more, please join us tomorrow.

@Saffronart
595 Madison Avenue, Ste 900
New York NY 10022

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

NAINA KANODIA- CHRONICLING CONTEMPORARY INDIA

Kanika Pruthi of Saffronart explores the fantastical world of Naina Kanodia’s works and highlights the artist’s commitment to the genre of L’Art Naif

 Image
Naina Kanodia, Mumtaz Mahal, 2009, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 36 in.
Image Credit: http://www.breathearts.com/Public/ArtWorkDispFixedSale.aspx?htmlurl=124$178

New York: Indian artist Naina Kanodia’s fantastical works seem to celebrate the simplicity of mundane everyday lives of people all over India. A first glance invokes a sense of cheer and gaiety, the color palette induce a celebratory aura while the imagery, laden with patterns and details, invite the gaze to hover all over the painting.  But an understanding of Kanodia’s artistic choices and larger discourse reveals complex and intriguing ways to further delve into her works.

An economist turned painter, Kanodia is one of the few Indian artists committed to the genre of L’Art Naif, also known as Naïve Art. One of the early and internationally recognized practitioners of this genre was Henri Rousseau, the French Post-Impressionist painter. Naïve Art is characterized by a simplistic, even childlike, depiction of everyday life. The dismissal of visual perspective, use of vibrant hues, plethora of patterns and emphasis on details lend the works the feel of a storybook. But it is by employing these visual devices that the artist constructs a commentary on the contemporary lifestyle of their times. A closer investigation reveals how these scenes explore complex societal dilemmas and changes.

Kanodia’s works display a commitment to Indianess in its use of colors, patterns and themes. Her discourse focuses on the dichotomy of contemporary India- with deep rooted traditions that coexist with a constant influx of western influence. The artist aims to incorporate the confluence of these two distinct tangents that exist simultaneously in her immediate surroundings.

Kanodia uses a variety of media- pastels, watercolors and oils. The characteristic color palette associated with her works results from a four layer technique employed by the artist. This method helps her to control the hue and opacity of colors in her works, avoiding a sensory overload. Her dexterity to achieve a balanced palette of vibrant colors evidences her superior skills in handling a variety of mediums.

 ImageNaina Kanodia, Me and My Boyfriend, 2009, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 36 in.
Image Credit: http://www.breathearts.com/Public/ArtWorkDispFixedSale.aspx?htmlurl=124$181

Another characteristic feature of Kanodia’s oeuvre is the patterns she employs to populate her scenes. These are not random decorative features but rather the key that reveals the narrative in her works. Certain flowers bring to mind Ara’s work while a view of a room references Van Gogh’s own bedroom – elements interjected into an urban Indian living space, pointing towards the global lifestyle of the occupants. There are paintings that show works of renowned painters alongside images of India’s burgeoning urban elites- perhaps referencing their exuberant lifestyle with easy access to the finer things in life.

 Image
Naina Kanodia, Success, 2012, Oil on Canvas, 46 x 36 in.
Image Credit: http://www.artnet.com/auctions/artists/naina-kanodia/success

The artist has held several group shows and solo exhibitions since the mid 1980s. Her works are included in several Indian and international museums and collections including the prestigious National Gallery of Modern Art in India and Musee International d’Art Naif in Paris. The continued relevance of Kanodia’s works can be attributed to the wit and gentle satire she has mastered to capture the contemporary nuances of the many Indias that coexist together.

Seven Sisters

Ambika Rajgopal of Saffronart posts about Rina Banerjee’s work at the Seven Sisters exhibition in Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco.

London: Rina Banerjee is one of the eight artists on view at the Seven Sisters exhibition at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery, in San Francisco. The other artists displaying their works are Carrie Mae Weems, Mickalene Thomas, Patricia Piccinini, Camille Rose Garcia, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Toyin Odutola, and Vanessa Prager.

