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PICKS

20130127150404-rise-and-shine The Subbaiah Way   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Kiran Subbaiah at Chatterjee & Lal Gallery December 21st, 2012 - February 9th, 2013
Posted 7/18/13

Kiran Subbaiah has oft in the past featured himself in his videos, as he does in his newest solo show, Narcissicon. Over time (and Narcissicon has taken fourteen years), his various avatars could not be contained - choosing a single channel video as a format, his newest work splits the other Subbaiah's dreams, fantasies, playful stagings merging into a concatenation of droll events that explore the theme of narcissism, but ironically, the work never really takes itself too seriously. There is... [more]

20121221080509-img_8049 Infinity starts with a dot.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Waqas Khan at Lakeeren Art Gallery November 8th, 2012 - December 31st, 2012
Posted 7/18/13

Waqas Khan seems to pick tense political times to show in Mumbai, in 2010 at Gallery Lakeeren, as a court verdict on a contentious demolition of the Babri Masjid (mosque) was to be delivered and this time, as the leader of a Hindu right-wing political party passed away. At both times, Hindu- Muslim communal harmony prevailed. Waqas Khan must bring the Sufi contemplation and meditative ways that inform his practice with him to the city, calming tempers in volatile situations. Trained in the Miniature Style at th... [more]

20121202205358-_dsc2669 In 'GHAR' (Home), Javed Iqbal captures the politics of the land   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Javed Iqbal at Studio-X Mumbai September 13th, 2012 - September 28th, 2012
Posted 7/18/13

Late September saw a week of photography in Mumbai - shows and talks. At the National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai photographers Ketaki Sheth and David Desouza, and Magnum photographer Abbas, spoke about their work. Judith Mara Gutman, whose book, Through Indian Eyes, was one of the first that told the story of indigenous Indian photographers, spoke at length, about how pictures were taken, sourced and archived. For photography enthusiasts it was a primer to FOCUS Festival Mumbai that will be held over a fortnight in March 201... [more]

20120925065509-2ceiling Life in Lapsed Time.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Prajakta Potnis at The Guild Art Gallery September 15th, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Posted 7/18/13

As I rang the bell at The Guild -- this strange Mumbai procedure for a gallery in landlord-owned rented spaces -- it struck me that it was a Monday. Were they shut? Luckily the door opened and the two-story climb up a tourist-infested Colaba building with an erstwhile dubious reputation is worth it. Prajakta Potnis' world is anything but seedy. I love this profound contrast in senses that Mumbai assaults one with. Compared with any other city, the magnitude of the assault is incomparable and the... [more]

20120827162451-dscn2338 Engaging Minds   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Lakeeren Art Gallery July 29th, 2012 - August 29th, 2012
Posted 7/18/13

In 2003, Arshiya Lokhandwala pulled down Gallery Lakeeren's shutters in Juhu, a suburb of Mumbai and in those days an unlikely place for a contemporary art gallery. She headed off to Goldsmith for an M.A. in Curating. She then went further, to Ithaca, NY to obtain her Ph.D in History of Art from Cornell University. Returning to Mumbai six years later, she re-opened her gallery doors, this time in Colaba, amidst a gradually forming art district in South Mumbai. Always innovative, just being a gal... [more]

20120813092951-maskarascaffolding2 Pipe Dreams and Drawings   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Avantika Bawa at Gallery Maskara August 9th, 2012 - September 13th, 2012
Posted 7/18/13

In an essay, social-cultural anthropologist Arjun Appadurai described the frenzy of building works in post-war Iraq as 'weapons of mass construction.' This could well describe the current situation in India. Artist Avantika Bawa uses the arsenal of evidence present in construction sites in Mumbai and Delhi, and brings the frenzy into the gallery. In her minimal gestures within the gallery, the frenzy is organised; soaring to Gallery Maskara's warehouse heights or just skimming the poured concrete... [more]

20130705174609-serie_architects_aarvli_model Project, Practice.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Kapil Gupta, Bijoy Jain at Mumbai Art Room June 28th, 2013 - August 2nd, 2013
Posted 7/18/13

The exhibition “Charles Correa: India’s Greatest Architect” on at the Royal Institute of British Architects, at 66, Portland Place in London, has a rather bombastic title, one that a self-effacing Correa would shy away from. But it is not without reason that the show’s curator, architect David Adjaye, singles him out. In post independent India, as India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru sought modernization through public symbols, architects like Correa, Habib Ra... [more]

20130528172538-prasanta_sahu___the_pillars-1 Labour, Labourer   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Chandra Bhattacharjee, Nantu Bihari Das, Pratul Das, Chhatrapati Dutta, Debraj Goswami, Prasanta Sahu, Sanjeev Krishnarao Sonpimpare at Ganges Art Gallery May 8th, 2013 - July 8th, 2013
Posted 5/28/13

‘Shrom O Shramik’, the show currently on at Ganges Art Gallery, literally means ‘Labour and Labourer’. Conceptually, it is an interesting one, in that the very idea is not something that usually stirs the creative cells, perceived as it is through the myopic and constrained lenses of grim non-illustrative academics alone. Especially in the context of India, this topic has over the years since globalization taken a backseat, making way for stylistic experimentations for art's sake alone. This is... [more]

20130215171357-themissed An Archive of the Missing   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Hajra Waheed at EXPERIMENTER January 18th, 2013 - March 2nd, 2013
Posted 2/15/13

