Monday 28 August 2023

Red Sky Blue Earth

Priya Suneel graduated from the University of Madras, attaining a Degree in Fine Arts with Distinction and the Government of India Merit Scholarship. Priya has been exhibiting her work since 1982. She has shown with the Society of Women Artists in their annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in Trafalgar Square. Her work was shown as part of the Patchings Festival winners display Exhibition at Nottinghamshire and with the Society of Nigerian Artists at their annual exhibitions in Nigeria. Her practice incorporates painting, mixed media, and drawing with inroads into three dimensional works and is infused with the world cultures of London, India, Nepal and Nigeria where she has lived and worked.

Artist: Priya Suneel

Priya says that one of the reasons she makes collages is because the process reinvigorates or redirects her painting process. She studies the structure, palettes or the colors in the architecture, landscape, interior or the clothing and flesh of the model before her eyes, and searches for ways to depict them through placement of shaped bits. She captures the essences of these palettes by generating color fields or sensations entirely through juxtaposition of textile fabric, acrylic skins, paper or found objects. These collages are masterful displays of the cumulative effects of color. Priya focuses on the play of light and shadow across bare flesh, the ways in which skin tones are constructed, and the way volumes and planes come into being entirely through juxtaposition of colors. As the viewer takes in the work a sort of subliminal blending takes place because each bit of the textured material remains physically autonomous on the actual surface of the artwork, but we experience a flowing interrelationship of parts because of Priya’s profound understanding of color. Neighboring snippets of the found objects blend to form a unified field of color when the collage is seen from a distance or through squinting eyes.

In The Emergence, Priya creates bust of papier-mâché, wire and textile the artist describes shadowy concavities, fleshy highlights on rounded face, bone and muscle structure, suggestively the lovely tan and olive subtleties of flesh tones, with tiny, straight edged, triangular and rectangular snippets of fabric. The manner of the collages is meticulously self-effacing, allowing shifts in value and color to overshadow materials and process. Indeed, color is her true gift. Sophisticated modulations of closely valued tones make for rich and spacious pictures. In Tulips in a Pitcher, Priya offsets and enlivens a virtually monochromatic image with a range of yellows, greens, pinks and blues. It is, in its own quiet way, a bravura performance.

In the collages of landscapes such as Red Fox and Townhouse Chelsea, the sides and roofs of houses, the horizon line, the foreground and background, the earthbound natural and inorganic structures, and the deep space of sky, are flattened out. Priya does not flatten out three dimensional forms and present a surround view of them in a systematic way. Everything doesn’t add up. She chooses graphically striking indicators of particular objects and rhythmically locks them together, without relinquishing the sense of place portraying light and atmosphere. These collages explore the primary formal strengths of color. Depending on the tone, light and shadow are richly depicted; light wending its way through a landscape or still life. The collage elements play dual roles. They are formal elements in a strong flat array of balanced colors, and they also suggest three dimensionality. In the background planes, walls, or earth and sky are broken up into interlocking pieces, which push elements forward, the human figure, the house, still life objects. The tactile process entailed in this vacillation of compositional elements energizes these surfaces.

'Tulips in a Pitcher', mixed media collage on canvas, 44x54cms, Priya Suneel

In Street in Jodhpur the collage elements are centered, surrounded by blank space that also punctures the cluster of shapes. Certainly the individual parts add up to a particular place, but they are not as tightly interlocked or grounded in space. These free floating descriptive signs make us see a scooter, fence, trees, but they gently coalesce and resist being tightly interlocked, simultaneously. These shapes when combined with smaller shapes within the original large shape become distinct shapes. So you may have a shape that may be partly in the prominent and partly in the supporting. There is often one prominent shape in the composition that the eye goes to first and then travels on from there. You want to find a shape in the house, but not the whole house, and a shape in the tree, but not the whole tree, that together forms a larger more complex shape that the viewer sees first, before they see the house and tree. After that, more slowly, they will see this shape within the larger shape is part of a house and this is part of a tree. You are making the viewer read the painting, slowing down their looking.

The Biomes, Eden Project, Cornwall, one of the fascinating works in the exhibition, is a perfect example of the ways in which Priya can create complex color sensations using a minimal amount of colored pieces of paper that have been carefully cut in order to maintain the visual flow of the figure. The shadows and highlights and voluptuous folds in the structure are depicted with grey, brown and liver colored bits of paper. In fact the work was created live, au plein aire, during the televised recording of "Landscape Artist of the Year 2022" and was telecast nationally on Sky Arts (Sky TV Network). Priya was one of the privileged artists selected to participate as pod artist in the national telecast programme. Priya gets into the expressive essence of complex tonal ranges and under painting as she reconstructs the emotional content of the shapes and colors. Her path as an artist has been characterized by strikingly fresh work noted for its clarity and sensitivity thus defining Red Sky Blue Earth.


Abhijeet Gondkar

(Abhijeet Gondkar is an independent writer and curator based in Mumbai)


Priya Suneel

Red Sky Blue Earth

Mixed-Meadia Collages, 28th August to 3rd September 2023

Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai – 400 001, Between 11 am and 7 pm daily


Saturday 26 August 2023

"Chitra-Reshha" exhibition by Shieital Sonawane - Ugale Artist Architect at Jehangir Art gallery

रंगविलेल्या आकारांतून साधलेली कलाकृती म्हणजे चित्र, अशी चित्राची सर्वसामान्य व्याख्या करता येते. रंगविण्याच्या प्रक्रियेतच चित्र घडले जाते. इंग्रजीतील ‘पेंटीग’ या शब्दाचा अर्थ ‘रंगविण्याच्या क्रिये’पुरताच मर्यादित आहे; पण चित्रकलेच्या क्षेत्रात लेपनाची क्रिया, रंग-कुंचला- भावगर्भ आकृती प्रत्यक्ष शारीर रूप म्हणजे चित्रकृती. कधी ते बहुतांश वस्तुनिष्ठ असते, तर कधी वस्तुनिरपेक्ष अप्रतिरूप आकारातून उदित होते. 

