Hema Upadhyay and Atul Dodiya Exhibit in Ohio

Tarika Agarwal discusses the works of two Indian artists who are currently exhibiting in Ohio

Mumbai: The Contemporary Arts Center in Ohio is currently hosting two individual exhibitions of works by Hema Upadhyay and Atul Dodiya. These exhibitions opened in early February, and will go on till 5 May, 2013. The Center is known to provide people an opportunity to discover the dynamic relationship between art and life by exhibiting the works of progressive artists. Their aim is to challenge, entertain and educate.

Hema Upadhyay was born in 1972 in Baroda, India. She has lived and worked in Mumbai since 1998. She uses self-photography and sculptural installations to explore notions of dislocation and nostalgia. Since the early 2000s she has exhibited her work all over the world including Australia, Singapore, Italy, France and the United Kingdom.

In the current exhibition Upadhyay addresses the aesthetic qualities of everyday life via images she has taken of the slums and densely populated areas of Mumbai, India. She is fascinated by urbanization and its effects on Mumbai. The area she has chosen to depict was once an undesirable piece of marshland outside of the city, but as the city started to expand the area was eventually occupied by slums and became a central part of the city. She is drawn to the slums because of how they are little worlds of their own, away from reality while being situated in and around posh neighborhoods. She is also attracted to the aesthetic traits of the slums because the areas are usually marked by the juxtaposition of vibrant colours and diverse materials.

The most mesmerizing work she has exhibited is a piece titled ‘Modernization’. It is an aerial view of a slum on the floor of the gallery made up of the materials that the buildings themselves use – corrugated aluminum sheets, car scrap, enamel paint, tarpaulin, and found objects. She has installed it as a minimalistic patchwork of squares.

Atul Dodiya was born in 1959 in Mumbai, India. He began exhibiting his works in the early 1980s after he graduated from Sir J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai. He later went onto study further at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Dodiya is currently one of the most prominent figures of contemporary Indian Art. Like Upadhyay, he has exhibited his works globally. Dodiya combines both Eastern and Western influences in his installations and paintings through film, popular culture and literature. His works are usually personal since they imbibe his own thoughts with reference to the history of art and his home country, India.

At this show, his work is created on metal shutters of store fronts salvaged from the streets of Mumbai. He wants viewers to interact with the pieces – to open and close the shutters with their original pulley mechanisms in order to experience each in it entirety, as both the front and the interior of the shutter are painted. So don’t feel shy to touch his works, when you decide to go to the exhibition.

The reason Dodiya uses shutters is because in Mumbai, the shutter is a symbol of security and marks the sharp contrast in the aesthetic of the city between day and night. Post sunset or during times of civil unrest, the shutters become a form of armour that protects the various goods of shop owners from the dangers of the outside world.

As there are only two images (one per artist) available from the exhibition, I have taken the liberty to put up images of similar works by both the artists so you can have an idea of what you would get to see if you did attend the show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Save the Date: Lecture by Atul Dodiya at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Feb. 13

Manjari Sihare shares details of an upcoming lecture by contemporary Indian artist, Atul Dodiya

New York: One of the most sought after contemporary Indian artists today, Atul Dodiya will be delivering a lecture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. For those in this part of world or traveling here, please save the date.

4713-AtulDoyidaLectureEblast.100635The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a world renowned collection, and is one of the largest museums in the United States. One of the highlights of the museum is its extraordinary holdings of nearly 3,000 Indian and Himalayan works of art. These include the 1994 bequest of the department’s former curator Dr. Stella Kramrisch, as well as renowned collector and Trustee of the Museum, Dr. Alvin O. Bellak’s 2004 bequest of vibrant Indian ‘miniature’ paintings, among others. In the recent times, the department has also brought modern Indian art to wider audiences, including when it hosted the 2008 exhibition of the work of Nandalal Bose. To learn more about  this collection click here. For location, visiting details for the museum, click here.

Across the South of Asia: A Symposium in Honor of Robert L. Brown (San Diego, Jan 18-20, 2013)

Manjari Sihare shares details of a forthcoming symposium honoring the scholarship of renowned South and South East Asian Art Scholar, Robert L. Brown

SDMA-LogoNew York: The San Diego Museum of Art is gearing up to host a large symposium of South Asian Art from January 18th through 20th, 2013. The symposium is being held to honor the scholarship of Robert L. Brown, Curator of Southeast Asian Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art, UCLA. Prominent scholars from across the world will present illustrated lectures on this genre in honor of their mentor and colleague. A brief biography of Professor Brown accompanying the e-invite encapsulates the length and breadth of his genius.

After receiving his Ph.D. in art history from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1981, Robert Brown worked for several years as a curator of South and Southeast Asian art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In 1986 he returned to UCLA as Professor of Indian and Southeast Asian Art History. In 2001, he was reappointed as a curator at LACMA, a position that he holds concurrently with his UCLA professorship. In the same way that Robert Brown’s career has bridged the institutions of the art museum and the research university, his scholarship has also extended across various geographical boundaries and chronological periods. His research has addressed topics ranging from the visual traditions of 1st century BCE Central Asia to 20th century colonial historiography. Much of his work has focused on the Buddhist and Hindu artistic traditions that flourished during key historical periods in what are now present-day Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia. His particular concern with the nature of artistic influence between India and Southeast Asia, and also between early Southeast Asian cultures themselves, have contributed greatly to the present understanding of artistic and cultural adaptation and exchange in these regions. His various essays, which present important perspectives on such subjects as pilgrimage, narrative, sacred space, ritual, divinity, relics, the body, miracles, and aesthetics, have also, in their interdisciplinary and cross-national emphases, provided a model of scholarship to his many students over the years. The papers in this symposium, which cover a wide range of subjects, reflect the enduring impact of Robert Brown’s teaching and intellectual generosity upon the work of his colleagues and former students. To learn more about Prof. Brown, click here.

domainsofwonder @ SDMA MuseumThe San Diego Museum of Art has an extensive collection of South Asian paintings and manuscripts bequeathed by their dedicated trustee, Edwin Binney 3rd.  The Edward Binney Collection is considered to be encyclopedic and unparalleled in any other assemblage of Indian paintings in the United States. In terms of scope and depth, it includes works from nearly every region, time period, religious sect, and court in India, as well as relevant neighboring countries. The symposium is sponsored by the Asian Arts Council and the Committee for the Arts of the Indian Subcontinent (CAIS) at the San Diego Museum of Art. The Committee for the Arts of the Indian Subcontinent (CAIS), established in 2003, is particular supports the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection and works to enhance the appreciation of all the arts of India.

View the symposium scheduled here.


%d bloggers like this: