What Rules? After FIRST SHOWING
After the successful reception of the FIRST SHOWING series of exhibitions curated by New Delhi based independent curator Deeksha Nath for Seven Art Ltd. - Contemporary art gallery in New Delhi, we present a group exhibition of select artists and works showcasing the emerging talent from the Indian subcontinent.
The FIRST SHOWING exhibition program of young and little known artists was displayed through 2010. The series aimed to provide a platform for fresh talent. Selected artists were invited either to have first solo shows or small group shows thus showing a concerted body of work.
WHAT RULES? is a double entendre, it plays with the idea that there are no ‘rules’ in art practice and thus in the curatorial pogrom of FIRST SHOWING but it also highlights the challenges young artists face trying to get a foothold in the art world. While Indian art has ridden the wave of the yo-yoing art market to its benefit, there are still a handful of artists who have received recognition and who are shown repeatedly nationally and internationally. FIRST SHOWING and WHAT RULES? brings to attention the second coming in contemporary Indian art.
The artists in the exhibition have a varied practice. Sonia Mehra Chawla is a painter based in New Delhi who draws on her experiences to create a gendered world which is lyrical, fantastical, organic and sensitive. Suchitra Gahlot, lives and works in Delhi. Her installations, move with ease between various mediums forthrightness Hers too is and are marked for their forthrightness. a bodily statement but it speaks refreshingly from a humanist position, not so much a gendered one.
Rohini Devasher’s practice encompasses drawing, photography, video and sound to examine the micro and macro world we live in, subjects ranging from the atom to the sky. Asim Waqif is a trained architect and self trained artist who engages with the city and the processes of evolution through an ecological mapping. One of the striking aspects of Akshay Raj Singh Rathore’s oeuvre is his ability to work with equal ease with a variety of mediums – lightboxes, lenticular and digital prints, animated video and glass sculpture to address the difficult ethics of contemporary political relations and representations.
Chennai based artists Kumaresan Selvaraj, Aneesh Kalode Rajan and Saravanan Parasuraman whose practices explore how objects, images and surfaces can be perceived in a variety of ways. Theirs is a formal investigation. What is striking is that with a monochrome palette all three artists manage to convey great variety and depth of tone and imagery. Srinagar based MalikSajadis a brave artist who has been working from his early teens as a political satirist for the local English and Urdu newspapers. His graphic novellas bring to light the impact of the political fight between India and Pakistan over Kashmir on the lives of the Kashmiris. He is India’s very own Marjane Satrapi.
New York based artists Khalil Chishtee and Pritika Chowdhury may not reside in the subcontinent but the politics of their work must be seen in the context of the region. Khalil’s sculptures represent his view that humanity is tormented by its compulsive need to categorize and differentiate along any number of physical, cultural, political and economic factors, ignoring the obvious common denominator of our human-ness that makes us alike. Artist, curator, and educator, Pritika twists the playful into a macabre and dangerous game she invites people to gather and ponder. She uses the tools of play to opine on global concerns.
As a group these artists are a good indicator of the practice and politics of the art of the contemporary Indian subcontinent.