CWG canvas: 20 top Indian contemporary artists pool work

Friday, October 1, 2010

NEW DELHI - An exhibition displaying art by 20 top Indian contemporary artists, Looking Glass: The Existence of Difference, opened at four simultaneous venues here Friday ahead of the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games 2010.

The venues of the exhibition are - the Arts.I gallery of the Religare Arts Initiative, the Max Mueller Bhavan, the British Council and the American Centre - all on Kasturba Gandhi Marg in central Delhi. The exhibition was curated by independent artist-art historian Gayatri Sinha.

We wanted to make the 100-metres stretch on Kasturba Gandhi Marg happening. There are four key arts and culture centres on the stretch adjacent to the Connuaght Place, the capital’s business hub with a colonial past,” Mukesh Panicka, director of the Religare Arts Initiative, said.

“The month-long exhibition will add to the capital’s experiential tourism potential and open up the best of country’s contemporary art to visitors, he said.

The Religare Arts Initiative also completes two years Oct 1.

The works on display are driven by contemporary social issues.

A mixed media sculpture and an oil painting by leading contemporary artist T.V. Santosh depicts the impact of violence on society. He has used images of violence and wars from newspapers and have translated them into his art.

Everyday we wake up to violence in the newspapers. It has become a part of our lives. I have transcribed the newspaper images in my language on the canvas. For example, I have used defence maps in which countries mark their targets as my artistic motifs. They speak of the violence, strategies and manipulation, T.V. Santosh told IANS.

The artist, who is preparing for a solo show in Berlin next March, said that violence was the kind of inner logic that drove his work.

Kerala-based artist N.N. Rimzon, who created a bronze sculpture of goddess Durga and four landscapes from his state, said “the landscapes are stark painted in raw colours, giving the compositions a primitive look.”

The sculpture of the goddess is a healing symbol of love and protection in a social landscape that is marked by failures of communism and socialism, the rise of globalisation, market forces, terrorism and existential crises. Art should always have some relation with life, the artist, who teaches art at Kerala’s Alleppey district, told IANS.

Curator Gayatri Sinha said the exhibition was an extension of her book, Voices of Change-20 Contemporary Artists, which documents contemporary art movement in India between 1955 and 1970.

Indian art in the 1950s and 1960s was influenced by the Nehruvian contradictions and his projects. The 1970s was a decade of social conflict. There was a great sense of moving away from the ideals of art. Its greatest indicator is cinema. The 1950s were marked by cinema like ‘Pyaasa’, ‘Aag’ and ‘Jaagte Raho’.

“But art followed a different trajectory in the 1980s and thereafter. It showed critique about common concerns like inhumanity, violence and terror. Artists are the forerunners in bringing the changes to the notice of the people, Sinha told IANS.

The exhibition sought to identify the role of the artist as an interpreter and moderator, she said.

The participating artists include stalwarts like Jitish Kallat, T.V. Santosh, Shilpa Gupta, N.S. Harsha, Bose Krishnamachari, Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, Anita Dubey, N.N. Rimzon, Atul Dodiya Pushapamala N, Riyas Komu and Jagannath Panda.

Filed under: Commonwealth Games

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