Monday, 29 December 2014

Unfolding white...Decoding white...

Artist : RAJSHREE KARKERA


UNRAVELING WHITE

Imagine the world as white...no? White....which is never used for decoding. Here is the world of Rajshree, the artist who precisely opens up her journey that is crystal clear. She leaves the viewer mesmerised with this unusual fathom of her experience in a very interactive way. She unfolds the untangled life of paper and connects it with self very thoughtfully. Using WHITE must have been a great challenge for Rajshree but she successfully opens up the story of her own significant world with elaborate simplicity. She has intricately crafted the delicate paper to form a 'being' to relinquish her emotional plethora. Rajshree throws a challenge to all of us,'this is my world, and it doesn't really matter if it not the same out there.'Her careful crafting of paper gives various dimensions to white. The shapes take and intricate form. She plays with the spaces within and forms a perspective of her own ideas. It is indeed a great challenge as an artist to work devoid colours. She probably sees her multidimensional world through plain paper. Significance of her creative forms thus leave a spread of multitasking and vision to think beyond two dimensional plain.One does not but help thinking about the careful play of her forms. The challenge of extreme white becomes simple or rather Rajshree makes it simple with her natural ability to transform the complex into a clear interpretation.
Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
Dec 30th to 2014 -Jan 5th 2015
11am to 7pm

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

WAR OR PEACE? Remembering 100 years of First World War 1914 curated by Mrinal Ghosh

We have planned this exhibition ‘War or Peace?’ at Kolkata Art Gallery to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War .The Great War started on 28 July 1914 and lasted for four years. It caused the death of eight million people and collapse of three empires – Germany, Austro-Hungary and Russia. It was the first industrial war that globalised not only the technology of war and victims of it but also the structure and nature of violence, where human ethics turned to be totally inconsequential that ultimately gave rise to the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to bring a forceful end to the Second World War in 1945. The impact of First World War on human civilization and human memory is therefore devastating. It unleashed the shame on the existence of every human being.
War sonet by Samindranath Majumdar

The war had great impact on art and artists mostly in Europe. Until the First World War, barring a very few exceptions, artists and writers had witnessed the war without actually becoming involved. In 1914 for the first time they all had to take part. Fernand Leger became a stretcher bearer, Kokoschka a cavalryman, Beckman a medic, Derain an artilleryman, Camoin a camoufleur, Dix a machine gunner and so forth. The experience of destruction of war and the complexity of its technology made the artist like Fernand Leger feel, as he wrote to a friend in May 1915, ‘It (the war) was pure abstraction, much purer even than cubist painting itself,’ The comment focuses on the dehumanized face both of violence and humanity.

Since the First World War all the wars has taken a globalised structure. For every incidence of war people through out the globe suffer in some way or other. War has been a fact of every day life. There is no respite from violence. The recent American invasion in Iraq, Israeli attack on Palestine, incidents in Croatia, death of innocent people in the blast of Indonesian aircraft are a few of its examples.In this exhibition our intention is not to document the facts of war, but ruminate on the contradiction between the concept of war and peace. Is peace at all possible in the world dominated by power and greed? Yet how some human values still sustain? How despite continuous confrontation with violence in different form, both local and global, human beings still survive, the civilization progresses and some great minds appear within the civilisation, whose presence justifies that the flame of positive human values is never to extinguish. Here comes the role of peace. Had the urge for peace and love not dominated over the war, violence and hatred, the civilization would have extinguished long back. So there is a contradictory relation between war and peace. Peace also involves some kinds of war. The war against poverty or illiteracy is a continuous agenda of every civilization. War also involves peace. There are people in all ages who, who within the war treats the war victims with love.
Works by Chhatrapati Dutta & Samir Roy

In this exhibition our intention is to look deeper into the tapestry of war and peace that is spread over the human civilization. We have invited twenty artists, who are very much socio temporally committed and continuously experiment with various forms and techniques out of both modernist and post-modern view points. The exhibition will posit the present state of our existence and also that of our contemporary art, where local and global wisdom is very significantly assimilated with each other to flower into a rich visual mosaic. The art also has its own tapestry of war and peace, violence and love. But can the urge for peace and love dominate over their opposite condition? That is the question our artists have tried to put forward.

