Art Musings is presenting a group exhibition featuring acclaimed artists Anjolie Ela Menon, Jayasri Burman and Maya Burman. Anjolie Ela Menon’s works are from her Divine Mother series. Through the mastery of her technique, Menon creates images that come alive but continue to exist in an existential time-warp. Menon’s paintings capture all the nuances and magic of motherhood. Menon’s protagonists are mythological figures as well as the ordinary people whom she portrays in her unique style. Her work is well known for the translucent textures which she creates by using thin glazes on Masonite. Jayasri Burman’s art, derived from the rich tradition of Hindu mythology, has carved out its own identity. The imagery in Jayasri Burman’s work has a dream-like and lyrical quality. Inspired by Indian folk element, the works have a unique sensitivity. Her deep-rooted understanding of Indian mythology, Bengali culture and tradition does not escape her artworks. In her paintings one sees the careful repetition of the surface, unwavering and exquisite, with layers of cross-hatching darkening her skies and the textures of fabrics adorning her characters. Maya Burman’s series of circular watercolour paintings are peopled, made up of characters that live in mythology and metaphor. Her figures float through fields, their bodies curving with the shapes of the landscape. Patterns weave and float around the central forms evoking a sense of exuberance and joie de vivre. Maya creates a dreamlike fairyland in her paintings. The striking thing about Maya’s paintings is the amount of detail in them. Burman’s paintings have a tapestry like effect where everything is subordinate to floral, decorative patterning, reminiscent of the French art nouveau tradition.
Art Musings presents Ray Trace, a solo exhibition of Baiju Parthan, showcasing a range of the artist’s lenticular works. He is one of the early exponents of new media art and mediatic-realism in the Indian contemporary art scene. The works on display are a combination of 3D graphics and lenticular printing technology. The process involves sculpting and modelling in three-dimensional virtual space using 3D software tools and presenting the result as stereoscopic prints that evoke the illusion of three-dimensional space and movement. Parthan’s vocabulary consists of arcane symbols, found imagery, as well as contemporary photographic and computer-generated imagery that are woven together to create artworks which reveal a dense multi-layered phenomenological landscape. Works on display include Parthan’s iconic series including Monument (2011) and Terminus (2017). These works belong to a series of new media works that re-imagine historic landmarks and the cityscape of Mumbai, by staging a virtual event that would impact and alter the viewer’s memory and recollection of the actual landmark, suggesting how the virtual could affect and alter the real.
Art Musings presents Sublime Machines, a solo exhibition by Raghava KK. In his artwork and his invented media, Raghava figures the notions of transcendence and sublimity for our time and its future. In this latest series of artworks, Sublime Machines, 2018, he imagines scientific reality as a source of the sublime, reinvesting the sphere of science with emotion and human intent. Raghava was inducted into the National Geographic Society in 2013 as an Explorer for pushing the boundaries of scientific exploration through art. Artistic creativity for him is a deeply decentered enterprise shared with the users of the artwork, which is evident in his numerous collaborations with other artists, technologists, corporations, educationists, scientists, academia, etc. His lectures, including 4 TED talks, are known for inspiring his audiences to expand their social and psychologically settled selves using art.
To coincide with the 96th birth anniversary of Padma Vibhushan SH Raza, Art Musings in association with the Raza Foundation is showcasing his paintings, as part of the ongoing Raza Utsav. Kshitij which opens on 22 February 2018, will showcase works from 2011 – 2015, in a week-long exhibition.
In the course of a career spanning nearly eight decades, Raza dedicated himself to a quest for vital forms that conveyed his earliest memories of landscape and cosmic expanse, language and silence. To Raza, the painting was akin to the meditative practice of Japa, the fully-engaged repetition of a mantra, deepened and concentrated into a pathway of energy.
At its deepest level, Raza’s art is distinguished by a profoundly hymn-like quality: it is charged by the constancy of prayer. It is a form of enunciation that reaches into the heart of that vast silence in which all sound is absorbed and from which all sound emanates. This is the true meaning of the dark plenum-void, the Bindu, which resides at the core of Raza’s art. The ‘Bindu’ has become more of an icon, sacred in its symbolism, and placing his work in an Indian context.
Art Musings Booth # B19features work by Sakti Burman, Satish Gujral, Anjolie Ela Menon, Prabhakar Kolte, Baiju Parthan, Maite Delteil, Smriti Dixit, Raghava KK, Maya Burman, Nilofer Suleman and Shilo Shiv Suleman.
