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Various Artist
01 June – 25 July 2023

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Art Musings presents a group show ‘Visages’ featuring acclaimed artists KG Subramanyan, Sakti Burman, Jogen Chowdhury, Jayasri Burman, Maïté Delteil, T Vaikuntam, Suhas Roy, Laxma Goud,Suhas Bahulkar, Neeraj Goswami, Lalu Prasad Shaw which opens on 1 June 23. The exhibition features paintings in oils, acrylic & watercolor as well as etchings and sculptures in their trademark style.

Visages’ engages with various aspects of humanity with the stylized representation of the human form. Femininity, grace and sensuality are tackled in the characteristic visual languages of artists Jogen Chowdhury, Suhas Roy, Suhas Bahulkar and Neeraj Goswami. In Lalu Prasad Shaw’s serene profile portraits, we get a glimpse of elegance in Bengali women draped in saris, holding a mirror or flower. Alluding to mythology, Thota Vaikuntam and Sakti Burman portray playfulness in their characters who could be musicians or deities. The former uses a colourful, primary colour palette in a village setting. The latter’s contour drawings are more Western in manner. A gamut of subjects is addressed by Laxma Goud through his works – from the representation of deities, village scenes and, sexual intimacy in couples. The essence of cohabitation between animals and humans is seen in the works of Goud as well as in the suite of pen and ink drawings by Jayasri Burman. In the finest details, Maïté Delteil renders in graphite on paper surrealistic dreams. KG Subramanyan too portrays the state of the mind with activity in homely interior spaces.

Baiju Parthan, Wheel of Fortune -Rabbit Hole, animated 3D lenticular print, 36'' x 36'' 2019

Point Clouds
Baiju Parthan
06 March to 31 March ’23

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Art Musings opened ‘Point Clouds’, a solo exhibition of Baiju Parthan on 6 March 2023, showcasing lenticular works. Point clouds (the technical term for location data map representing objects in three dimensions) are generally produced using 3D scanners and photogrammetry software, which measure many points on the external surfaces and objects to chart them as a cloud of location data points. Point clouds form the foundation for recreating landmarks and real-world locations in virtual reality.

Jayasri Burman, Srishti, acrylic on canvas, 96'' x 96'', 2022

Jayasri Burman
12 Jan – 28 Feb 2023

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Art Musings presents Dhārā, an exhibition that brings together recent works of renowned artist Jayasri Burman. One sees the influence of the rich cultural heritage of Bengal that is predominant in Jayasri Burman’s work. Fables and folk tales from her childhood creep into the narrative, which is full of myth and magic, rituals and festivals.  Jayasri Burman has evolved, over a period of time, an iconography that is saturated in the aura of Nature’s nurturing, sustaining, maternal capacities. She invests these capacities in the archetypal figure of the Great Mother, manifested as the Devi, the guardian of waters both still and flowing, attended by animals symbolically associated with fertility and plenitude. Her paintings have an altar-like quality, and depict Nature as divinity. This exhibition features a set of ideas that has absorbed Jayasri over the last several years: Birth, Nature, The Sacred Feminine. As the artist delves deeper into these concepts, there emerges a body of work, delicately nuanced and loaded with fine imagery.

Jayasri says about this body of works, “Birth is the beginning of life. The origin of a journey, from a mysterious somewhere. The Feminine creates the power to transform the present into the future. She knows she is the beginning and the end. Her mystery is ever-changing and beyond comprehension. There is nothing beyond her. She is the nurturer of the cradle of birth, this Earth. The Feminine is what carries away the suffering of the world, and weaves into it an enigmatic cleansing to return it to the world as life – the force of continuity. The earth carries in her soul the power of regeneration, ensuring the return of spring every year, the return of sleep, of rest, of peace. The world breathes out of her cornucopia of strength. That is what is essentially feminine.”

As part of this exhibition, Art Musings has published a monograph authored by poet and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote, featuring an essay along with some of the author’s poems, specially written in response to this body of works by Burman.