Mrinal Ghosh 

We have further created a site and a blog so people can interact and share there views in the said matter. Interact with – The curator, the artists, the gallery and with people across the globe.Write on our blog – share your thoughts and/or tell us what you think about Why should we remember? Why should we stop and think about the historical aspects that happened so long ago? Millions of people across the world still feel a connection with the Great War for Civilisation. They knew the people whose lives were changed by it. They remain moved by the enduring works of art that were created as a response to it. They live with its unresolved political legacies. The First World War created a common sense of history that, decades later, still links people 

from many disparate nations!!
For any further details or pictures of the works in the exhibit kindly call us at + 91 33 22873377 / 
88 Contact names : Moumita Chandra , Manish Gupta.

Gallery Kolkata 
'Duckback House'
41 Shakespeare Sarani
Kolkata WB - 17 India 
T +91-33-22873377/88
E info@gallerykolkata.com
 art@gallerykolkata.com
W gallerykolkata.com

Friday, 19 December 2014

This work obviously sets the tone of Salvi’s circumstantial critique or criticality in which he oscillates between the divine and demonic selves- JML


Apparently innocent looking animals engaged in a sort of self absorption inhabit predominantly in Prashant Salvi’s paintings. Muted speech bubbles hovering around their heads highlight the sagacious vacancy of their minds. In the absolute absence of thinking, as per Indian philosophy, the individual soul becomes one with the universal soul, realizing godhead to which he/she is an integral part but seen divided in mundane situation. This clear meditative depth that spirals down in the works of Salvi however could be a deceptive methodological tool that the artist forwards for a completely personalized critique of the society in which he lives, which I would qualify as circumstantial critique. Salvi, by doing this through his works, however does not stay there forever and using his creative freedom, he moves in and out of the critique, facilitating the idea of criticality not only within his work but also in his personal life. This creative freedom enables the artist to generate counterpoints of agitation as set against tranquillity, violence against piety and unbarred eroticism against the implied de-sexualization of bodies.

 As one looks on, the muted animals fade away from the ken of his perception and its place is taken over by a series of imageries, highly and furiously charged with erotic desires verging into the zone of cannibalism and self sustaining homo-erotic playfulness.

In these works Salvi becomes an absent progenitor of images possessed and obsessed with erotic potential. The slow disappearance of animal figures is made possible through the clever introduction of anthropomorphic forms which strangely resemble the male and female genitals. Flowers, frills, uncontrolled growth of shrubs and branches, highly suggestive of erotic nerve ends of human beings, intersperse with animal and anthropomorphic images, bringing forth a series of metaphors loaded with surrealist connotations. Seen in the Freudian point of view, these constantly transforming images, fluid while being sculpturally dimensioned, could suggest the artist’s inner world, the ways of his mind’s working, his fears, anxieties and desires, suppressed for apparent reasons, but refuse to be buried and forgotten. They come back, as the artist approaches his pictorial surfaces, like waves that give a faint hope of subsiding but return with all fury and vengeance. Here, Salvi does not represent his own self alone, on the contrary, he represents a collective self of the society, which he shares, enjoys and at times forcefully resists. In this zone of identification with the collective unconscious of the larger society, the artist plays the role of a Devil’s advocate, deliberately playing up the counter point to the normative and affirmative. Hence, the images that flow out of Salvi’s thoughts may look dark and invested with a strong libidinal drive, which make the works look strangely attractive to the point that one would wonder why this artist is so hooked up with such force of eroticism. Eros, in Salvi’s works fights against Thanatos, as we have seen in the works of many a modern master both in India and abroad. The return of the cruel self, charging towards the sexualized bodies of both men and women, ripping them with all the carnal pleasures possible, then becomes a celebration of life force, the eternal quest to live on using will and libido in full force. This celebration of the cruel self in Salvi’s works may appear to go against the grain of my positioning of his works as circumstantial critique. Interestingly, it is the other way round; in circumstantial criticism and its resultant state of criticality, the generator of it cannot operate as an outsider. He is and he has to be an insider, possessing the social evils and mirroring it for a larger and wider deliberation.
Prashant Salvi in studio
Prashant Salvi in studio

In one of his works, we see a rabbit sitting cosily on a cushion with a mirror hanging and reflecting the other side of its face, while on a red velvet spiral one sees a grey swan with its side wing frames a sharp gazing eye looking at the viewer.