साधनांची गुणवत्ता, कलावंताच्या भावजाणिवांचे चित्राकृतीतील प्रतिबिंब इ. सर्व सर्जनप्रक्रियांचा अंतर्भाव ‘पेंटीग’ या संज्ञेमध्ये होतो. चित्राकृतीचा अनुभव घेण्यास काही काळ हा लागतोच., चित्राकृतीचा अनुभव अवकाशसिद्ध आणि कालानुवर्ती असतो. म्हणजे हा अनुभव घेण्यास काही काळ हा लागतोच. परिणती होऊन समतोलन होते. चित्र आणि चित्रकार या बाबतीत मी खुप संवेदनशील विचार करते. कला कलेची आस्था त्यात सृजन शोधणं म्हणून माझं क्युरेटर हे आवडतं काम आहे. 

आर्किटेक्ट, चित्रकार शीतल सोनवणे- उगले  राहणार नाशिक. गेल्या वर्षभरापासुन. तिच्याशी तिच्या चित्रा बदल आणि तिच्या बदल चर्चा करत आहे. मी एखाद्याला एक व्यक्ती म्हणून खुप तटस्थ पणे पाहते. कोणतीही परिस्थिती ती उत्तम हाताळू शकते.ती तीचे विचारातुन आलेली कलाकृती ह्या तात्रिकं दृष्ट्या कमी जरी असेल तर तो सरावाचा भाग आहे. पण विचाराने आणि तिच्या व्यक्तीषा वागण्याने निर्णय घेण्याने, वेळ देण्याने ही चित्र तीच्या सारखी आहेत. चित्र सृजनात्मक होताना ती कॅनव्हास पुढे विचाराने एकदम नागंडी आहे. आणि तिच्या वृत्ती अतिशय अचुक पणे मांडते. या पुर्ण प्रक्रीयेत मी तीला अनेकदां गोंधळात करू पाहीले, काही नाही तर अनेक विचार व चित्र मी नाकारली, अनेकदा विचारांची देवाण घेवाण केली. ह्यात ती मला ठाम वाटली.

अनेकदा तात्विक वाद झाले. पण तीला मी सुचवलेले बदल स्विकारणे, ऐकणे,समजुन घेणे ही गोष्ट माणसाला उत्कृष्ट करते. खर्या कलाकारा मध्ये माणुसकी असणे माझ्या दृष्टीकोनतुन खुप महत्वाचे आहे. त्यामुळे मी तिच्या चित्राचा स्विकार केला,विचाराचा स्विकार केला आणि आनंद होता कि मनापासून ती तीचे विचार चित्रातून  स्पष्टपणे मांडते . तिच्या कलाकृतींमध्ये कविता मध्ये स्त्रियांचे भावविश्व प्रतिबिंबित होते. प्रत्येक पेंटिंगचा आधार ठळक  रंगांचे मिश्रण आहेत जे तपशीलात प्रवाही तंत्र तिच्या मधील प्रतिमेत आयुष्यातील घटकांचा उबदारपणा  समृद्धपणा त्याचबरोबर असणारी उर्जा स्व :चा शोध शांतता याचे योग्य संतुलन दिसते. 

जी पेंटिंगमधून प्रवाही आणि अखंडपणे वाहते. तीचे चित्र बघतान तीच्यातलं कणखरपणा प्रखर खुबीने ती व्यक्त करते. स्वताला चित्रातून माडंताना स्वीकारताना ते फिगर मध्ये उमटतात. तीनं परिश्रमाने स्वताची शैली निर्माण केली आहे. कलेचे वैशिष्ट्य म्हणजे विकसीत करत, त्या कलेत एकरूप होणे तीला सहज जमते. प्रत्येकांच्या जीवनात लपलेले असे ओझे चढ उतार सामाजिक भाव बंधनाचा परिघ असतो. जो प्रत्येकाचा एक सखोल प्रवास असतो ज्यात बुद्धी मन शरीरा नुसार जरी आपण प्रतिमा आणि त्याच्या भावनिक छटा रेखाटताना ज्ञान, ध्येय, मर्यादा याचा समतोल साधत समर्पण असते .जिथे सातत्याने स्व चा ही शोध आपलं अस्तित्व शांतता शोधत असते

शिव शक्तीचा अशं म्हणजे आपली उर्जा याचां सतत शोध सुरू असतो .