In the art of Jayasri Burman, nature is treated as a generative Feminine, a principle of creativity, a source of strength that can absorb all shock and trauma while yet expressing itself through a plenitude of organic expressions: an abundance of water, an efflorescence of plant forms, a diversity of animal life. In personifying these powers of primal regeneration, Jayasri reaches for the archetypes of the Devi in her various aspects, as Bhoomi or earth, Prakriti or nature, Srishti or the environment, Bija or seed. We have gathered all these aspects together, in this exhibition of new works, under the sign of Dhārā, which means flow, currency, fluency; a word that enjoys a pleasing and playful linguistic relationship with Dhara, the stable one who sustains all, another name for the Earth in the abundant Sanskrit repertoire.

Jayasri’s Dhārā summons us to an awareness of the vulnerability of a planet that has always given more than it has taken; a planet whose powers of self-regeneration we have taken cruelly for granted. In her evocations of nature as the Feminine, we may discern such mythic exemplars as the yakshi, the shala-bhanjika and the matrika, nature spirits who protect water sources, groves and the magic of language; we sense, in these compelling figures, the presence of the Devi. Through Jayasri’s forms of re-enchantment, we begin to make our way back to a more equitable and sustainable form of living with nature, living in nature, living as nature.”

(Excerpt from the monograph by Ranjit Hoskote)

IAF, Installation View - Shilo Shiv Suleman

India Art Fair
Various Artist
09 Feb – 12 Feb 2023

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Art Musings participated in the 2023 edition of the India Art Fair, Booth, showcasing works by 6 leading artists. The line-up included Sakti Burman, Baiju Parthan, Maya Burman, Gopikrishna & Shilo Shiv Suleman, along with a solo space displaying works by French artist Maïté Delteil.

Works by Indian master artist Sakti Burman featured a suite of small canvas paintings that seem to exist in a world of reverie and fantasia populated by mythic beings. Multi-media artist Baiju Parthan presented an immersive triptych, ‘A Rose is a Rose is a Rose’The artist used the quote as a springboard to make a philosophical reflection on three distinct spaces of world-views that are mutually exclusive, but overlap in our present everyday experience. France based artist Maya Burman’s watercolour panels, peopled by pneumatic figures, depicted in moments of play and festivity expressive of an abundant joie de vivre. Maya’s characters live in a dreamlike fairyland, rife with mythology and metaphor. A consummate storyteller, Gopikrishna peoples his surrealist universe with myriad creatures and characters, each conveying their own subtle wisdom. Gopikrishna’s vocabulary draws on a multitude of sources – on the occult manuscript, the folktale, the Tamil theatre backdrop, and the Kerala temple painting tradition. In a series of paintings and sculptures inspired by her time living in Balinese forests, artist Shilo Shiv Suleman reclaimed Eden as existing here on earth, in all its imperfections. Laced with medicinal plants, it reminds us of the alchemy of the earth. The archetypal images of Eden are immutable and everywhere- serpent, tree, fig leaf, fall.

Art Musings also presented a solo exhibit of Maïté Delteil, accompanied by a new book ‘As the Seasons Turn and Return, The Sky’, authored by Ranjit Hoskote. Maïté’s oil on canvas works play with scale, as she dwells on fruits, flowers, and birds with a miniaturist’s love of jewel-like detail. Maïté’s palette is scrumptious; glowing reds, pollen-bright yellows, candied pinks, lambent blues and succulent greens. These paintings emerge at the cusp between landscape and still life, between nature and nature morte. The book invites the reader into survey of Delteil’s practice, which now extends across seven decades, and celebrates the artist in her ninetieth year. Hoskote situates Delteil’s work in the contexts of the classical genres and their transformation, European modernism, and the transcultural experience of living and working both in France and India.

Paresh Maity, Utopian Kaleidoscope -I, oil & acrylic on canvas, 7.5' x 7.5' (90'' x 90'') , 2022

‘Infinite Light’
Paresh Maity
05 Dec ’22 – 10 Jan ’23

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Infinite Light’ is a major and multi-genre upcoming exhibition of the work of the renowned artist Paresh Maity. The exhibition brings together the various art forms that Paresh has explored during his artistic journey. The vast repertoire of artworks on display span a time frame from the 1990’s to his most recent creations, each one bearing his signature strength and mastery over medium and colour, combining elements of paintings, large scale installations, sculpture, theatre and soundscape. Art Musings who is presenting the exhibition in Mumbai has worked with Maity over a period of time, and has collaborated with him on a number of exhibitions. Their involvement in this project celebrates their ongoing commitment to Maity’s art, and his commitment to them as fellow travellers on his expansive journey.  The Mumbai chapter, which opens on 4 December ’22 is being held at an off-site venue of Snowball Studios. The mammoth exhibition is a show of the kind that, in scale and grandeur, India has not witnessed before.

