A quick look into shows that are holding out and keeping their doors open to small crowds despite the pandemic says Georgina Maddox
River of Faith
A Solo Exhibition of Jayasri Burman
Gallery Art Exposure
On till 1st March 2022.
Curated by Ina Puri
The artist Jayasri Burman pays tribute to the Ganga that she grew up by as a girl and now deals with as a woman. Her new body of work was never seen before and speaks poetically not only about the manner in which we have mistreated the Ganga but also on how nature eventually triumphs over humankind. Executed in her inimitable style, that is linear charcoal work with washes of subtle acrylic colour, Jayasri brings us the myths, traditions and folklore surrounding the sacred Ganga.
Factually the Ganga winds its way for over fifteen hundred miles from the Himalayan glaciers through twenty-nine cities and seventy towns of India to finally merge into the Bay of Bengal. Among the many myths, there are those revolving around her descent, about a wish-fulfilling cow and several others that are as varied and as interesting. Centering around this backdrop of the mystic and tales, the mighty river holds, artist Jayasri chose her magnum opus, River of Faith.
“If I could paint sound, I would try and capture the mystical notes of the Ganga. But how does one express the many facets of the mighty river – its tranquility, wilderness, movement and immortality. Ganga is how I attempt to compose the balance between its fluidity and the rootedness of faith it evokes. Over 2020 and 2021’s pandemic gloom, I have witnessed the abuse faced by Ganga on multiple occasions. Through my work I wish to spread the message that it’s a circle we all inhabit, and only if we nurture nature and not make her suffer, will humanity be able to live harmoniously,” states Burman.
As an artist and humanist moved by the extreme desecration and pollution of the sacred waters of Ganges, she has presented a vibrant ensemble of creations in her show,” adds Somak Mitra, Director, Art Exposure.
The exhibition opened on the 11th of December and shifted from its grand Bikaner House premier to Gallery Art Exposure in Kolkata till 1st March 2022.
Order of Magnitude
Ishara Art Foundation
On till 16th June 2022
Jitish Kallat’s new solo Order of Magnitude, provides viewers with a glimpse into the artist’s deliberations on the overarching interconnectivity between individual, universal, planetary and extra-terrestrial dimensions. It is the artists first major solo exhibition in West Asia and the Levant. The new works include paintings, multimedia installations, drawings and site-specific interventions.
Kallat’s oeuvre sits between fluid speculation, precise measurement and conceptual conjectures producing dynamic forms of image-making. Using abstract, schematic, notational and representational languages, he engages with different modes of address, seamlessly interlacing the immediate and the cosmic, the telescopic and the microscopic, the past and present.
In 2021 Kallat followed a ritual of making a daily drawing as part of a durational study in graphite, aquarelle pencil and gesso stains. Each work comprises diverse forms anchored by the same three sets of numbers: the algorithmically estimated world population, the number of new births, and the death count noted at time of the work’s creation. Human life and death are abstracted in drawings that are both graphic and painterly, reflecting on extinction and evolution.
Alongside these studies is a wall-sized painting titled Postulates from a Restless Radius. The work takes off from cartographic representations and in place of planetary geography, it assembles signs and speculations, at once evoking botanical, sub-oceanic, celestial, and geological formations, signatures of growth and entropy. A new iteration of Kallat’s immersive installation Covering Letter is also on display. Images from the Golden Records that travelled as part of NASA’s 1977 Voyager 1 and 2 space mission rest on shelves along two opposite walls. Placed inside programmed LED frames, 116 parallax prints flicker in a breath-like cadence.
Finally, a site-specific intervention by the artist titled N-E-S-W serves as an allusive clue to reading the exhibition. The exhibition will be accompanied by physical and virtual tours, educational and public programmes, a newly commissioned text by Amal Khalaf and artist conversations over the duration of the exhibit.
Contemplations in Woodcut
𝐒𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐚 𝐏𝐚𝐮𝐥 𝐀𝐫𝐭 𝐆𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐲
On till February 2022
Jogen Chowdhury is an artist who has lived through the East Bengal partition and he has a very deep connect to his own culture even though he has been exposed to the Modernism of the West. Ink has always been his forte and he is also known for his crosshatched works in water-colour and pastel.
Woodcut is also a medium that the artist has explored aggressively with the sinuous line exploring the sometimes flaccid and dysplastic forms. Located in Vasant Vihar New Delhi, the Surrendra Paul Art Gallery presents in collaboration with Art Alinda a limited edition of woodcut prints by the artist.
Chowdhury has consciously avoided the imitation of the European and Bengal schools and strove instead to invent his own idiom. In the artists own words “What I felt quite strongly about was the need to create something new and original, something which could not be accomplished either by replication of Western Art or by falling back on Indian art, in other words, on ancient India and its heritage alone… The other idea that struck me was that it was my own characteristics that would define and determine my art and its conventions. My memories, my dreams, my thoughts, my environment – they could all become subjects of my works.” (The artist shared these thoughts during his solo at the Glenbarra Art Museum, Japan, in 2005). This exhibition captures his thoughts and ideas about the human form through the expressive medium of woodcut.
Marks in Time
Perspectives in Ceramics
At Latitude 28, Lado Sari
On till February 2022.
Digressing from the core narrative and challenging the dominant model of ceramics as functional object or decorative, the artists Antra Sinha and Khanjan Dalal are both engaged with ‘discursive sites, that examines that range from platonic solids that underpin structures in the natural world to the symbolic language,’ as observed by Kristine Michael who has penned the curatorial note for the show, that opened at Latitude 28 in Lado Sarai, Delhi. The exhibition did not have a big opening as planned due to the Omicron scare, but the show is open and encouraging people to visit in small safe groups.
The UK-based Antra Sinha seeks to enter the world we ‘inhabit’ through her intense search for the geometrical structures of the universe in the shape of the hexagon and the Fibonacci sequence. Inspired by the Zen monks’ ink drawings of the square, circle and triangle of the universe, she began her creative journey by translating these into three dimensions. According to Antra, ‘I was completely enamoured of the tetrahedron because it is a minimal stable form and made me liken it to myself when I was going through a period of searching for stability in my personal life.’ In looking for ways to make the geometric form more organic, Sinha came upon the form that she calls the ‘tetrarc’. This has so inspired her that she has made it from ‘minuscule to monumental’ in all its iterations in residencies nationally and internationally.
The Ahmedabad-based Dalal has used his art to explore and explain the ‘state of humanity’. Dalal problematizes the ideology of maleness and violence in his arresting installation works ‘47 Ronin’. Based on a Japanese folk tale, also known as Treasury of Loyal Retainers in its Kabuki performance form, it tells a gripping tale of revenge and blood lust. What is communicated in the installation of the forty-seven totems is a sense of darkness besides the communality of a commemorative ceremony. Dalal responds to the toxic violence.