ह्यात प्रामुख्याने आपण वेचतचं वेगवेगळे टप्पे गाठतो भुतकाळ आणि भविष्य या पेक्षा वर्तमान शी साधर्म्य साधणारी स्त्री सक्षम क्षमता राखुन शोध घेताना, तीला ब्ररशचा सुरेख वापर कॅनव्हास करताना पाहणं आणि ब्रश स्ट्रोक, आणि तीव्र  रंगांचा वापर जे अभिव्यक्तीवादाच्या शैलीचे प्रतीक आहे. रंगयुक्त आकार हे चौकटीत ज्या रीतिपद्धतीने क्षेत्र व्यापतात, परस्परांशी आणि चौकटीशी नाते जोडतात, त्यावरून त्यांचे गुणमूल्य आणि भावगर्भता ठरते. उदा., चित्रित मनुष्याकृतीचा चेहराच चौकटीत दिसावा इतकी ती मोठी आहे, की पूर्णाकृती दिसावी इतकी मोठी, की चौकटीत हरवून गेल्यासारखी वाटावी इतकी लहान आहे; तिची मांडणी  आकारांची व्याप्ती व अव्याप्ती सापेक्ष असते. चौकटीत भरलेल्या व्याप्त आकारांच्या तुलनेने उरलेले क्षेत्र अव्याप्त वाटते इतकेच. प्रत्यक्षात मात्र अव्याप्त क्षेत्रालाही काहीएक आकार अव्याप्त क्षेत्र  भावनांवर भर देते कलेची सूत्र चित्रकलेतील भावाविष्काराच्या आकलनात अत्यंत उपकारक ठरली आहे. विविध रंगभाव, रंगभार आणि रंगविस्तार एकमेकांवर संस्कार करीत प्रकट होतात. वर्णयुक्त रंग विशुद्ध असल्याने रंगभाव तीव्र उत्कट असतो. तांबडा⟶ तांबडानारिंगी ⟶ नारिंगी ⟶ नारिंगी पांढरा⟶ पांढरा असे भारतीय रंग श्रेणी पेंटींग मध्ये दिसतात.अभिव्यक्तीवाद कलाकाराच्या भावनांचे मनुष्याकृती विषय पुरक चित्रण मिळवण्याचा प्रयत्न करतो. अभिव्यक्तीवादक, यांनी अगदी बरोबर निदर्शनास आणून दिले की अभिव्यक्तीवादामध्ये "अगम्य कल्पना स्वतःला न समजण्याजोग्या स्वरूपात व्यक्त करतात" पेंटिंग्ज आणि ते "अगम्य आणि न समजण्याजोगे" यांना जोडतात. खरं तर, अभिव्यक्तीवाद नेमके तेच करतो, तो कलाकाराला न समजण्याजोग्या स्वरूपात व्यक्त होण्यास मदत करतो ज्याद्वारे तो कलाकृतीचे सार सांगणाऱ्या कलाकाराच्या जगात दर्शकांना पोर्टल करतो. शरीरानुसार मन आणि बुद्धी भिन्न असते, परंतु आत्मा एकच राहतो. ते परम चैतन्य आहे. शक्ती आणि शिव यांचे त्यांच्या अंतिम वास्तव. अस्तित्व हे असीम व्यक्तीशी असलेले व्यक्तीचे नाते म्हणून परिभाषित केले जाऊ शकते.

कलाकृतींमध्ये अभिव्यक्तीवादी शैली आत्मसात करून आशा, उत्साह, एकांत, शांततेची मर्यादा आणि यासारख्या गोष्टी व्यक्त होते. - Text by Heena Sk 

Artist: Shieital sonawane

Step into the enchanting world of self-realization through Chitra Reshha. 

Since few years, I've been exploring the world of architecture and art, but now I'm taking a bold leap into the realm of poetry and painting with my  “Chitra-Reshha” series. I want you to imagine a captivating fusion of heartfelt verses and mesmerizing paintings, all woven together to take you on a profound journey of self-realization.  “Chitra-Reshha” is all about celebrating the journey of women, exploring our triumphs, struggles, and everything in between.With my background in architecture, I bring a unique perspective to my artworks, infusing them with an eye-catching blend of form and emotion.“Chitra-Reshha” is a true expression of my soul, embracing the raw beauty of vulnerability and self-discovery. And this journey is keeping my emotions in motion

Artist statement : 

My journey as an artist started when I was young child and did not know how to express my feelings. Can fear be expressed? If so then how? In childhood I still remember I chose to express fear in the form of monster. Yes, ‘a monster’ and through this as an innocent child, I told my parents, “if they don’t listen to me”, then he will harm them. This is what I heard of monster in the school. With time things changed and I started taking more interest in drawing. I remember of my drawing being selected and sent to Mauritius for the exhibition. Later, when I was in 8th standard, I won the ‘Bal Kala Ratna Puraskar’. Since then I have been expressing my thoughts in my works. I graduated as an architect but my experiments also have grown with colours and arts over the years. This has always helped me in my profession as an architect also.

 Shietal Sonavane and jackie Shorff at jehangir  art gallery

After completing degree in architecture B.Arch and years of practice in India; her destiny took her to America. Being born in India, a rich cultural heritage had provided her with tremendous inspiration towards painting art. 

During 2014-2016 Shital has explored her two  series of paintings named “Legacy of India” and  "Narayani Bhaava" a female emotion at America. Her motive was to give audience a chance to learn, respond and feel comfortable with self emotions which are deep in everyone's soul. 

Staying in America and understanding all the situations and needs between us and them, Shital felt to initiate her knowledge of art and architecture that is She can do the unification of "Art of Emotion and Heart of Technics" for development of children of our country. So somehow somewhere we can fill the gap of educational upbringing differences between west and us.

Shital’s  dream made her to start an Art centre 

"a creative kuteer" in 2016 where children explore creative ideas. Children being provided an outlet for their emotions through colors,mud,canvases etc. They confidently throw their thoughts to the world and give them knowledge of universe to open up their eternal range living experience.Since last 3 years Shital has trained more than 500 children for creative vision.

Shital is successfully working in interior and architecture projects at her associate office in Banglore “design centre” to bring society close to heritage,art and culture through conceptual designs and execution. 

Shital,as a creative leader and columnist is expressing her thoughts on “Kala,Culture and Mind” at Lokmat Times every week. 

A true champion of women empowerment who has been recognised with out-of-box concepts and creative executions,Shital has often cited as an example of hard work and knowledge

Show Modarator by Heen SK and Artist Shieital Sonawane _ JAG -Kala Ghoda

"Chitra-Reshha"  exhibition by Shieital Sonawane - Ugale Artist Architect

Date: 21st August to 27th 2023

Time: 11am to 7pm

•Modarator by Heena SK 

• Instagram: @chitrareshha 

Jehangir Art gallery, 161B, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India.

Friday 25 August 2023

Holding the Flow, letting it go...

Nivas Kanhere's works are characterised by the forces of acceptance and negation. Yet, the acceptance is not prima facie. Indeed, the more colourful works were done mostly during the extended pandemic period, as if in an attempt to disprove the doom. These works propose an ode to the vibrancy of (once-) lived surroundings. As the city regained its radiance, Kanhere  reclused to the blues and greys. The expanses of unlived spaces made their presence felt in his works. Can this be called escapist? Is abstraction an escape from the real?

Untitled  Oil on Linen   30'' x 40'‘

'No' is the obvious answer, as binaries of real- unreal are ineffective and the two realms often coexist in all creative ventures. Though loosely concerned with his surroundings, Kanhere seems to be more attached to the paints and canvases in his studio. The hues of blue and grey led him to explore what we might call the depths. Decelerated roller strokes formed sedate squares that encased oceans. The changes in artist's body-rhythm can be deciphered in other works, too.

From brisk actions of palette-knife that often form triangular shapes, to the expansive movements of a roller; from a play of paint that engenders myriad hues to an ascetism that keeps layers of paint visible, Kanhere gels the technical possibilities with his quest for exploration of space.

The space turns lived experiences to dream sequences, and informs the unreal expanses with real-life situations. Perhaps one of the earliest childhood memories for Nivas Kanhere, has been that of this play between the finite and infinite, the tangible and intangible. As a seven-year old, he would sit for hours beside a village stream, dip his tiny hands into its flow and took a deep look at the handful of a stream. Sometimes the stream within his hands came with extra dash of life- a small fish. Soon after that deep look, the artist-child would place hands in the flow again, while the water in hands started its voyage to faraway places, the hand had another water to look at. The child held the flow, and let it go.


 Untitled, Oil on Linen, 60'' x 120'‘

Nivas Kanhere still does that, with his paints and canvases.


-- Abhijeet Tamhane,

Mumbai, August 2023.  


Sunday 6 August 2023

"Whispers of the Wilderness" at Jehangir Gallery

Art enthusiasts and nature lovers are in for a treat as the Jehangir Art Gallery proudly presents "Whispers of the Wilderness," an exquisite art exhibit by Vinita Sadarangani. The show will take place from 8th to 14th August 2023, between 11 am and 7 pm.

Artist: Vinita Sadarangani


Step into a world where art and nature converge, as Vinita Sadarangani takes you on a mesmerizing journey through her collection of beautiful and reflective artworks. The exhibit promises to transport visitors to the heart of the forest, where trees transform into storytellers, revealing tales of wonder and serenity. Within the enchanting tapestry of this showcase, a profound purpose unfolds, inviting nature enthusiasts to join hands in the noble quest for safeguarding our beloved forests.

Drawing inspiration from the Impressionist movement, Vinita's paintings masterfully blend loose brushwork, vibrant colors, and an impeccable understanding of light and atmosphere. Through a fusion of Impressionism and abstraction, she breaks away from conventional representation, delving into the realm of emotions and interpretations. Each canvas becomes a captivating symphony of colors and shapes, inviting viewers to explore their connections and responses to the artwork.


Through her paintings, Vinita aspires to create a sanctuary of emotions, where hearts find solace and spirits soar.  This enchanting exhibit at the Jehangir Art Gallery, a celebration of art and nature promises to leave you awe-inspired.

Press Release

From: 8th to 14th August 2023

"Whispers of the Wilderness"

Solo show of Paintings by contemporary artist Vinita Sadarangani



Jehangir Art Gallery

161-B, M.G. Road,

Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400 001

Timing: 11am to 7pm

Contact: +91 9892969660



“Rhapsody 2023” A Group Exhibition of Paintings & Sculptures organized to support cancer patients

In the heart of Mumbai, the ARTIVAL FOUNDATION, an esteemed art promotion institution, orchestrates a breathtaking group art show, Rhapsody 2023. This grand event is a harmonious convergence of 25 revered contemporary Artists, hailing from the present art world.

The talented and renowned artists participating in this exhibition include Vasudeo Kamath, Prakash Ghadge, Pradip Sarkar, Ajay De, Ashif Hossain, Shashikant Dhotre, Gopal Pardeshi, Birakishor Patra, Deepak B. Patil, Vishal Phasale, Jaydeb Dolui, Govind Sirsat, Santosh Bhoir, Dr. Shankar Sharma, Pratibha Goel, Maredu Ramu, Dr. Shefali Bhujbal, Maya B, Ramanpreet Kaur Narang, Sudipta Adhikari, Kashyap Ray, Jyotsna Sonavane, Shailesh Gurav. They come together in a splendid display of their masterpieces at the renowned Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, transforming it into an ethereal gallery of artistic brilliance. 

This show is curated by Sharad Gurav, Satish Patil

'Rhapsody 2023' endeavors to present the diverse and captivating works of these artists, each adorned with meaningful expressions and a kaleidoscope of mediums, techniques, and color tones. The grandeur of this exhibition aims to touch the hearts of prospective art collectors, lovers, and patrons on a global scale.

Beyond its visual splendor, this art show is imbued with a noble purpose - to inspire compassion and support for those bravely battling cancer. The show's magnanimity is further enhanced by the generous support and inspiration received from the esteemed CANCER PATIENTS AID ASSOCIATION (CPAA). A portion of the proceeds from this enchanting affair will be devoted to this renowned organizations dedicated to cancer research, treatment, and patient care.