Exhibition Curatorial Advisor Ranjit Hoskote says “Paresh Maity’s art embodies a deep fascination with light as a shaping power, with colour as a ground of being, and with the human being as witness and participant in epic-scale cosmic dramas. This exhibition maps his investment in painting, drawing, sculpture and installation, as well as his quiet and lifelong preoccupation with ceramics. In each of these forms, Maity translates into aesthetic propositions his memories of landscape and riverscape, the sensations he has absorbed during his journeys across India and the world, and his ceaseless excitement in the face of the world’s changing moods and seasons.”

Paresh has been working tirelessly to realize this project, and he says: “This exhibition is a culmination of years of quest, seeking to capture the essence of nature. The most important inspiration in my work is nature. As an artist I observe, perceive and imagine – an image forms itself which I then express on canvas. Impulse is always there, it is inherent, when I paint I try to express that inner essence and depict that onto my artwork. It is the spirit that drives me and my work. In life while we try to capture what we see, we also keep changing our way of seeing changes. The way I looked at a landscape 20 years ago is not what I see now. I am enamoured by the magic of light. I live every day of life just absorbing and understanding light for its qualities of magic and caprice. Colour helps to express light, not the physical phenomenon. You can see this play of light in almost all my works. Even in abstraction you can see the play of luminosity. My journey has led me, not only to the discovery of the chiaroscuro of light and shade, but also to an inner tranquility – a quiet glow which I hope will act as a beacon of light to guide me on my journey in the years to come.”

Says Sangeeta Raghavan (Gallery Director, Art Musings), “Paresh Maity and Art Musings share an amazing journey spanning over three decades – a gallery-artist bond that goes beyond the boundaries that define it, to a relationship cemented in deep trust and warm friendship. Working with him on this mammoth exhibition has been truly exciting. The recent body of artworks displays a shift; we see a touch of abstraction that has come into his art, the paintings are more conceptual and engage the viewer to draw their own narrative. In this latest series, Paresh has drawn from a wide range of experiences and travels, from influences of literature, film and history, and there is a new dimension in these densely layered artworks. Paresh is at a stage in his journey where he is able to be fearlessly experimental. It has been interesting to see his evolution; carrying the essence of his past with his vision firmly fixed on the future.”

Honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India, Paresh has held more than 80 solo exhibitions of his work across the globe in the course of his career. His works have been acquired by major institutions including the British Museum, London, the Rubin Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, and the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata. Several books have been published on his art. Among his public commissions is a monumental painting at Terminal 3, Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. This is one of the largest paintings across the world in a public space

Gopikrishna, Summer Night, oil on canvas, 204 x 214 cms, 2020 (1)

Anything Can Happen
15 Sep – 26 Nov 2022

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Art Musings presented a solo exhibition of Kerala based artist Gopikrishna after a hiatus 9 years. The exhibition entitled Anything Can Happen featured paintings in oil and watercolour, done over the last decade. Presenting an immense body of works, the show was divided into 2 chapters, Chapter I, In the Land of the Never-ending Story, from 15 September – 14 October ‘22 and Chapter II, The Everlasting Spell of Mutiny from 20 October – 26 November ‘22.

A consummate storyteller, Gopikrishna peoples his universe with myriad creatures and characters, each conveying their own subtle wisdom.  In his surrealistic artworks, one can witness the ordinary and the impossible, unity and solitude, illumination and darkness. To enter the pictorial world of Gopikrishna is to be plunged into a pageant of extraordinarily animated fables. Gopikrishna’s vocabulary draws on a multitude of sources – on the occult manuscript, the folktale, the Tamil theatre backdrop, and the Kerala temple painting tradition.