The paintings by Sakti Burman, He is Dreaming & Nativity, include themes that the artist has visited throughout his artistic journey. Various Indian and European pasts flow into the confluence of his paintings, drawing from Hindu mythology and Biblical narratives, from the puppet theatre, the Mughal miniature ateliers, from Kalighat. Alongside West European art history and Bengali popular culture, he draws on a reservoir of family folklore. Satish Gujral’s paintings have a fluid energy. This sense of movement gives the works a sinuous and undulating form. The use of patina and color in the works create a subtle and aesthetic synergy. Anjolie Ela Menon weaves legendary narratives in her works as she combines myth with reality. Her paintings capture the nuances and magic of motherhood in the series Divine Mothers. She draws from mythology in these 2 works depicting Yashoda and Krishna, Parvati and Ganesh. Through the mastery of her technique, she creates images that come alive but continue to exist in an existential time-warp. Prabhakar Kolte’s Untitled paintings often slam an overpowering block of colour against the eye, with an aperture carved into it, so that we may look past at stains and drips, laddered motifs and floating veils. As though in a kaleidoscopic dance, his forms involve themselves in a never-ending process of dissolution and resolution, parting and coalescing, agitation and repose. TERMINUS, by Baiju Parthan belongs to a series of new-media artworks that re-imagines and alters historic monuments by staging virtual events using elements modeled in 3D graphics and photography. Presented through the medium of animated lenticular print technology, the artwork emerges as an interactive experience. Maite Delteil’s works have a languid quality and have an old world charm. My Paradise for You is divided into two bands where the flat red of the sky contrasts a green ground. The painting’s foreground is populated by birds, and trees constructed of bark are topped with balls of flowers in the artist’s trademark style. She brings together nature and artifice, creating a sense of balance and restraint which marks her paintings. Using a palette of fabrics, found objects and plastics, Smriti Dixit embraces the processes of experimentation and creation to communicate the concepts of rebirth, recycling and renewal. In the series, Doing, Undoing, Redoing, Smriti revisits her old works in her studio, and using activities as varied as stitching, quilting and adhering, she transforms these old works, almost like she transforms herself, time and time again. In Raghava KK’s latest series of artworks, Sublime Machines, he imagines scientific reality as a source of the sublime, reinvesting the sphere of science with emotion and human intent. Here Raghava has created a new compositional process, part human and part algorithm driven, to endow material reality to formerly purely digital modes of creation. Maya Burman’s paintings are a meeting ground of two cultures – Indian as well as French. The details of Indian miniature painting and European Middle Age architecture merge in her art, and literature and poetry are also very much present. Cascade of Flowers, a series of circular works, have a tapestry like effect where everything is subordinate to patterning, reminiscent of the French art nouveau tradition. Nilofer Suleman’s work is a coalition of styles that re-invoke Indian graphic culture in meticulous miniature-style canvases with characters that have lives of their own- speaking through their elongated almond eyes. Noorjahan Carpetwali invokes an older world. Ancient trade routes that spill carpets from Persia, migratory birds that make home in bazaars- calling upon a space where love, nature and culture coexist. Shilo Shiv Suleman’s art combines magical realism, technology and social justice. Solstice is a reflection on paths of light and shadow across the cosmos and our bodies. Resembling an ancient celestial device used to mark distances between planets, the central piece is painted on layers of wood and reflective mirror and speaks to the illumination of all things. With a series of embroideries Shilo creates her own astronomical instruments to watch stars with.
Art Musings will showcase the works of the legendary artist KG Subramanyan in an exhibition that opens at the gallery on 31 January 2018. The exhibition features over 30 works – including drawings, gouaches and reverse paintings on acrylic sheets – representing over five decades of his artistic production, from 1963 to 2014.
In the catalogue essay accompanying this exhibition, the poet and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote writes, “KG Subramanyan (1924-2016) was a seminal artist and pedagogue who left his formative imprint on postcolonial Indian art. His works transit seamlessly between object and illusion, people and their distorted mirror images, private occasions and public spaces. Vignettes from the boudoir are intercut with scenes from the marketplace. The lady at her toilette is never far away from the hawker peddling her wares. What we know of Subrahmanyan as a suave critic, a legendary teacher, and a man of sardonic, sometimes cutting humour, can sometimes divert us from the substance of his art – which delves playfully into the secret lives that we conceal behind the public masks we present to the world.”
As part of the Mumbai Gallery Weekend, Art Musings will host a walk-through on Saturday, 3 February 2018, between the distinguished artist Sudhir Patwardhan and Ranjit Hoskote on the art and legacy of KG Subramanyan, his impact on several generations of Indian artists and his continuing relevance as a major thinker.