Art News & Views

Art Events Kolkata

The Month that was
January - February 2011

by Mrinal Ghosh

In The Year 2103: The Otolith Group
December 17, 2010 to January 8, 2011
Otolith is a London based group that works on visual and audio-visual medium. It was founded in 2002 by Kudwo Eshun (Born 1966) and Anjalika Sagar (born 1968). 'Otolith' takes its name from the calcium carbonate micro-crystals that sits within the ear and controls the balance of human body. Experimenter hosted a show of this group in which three audiovisual documentary films were shown. The films are known as the Otolith trilogy and are comprised of Otolith I (2003), Otolith II (2007) and Otolith III (2009). The films dealt with various sociological, political and humanistic problems in the contemporary national and international context.

Recent Works by Dipak Banerjee
Gallery 88.
December 24, 2010 to January 15, 2011.

Dipak Banerjee, born 1936, is an important artist who came to lime light during 1960's. He is a member of the Kolkata based artists group 'Society of Contemporary Artists'. He has made important contribution in the field of graphic art and abstraction out of traditional tantric imageries. The present exhibition showcased his paintings expressing deep meditative spirituality. The press release states, 'The present series of Dipak Banerjee deserves a much closer look due to his ability to draw the geometric accuracy of 'tantric' symbols with the unmistakable devotion of a Master in the tradition of Indian miniature painting and the one who knew the degree of exactitude needed to convey the thematic import adequately'.

Open Air Sculpture Exhibition
Calcutta Port Officers' Club.
January 7 to January 16, 2011.
This is the second year of the Calcutta Port Officers' Club's presentation of sculptures in the open air. This year more artists have participated than the previous year. Even some of the painters have presented their sculptures. The 25 artists from Kolkata and Santiniketan whose works have been displayed are: Shanu Lahiri, Shankar Ghosh, Dhiraj Chowdhury, Tapas Sarkar, Pankaj Panwar, Asim Basu, Anil Sen, Asit Pal, Rishi Barua, Sumitava Pal, Sandip Chakraborty, Tanmay Banerjee, Swapan Kumar Roy, Somnath Chakraborty, Banasree Khan, Chinmay Karmakar, Nilima Goel, Debajyaoti Purakayastha, Chandan Roy, Narayan Ch Sinha, Subrata Pal, Kaushik Pal, Debajit Chakraborty, Sumant Ishwar Shetty and Soumen Das.

44th Annual Exhibition
Birla Academy of Art and Culture.
January 9 to January 30, 2011.
The exhibition comprised of 394 art works, out of which 160 were selected from 1100 entries submitted by artists from all over India and the remaining 230 were invited works by the established artists. The show thus represents the overall view of the contemporary art trend of our country with emphasis on the state of affair in West Bengal. The show, however, stressed on the conventional trends and excluded works on new media, which is a dominant trend of contemporary young artists. One important feature of this year's annual is that it has included photography as a separate stream of fine art. Nine young artists below thirty five have been awarded, Tushar Kanta Pradhan, Sudip Saha and Mithun Dasgupta in painting, Arunangshu Roy in drawing, Manik Kumar Ghosh in graphics, Debesh Upadhyay and Saikat Haldar in sculpture, Bivas Bhattacharya and Soumyajit Ray in photography.

A Fleeting World: Paintings by Sunil De
Aakriti Art Gallery.
January 12 to January 29, 2011.
28 abstract canvases by Sunil De were expressions of his superb classicist contemplative form-building without reflecting any kind of natural imagery. He plays with paint on canvas as a classical musician plays with his tunes. The vacant wall is his point of departure. Through application of layers of paint he builds up surfaces that interacts with the void to create a kind of visual tune. Through subtle textures and linear or geometrical structures he gradually induces life into his forms, which surpassing the conventional design transcends into a harmonious spiritual visual expression. Here his forms are very much universal absorbing all his personal emotions. The catalogue introduction states, 'He pursues a development that is at once evocative and profound – his method subtle and detached but remains sensuous and fluid to the core.'

Rabi Bichitra
ICCR, Bengal Art Gallery.
January 13 to January 19, 2011.
Conceived and curated by Parimal Ray from his own collection the exhibition showcased visuals and paintings on and of Rabindranath Tagore. There were copies of some of the important paintings and doodling by Tagore himself, illustration of his literature by various artists. Among the illustrations the cover design of Raktakarabi by Gaganendranath Tagore and Taser Desh by Nandalal Bose, the cover of Mahua by Tagore himself are most important. Another important part of the exhibition was the portraits of Rabindranath by various famous artists of his time and of succeeding generations. Among them some of the important names are: Abanindranath, Ramkinkar, Jamini Roy, Gopal Ghosh, Chittaprasad Bhattacharya, Satish Sinha, Charu Sen, Ashoke Mukherjee and others.

Masks & Metaphors: Recent Paintings of Jaya Ganguly
Gallery Sanskriti.
January 14 to February 12, 2011.
Jaya Ganguly in her paintings since 1980-s explores the aesthetic of ugliness. She uses inwardness and internal power of primitivism to build up her form, which are expressionist in nature and extracts aesthetic power from the dark void contained in deeper consciousness of human mind. In the present series of 38 paintings in mixed media on canvas she has mainly explored human faces in the form of mask and presented them as a metaphor of the contemporary decaying reality. The concept note in the press release of the exhibition states: 'Jaya Ganguly's imagery including that of her recent mixed medias is, of course, neither beautiful portrayal of ugly things (in the sense she selects only ugly things for portrayal), nor does she make ugly portrayals of beautiful reality. She has forged for herself, an artistic sign system, a complete visual idiom, to portray ugliness that abounds in the realities of life around.'

Jeram Patel: Recent Works
The Harrington Street Art Centre.
January 31 to February 26, 2011.
The Baroda based artist Jeram Patel (born 1930) is one of the pioneers who contributed immensely towards development of biomorphic abstraction in the Indian context. During the early stage he used to work with dissected body parts of human and animal as an expression of the tragic void ingrained within the life. Gradually he transformed these forms towards abstraction. The present exhibition highlighted on his unique trends of abstraction. There were 12 paintings on canvas and 26 sculptures in steel and burnt wood. The paintings displayed abstract biomorphic forms in deep black on white blank background of the canvas. The sculptures were three dimensional transformation of the formal structures executed in painting. The works conveyed a deeper commitment towards life. RL Bartholomew remarked on his works, 'If you scrutinize a work by Jeram you will not look at things as they are but at things that be what they are because of an act of being.'

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