Vasudeo Kamath, Jiva & Shiva, Oil on canvas

At the core of the ARTIVAL FOUNDATION's mission lies the pursuit of uncovering hidden gems among talented artists residing in both rural and urban India. Exhibitions like Rhapsody 2023 serve as stepping stones, connecting these artists with art lovers. 

Press Release

From: 8th to 14th August 2023

Artival Foundation presents “Rhapsody 2023”


A Group Exhibition of Paintings & Sculptures organized to support cancer patients


Jehangir Art Gallery

Auditorium Hall 161-B, M.G.Road, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai 400 001

Timing: 11am to 7pm.Contact: +91 9920804573, 9833949788

Rhapsody 2023 - A Spectacular Show with Purpose

Saturday 5 August 2023

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IIFM) 2023:National award winning director Raj Pritam More Short film"Bichauliya" lead nomination

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IIFM) 2023 has announced nominations for its 14th edition. The event is the only film festival outside of Indian soil that is backed by the government of another country. The festival also honours OTT content in three categories.

National film award-winning director  Raj Pritam More’s new Hindi Short film’’ Bichauliya’’( Middleman).Produces by Girish Arora & Sangeeta Arora.Present by Sane insane pictures.

’BICHAULIYA’’( Middleman) Hindi short film based on Saadat Hasan Manto Story, it’s a new adaptation screenplay of today's time and contemporary new vision of 2022 ( written by Sameer Tabhane).It's a story of man’s manhood!.It's traveling to all international film festivals.Its world premiere'' South Asian Shorts'' at Long Island South Asian Film festival .USA.Two Awards  at 3rd MICFF India Shorts film festival Mumbai 2023.Screening''Asian corner'' at Indian Film Festival Melbourne 23.
Raj More 

Well-known Marathi actor, Ankur Wadhve, from the comic show “Chala Hawa Yeu Dya”, is making his debut in Hindi film industry through this short film. He is sharing the screen with the talented, Indira Tiwari, who was seen in “Serious men” alongside Nawazuddin. She is ready to surprise the audience again with her acting in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s released film “Gangubai Kathiawadi”.

The awards include series and movies released between 1st June 2022 to 31st May 2023. Leading the categories of Short Film,Best Film, Best Actor, and Best Actress include movies like Darlings, Monica O My Darling, Ponniyin Selvan, and Kantara. 

In the streaming category, series like Trial By Fire, Jubilee, and Delhi Crime Season 2 have garnered the highest number of nominations. Only series that are available in the Australian subcontinent have been considered for the awards. 

Earlier, it was revealed that R Balki’s Ghoomer will premiere at the festival. The film will kickstart the festival on August 12. Ghoomer stars Saiyami Kher and Abhishek Bachchan.

- Art Blogazine

Tuesday 1 August 2023

TARQ: Preview Thursday 10th August 2023 | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Parag Tandel: Archipelagic Archivist

Curated by Shaunak Mahbubani

About the Exhibition

Amongst the incessant din of new construction, it is often forgotten that Mumbai was once an archipelago of seven islands. The Kolis, indigenous inhabitants of these lands and waters stewarded the vibrant ecology for centuries. In his upcoming solo exhibition at TARQ, artist Parag Tandel from Thane’s Chendani Koliwada, archives the rich culture of the Kolis alongside networks of kinship between the community and coastal ecosystems.

Passing down knowledges through oraliture, the Kolis have been left out of the process of writing their own history. To counteract this historical erasure, Tandel presents new bodies of sculpture that draw from complex traditions of food, fishing, and faith. Eschewing imperial modes of recording such as maps and ledgers, the artist instead looks towards the realm of affect to create a distinct form of archiving that resonates with the heritage of his people.

"This method of archiving that Parag has developed can be seen within the context of what Caribbean philosopher Édouard Glissant has called archipelagic thinking — one that balances acts of belonging with ways of being in relation to the world, that is 'rooted and open, in harmony and in errantry,' 1 " writes curator Shaunak Mahbubani. "Presenting a solo show after seven years, one sees a profound leap in Parag's practice, especially within his immersion into material culture that simultaneously channels his Koli ancestry while being in dialogue with the rapidly changing state of the city, and the global climate crisis at large."

Tracing a route from the arrival of the Portuguese to the current coastal road development, Tandel brings us into contact with a range of interconnected stories. In sculptures fashioned from the Jambul tree, we encounter the effects of 17th century policies which outlawed ageold jambul wine making processes. Alongside, in the limited edition publication 'Ek Bagal Mein Chand Hoga Ek Bagal Mein Rotiyan', we are introduced to recipes collected from Koli kitchens, a food culture that is currently under threat due to rapid urbanization and oceanic pollution. 

Talisman for Coastal Futures 3, 2023

Not content with only looking at history, the artist is also keenly interested in fostering new possibilities. 'Into The Bones' is a unique collaboration with metalwork artists from the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, melding indigenous artistic techniques from the two regions to develop a series of 12 intricate mixed media sculptures. Calling out to the next generation, the show culminates with an assembly of ecstatic thread sculptures, combining the traditional armatures of the Koli faith with the dynamic energy of the ocean and all its inhabitants. 'भराली' are talismans to cast spells for inter-species coastal futures.

Poetically moving between islands of time and material metaphor, Parag Tandel invites viewers to enter the waterways of the erstwhile Bombai archipelago, where tides carry the force of celebration, loss, and resilient hope. 