Ranjit Hoskote, the curatorial advisor to this exhibition, wrote: “Gopikrishna is a painter of rare visionary power. His works evoke brilliant, phantasmagoric fictions in which hybrids of human, animal and machine inhabit radically disturbing scenarios of social transformation, political turmoil, and cultural conflict. Gopikrishna takes up the perennial themes of the epics – war, love, duty, loss, and quest – and transposes them to futuristic landscapes that are, at the same time, allegories of our troubled present. We come upon chimeras of various kinds here: traffic policemen who direct fates rather than vehicles, robotic guards, assassins, brigands, and interrogators. A number of the paintings assume the form of hallucinatory choreographies of warfare. A recurrent motif in Gopikrishna’s art is the infernal machine, the contraption, the embodiment of a larger-than-human consciousness that is committed to control, torture, surveillance, and war. And yet, set against this unsettling menace, there is also a profound tenderness in Gopikrishna’s work. Witness, for instance, the human figures who cling to the branches of a frangipani tree, asleep. Or the owls who transfix us with their quizzical stares, guardians of occult knowledge. Everywhere, in these paintings, we find the impulse to connect across disjunction: humans reach out to animals, plants to animals, machines to other machines. At the core of Gopikrishna’s art is the belief that the world is generated by twin natures that have been set asunder by historical circumstances, and must be brought together again: the animal and the angelic, the civil and the military, the civic and the feral.”

(Extract from catalogue essay by Ranjit Hoskote)

Collection -Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation- SH Raza, Zamin, Acrylic on canvas, 189 x 300, 1971

Zamin: Homelands
S H Raza
01 June – 31 July 2022

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Art Musings is honoured to be a collaborator on ‘Zamin: Homelands’, an exhibition of works by S H Raza, at the JNAF Gallery, CSMVS Museum. This is a momentous year, in which Raza’s centenary coincides with the Museum’s 100th year. The exhibition is presented through a multi-partnership between the CSMVS Museum, Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation, Art Musings and the Raza Foundation.

The exhibition’s title is inspired by Raza’s seminal work ‘Zamin’, created in 1971. The exhibition explores the artist’s landscapes through a conception of place, territory, borders and belonging. In ‘Zamin: Homelands’, we feature paintings from the Jehangir Nicholson Collection and other collections in the city alongside archival material sourced from the Raza Foundation.

To quote exhibition curator Puja Vaish, “‘Zamin: Homelands’ traces Raza’s oeuvre as a landscape artist, a diaspora artist and as an artist in pursuit of an Indian modern sensibility. In Raza’s artworks we see these paradigms merge through a recourse to abstraction. The exhibition hinges on the period between the 60s – 70s, when Raza moved from painting street scenes to an abstraction of nature, which originated through a desire to connect with the Indian forest landscape. From this defining juncture, we look back at some of the early cityscapes of Bombay, the French landscapes and the later ‘Bindu’ works of the 80s which he became most known for.

Among the first Indian diaspora artists, Raza encapsulated in his work the profound experience of expressing one’s identity through the eyes of the other within a global context. The external to inward gaze, meshed ideas of the native and the foreign, the East and the West. The quest for rootedness in one’s origins is observed in many of the artists who moved to the West. For Raza, this meant a deep study of Indian aesthetics, spiritual scriptures and revisiting his childhood- to rekindle a sense of wonder and meaning to nature and the environment. The exhibition showcases Raza’s experiments with European and Indian painterly traditions to arrive at a unique form of abstraction. Raza’s painting titles, letters exchanges and diary notes written in French, English and Devanagari, reveal his varied knowledge of art, literature, poetry and philosophy of world cultures.”

Paresh Maity, Infinity Games - II, Mixed media on canvas , 84'' x 90'', 2021..

India Art Fair
Various Artists
28 April – 01 May 2022

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Art Musings is participating in the upcoming edition of the India Art Fair, held in Delhi, 28th April – 1st May ’22, showcasing 7 of our artists. The line-up includes Sakti Burman, Paresh Maity, Baiju Parthan, Maya Burman, Nilofer Suleman, Milburn Cherian & Shilo Shiv Suleman.