Left: The Edge of Time - Ancient Rome from Roaming, 2006, Carrie Mae Weems; Right:  Din Facing Forward, 2012, Mickalene Thomas. Image Credit: http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/13seven.sisters/13seven_PR.html

Left: The Edge of Time – Ancient Rome from Roaming, 2006, Carrie Mae Weems; Right: Din Facing Forward, 2012, Mickalene Thomas. Image Credit: http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/13seven.sisters/13seven_PR.html

At the heart of this exhibition is the sororal significance of the constellation Pleiades, where each of the seven stars represents the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Each of the seven sisters have a mythological significance in Greek lore. These artists represent the sisterhood of femininity, which binds together the social fabric of our culturally heterogeneous society. Through works in diverse media like painting, drawing, sculpture and video, these artists represent the penetrative influence of the female identity. The works also interrogate personal identity and its correlation with themes like migration, race, gender, politics and heritage.

Upon first myth and empirical observation the hero her angel leaps in cry opens the moon to urge on a rain that may cleanse all from the sweat of her jealous man, 2013, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/13seven.sisters/13seven_PR.html

Upon first myth and empirical observation the hero her angel leaps in cry opens the moon to urge on a rain that may cleanse all from the sweat of her jealous man, 2013, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/13seven.sisters/13seven_PR.html

Indian born, New York-based artist, Rina Banerjee has had a long drawn history with investigating mythology, role of culture, fairy tales, anthropology and ethnography. On display in the exhibition are Banerjee’s works on paper and panel, where her visual language examines mythology and fairytales.  These concepts are fused with larger questions of migration, mobility of tourism and global commerce and how they influence personal identity.

My work deals with specific colonial moments that reinvent place and identity as complex diasporic experiences intertwined and sometimes surreal.

Detail of installation, "A world Lost" at Smithsonian‘s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2013, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/rina-banerjee.asp

Detail of installation, “A world Lost” at Smithsonian‘s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2013, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/rina-banerjee.asp

Banerjee was born in Calcutta, India and relocated to the UK with her family, before settling down in the USA. She pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Engineering at Case Western University and then worked as a polymer research chemist. Banerjee decided to abandon scientific pursuit in lieu of a more symbolic and personal curiosity, which lead her to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale University. Banerjee has exhibited in a number of different art fairs and exhibitions, most recently appearing in Smithsonian‘s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, 7th Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art and the 55th Venice Biennale of 2013.

Take me, take me, take me to the Palace of Love, 2003, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.artindiamag.com/quarter_03_03_13/now_voyager.html

Take me, take me, take me to the Palace of Love, 2003, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.artindiamag.com/quarter_03_03_13/now_voyager.html

Despite her multicultural upbringing, there is inherent nostalgia for her cultural identity. Banerjee employs the use of heritage textiles, cultural motifs, colonial and historical objects, in order to rekindle a cultural association with the country of her origin. While using a visual language steeped in antiquarian heritage, Banerjee examines questions, which are relevant on a larger and more global level.

Banerjee uses an aesthetic that is hyper ornamental and relies on the narrative power of objects. These versatile objects, from touristy trinkets and thrift store bric-a-bracs, to bones, shells, feathers and textiles, form decorative aggregates that represent her transcultural perspective.

With or without name she was blue and who knew when she would slip into another mood for her understandable unwillingness to do, to speak to, to feel and determine her next move rests in her nest as would a Refugee 2009, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/exhibitions/past/2012/apt7_asia_pacific_triennial_of_contemporary_art/artists/rina_banerjee

With or without name she was blue and who knew when she would slip into another mood for her understandable unwillingness to do, to speak to, to feel and determine her next move rests in her nest as would a Refugee 2009, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/exhibitions/past/2012/apt7_asia_pacific_triennial_of_contemporary_art/artists/rina_banerjee

The show also features other artists who reframe the boundaries of personal identity. Similar to Banerjee, Camille Rose Garcia tackles the issue of fantasy. But the fantastical dreamscapes she paints are dystopian surrealist visions, replete with hollow eyed characters painted in a cartoon-like manner. She demonstrates the failures of capitalist utopias. Other artists like Carrie Mae Weems and Mickalene Thomas, through their art practice, answer questions relating to female black identity and beauty, through histories of racism, class and politics.

The exhibition is on view from October 3 through December 7, 2013. For additional information, please access the gallery website.

%d bloggers like this: