Thursday, January 23, 2014

Elevating the ordinary

A solo exhibition of the works of artist Subodh Gupta was inaugurated at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Delhi, last week. The exhibition called "Everything is inside" has been curated by renowned art historian Germano Celant.

Subodh Gupta is best known for using everyday objects of use, and skilfully combining them to give us a fresh perspective. This installation with commonplace baggage loaded on to the ubiquitous yellow-top taxi is the one that has given the exhibition its name.

Some of use are familiar with the artist's usage of pots and pans, buckets, utensils and kitchen utensils all made of steel, which we use in the kitchen and barely look at regarding them as commonplace objects, but find displayed in entirely new ways in Subodh Gupta's works.

There are several new objects used and different compositions in this exhibition.
Like this one using the traditional Kerala fishing boat, which brings alive an entire ecosystem of a different way of living.

Subodh Gupta's installation titled

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jaya He to the dancing peacock

When the Mumbai T2 terminal opens to travelers next month, it will also be the country's largest art museum. The design of the airport is inspired by the dancing peacock', and its feather-styled roof leaves are equipped with special dichroic lights. As the lights chase the sun, and change direction, they shoot out arrows of multi-coloured lights on the floor.

This importance to design and art in public space is really welcome. If busy parents and children do not visit museums, why not bring art to their doors, railway platforms, and airports?
A three-kilometre long art-wall called 'Jaya He' has over 7000 art objects sourced from all the 27 states of the country, and extends a special welcome to passengers:

The potential audience for this art is awesome as about 40 million passengers are to be serviced annually at the airport. There are also specially commissioned installations, as this one by Sharmila Samant, created using bottle caps, on the theme of seven Indian mother goddesses. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Alchemy, Diaspora and Heterotopia

In nature, instances of 'heterotopia' may occur, where you may see a sort of transplantation of bright pigments from the flower of a plant to the tips of leaves. Or shades of color from the tail feathers of a bird may be found on the crest or the neck. A modern day surgeon may of course implant tissues from one organ into another, where it may co-exist. The transplanted colored cells or tissues may merge well into the background or host tissue. Or they may sort of stand out, and in a way, and be neither here nor here.

The Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon is hosting an exhibition called "Black Sun: Alchemy, Diaspora and Heterotopia" where there are curious such 'transplanted' spaces created.

This hall for example, has these pieces of logs of wood semi-immersed in water, almost as if you were crossing a pool of water in a tropical forest. This room is however in urban corporate Gurgaon, and the blocks of wood are arranged by design.

The only way to go across the room is by stepping on the blocks of wood navigating yourself cautiously, which builds for an amazing experience for the urban visitor.


The show curated by Shezad Dawood and and Tom Trevor is open till April 27th, and definitely worth a view.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

When the high and low meet....

Art Alive Gallery, Gurgaon has a refreshing show on, entitled "When high and low art meet".
The concept is quite unique. About thirty contemporary artists from all over the country have taken various works of Raja Ravi Varma, as "inspiration". They have created their own personalized compositions taking the inspiration painting as a starting point.

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The show curated by Rupika Chawla has an interesting format, where the "inspiring" and "inspired" painting are displayed side by side:

Contemporary perspectives, faces, clothes, situations and surroundings next to these paintings 100-150 years old! A myriad interpretations are possible: If you do manage a visit, you will certainly be impressed and provoked. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome to the year of the horse

We were all glad to see a sliver of sunshine today after the last few days of sunless cold and gloom. The trees have been all shivering too: this was my last completed painting of of 2013:

Wish you all a happy, healthy, creative and fun-filled 2014.

The period 31st January 2014 to 18th February 2015 is called the Year of the Horse, or more precisely the year of the blue wooden horse, so prepare for a fun-filled thrilling ride ahead.

I am sharing here one creative welcome to the year, that I came across::