This work obviously sets the tone of Salvi’s circumstantial critique or criticality in which he oscillates between the divine and demonic selves. Rabbits are timid creatures, agile and existential at the same time. Famous for their capacity to reproduce in many numbers, their sexual potency is an understated metaphor here. In this sense, they represent the contemporary human beings who refuse to age. A mirror, especially in a work of art is a representation for human vanity. In this work, the hidden side of the rabbit is seen reflected in the mirror. With naturally frightened eyes, this rabbit with two different faces, one, the ‘seen’ and the other, the reflected, automatically represent a human being, who looks clean and affable but frightened and potent simultaneously. The cushion with blue stripes is evocative of a rich and comfortable life. Swan is a representation of beauty, communicationand learning (especially seen from within the Indian context). Salvi makes an intervention here; he places an eye squarely on the body of the grey swan. This eye is the eye of the artist and also the eye of the viewer; one eye becomes mutually reflected two eyes here. To our surprise, we see five eyes clearly drawn in this painting, out of which four are real eyes and one is a metaphorical one. Two eyes of the rabbit, one eye of the swan and the human eye on the body of the swan together make four eyes and the fifth one is the mirror itself. Mirror, an image that comes repeatedly in Salvi’s works, is a philosophical as well as a metaphorical eye. It is a reflection of the self and the eye thatsees the eyes that look at it. This omnipotent eye is the eye of the god who sees everything and reflects everything. Salvi, in this work philosophically sets the tone of all his other works. If what we see around us, including us, are the reflections of an inner eye, then what we call real must be an illusion; something tangible yet intangible. This illusion however is loaded with the knowledge of many other illusions. According to the artist, it is libido that one uses to negotiate with this illusion and make real out of it. And an illusion could be made real only by looking deeply into/at it. The more one looks at the illusion of the world the more one becomes clearer about its trappings.
Johny ML
Johny ML
The more one sees the trappings, the more one becomes liberated from these illusions. Hence a real human being is born. Salvi brings forth the erotic images again and again as an effort to look at these illusions of the world, as if these images were for him like the syllables in a chanting. They are built around the central axis of an eroticized male or female body and their grappling with the illusion is connoted through the possible copulating images, in strange ways and in strange deeds. In this sense, for me, Salvi’s works arelike the erotic ensemble that we see in the facades of Khajuraho and Konark temples. They purge the human beings through desiring gazes and purge them of the evil thoughts before leading them to the sanctum sanctorum of divine existence, which is the human soul itself.
This entry into the core of life, leaving illusions behind is possible only when one is ready to look and see. Looking and seeing could be innocent acts but when applied in an ideologically loaded and culturally constructed (at times genetically malformed) scenario, these aspects of gazing for meaning could be perverse in nature. Gaze itself comes to have negative connotations because of the perversities involved in the agency of gazing. It becomes an ideological positioning of the gazer; looking becomes an act of exercising power over the weaker one for control or pleasure and seeing could be designed at/by convenience. Gaze becomes fornication with eyes, subjecting the gazed to a lower position. Salvi keenly explores this aspect of fornication with eyes as exercised in our society. Despite all sensitizations and awareness programs, our society remains to be predominantly male oriented and gaze is one tool that the male members of the society employ for subjugating the female members. This reduction of women into sexual objects for pure or perverse pleasure, devoid of any aesthetical finesse, becomes a metaphor in Salvi’s works; he aestheticizes what is not aestheticized in gaze. The slow transformation of the crass into an aesthetically sensitive and at times titillating image is what makes the works of Salvi more and more curious on repeated viewing. There is no shying away, as far as Salvi is concerned, from this frontal and unapologetic representation of the erotically gazed, in these works. However, Salvi makes it more sympathetic; without accusing the one who gazes and yet not victimizing the one who is gazed at, Salvi takes a shrink’s point of view and tries to see how this aspect of gaze operates in our society. He builds up some interesting images that are surreally transformed, in order to present his points, which he says that he is unable to escape from forwarding. In his works, young and old men and women, animals, birds, flowers and everything turn into metaphors of erotic gaze. Metamorphosis of the male body in a Kafkaesque way into eroticized organic forms/creatures is one of the metaphors that come repeatedly in Salvi’s works. The eye fornication done by older men with no devices to subsist on for quenching their sexual desires other than these subdued forms of voyeurism consolidates into the form of a torso and lower body clad in traditional male clothes, often riding on certain erected and thorny forms, looking for softer openings to penetrate. Birds appear quite often in Salvi’s works not only as the messengers of god’s words but also as a symbol of human mind that keeps on digging the dirt for pleasure. Digging of any sorts, in Salvi’s works, is brought in as an auto-erotic symbolism. Against this active principle of birds, Salvi sets up mute animals like Donkeys who are real prisoners of their own un-deployable potency.
Recent Artwork by Prashant Salvi
Recent Artwork by Prashant Salvi
Salvi is a master of colours and design. In his pictorial surfaces, he creates arange of colours which are not often seen in the works of other contemporary artists. They are never bright as in a sunny day nor are they dark in a gloomy cloudy day. They are the colours that exist in the minds of those creative artists that see the colours lay there between the accepted norms of colour usage followed by moderate artists. His palette is more classical and stands closer to those of the masters like El Greco (16th C AE) and Vermeer (17th AE). The Mannerist usage of colours in our contemporary times looks fresh in Salvi’s works and the subject matters that he deals with in his works get an added veneer through such skillful manipulation of colours. His palette, in many ways defines the mood of our times; a time that reveals a lot of glittering ephemerals but hide the dark recesses of mind. Salvi makes an interesting balance of both in his works. He maintains the surface glitter to the point that it could reveal the depth of what is implied. The suggestive nature of his works heralds the arrival of a new artist of our times. Design of space and the employment of visually available designs within that designed space are two highly commendable hallmarks of Salvi’s works. The starkness of the images is often softened by these design elements that he incorporates not only as a background but also as an integral part of the work. Animals prowl, petals flutter, birds fly and dig around and muted speeches anchor well in the deep silence that pervades the world- in this world of novelty and strangeness, men and women celebrate their inner life, angelic, devilish, erotic and potent at the same time. Prashant Salvi is the eye that witnesses.
- By JohnyML
Mumbai/ December 2014

