New Delhi: Art Positive, a unit of Bajaj Capital Art House, hosts the sixth edition of its annual art show – titled ‘Devotion-Invocation’ - a group exhibition by 40 artists who explore the theme of devotion in a contemporary context, offering the viewers an aesthetic panorama of expressions that resonate around concepts ranging from the physical to the spiritual. Curated by Sushma Bahl, the exhibition will present varied oeuvres, forms and media in a range of contemporary artworks that bring together faith, fact and fantasy, at Art Positive, from October 13, 2011 to November 5, 2011 at F-213/B, Lado Sarai, Old MB Road, New Delhi-110030. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The participating artists are Akhilesh, Akkitham Narayanan, Arijoy Bhattacharya, Arunkumar HG, Bratin Khan, Chhotu Lal, Dharmendra Rathore, Dileep Kumar Sharma, Enas M J, Gagan Vij, Gopal Swami Khetanchi, Jayasri Burman, Kazi Nasir, Manish Pushkale, Manu Parekh, NS Rana, Paramjit Singh, Prithvi Soni, Puja Bahri, Radhakrishnan K.S, Sanatan Dinda, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Satish Gupta, Seema Kohli, Shekhar Roy, Shail Choyal, Shipra Bhattacharya, Shobha Broota, Shuvaprasanna, Sidharth, Subodh Kerkar, Subrata Saha, Sudip Roy, Suhas Roy, Suman Roy, Suneel Mamadapur, Suresh Kumar Muthukulam, Venkat Bothsa, Vinay Sharma, Vrindavan Solanki and V. Viswanadhan.
Says Anu Bajaj, Director, Art Positive: “The concept of devotion for me is not restricted to religious fervor. It also encompasses positivism in one’s attitude to life in its varied spheres be it commitment to a cause, belief, person, profession or society. The art works in the show present multifaceted interpretations of devotion and the way it transforms things and individuals. There are works that evoke peace and spiritualism and others that provoke disquiet and action. The show has been in the making for the last several months and I feel privileged to have such a distinguished group contribute to make it so fascinating.”
The exhibition of 75 fresh works by a group of over 40 artists from across genres, generations and geographical spread will be displayed across both the floors of the recently expanded and re-designed gallery with state of the art display facilities that also combines as an art book cafe and an artifacts’ store offering the viewer a holistic over view of the current art practice.
Sushma Bahl, curator of the show, says: “The title of the exhibition was open for artists to explore it in any which way they liked. Though devotion is often seen in a religious context, which is devotion to an icon, a religious figure or a person, one can also be devoted to an idea or principle or cause. It may also be perceived or reflected as ardent or selfless affection or dedication to someone or something. One can be devoted to one's work or passion. It can also turn negative when devotion turns into obsession or blind love...”
The artists not only explore the theme in its divine, iconic and religious context, but also in its philosophical and rational interpretations. The displayed paintings, sculptures and installations meander around one’s devotion to an idea or principle or cause. Given the freedom to interpret the concept in any which way, some of the artists have also dared to examine it in a somewhat negative turn where devotion turns into obsession or blind love. The religious fervor is highlighted in the work of Satish Gupta and Sanjay Bhattacharya and it also appears as the main driving force though with a different flavor in the imagery of Sanatan Dinda and Sudip Roy. Feminist perspective on the theme is articulated in paintings by Jayasri Burman, Shipra Bhattacharya and Seema Kohli can be seen where as nature comes to play in renditions by Paramjit Singh and Sidharth amongst others. The impact of classical and folk forms gets reflected in colourful paintings of Bratin Khan, Suresh Muthukulam and Chhotu Lal while pop culture pops up in work of Dileep Sharma and Venkat Bothsa. The Zen and meditative streak underlines the work of Shobha Broota and Manish Pushkale and abstraction comes to the fore on the canvases by Akhilesh. The thrust in the sculptures by Radhakrishnan is dynamic figuration, conceptual layering is evident in the work of M J Enaz, Kazi Nazir and Vinay Sharma.