The post-lockdown gallery is an interesting place where the space between artist and viewer is charged by meaning. Artists are rethinking their relationship with the public as they navigate public spaces again. This is one where the audience is not a passive observer but a participant in the artistic process. Shreya Pate, Tanmoy Samanta invite us to reflect on our domestic lives as well as the objects we hold. Art Exhibitions at Delhi’s Jamaat Art and Mumbai’s DAG invite us to explore how Indian art has changed over the generations. A showcase at Method Kala Ghoda focuses on the marginalised voices and history of women.
“The Form of Home” by Tanmoy Saanta, TARQ Mumbai
Tanmoy Samanta’s 3rd solo show at TARQ is a reflection of the pandemic and how it has changed our perceptions of domestic spaces. In her collages and watercolours, the Delhi-based artist weaves ideas of solitude and reflection into her work. The art exhibitions catalogue features Ranjit Hoskote’s essay, which was written by him after Samanta had organized her first solo show in Mumbai in 2014.
“Indian Blue”: From Realism and Abstraction at DAG, New Delhi
DAG’s ambitious group show is at its core a lesson in art history. It follows the path of Indian art from colonial era through post-Independence modernist abstraction through a study on blue. The art exhibitions explores the many evocations of blue, including its cultural and religious significance as well as its influence on political history. Among others, the works of MF Husain and FN Souza, Sunayani Deva, Prabhakar Barwe, and many others are notable.
“Small is Beautiful”, Jamaat Art, Mumbai
Jamaat Art’s group show is a celebration in detail. Ajay De’s auto-rickshaw drawings in charcoal are on display, while Satya Narayan’s elaborate Mithila paintings and Moti Kan’s intricate Mithila paintings are on display. Gautam Moti Karn, Gautam De, Gautam Pulkundwar and J Niranjan Chetty are some of the other artists. Each piece invites viewers to be a part its world, from modernist abstraction to folk art to contemporary.
New canvases, Sheetal Gattani, Chemould Prescott Road Mumbai
Sheetal Gattani’s canvases look monochromatic from first glance, but closer inspection reveals a complex layering. She begins by using black acrylic as a background. Then she carefully presses different coloured papers until the final piece has a complex interplay of different hues. For example, a large expanse of red will gradually reveal bursts o orange, green, and gold. The artwork changes with every glance.
“Adorning Shadows”, Radhika Khimji, Experimenter Kolkata
Radhika Khimji examines space and form through a series of paintings and life-sized sculptures as well as works on paper. Global artist Radhika Khimji elevates her visual landscape with embroidery and collages. This deconstructs the idea of form within the artwork. The gallery becomes a place where the viewer can move through it. They become mobile sculptures that react to the art they see.
Two exhibitions, Paresh Maity Kolkata
Paresh Maity is a prolific and talented artist in many different disciplines. Maity is a Tamluk native, a historic town in West Bengal. He grew up in the tradition idol-making and this knowledge informs his forthcoming exhibitions. Gallery Art Exposure, in collaboration with Birla Academy for Art and Culture, will present his sculptures and installations at “CAST”. Maity’s extensive collection of water-colour paintings, sketches, and drawings, which are heavily inspired by the landscape of his hometown will be displayed simultaneously at CIMA Gallery’s retrospective, “Noise of Many Waters”, curated Rakhi Sarkar.
“Laal Paar” at Method, Mumbai
Laal Paar is inspired by the Bengali handwoven cotton sari. The show uses relics of trash, such as buttons, hairpins, and ghungroos to reframe past narratives using the eyes of women who were historically erased from old stories. The show is curated by Surya Singh of Wolf, and Srila Chatterjee from Baro Market. It focuses on the female experience through symbolism, craft, and myth.
“Material Scars”, by Asim Waqif, Nature Morte New Delhi
Asim Waqif’s art is a result of his deep connection to materiality. Waqif mixes materials in surprising ways. He presents both industrial and natural mediums in a cohesive, but incongruous, unit. A recent collaboration with Nagaland cane artisans is worth mentioning. It represents an improvement in Waqif’s oeuvre. Waqif’s original photographs are also on display. They were created using his signature technique of manipulating shadow and paper.
“Untold”, by Shreya Patel at Galerie Mirchandani+ Steinruecke in Mumbai
Shreya Pate uses her architectural training to create complex arrangements of built forms that appear simple, but are cleverly designed. Concrete-washed concrete is strangely familiar, because Pate’s sculptures were inspired by the architecture of our daily lives and domestic spaces. These sculptures invite viewers to reflect on their fragility and how they relate to the environment.
“Avinash Paricha: A Retrospective”, at Museo Camera Gurugram
Avinash Pasricha, a veteran photographer, has photographed some of India’s most famous classical performers for decades. Museo Camera has 90 photos from his extensive collection. These photographs not only document the photographer’s journey but also show the history of Indian classical performances as seen through his lens. You should also be on the lookout for photographs of MS Subbulakshmi and Pt Bhimsen Joshi as well as Pt Birju Maharaj (Begum Akhtar) and Pt. Kumar Gandharva.
“Come to Play” by Darpan Kaur, The Project Cafe in Goa
Samira Seth curated this exhibit of Darpan Kaur’s paintings. It pays homage to Goa’s lush forest and draws inspiration from contemporary artist “Wild Things”. Kaur uses oils, acrylics, and mixed media to reflect the colours of Goa’s topography. Her work is dark and distressing, but very evocative. She is not only inspired by the natural world around her, but she is also able intuit and to consider its power, emotion, and transience.
“Phantasmagoria”, Gallery Latitude 28, New Delhi
This group showcase, presented by Bhavna Kalkar, is a response the “frenzy” of stimulations that shape our lives. Each artist examines the mental landscape of capitalism and its relationship to it. These works are parody-oriented and mockumentary, but they also criticize the notions of high and low art.
“Poetry of Lived Spaces – A Brush with the Lens” by Artspeaks India
The virtual exhibition by Artspeaks India, curated by Georgina maddox, is a reflection of how the pandemic changed the lives of people around the globe. Aditya Arya and Gigi Scaria, Parul Shaw, Ravi Agarwal, Shalini Passi and Ravi Sharma use architecture and space to represent the horrors of the pandemic as well as the isolation that comes with the lockdown. The exhibition exaggerates the variety of these spaces throughout the globe and confronts us with both the universality of deserted latrines and the feeling of loneliness.