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Press Release: Curated by Ranjit Hoskote, ‘The Shadow Trapper’s Almanac’, is Tanmoy Samanta’s first solo exhibition in Bombay

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Curated by Ranjit Hoskote, ‘The Shadow Trapper’s Almanac’, is Tanmoy Samanta’s first solo exhibition in Bombay. It features gouache paintings on rice paper and recycled book sculptures, two integral facets of his practice. Samanta’s practice explores notions traditionally associated with sculpture, including “volume and void, relief and surface, container and content.” In Samanta’s delicate works on paper, we find elements of cutout and collage reminiscent of Surrealist and Dada practices as well as a nuanced surety that echoes the style of the miniature. Samanta begins a painting by layering rice paper onto a thicker base, using a series of colours going from dark to light. His book works explore various types of books, including the kitab, the muraqqa, and the laporetto.Each book engages the viewer’s imagination in a unique way. Samanta’s use of desaturated colour and texture evokes a sense of rich nostalgia in the ordinary. According to Hoskote “Tanmoy Samanta’s works, with their combination of exhilaration and menace, formal playfulness and philosophical depth, remind us that art is not an escape from the world, but a route that leads us back, replenished by dream and vision, to the perplexities of the everyday.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tanmoy Samanta (b. 1973) received a BFA and MFA in Painting from Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan in 1996. He has been awarded a Pollack Krasner Foundation Award (New York – 2013) and a National Scholarship from the Government of India (1995 – 1997).Samanta, who lives and works in New Delhi, was raised in an environment rich in literary and artistic experience. Both his parents were participants in the Bengali ‘little magazine’ movement; he grew up to savour the Tagorean ethos of Santiniketan, developing his practice there and later in the collegial setting of the Kanoria Arts Centre, Ahmedabad. Early in his career, he taught at Rajghat, the Krishnamurti Foundation’s school in Varanasi.

ABOUT THE GALLERY:
TARQ, Sanskrit for "discussion, abstract reasoning, logic and cause", is a new contemporary art gallery in Mumbai dedicated to growing a conversation around art from a diverse range of contexts. Our focus is on maintaining close relationships with our artists and patrons, and to encourage thoughtful acquisitions of art. We plan on showing art that is process driven and provoking. Apart from our regular shows, we are also committed to building an educational structure that enables the art community to grow through thought, discussion and action.Located at Dhanraj Mahal, one of Mumbai's iconic Art Deco buildings a stone's throw away from the Gateway of India, TARQ is spread over two floors and 3000 sq. ft.

Contact Details:

F35/36, Dhanraj Mahal, C.S.M. Marg, 
Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001

+91 22 6615 0424
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All Text and image by TARQ more details http://www.tarq.in/

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

6th Dec 2014 Opening show at Art Gate Gallery

6th to 13th Dec :  opening 6PM 15th Nov at 12 pm to 7pm Art Gate Gallery, Churchgate Mumbai
Art Gate Gallery can be contacted at:022 4213 8855
or emailed at artgate.sc@gmail.com
 


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