1 Glissant Édouard, Wing B. Poetics of Relation. Ann Arbor Michigan: University of Michigan Press; 1997. p 34. 

About the Artist Parag Tandel 

(b. 1978), is a Mumbai-based artist with a Postgraduate-Diploma in Creative Sculpture from M. S University, Baroda (2005) and Diploma in sculpture and modelling from Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai (2003). Tandel’s solo exhibitions include Pregnant Room 1 and Pregnant Room 2, both showcased at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, (2008 & 2010) Chronicle at TARQ, Mumbai (2016) and Autopolisphilia curated by Noopur Desai at Sudarshan art gallery, Pune, India (2018). He has also been part of various group shows across India including Event, Memory, Metaphor curated by Anish Gawande at TARQ, Mumbai (2022); New Natures: A Terrible Beauty is Born curated by Ravi Agarwal at the Goethe Institut, Mumbai (2022); All Canaries Bear Watching curated by Premjish Achari at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2022); Fragile Kinships curated by Shaunak Mahbubani at the Swiss Embassy, New Delhi (2018); Baroda March, Mumbai (2015); Small is Big, Durbar Hall, Kochi (2013); Earth Art Project Tansa, Arka Art Trust, Mumbai (2013); The Art of Drawing, The Guild, Mumbai (2011); TAKE 2, Aarushi Arts, Delhi (2011); and AvaGard, Threshold Art Gallery, Delhi (2009) among others. 

Some of his public art projects include Tandel Fund of Archives, pop-up museum of fisherfolk, Mumbai (2020 & 2019); (En)counters- Daily Rations Public art project, curated by Artoxygen, Breathing art works, Mumbai (2017); Geographies of consumptions, Mumbai (2015); Big 

Catch, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai (2012); and Sandarbh, Rajasthan (2011). Tandel has been a recipient of the Jhunjhunwala Scholarship Award (2003); Maharashtra State Art Award (2003); and All India Art and Craft Society State Award (2003). Additionally, he has participated in residencies at the Banboo Curtain Studio, Taiwan (2018) Piramal Art Residency (2017), Space 118 (2015), Mumbai and in Partapur, Rajasthan

Parag’s artist book Ek bagal mein chand hoga ek bagal mein rotiyan was published in 2021 by TARQ with support from Mumbai Water Narratives at the Living Waters Museum. He recently showed his work How to cook Bombay Duck in various ways? at India Art Fair 2023. 

Journey of Bombay duck, 2023

He currently lives and works in Thane, Mumbai. 

About the Curator Shaunak Mahbubani (they/she) is a nomadic curator and writer. They primarily pursue projects under the exhibition series 'Allies for the Uncertain Futures’ focused on exploring possibilities of co-visioning futures grounded in the pursuit of non-duality. The fourth iteration in this series, AUTOPOIESIS (2022-23) had manifestations and cross-pollinations across Mexico City, New Delhi, and Berlin. 

They will curate The Albanian Conference at the upcoming Lagos Biennale (2024). Other recent curatorial projects include how many songs from a single note? (TARQ, Mumbai, 2022), Party Office at documenta fifteen (Kassel 2022, co-curated with Vidisha-Fadescha), A—ligning the Un—certain (Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin, 2022), Skin To Skin (Experimenter, Kolkata, 2023), Entre Sures (Mexico City, 2021, Co-curated with Eli Moon), Seeds are Being Sown (PRAF, New Delhi, 2020), Reality is Post-Produced (TIER, Berlin, 2019), and Saavdhaan: The Regimes of Truth (New Delhi, 2018).

Shaunak’s art writing has appeared in Artforum, Critical Collective, Mezosfera, ifa Biennale stories, STIR World, Hakara Journal and other platforms. They have been awarded residencies, grants, and engagements from Goethe Institut, ISCP New York, La Napoule Foundation France, The Gujral Foundation, Inlaks Foundation, and IFA India. Since 2019, they have also been collaborating with artist-curator Vidisha-Fadescha under the moniker 'After Party Collective', creating momentum towards the affirmation of trans*, intersex, and gender-dissident bodies through curatorial and performance projects, including DANCE TRANS* REVOLUTION (New York, 2021), and publication series Consent of The Goverened (coedited with Party Office, 2021-ongoing). 

Shaunak is currently based between Berlin and India.

Preview Thursday 10th August 2023 | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm 

Show continues till 30th September 2023

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 am to 6:30 pm 

For further enquiries contact:

Harshada Vijay | | +91 9930318581


Conceptual art in a better way could be considered as communication that starts with the question 'Is that art?

Comedian, 2019, Maurizio Cattelan 

The conversation that arises between the artist and the spectator through the assembled or performing concepts completely rejects the standard ideas of art. This also employs the concern about aesthetics, skills, appearance, marketability, and investment as many times the conceptual artworks are not even physical or could be owned.

A concept as we may know is an abstract notion, the significance of which is more than its execution or mien. It is a non-tangible object itself but rather a mental representation of objects, experiences, and relations. Overall, concepts are fundamental to human thought and language, enabling us to navigate and interpret the world around us, communicate our ideas, and engage in higher-level cognitive processes.

Concepts when infused with art give a completely different depth to creativity. Nowadays conceptual art helps most artists to express and to raise questions through installations and performances, though appreciated by many, conceptual art is many a time goes unsung or unappreciated by art investors and commercial art galleries due to its non-physicality. Conceptual artists often challenge the materiality and object-based nature of traditional art forms. The idea or concept becomes the primary driving force, and the artist's intention and intellectual engagement take precedence. 

Conceptual art is counted amongst the most intellectual and deep forms of art mediums. No doubts, as there are several thoughts inculcated behind this form. Emerging in the 1960s as a response to the dominance of traditional art forms and seeking to challenge conventional notions of what art can be, Conceptual art prioritizes the concept, idea, or thought process behind the artwork over its visual or material aspects.