The metaphor for ‘images’ as mentally stored visual representations – the metaphorics of actual pictures carried around in our heads – appear to be most truly illustrated by photographic pictures carried around in our pockets. ~ Ansel Haverkamp A friend of the artist Hajra Waheed once handed her a set of postcards that had been taken by his grandfather capturing his various travels. These were mere photographs, not ‘postcards’ in the sense of a souvenir. Waheed’s fascination for all th... [more]

20130113183351-subodh_gupta 'Cosmopolitics' and Incense: Notes from the Kochi-Muziris Biennale   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Rigo 23, Atul Dodiya, Anita Dube, Sanchayan Ghosh, Sheela Gowda, Subodh Gupta, Ariel Hassan, Tallur LN, M.I.A, Nalini Malani, Amanullah Mojadidi, Joseph Semah, Sudarshan Shetty, Jonas Staal, Vivan Sundaram, UBIK, Hossein Valamanesh at Kochi-Muziris Biennale December 12th, 2012 - March 13th, 2013
Posted 1/13/13

The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India’s inaugural biennale, features the work of ninety-four artists from twenty-three countries in sixty exhibition spaces, spread mainly across Fort Kochi, a quaint suburb of the historic port city of Kochi. Here, large disused spice warehouses, ‘Chinese’ shore-based fishing nets, the church that once housed Vasco da Gama’s remains, Rajah Veera Kerala Varma’s palace and a sixteenth century Jewish synagogue serve as architectural reminders of Kochi’s place in the unf... [more]

20121231184830-20120123050641-yoko_ono-mend_piece-vadehra_art_gallery_copyright_yoko_ono-photoby_briana_blasko_-_1 Old Masters and New Practices: The Best of 2012   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 12/31/12

2012 was an eventful and exciting year on the Indian art calendar, from Mumbai to Delhi, Kolkata to Bangalore. Here’s ArtSlant’s favourites from 2012, spanning from old masters to new media. Performance Yoko Ono’s first ever exhibition in India opened at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi Yoko Ono may be a relic from times long forgotten but her appeal to what is humane within us is still stirring. Her ideas of "peace", "beauty" and "healing the world through women's power" might be appealing t... [more]

20121116132208-agpd-020 Rooted   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Angeliki Inglessi at Ganges Art Gallery October 31st, 2012 - November 20th, 2012
Posted 11/16/12

Way back in 1992, the famous Indian actor-playwright Girish Karnad had directed a movie called ‘Cheluvi’ based on a Kannada folktale. The protagonist was a woman who possessed mystical powers that allowed her to turn into a tree when water was poured on her; a tree that bore flowers with a fragrance so unique and bewitching that selling those flowers became lucrative for her family, who from then on, went on selfishly turning her back and forth into a tree and a woman at their convenience – comple... [more]

20120918092741-prajakta_1 Lace Cracks   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Prajakta Potnis at EXPERIMENTER September 21st, 2012 - November 3rd, 2012
Posted 11/4/12

An entire wall at Experimenter Art Gallery is bare, save for a few cracks – likely to appear on walls of old homes as a result perhaps of moisture, hammering or just the passage of time. However, such cracks are MOST unlikely to appear on the walls of one of the ritziest galleries of the city. Naturally, therefore, I’d passed it up initially for other walls, adorned with blown-up photographs of installations. We’ll return to those in a bit. But first the wall with the cracks: or, rather, the simu... [more]

20120911101413-the_beautiful_and_the_damned Animal Imaginings: In Conversation with Procheta Mukherjee   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/11/12

There is something eerie and disquieting about Procheta Mukherjee’s images. Not that they are macabre or violent in either conception or execution. And yet, the dark subliminal undertone in her works lends them their distinctly esoteric quality. As the young artist remarked: “My images are coloured and fired by my subconscious, dark and scary sometimes and playful at others...They exist in a dreamlike state, hovering on the brink of darkness and light, always trying to grow stronger and wiser.”... [more]

20120730083536-two_old_men Can We Tire of the Sublime?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Raghu Rai at The Seagull Foundation for the Arts July 13th, 2012 - July 24th, 2012
Posted 7/30/12

It is always exciting when a Raghu Rai exhibition comes to town, and anticipation is palpable leading up to the event. But over the last couple of years, they have honestly been a bit of a let-down. In spite of the weight that ‘brand’ Raghu Rai carries, the city has hardly experienced anything startlingly new or fresh in the recent exhibition of this master’s work. Photographs that revolutionized prevalent norms and broke new ground in terms of content, idiom and mood at one time, subsequently ca... [more]

20120717091005-chittrovanu-mazumdar Someone Else’s Home Alone   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Gautam Bhatia, Niyeti Chadha, Zuleikha Chaudhari, Abir Karmarkar, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, Prajakta Potnis, Mithu Sen, Praneet Soi, Hema Upadhyay at The Loft At Lower Parel May 23rd, 2012 - July 14th, 2012
Posted 7/17/12

What is it that makes me ‘me’ and you ‘you'? Broken down to the basic unit, rounded off to the last decimal point, what of us will remain if our being, this Sisyphean burden we bear daily, is removed quite out of the blue? A few strands of hair on the bed we sleep in, the smell of skin under the sheets, our well dug footprints on the soles of shoes, tossed indelicately once beyond the familiar threshold of home. And perhaps a note. Poignant in its brevity and aptly mystifying. But will these... [more]


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