Our journey 2008 has been a tasteful platter, with varied thought provoking and aesthetically pleasure some shows and event participation. Rather, a balanced year with enough to indulge in throughout the year. We plan 2009 to be an adventurous year with shows and book release, showcasing varied artistic temperaments with critical allocations. Here is a review-report of the shows and events held in 2008 and preview of the shows expected in the year 2009.
We organized solo shows for both young and senior artists like: ‘When Images Speak Back’
, paintings by Sharmi Chowdhury
, ‘Night Watch’
, mixed media and sculpture by
in the summer; ‘Enraptures Gaze’
, paintings and sculpture by Sakti Burman
and ‘Ecriture II’
, works by Manjari Chakravarti
in the fall season. We also collaborated into shows like: ‘The Street’
, paintings by Yusuf Arakkal
and ‘Of Mortals,
Mythic and Divine’
, works by Rini Dhumal
, both held in Kolkata. Our National and International participations include the Indian Art Summit 2008, where we showcased five young contemporary artists, under the head ‘Metropolis and the Self’
and Singapore Art 2008, with recent works by acknowledged names – Thota Vaikuntam and Sujata Bajaj.
Art Alive Booth at the India Art Summit, 2008
Particularly enchanting has been our publication, ‘An Enchanting Journey’
- Paresh Maity’s Kerala, written by Ravi Shankar, a renowned political cartoonist and which has photographs by Nemai Ghosh and his 50th solo exhibition of the same. This coffee table size, hard bound book was a tribute to the emerald green backwaters, lush-green fields, blue green hills of God’s Own Country, Kerala, by one of the finest artist of our time, Paresh Maity
. Second to M.F. Hussain, Maity was invited by the Tourism Department of Kerala to interpret nature’s gift to Kerala. In an endearing visual travelogue, Maity featured winter misted waterscapes, kathakali dancers, monsoon skies, caparisoned elephants and so on. The book release at Taj Mahal Hotel and the show at the gallery, stole eye balls for its sublime beauty and refreshing works. Major news-heads and varied magazines covered the event and Delhi’s glittering squad turned up in full regalia to
witness the occasion. On the dice to launch the book were - Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Ambika Soni, M.A. Baby, Rani Mukherjee, Mammoothy, Yannick Poupon and Nemai Ghosh.
Book Cover: An Enchanting Journey: Paresh Maity’s Kerala
Rhythm, Paresh Maity, 60” x 55”, Mixed-media, 2007
Book Lauch, on dice: Nemai Ghosh, Paresh Maity, Rani Mukherjee, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Ambika Soni, Mammoothy and M.A. Baby (left to right)
Another acclaimed show that caught attention of many art lovers and associates was the ‘Urgent Conversations’
, curated by Ina Puri
, with artists of varied language and mediums, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Manu Parekh, Riyas Komu, Jagannath Panda, Valsan Kolleri and Golak Khandual,
held at India Habitat Centre. The show stepped into the direction of consolidating a position of still new trends of multi media, installation, films into the art market. An insurgent show, inspired by Buddhadeb
Dasgupta’s film Uttara, presented various shades of sociopolitical turmoil, power structures and the relation between past and contemporary social practices; in bright splashes of colour on canvas, moving video of human tragedy and installation, photographs of masked men and so on.
Flowers from Heaven – I, Manu Parekh, 60” x 48”, Acrylic on Canvas
Still from the film Uttara, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, 2000
Jagannath Panda, Manu Parekh, Ina Puri, Golak Khandual, Riyas Komu, Sunaina Anand
(left to right)
Art Singapore, 2008, held in October is taken with great esteem and is influential to economic circulation of the Asian Art as such. There we showcased recent works of Thota Vaikuntam
and Sujata Bajaj
, both of whom in their recognizable style, powerfully weaved traditional Indian content and art forms with contemporary free style. Unlike his signature colossal Telangana Beauties, this time Thota Vaikuntam’s work featured background horizon line to give a hint of space to his immortal figurative. While also, Sujata Bajaj, a Paris based Indian artist, with a deep knack for Tribal and primitive art forms and inspired by the Ancient Indian tradition; used old scriptures and Ancient Indian concepts to create her individualized abstraction that carry positive vibrations. Her life and recent works presented at the fair were also discussed by Uma Prakash in Asian Art News.
Untitled, Sujata Bajaj, 15” x 14”, Mixed Media on Paper, 2008
Siesta, Thota Vaikuntam, 48” x 54”, Acrylic on Canvas, 2008
Art Alive Booth at the Singapore Art Fair, 2008
A rare and another celebrated occasion has been ‘Enruptured Gaze’
, a solo show of paintings and sculpture by Sakti Burman in his inimitable endearing style. The show was a major solo show in Delhi of Sakti Burman
after a gap of three years with more than 20 oils and watercolors on display. His show and works were referred by various media correspondents as ‘Alchemist of Dreams’, ‘A Gala Comeback’, ‘Melange of Dreams and Reality’and so on. The show corresponded the festival season of the year and the grandeur was well spaced by the Taj Mahal Hotel where the artist took the viewer into a magical tour of his ideograms and objects from the ancient mythologies, histories of civilizations and personal narration merged into each other fantastically.
Music Runs from Sky to Sky, Sakti Burman, 57.5” x 45”, Oil on Canvas, 2007
French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafode and Sakti Burman
For the year 2009 we have a range of explorative shows that inquires into the human existence and experimental art forms. A show titled, ‘The Body as Vessels’, curated by Geeti Sen
explores different expressions of ‘the Body’ by five contemporary artists, Anupam Sud, Gogi Saroj Pal, Mithu Sen, Puneet Kaushik and Shambhavi
, who in different mediums of the etching, gouache, acrylic, wire mesh and mixed media are exploring new territories of the body. The journey begins in the 1980s, moving on to radical subversion of the body as vessel from 2000. The body here is possessed with several meanings and taken as a central form in various forms of arts. As stated by the curator of the show, Geeti Sen
, “For some artists, the symbolic and the ritualistic magical significance of the body is inspired from traditional values. For others the body is reclaimed as identity, or alternatively as the psychic self, deriving from contemporary values of the individual.”
Another insightful show is ‘Retrieval systems’
, curated by Ranjit Hoskote
, it is an exhibition that brings together the work of five contemporary artists: Alex Fernandes (Goa), B Manjunath Kamath (New Delhi), Baiju Parthan (Mumbai), G R Iranna (New Delhi) and Tina Bopiah (Bangalore);
who work with memory, whether private, collective, historic or mythic, as their primary medium and material. The curator draws the title of this exhibition from the domain of information technology, where it refers to devices that extend our memory: to devices of data storage and access that function as the basis of much of our everyday life, sustaining almost every conceivable activity from bank transactions to library protocols, flight scheduling to metropolitan traffic. These artists have also employed diverse media through which to articulate their concerns, ranging from oils and acrylics on canvas, to watercolour and drawing, to digital media.
Also will peace and serenity of works by Jayasri Burman will come after four years in her major solo show. The exhibition with have her earlier and recent drawings, mixed media, prints, paintings in oil and watercolour, presenting an evolution of her works in terms of style and concept.