lundi 25 septembre 2017

Who made this saree? The anonymous world of Indian designers, craftsmen

Source Hindustan Times by Shefalee Vasudev
Currently, there is a visible inflection point in India’s design journey. A contemporary awakening of sorts surrounds us through travelling shows, seminars, crafts tours, handloom melas, ministry and media engagements. Many more people now know about tribal and folk art, the hand-made aesthetic in textile and the dilemmas of the country’s heritage legacy. A movement summed up rather succinctly by Bhopal-based Gond artist Bhajju Shyam: “Five years back we were called craftsmen. Today we are known as contemporary artists.”
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dimanche 24 septembre 2017

Handmade in India

Source The Hindu
In 1949 China had only 25 museums. It targeted to create 3,500 museums by 2015 and achieved it some three years in advance of the target date. Strategically developing the cultural and creative industry (CCI) has been an integral part of China’s 12th five-year plan. India should make the most of its glorious past for a better future. Steps such as patenting valuable cultural objects, giving tax benefits to craftspersons, introducing culture as a subject in curricula, structuring funding through public-private partnership models would accelerate the process.
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In Font we Trust

Source Bangalore Mirror by Sowmya Rajaram
By that, he means if a large entity such as the Government of Karnataka makes Chittara the official state typeface of Karnataka and uses it for tourism, railway station signage etc, it will bring more attention to the artform, the community and enable more people to work with these communities directly. “Additionally, the sales of the typeface would increase enabling us to give back to the community,” he says. This, because funds raised from the sale of typefaces is first used to cover all costs and initiate similar new projects with other tribal and craft artists groups.
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dimanche 17 septembre 2017

Will the Indian Way of Seeing Outstare Toxic Hindutva Politics?

Source The Wire by Chitra Padmanabhan
The same reasoning applies to contemporary expressions of art as well. Present-day artists are not representing a religious symbol or icon in the traditional sense; theirs is an artistic expression. Why should it be restricted by traditional canons? It would not be art then. In the present-day context a religious icon too can become a symbol. The number of contemporary artists who have subjected Ganesha and various goddesses to the rules of Cubism and other artistic movements, not the Agamas’ canonical prescriptions, is legion. They are seen as good luck images in households, to be placed along with a laughing Buddha, no more.
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Bharti Kher: Sketchbooks and Diaries debuts in the Gardner Museum’s Fenway Gallery

Source India New England
For the exhibition called “Bharti Kher: Sketchbooks and Diaries,” Kher has installed a series of drawings taken from her 42cm x 30cm sketchbook as well as notebooks, writings, and reflections created during her month-long residency in 2013. Featured are 11 framed drawings and one framed mixed media work on paper as well as four unframed drawings, various notebooks, and photographs presented in a long case. “Kher seems to have had just the right amount of affection and irony for the objects she was looking at in the galleries,” said Pieranna Cavalchini, the Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art who directs the Artist-in-Residency Program. “The drawings are very tactile and often provocative. They are charged with humor and a capriciousness that is smart and mischievous at the same time.”
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Saffronart's September Sale of Iconic Art

Source Millennium Post by Uma Nair
Saffronart's September Sale of India's modern masters in New Delhi on September 21, is the stuff of distinctive works of rarity, provenance and the power of contemporary character. First launched in September 2014, by Dinesh Vazirani, Saffronart's Evening Sale is not just the highlight of their annual auction calendar but it has carved its own niche in the auction world for its ability to attract the most coveted and distinguished collectors spread across India as well as abroad. Commenting on the auction, CEO Hugo Weihe said, "The sale includes works of exceptional quality and rarity, which offer new possibilities for reflection and dialogue. Consider the juxtaposition of the magical blue Gaitonde with a hazy blue mountain landscape by Roerich, the sea by Padamsee, or of a peninsula by Khakhar. Many works are of unique historical significance, and are milestone achievements for the artists."
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vendredi 15 septembre 2017

