Art News & Views

[The Month That Was]


Delhi Dias

by Lopamudra Pakira

Mushrooming Art

Gupta's giant mushroom cloud of pans and pots, worth the trip alone, is open to public viewing in the atrium of the South Court Mall in Saket since 21 April. Subodh Gupta's Line of Control has been attracting the lay spectator and the art aficionado alike, with its gigantic size and imposing presence.

The work has been described as heroic, experimental and theatrical by art critic and curator Rubina Karode and viewers at the Tate were stunned by its proportions. In Delhi, however, a few curious bystanders were inquiring if it was an advertisement for a Big Bazaar utensil sale! Nadar, wife of HCL founder-chairman Shiv Nadar, now has one of the most enviable and expensive collections of modern and contemporary art housed in her museum at South Mall, Saket, behind the popular Select City Walk. Nadar hopes that the sculpture will open the museum space up to common people who may not otherwise be drawn to art. “We hope that the viewership of Subodh's piece will bring in more traction for the museum.” Karode hopes to be able to somehow record the responses people have for the sculpture, including those by the unsuspecting kind who think the work is essentially a promotion for a sale of vessels. Gupta, on the other hand, is thrilled that his piece has found its way to India.

Gift of Solitude

Everyone needs solitude sometimes in their lives. Solitude fills the mind with empty space for images we find. Introverts and lovers of solitude look for moments where they can be with themselves and soothe their souls. We are always aware of the joys that silence and solitude brings. Many of us have experienced the joy of waking up before everyone in the household and having the sunrise greet us noiseless and beautiful. Being alone on the sea coast is always enchanting. Something about the expansive sea, the breakers recurrent crashing into the shore, having such vast beauty gives particular calmness to my spirit. The artist also fills that space by painting the empty canvas with the image they find in their souls and that fulfills the urge of solitude. That is “The Gift of Solitude” to the world by the artist.

The Visual Art Gallery, had organised The Gift of Solitude in which the participating artists were: Dr. Shardool Mishra, Neeta Gaurish Pathare, Gunjan Coulagi, Surbhi Bali, Neeti Hegde, Versha Viyaas, Swati Pasari, Vibhu Mahendru, Pratibha Panesar, Kamla Ravikumar, Manish Manjulkar, Mahendra, Priyendra Shukla, Subrata Sen, Madhumita Bhattacharya, Sunil Jaiswal, Raghuveer Saha, Rakhi Baid, Harshpriya Kalra, Parmananda Choudhary, Chaitali Dey and others. The show was on from May 03 to May 08, 2012.

Contemporary Panchatantra

Trained in both India and Paris, for many years Probir Gupta practiced a refined form of abstract painting, rigorous yet distant from his interests in Marxist thinking and subaltern discourse. In the mid-to-late 1990's, while in his late 30s, Probir instinctively began to forge a route from which he could address the subjects of human rights, civics, class and communal tension or labour relations through forms, materials and images. The artist was led to discover the beauty and power to be found in industrial debris, the metaphors for human suffering reflected in the scarred waste of military equipment. At the same time, the production of art took a back seat to community service as Probir became engaged with collaborative and educational forums, and politics of representations.

Today Probir has fused these multiple influences into an art of expanded scope, vision and scale. His paintings are some of the most ambitious works, in both size and subject, in contemporary India while his sculptures are increasingly experimental and challenging, to both the viewer and himself. In all his recent works, Probir seeks to address serious issues of an urgent relevancy to India and the world while orchestrating a continuum of mediums that weaves together painting, sculpture, video, photography and installation.

His works at Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi is about recounting and storytelling. Stories of the contemporary animal world - the secular and the vision, the minorities their aspirations and success, situations, exile and diasporas. The show was on till 29 April, 2012.

Seen Unseen

NIV Art Centre had exhibited works of 12 resident artists in Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat centre, New Delhi from April 27, 2012 onwards. The exhibition titled Scene (Un) Seen was curated by Anoop Kamath.

Scene (Un)Seen attempts to explore reality  past, present or future  in each artist's individualistic style. It could be an expression, a slice of history, or a vision expressed through single/multiple mediums. In this residency programme by NIV Art Centre, 12 artists  Abhishek Mandala, Biplab Mohanta, Debasree Das, Girish Kulkarni, Krishnaprakash Vasant, P.C. Shekhar Rao Reddy, Rajeev Pratap Singh, Riddhi Shah, S. Raghu, Samar Yusuf, Shalini Singh and Sunil S.  have lived, interacted and worked in the month-long residency programme where they have tried to reinvent and recreate, through diverse artistic styles, artworks which are based on issues relating to social, political, cultural and historical significance.

During the four-week long residency the artists were granted time for solitary, creation and exploration, as well as the opportunity for stimulating interaction with colleagues. Residents were also provided ample opportunities to engage with the wider artistic community of Delhi through public presentations of and conversations about their work and process.

The exhibition was on view at the Visual Arts Gallery till April 29 and then moved to NIV Art Centre's gallery space in Neb Sarai in New Delhi.

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