The Dada movement, which emerged during World War I, rejected traditional artistic conventions and emphasized the importance of ideas and concepts over aesthetic qualities. Dada artist, Marcel Duchamp (1887 - 1968) started the idea of conceptual art with readymade objects and the brutal simplicity of minimalism ignoring the hold on the formalities of aesthetically appealing art. Duchamp's ready-made, everyday objects presented as art, laid the groundwork for the concept-based approach of conceptual art. At the same time the Fluxus movement, an international network of artists, composers, and performers, embraced an interdisciplinary and experimental approach to art. Fluxus artists, including Yoko Ono and George Maciunas, incorporated conceptual strategies, performance art, and audience participation into their work. Their emphasis on ideas, actions, and the dematerialization of art materials influenced the development of conceptual art.

Fountain, 1917, Marcel Duchamp

The emergence of Minimalism in the 1960s, with artists like Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, contributed to the conceptual turn in art. Minimalism's emphasis on simplicity, seriality, and the reduction of art objects to their essential forms laid the foundation for the exploration of ideas and the concept-driven nature of art.

Conceptual art was also influenced by critical engagement with art institutions and the art market. Artists such as Hans Haacke and Michael Asher began questioning the role and power dynamics of galleries, museums, and other art institutions. Their work exposed the underlying structures and ideologies that shape the production, display, and reception of art.

Playing a pivotal role in the evolution of the art world by challenging established norms, expanding artistic possibilities, and reshaping the way we think about and engage with art, Conceptual Art has added a new dimension to the creative sphere.

It expanded the definition of art beyond traditional forms and materials. By emphasizing ideas, concepts, and processes, it broadened the scope of artistic expression. This led to the inclusion of various mediums and approaches, such as installation art, performance art, video art, digital art, and conceptual photography, among others. The boundaries of what can be considered art have been pushed, allowing for greater experimentation and innovation. It has also shifted the focus of art from aesthetic qualities to intellectual engagement and placed importance on the underlying ideas, concepts, and philosophies driving the artwork. This intellectual depth encouraged viewers to think critically and engage with the concepts presented by the artist with a deeper understanding of art as a means of communication and reflection on broader social, political, and cultural issues.

Moreover, Conceptual art played a significant role in questioning and critiquing established artistic institutions, including galleries, museums, and art markets. It challenged the authority and power dynamics within these institutions, raising awareness of their influence on artistic production and consumption. By questioning these structures, it paved the way for new approaches to curating, exhibition practices, and art distribution, leading to greater diversity and inclusivity in the art world. Having introduced a greater emphasis on audience participation and collaboration, it encouraged viewers to actively engage with the artwork, either through physical interaction or through interpretation and dialogue. This shift towards participatory art experiences allowed for a more democratic and inclusive art world, blurring the boundaries between artist and viewer and fostering a sense of shared ownership and co-creation.

This art form has also transcended national and cultural boundaries, becoming a global movement, allowing the exchange of ideas and artistic practices between artists from different regions and backgrounds. This cross-cultural exchange contributed to the diversification of artistic perspectives, challenging dominant narratives, and fostering a more globalized and interconnected art world.

A few artists who are adding paramount value to the contemporary conceptual art world are, Damien Hirst (1965), Katrin Fridriks (1974), Claude Rutault (1941), Jenny Holzer (1950), Zhang Huan (1965), Adam McEwen (1965), Ai Weiwei (1957).

    The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991, Damien Hirst

These artists represent just a fraction of the diverse and dynamic field of contemporary conceptual art. Each brings their unique perspective, ideas, and approaches to challenge and expand the boundaries of art in the present day.

       Skin, Zhang Huan

In India, Conceptual art has emerged as a significant artistic movement, reflecting the global influence of conceptualism while also incorporating local cultural, social, and political contexts. Indian artists have embraced conceptual approaches to art-making, using ideas, processes, and intellectual engagement to explore a range of themes and issues.

In the 1960s, artists in India were responding to the socio-political climate and the rapid changes taking place in the country. They sought to challenge established artistic practices and question the role of art in society. This led to a shift toward more experimental and conceptually-driven approaches.

One significant milestone in the history of conceptual art in India was the formation of the "Group 1890" in 1962. This group, which included artists like Nasreen Mohamedi, Jeram Patel, and Ambadas, emphasized abstract and non-representational art forms, exploring the idea of pure form and visual elements.

Another influential figure was Nalini Malani, who emerged in the 1970s and became known for her multimedia installations and performances. She was among the artists who embraced conceptual art practices and engaged with political and social themes through her work.

Indian conceptual artists often explore themes related to identity, cultural heritage, and the complexities of Indian society. They address issues such as caste, gender, religion, globalization, postcolonialism, and the intersection of tradition and modernity. By delving into these subjects, they challenge existing norms and contribute to ongoing dialogues about Indian society and its diverse cultural fabric.

Language and text have played a significant role in conceptual art practices in India. Artists incorporate written or spoken words, poetry, and textual elements as primary mediums to convey their ideas and concepts. This linguistic turn allows for the exploration of the linguistic diversity contexts of India. They often draw inspiration from Indian mythology, religious symbolism, folk traditions, and local practices. This contextual grounding adds depth and richness to their conceptual explorations, creating works that resonate with Indian audiences and broader global perspectives.

Public Notice 3, 2010, Jitish Kallat, Art Institute of Chicago, Chemould Prescott Road

The 1980s and 1990s witnessed further developments in conceptual art in India. Artists like Subodh Gupta, N.S. Harsha and Atul Dodiya emerged during this period, employing conceptual strategies and incorporating socio-political commentary into their art.

Performance art and body art have gained prominence within the conceptual art scene in India. Artists use their bodies as mediums to convey ideas, experiences, and social commentaries. They employ various performative strategies to challenge societal norms, question power structures, and evoke emotional responses. Performance art in India often draws from cultural rituals, traditional performing arts, and the socio-political realities of the country.

