Art News & Views

Art Events Kolkata

February - March 2011

by Mrinal Ghosh

William Kentridge: An exhibition of etching, prints, films
Seagull Art and Media Resource Centre.
January 29 to February 28, 2011.
William Kentridge (b. 1954) is one of the world's most revered contemporary artists. Based in South Africa his works track a personal route across the fraught legacy of apartheid and colonialism through an innovative use of charcoal drawings, prints, collages, stop animation, film and theatre. The exhibition showcased the graphic works of the artist mostly in black and white containing expressionist and primitive inwardness and sarcasm. All the works were critique of the dilapidated values of life and global reality. Most exciting were films, which were built up through continuous flow of his drawings. Through fantasy and dynamism the films stood apart as unique expression of his rebellious and sensitive mind.

Premonition by Raqs Media Collective
February 3 to March 5, 2011.
Raqs Media Collective is a Delhi based group of three artists formed in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Suddhabrata Sengupta. The group has earned international fame through their alternative art form that articulates an intimately lived relationship with myths and histories of diverse nature highlighting on various existential dilemma. The present show Premonition is a very smart work in video installation. Explaining the title the concept note states, 'sometimes, not even the insistent repetition of phenomena finds you prepared for the uncanny tug of premonition. Premonition: the anticipatory call of things for ever about to happen. Even if nothing happens. Even if the emergency lights flicker away a wasting sense of urgency'.

Entering the gallery one finds a panel embossed with the word 'Premonition'. Two moving lights jut out from it. In the hallow pit of the gallery floor are implanted three light boxes that show three images of which a lone donkey in a sophisticated city street is most engrossing. On the opposite wall there is a video, which shows a chimney that blows out green toxic smoke. In between these two spaces hang from the roof a number of empty frames possibly signifying void. In another wall there are nine glass framed photographs designated as We the Fuel that show skeletal forms of human face. Within this environment a 15 minutes video installation, titled They Called It the XXth Century runs in which we see 'the imposter in the waiting room tries his own patience, working things out an epoch at a time. A beast becomes a god becomes an injury becomes a peasant becomes a prisoner becomes a worker a corpse becomes an unbuttoned policeman and a ledger and a gentleman in a bower hat.'

DADAUMPOP: Italian New Pop
ICCR Rabindranath Tagore Centre.
February 4 to February 18, 2011.
Presented through joint venture of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai and Kolkata and the Italian Cultural Institute in New Delhi the exhibition curated by Igor Zanti showcased the works of 27 young and veteran Italian artists who worked within the formal structure of pop art. Since POP was an offspring of DADA movement and a few works in this show revealed some sort of dada characteristics, the show was captioned as Dadaumpop. Apart from paintings, there were sculptures and installation also. Though some of the works did not reveal any fresh insight, the overall impact of the show was encouraging and reflected a contemporary trend of Italian art.

18th Annual Exhibition of 'Calcutta Sculptors'
Academy of Fine Arts.
February 10 to February 16, 2011.
'Calcutta Sculptors', the only organization of the sculptors in Kolkata was established in 1993. Apart from organizing regular exhibitions their function is extended in various directions like promoting young talented sculptors, honouring the eminent personalities of the art field and organizing seminars and workshops. The present 18th annual exhibition showcased the works of their 15 members. They were Shankar Ghosh, Anil Sen, Tapas Sarkar, Prabir Roy, Sudashan Pal, Chandan Roy, Swapan Kumar Roy, Kaushik Pal, Chimay Karamkar, Probhat Majhi, Somnath Chakraborty, Kinkar Saha, Subrata Pal, Subrata Biswas and Sourav Majumdar.

Art and Craft Fair 2011
Emami Chisel Art.
February 11 to February 14, 2011.
In this colourful mélange of art and art-wares the art enthusiasts had a chance to see and collect various art and craft objects. Apart from the stall of Emami Chisel there were stalls of various artists group like 'Society of Contemporary Artists', 'Calcutta Painters', 'Calcutta Sculptors', 'Painters' Orchestra', 'Khoj Kolkata', 'Canvas Artists Circle' and many others. Gallery like 'Aakriti' also displayed their art works. The craft section showcased stone handicrafts, painting on silk, wooden furniture, Rajasthani miniatures, intricately carved organic jewellry, stone handicrafts, etc. On all the four days there were film sessions, which showed famous feature films and films on various artists.

Concepts and Ideas
February 18 to March 9, 2011.
As an annual event the exhibition titled Concepts and Ideas held at CIMA projects experimentations with new ideas and forms of some of the selected promising artists from all over India. This year's exhibition showcased the works of three artists: Sheba Chhachhi (b.1958), Anjum Singh (b. 1967) and Praneet Soi (b. 1971). All of them showed concern about the environmental pollution and the decay in human values and questioned the ethics of contemporary globalised development. Chhachhi's works were based on photography and video. Her large video installation titled Neelkantha exposed the danger of environmental pollution in the city of Delhi. Anjum in her sculptures showed the pain of destruction of trees and greens in general, also how love and bodily passion were being transformed into commodity. Soi's sculptures and drawings in the scale of murals commented on the problem of migration and deterioration of human conditions in contemporary living. All the works were very much contemplative and the show was outstanding as a curatorial project.

The Last Supper : Works on Christ by Madhvi Parekh
St. Tomas Chapel, Bishop's College
February 19 to March 31, 2011
Presented by Seagull Foundation for the Arts this contemplatively curated exhibition showcased a series of reverse paintings in acrylic on acrylic sheet, also some unique drawings by the Delhi based eminent artist Madhvi Parekh. The leading theme was Last Supper. But there were other paintings and drawings based on the life of Jesus Christ. Madhvi Parekh, a self taught artist, started her painting during middle of 1970's, when she and her husband Manu Parekh were living in Kolkata, out of her own love and developed her own style based on the folk forms of Gujarat, where she was born and passed her childhood. Gradually she mastered her style and acclaimed national and international fame. The present series projected her originality through which she could develop a unique identity of modern Indian painting.

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