Indian art sales show no signs of a slowdown

Source Livemint by Elizabeth Kuruvilla
A revival of private investment has been elusive and after the shock November invalidation of high-value banknotes, economic growth has slowed for two consecutive quarters, to a three-year low of 5.7% in the quarter ended June. That hasn’t deterred serious buyers of Indian art, judging from data compiled by Artery India, an art market research firm. Forty-seven Indian artists achieved new world records in prices paid for their works in the secondary art market between March 2016 and August 2017; 27 of those records were set in the post-demonetization period. Payments in the secondary market are made in cheques, so demonetization did not have any impact, corroborated Hugo Weihe, CEO of Saffronart. In the primary art market, greater caution was practised. This was felt at the India Art Fair, which took place in January, said Amal Allana, director of Art Heritage gallery in New Delhi. “In general, demonetization slowed down the art economy. There’s no real sense of recovery still,” she said.
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jeudi 14 septembre 2017

Art by Indian women artists--a new kick in the global art market?

Source MoneyControl by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Amongst the Modern artists within the Artery India Artist tracker, there were only 23 female artists against 153 male artists. The uptick is visible within the numbers in the contemporary section featuring artists including Bharti Kher, Anju Dodiya, Shilpa Gupta, Reena Saini-Kallat and Mithu Sen among others where the representation rises to 55 women artists as compared to 148 males. According to Vijaymohan, "The disparity between the gender representation is finally beginning to even out and a certain section of the market seems to be acting with prudence."
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How St+Art Changed The Way People View Street Art In India

Source MENSXP by Dessidre Fleming
“We essentially wanted to make art more democratic,” says Nauriyal. “We want people to look at public spaces as not being sterile, plain, or non-interactive structures; but something that could also initiate conversation and, in some form, inculcate a thought process which extends from painting beautiful things to painting deeper meanings via projects and spaces that have a deeply rooted social context.” St+Art, from its inception worked as an Indian platform for Indian artists to be exposed on a global stage which was definitely not happening before. It was to create an ecosystem around street art.
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Mumbai Art Room: Experiments in art

Source Livemint by Tanuj Kumar
Given that the major private art galleries in India incline towards working with established artists, a venture like Mumbai Art Room has been a blessing for the burgeoning Indian art scene. Founded in 2011 as an exhibition space by American curator Susan Hapgood, it will now assume the new avatar of a ‘curatorial lab’, a space which aims to nurture emerging Indian and international curators with an interest in Indian art. The curators, nominated by a committee comprising leading academics and other curators, will be invited to submit proposals for the four annual exhibitions to be held in the lab.
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lundi 11 septembre 2017

Shadow Lines

Source The Indian Express by Vandana Kalra
The oldest nation is barely a few hundred years old and borders run through societies that are similar, where people even today, have families on its two sides, who speak the same language and share several old links. There is No Border Here (2006) is a set of printed tapes which are otherwise used to cordon and measure. The bottles of simulated blood in Blame (2001) or Tree Drawings (2013), look at the tension between man-made demarcations and nature. The act of naming and memory play has been part of my early works from the ’90s. I have always been interested in the ambitious exercises and the surety with which we are constantly inclined to classify ourselves and the absurdities and dangers that follow.
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samedi 9 septembre 2017

Howard Hodgkin’s Indian affair

Source Livemint by Tanuj Kumar
Opposite the Mint office in Delhi, a black banyan tree stands embedded in white marble. Only, instead of a real tree, it is a mural on the façade of the British Council building, designed by the British artist Howard Hodgkin at the invitation of architect Charles Correa in 1992. Hodgkin, one of the pre-eminent contemporary British artists, died in March, and come October, Sotheby’s in London will auction his prolific personal art collection, a substantial part of which comprises eclectic Indian art.
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vendredi 8 septembre 2017