Beyond the body and gender, Performance art, Debashish Paul

It can be seen in the artworks and performances of artists Nikhil Chopra and Debashish Paul whose art focus on gender, body, politics, and history. Following the multi-expressionist methodology, these artists have illustrated the importance of interaction and involvement in presenting any concept or thought to the audience. Several galleries, museums, biennales, and art institutions dedicated to contemporary art in India have provided platforms for conceptual artists to exhibit their works and performances. These spaces promote critical discourse, support experimentation, and provide opportunities for engagement with the wider art community.

It's important to note that the development of conceptual art in India was intertwined with global art movements, especially the broader conceptual art movement that originated in the West in the 1960s. Indian artists were exposed to international art trends through exhibitions, publications, and travel, which influenced their artistic practices and conceptual approaches. This trend was positively taken and appreciated by Indian artists, which can be seen in the contemporary art affair.

If we take a few Indian contemporary conceptual artists into consideration, they have contributed a lot to evolving the Indian art world on the global dais. Artists like

1. Subodh Gupta is Known for his sculptural installations and conceptual artworks and has explored themes of identity, migration, consumerism, and everyday life. He often uses everyday objects, such as utensils and kitchenware, as symbols to comment on social and cultural issues. His works have been exhibited internationally, and he is considered one of India's leading contemporary artists.

2. Jitish Kallat's conceptual practice encompasses various mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, and video. His works explore themes of time, memory, urbanization, and the socio-political landscape of India. Kallat often incorporates text, language, and historical references in his artworks to provoke critical thinking and reflection.

3. Shilpa Gupta's conceptual art practice addresses themes of identity, nationalism, censorship, and surveillance. She uses diverse mediums, including interactive installations, video, photography, and performance, to engage viewers in conversations about personal and political boundaries. Gupta's works often invite audience participation, blurring the lines between the artist, artwork, and viewer.

4. Amar Kanwar is known for his multi-channel video installations that explore socio-political issues, human rights, and violence. His conceptual artworks raise questions about power structures, social justice, and collective memory. Kanwar's works often combine poetic narratives, archival footage, and documentary techniques to create immersive experiences that challenge viewers' perspectives

5. Anita Dube is a prominent conceptual artist and curator known for her installations, sculptures, and mixed-media works. Her practice investigates issues of feminism, social inequality, and the body. Dube's works often employ symbolism, metaphors, and cultural references to address gender, power dynamics, and the politics of representation.

These eminent artists represent a diverse range of conceptual practices in India, each contributing to the contemporary art scene with their unique perspectives, critical engagement, and conceptual depth.

The direction and impact of conceptual art on society and the art world are multifaceted and continue to evolve. Conceptual art has already broadened the definition of art, incorporating various mediums and approaches. This trend is likely to continue, with artists exploring new technologies, interdisciplinary collaborations, and innovative techniques. The boundaries between different art forms and disciplines may continue to blur, allowing for hybrid forms and novel artistic expressions. As technology continues to advance, conceptual art is likely to incorporate new digital mediums and interactive experiences. Virtual reality, augmented reality, and other emerging technologies may be integrated into conceptual artworks, enhancing viewer engagement and creating immersive environments.

Conceptual art has a history of questioning and critiquing art institutions and structures. This tradition may continue, with artists challenging the existing power dynamics, gatekeeping, and market-oriented aspects of the art world. They may explore alternative exhibition models, and decentralized approaches, and seek to redefine the relationships between artists, institutions, and audiences.

Conceptual art often employs non-traditional mediums and formats such as installations, performances, videos, or ephemeral works. These mediums can be challenging to sell and present logistical hurdles for collectors and galleries. They may require specific installation requirements or ongoing maintenance, making them less practical for private collectors. The market for conceptual art may not be as established or as mainstream as that for more traditional art forms. This can result in lower demand and a smaller pool of potential buyers. Galleries and auction houses may face challenges in marketing and promoting conceptual art to a wider audience, which can impact sales and prices.

The Weather Project, 2003, Olafur Eliasson, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern

Furthermore, Pricing conceptual art can be subjective and challenging. Determining the value of an artwork that primarily revolves around the idea or concept rather than the physical object itself can be complex. It requires buyers and sellers to consider factors beyond materiality, such as the artist's reputation, historical significance, and critical reception.

Then how to sell it?

It is important to note that conceptual art has dedicated collectors, museums, and institutions that appreciate its intellectual depth and innovative approaches. The market for conceptual art has been growing over time as more collectors and institutions recognize its value and contribution to contemporary art.

While it often revolves around ideas, concepts, and narratives, when selling conceptual art, it is crucial to articulate and communicate the story behind the artwork. It may require some education and explanation for potential buyers to fully appreciate its value.

Conceptual art sometimes exists in limited editions or as unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. This limited availability can enhance the market for such artwork. Limited editions can provide an opportunity for collectors to acquire the conceptual work, making it more marketable.

Selling this intellectual form of art requires a combination of effective storytelling, education, targeted marketing, and engaging with the right networks. By highlighting the intellectual depth, narrative, and unique qualities of the artwork, potential buyers and collectors can be attracted who value and appreciate conceptual art.

It is phenomenal to see how artists are prioritizing their thoughts, experiences, and concepts over the aesthetical appeal of their artworks. This change in the art world has sensationally given rise to challenging and redefining the boundaries of art, encouraging critical thinking, intellectual engagement, and social dialogue. It remains a vibrant and influential movement, shaping the trajectory of contemporary art and providing a platform for artists to explore complex ideas and concepts.

Sanchita Sharma


Content Copyright to Sanchita Sharma