Works by Indian master artist Sakti Burman featuring at the fair are miniature watercolors of the Harlequin, a recurrent figure in the artist’s body of works. The Harlequin is a multi-purpose alter ego, a version of Burman’s multi-faceted self-portraiture: the artist as one who is both participant and witness, actor and observer in his own dramas of creation, communication and being.

Leading contemporary artist Paresh Maity is exhibiting a monumental diptych. The work on display ‘Infinity Games’, takes us into the spectacular setting in Benares during the festival of Dev Deepavali, where the waters are filled with diyas and the skies light up with hot-air balloons.

Multi-media artist Baiju Parthan is presenting immersive, multi-layered experiential dreamscapes. Parthan’s paintings reflect the artist’s long standing interest in ethnobotany, and psychedelic plants that generate psychotropic substances. The poppy flower with its perception shifting potential is used as a metaphor marking a threshold, and an entry point into domain of the metaphysical.

France based artist Maya Burman’s tondo watercolours are peopled by pneumatic figures, depicted in moments of play and festivity expressive of an abundant joie de vivre. Maya’s characters live in mythology and metaphor. Maya creates a dreamlike fairyland in her paintings, merging details of Indian miniature painting and European Middle Age architecture in her art.

Master storyteller Nilofer Suleman fills her canvas with kaleidoscopic imagery. Suleman, who devoted herself to cartography for many years, now maps terrains that are shaped by memory, fabular narrative, embroidered travellers’ tales and sensory excitements. Her protagonists seem to have stepped out of miniature paintings, sometimes displaying the elongated eyes of Jaina manuscript illuminations, and at other times equipped with the almond eyes prized in Mughal painting.

The mythical realms of Milburn Cherian’s paintings are sumptuous in their detail and populated by a large number of figures, charged with the energy of collective participation in a ritual or a sacred mystery. While her paintings build into a phantasmagoria, she structures her works meticulously, holding all the events in her frames together within subtle and shifting grids of perspective. Her paintings carry the memories of several cultures, continents and traditions.

After a deep immersion with the Nile, comparing Indian and Egyptian cosmologies and civilizations, multi-media artist Shilo Shiv Suleman attempts to treat our rivers as sacred once again. In a contemporary video piece, inspired by river myths, Shilo dons a wearable sculpture and forms a procession, ‘Rebirthing the River’. Depictions of divine rivers are decoded – sensual and sacred, wide-hipped and worthy of worship. In her paintings, she fuses self-portraiture with the iconography of once-and-future goddesses, guardians of the earth, presiding over an exuberance that is both literal and figurative.

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‘Mythical Realms’
Milburn Cherian
01 April – 15 May 2022

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‘Mythical Realms’, a solo exhibition by Milburn Cherian, features select paintings done over a period of the last decade. Milburn’s paintings are sumptuous in their detail, populated by a large number of figures, charged with the energy of collective participation in a ritual or a sacred mystery. While her paintings build into a phantasmagoria, she structures her works meticulously, holding all the events in her frames together within subtle and shifting grids of perspective. Attentive to the merging of periods and styles, her paintings carry the memories of several cultures, continents and traditions.

Smriti Dixit, Reverie, Details - 4

Savage Flowers
Smriti Dixit
17 January – 28 Feb 2022

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Art Musings presents ‘Savage Flowers’, a solo exhibition of Smriti Dixit, curated by Nancy Adajania.  The exhibition presents Dixit’s sculptures at a point when the artist has come powerfully into her own. It features site-specific installations and sculptures, woven, variously, from plastic tags and strings of fabric: everyday materials found, made, recycled and upcycled. Dixit’s work points to the complicated slippage between the spiritual and the commercial, the organic and the industrial, the sustainable and the unsustainable. It gestures towards the struggle for survival in which the human and non-human species are engaged, on a fragile planet that they must share.To quote exhibition curator Nancy Adajania, “These are infinite projects, constructed patiently and repetitively over a period of time and invested with endless labour. Dixit blurs the line between the organic and the industrial. Her sculptures are fecund creatures that might startlingly throw out a green shoot if you lavish them with focused attention. Even as they consolidate into archetypal and biomorphic forms that remind us of mandalas, screens, yonis or cocoons, these sculptures are an extension of the artist’s body, its stresses and strains, dreams and disquiets channeled through moments of stillness, growth, and even overgrowth.”