Talk on Sharjah Biennale in Mumbai on March 22nd, 2013

Manjari Sihare shares details of a forthcoming public lecture on the Sharjah Biennale in Mumbai organized by the Asia Society

Mumbai: The Sharjah Biennale 11 is currently on until May 13, 2013. The Biennale organized by the Sharjah Foundation is an internationally-acclaimed exposition of contemporary art that takes place every two years in Sharjah, U.A.E., where the works of art spread across the city. Curated by Yuko Hasegawa, this Biennial reassesses and challenges the Westerncentrism of knowledge in modern times and reconsiders the relationship between the Arab world, Asia, and the Far East, through North Africa and Latin America.  The exhibition features work by more than 100 artists, architects, filmmakers, musicians and performers, including Indian participants Amar Kanwar, Raqs Media Collective, Studio Mumbai, and CAMP; and foreign artists Francis Alÿs, Matthew Barney, Olafur Eliasson, Yang Fudong, Ernesto Neto, Elizabeth Peyton, Anri Sala, and Wael Shawky.

For those who cannot make it to the Biennale, this public lecture (details below) is a goodopportunity to learn about this international exposition.

Sharjah Biennial 11
Re:emerge –Towards a New Cultural Cartography

Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi
, President and Director, Sharjah Art Foundation
Judith Greer, Associate Director of International Programmes, Sharjah Art Foundation
Girish Shahane,
writer and curator

Friday, 22 March 2013, 06:30 – 8:00 pm.

Registration begins at 6:00pm  Venue: Auditorium, National Gallery of Modern Art, Sir Cowasji Jahangir Public HallM G Road, Fort Mumbai – 400032    

RSVP REQUIRED: [email protected]  (priority will be given to Asia Society members)

Information about the speakers:

Hoor Al-Qasimi, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation, is a practicing artist who received her BFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2002), a Diploma in Painting from the Royal Academy of Arts (2005) and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2008). She is on the Board of Directors of MoMA PS1, New York and Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, and was on the curatorial selection committee for the 2012 Berlin Biennial. Her recent curatorial projects include ‘Drift’ — an exploration of urban and suburban landscapes (2011), and the upcoming ‘In Spite of it All’ (2012). A solo exhibition of her photographic work ‘Off Road’ opened recently at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno.

Judith Greer is the Associate Director of International Programmes for Sharjah Art Foundation. Greer previously worked as International Director at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Co-author of Owning Art: The Contemporary Art Collector’s Handbook (2006), she lectures internationally on the topics of collecting, arts patronage and the Middle East art and cultural world. A long-serving trustee of Artangel, UK, she was a juror for the 2007 Max Mara Prize for Women Artists and, in 2009, was on the jury for the Dubai-based Sheikha Manal Foundation Prize for young Emirati artists.

Girish Shahane has degrees in English literature from Elphinstone College, Bombay University and Oxford University. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He was editor and later consulting editor of Art India magazine. He has written on visual art, film and cultural politics for leading publications, and contributed columns to Time Out and Yahoo! India. He has lectured at institutions like the NGMA and NCPA in Bombay, the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, the Tate Modern in London, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and is on the faculty of art history courses run by Jnanapravaha and Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Exhibitions curated by him include The Presence of the Past (NCPA, Bombay, 1998); Art / Technology (Max Mueller Bhavan Gallery, Bombay, 2000); Legacy: A-vanguard (Gallery Threshold, Delhi, 2010); and Home Spun (Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, 2011).

India Art Fair 2013: A Great Success

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart reflects on an interesting article on the India Art Fair by Girish Shahane

India Art Fair

India Art Fair. Image Credit:

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.

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.

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.

The Škoda Prize Show at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Manjari Sihare shares some snapshots from the opening of The Škoda Prize show in New Delhi

New Delhi: On January 29, 2013, the opening of the Škoda Prize Show for 2012 was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Delhi. The exhibition, curated by Girish Shahane (Director of Art –the Škoda Prize), is a selection of works by the longlisted artists or top 20 finalists for the Škoda  Prize 2012.

The Škoda  Prize for Indian Contemporary Art brings to public notice exciting trends in contemporary art, highlighting the output of established mid-career artists as well as new voices. It is backed by jurors of impeccable credentials, renowned patron institutions, a dedicated group of advisors, and a management team of proven capability. Nominees need to be below the age of 45, and should have had a solo show in the country over the last 12 months. The winner takes away the prestigious ‘The ŠKODA Prize Winner’ title and also receives prize money of INR 10,00,000. Runners-up are invited to participate in international residencies supported by Prohelvetia, the Swiss Arts Council.

Visited by thousands every year, The ŠKODA Prize Show (which takes place alongside the India Art Fair in New Delhi) showcases the country’s most promising contemporary artists. This year, LN Tallur was the selected winner of this coveted award selected by an esteemed panel of jurors including Geeta Kapur (eminent Indian art historian and critic), William Kentridge (South African artist of international acclaim), Sangita Jindal (Owner, Art India Magazine), Abhay Sardesai (Editor, Art India), and Girish Shahane (Director – Art of the Škoda Prize).

The preview on January 29 was inaugurated by Dr. Karan Singh, President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations in the presence of Shri Ravindra Singh, Special Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Mr. Sudhir Rao, Managing Director, Škoda  Auto India and Mr. Martin Da Costa, CEO, 70 EMG, the principal sponsor of this initiative.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Rajeev Lochan (Director of the NGMA, New Delhi) said “I believe that The Škoda  Prize truly presents and supports the art of the “New Generation”. These are essentially artists who have emerged in the 1990s in India presenting their own practice by portraying the reality that they have experienced and depicting strongly their concerns as individuals. Art can no longer be compartmentalized into painting, sculpture, print making etc. Art is now breaking all previously laid out barriers and has diversified into a multitude of media such as installation art, video art, performance art, conceptual art and the new buzz of media art. These too have evolved and developed over a period of time. The artists have chosen to break away from the mould of the existing art practices and have given birth to new approaches and genres in art previously not experienced and contrary to the popular belief contributing greatly to the value and the unconventional mode. I am truly delighted that the National Gallery of Modern Art. New Delhi, Ministry of Culture, Government of India is presenting the Škoda  Prize Show. I am equally pleased that The Škoda  Prize has established itself as a prestigious award for visual arts and it has evolved as a much awaited contemporary art exhibition in India.”

The Škoda Prize show will be open to the public till 28 February 2013.

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All images are courtesy the organizers of the Škoda Prize.

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