The stars are aligned for Jitish Kallat’s new exhibition in Brussels

Source Architectural Digest by Uma Nair
This time he combines astronomy and geophysics in a pair of intricately detailed sculptures titled ‘Covariance’ (Sacred Geometry) that from afar may resemble a rock/an anthill/a fallen meteorite/an ancient fossil. Look closely, and you’ll find pairs of finely carved, tiny eyes modelled on different species, from mammals and birds to reptiles and fish.
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Gender, re-imagined

Source The Hindu by Sravasti Datta
The third edition of Gender Bender questions narrow definitions of sexuality through performances and installations. Gender Bender 2017, a joint project between Sandbox Collective and Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, co-curated by The Ladies Finger, will be held on September 9 and 10 at Goethe-Insitut. The grantees speak about their works.
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lundi 4 septembre 2017

Beyond the News: India’s antiques, neglected at home but treasured abroad

Source The Indian Express by Pooja Pillai
Chandigarh’s furniture heritage is in a legal twilight zone, in fact, since it is now recognised by everyone — including the authorities — as being valuable, yet remains bereft of any actual protection under Indian law. Activist Ajay Jagga, an advocate, says he has approached various authorities on the matter, including Chandigarh High Court and the CBI. “I wrote to the Ministry of Culture that since this is a matter of national heritage, they must find some way of declaring these furniture to be ‘art treasures’. That would mean that they can’t be sold out of the country,” Jagga said.
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An art exhibition to commemorate India after Independence

Source Mid-day by Benita Fernando
The birth of a new nation has been the subject of great art and great controversy. As the country completed 70 years of independence last month, the significance of the occasion has found a new commemoration through an exhibition curated by Dr Arshiya Lokhandwala. The title, India Re-worlded: Seventy Years of Investigating a Nation, should give audiences an indication about the theme of the exhibition, which spans 70 works, including 40 new commissions, by artists across generations. Lokhandwala, a curator and former gallerist, has retraced her doctoral thesis, on Postcolonial Palimpsests: Historicizing Biennales and Large-Scale Exhibitions in a Global Age, for this show. She refers to influential literary and postcolonial theorist, Gayatri Spivak. "Spivak revisited Martin Heidegger's original concept of "worlding" as a process of violence that emerges when territories get colonised by colonizers.
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vendredi 1 septembre 2017

How artist Ravinder Reddy’s sculptures depict women and their sexuality.

Source Hindustan Times by Nikhita Venugopal
The first thing you notice about G Ravinder Reddy’s sculptures are the eyes. Throughout his work across the decades, an unwavering stare can be seen in his figures — wide-eyed, bold and sensual. The second is a sense of familiarity. These aren’t mythical creatures. They’re the women who sell fish and vegetables. Students going to college. A woman on her way to work. When Reddy, 61, was a student in the early 1980s, he found that many of his contemporaries were influenced by European sculptors. It was a school of thought he didn’t wish to follow. “Why should we do something that we’re not familiar with and import from European masters?” he asked in an interview.
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Rendezvous with the Contemporaries

Source The Indian Express by Pallavi Chattopadhyay
Six galleries from the Capital join hands for the first edition of Delhi Contemporary Art Weekend. The display has brought the collections of Exhibit 320, Gallery Espace, Nature Morte, Shrine Empire, Latitude 28 and Vadehra Art Gallery under one roof, and includes specially commissioned and recent artwork.
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mercredi 30 août 2017

Indian Modernist masterpieces to go under the hammer at Christie’s auction in New York

Source Architectural Digest
At Christie’s Asian Art Week, works by artists, including Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Adi Davierwalla, Akbar Padamsee, Jehangir Sabavala, Ganesh Pyne, Manjit Bawa, and others, will go under the hammer at the South Asian Modern + Contemporary art auction in Rockefeller Center.
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Keeping the family legacy alive! Pharma scion Adar Poonawalla wants to promote Indian art museums

Source The Economic Times
He is the owner of an enviable art collection. Now, Adar Poonawalla, pharmaceutical scion and CEO of Serum Institute of India, has acquired a seminal Tyeb Mehta, oil-on-canvas creation from Astaguru's recently concluded 'Modern & Contemporary Indian Art' online auction. Poonawalla's passion for Indian art continues his family's legacy of supporting and encouraging Indian art, which the businessman believes, represents our culture. Therefore, in order to facilitate and spread awareness, Poonawalla plans on setting up an art museum showcasing the best works of modern and contemporary Indian artists. Stellar works that are part of the family's art collection will also be displayed in the museum.
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mardi 29 août 2017

How performance art is breaking new ground in India

Source Daily'O by Chinki Sinha
Ayyakann, the 73-year-old farmer, sat in the sun debating whether on Monday, which would be the 42nd day, they would shackle themselves and be dragged on the streets in yet another performance of protest. But before that, they would drink urine and eat human excreta. Performance, he said, was needed to induce reaction. It would be ephemeral. No act would be repeated. The farmer, who is a lawyer by education and dabbled in politics before orchestrating such protests, is aware of the subtleties and body shock value of performance art. And his tool isn’t the canvas or any material to depict the fragility of the human body and its suffering but the body itself. The body is the carrier of the trauma. So, when they had decided to stage protests at Jantar Mantar, they had scripted their performance. They had dug the graves, got the skulls and brought them over to the national capital and hung them around their necks. Ayyakann knew about the politics of invisibility. He knew they can’t be invisible men. Dadism, an art movement that channelised hyper imagination and realism, used everyday objects. These were their tools of performance. The farmers from Tamil Nadu had mice hanging from their mouths in an almost performance like protest to show their suffering. But who is a performance artist in India? Is such art without purpose? Is purpose important? Who is a performance artist? Is everything performance art here? Is it democratic?
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lundi 28 août 2017

What you see when you see: Clay: A Modernist take on tradition

Source Bangalore Mirror by Suresh Jayaram
This is the season of Ganesha chaturti and we see the much loved and manipulated icon been made in clay. But there has always been an elephantine problem when the ritual of ‘visarjan’- immersion and the aftermath of toxic paints and Plaster of Paris. As the festivities come to a close the lakes look like a war zone of bamboo armatures, fragmented Ganeshas floating and the dead fish. Here we see how a tradition of using clay and returning it to the lake is a cycle, a lesson in letting go has become a show of strength and size. In the contemporary Indian art context terracotta as a material has fascinated a few significant artists.
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Jogi art: The folk form developed and practised by a single family

Source Scroll'In by Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri
Ganesh Jogi and his wife Teju Jogi were nomadic bards who made a living by moving from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, singing traditional, devotional folk songs in the morning. In return they got grain, clothes and money. In the 1970s, Indian artist and cultural anthropologist Haku Shah came across the natives of Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, and insisted that they draw their songs to give the stories a visual vocabulary. Thus was born the folk art form named after the couple who created it – Jogi art.
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dimanche 27 août 2017

Mumbai sculptor finds his calling in scrap wood and The Space Age

Source Mid-Day by Benita Fernando
It is only in recent years that the interest in Davierwalla's legacy has been rekindled, largely through the showcase provided by two iterations of the exhibition, No Parsi is an Island: A Curatorial Re-reading Across 150 Years, in 2013 and 2016, curated by Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote. Adajania, a cultural theorist, says that when they showed sculptures and sketchbooks by Davierwalla, in the first iteration of No Parsi is an Island in Mumbai, people were amazed by how contemporary these works appeared.
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Power Agent

Source Pune Mirror by Vinutha Mallya
Gunwale next show, which will open in January 2018 at the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) in Berlin and Stuttgart, will deal with riots. “It is a crucial moment to reflect on the characteristics and long-term impact of the riot. In Gujarat, Sri Lanka, London — different riots of particular forms, of such different languages — they were complete eruptions. A lot is written about war and rebellions. However, an examination within the arts, on riots across phases in history and geopolitical spheres, in view of the rising far-right influence as an endemic force, must be carried out,” said the curator about her forthcoming project.
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