Thursday, June 6, 2013

Anjolie Ela Menon, Neha Grewal and more


Architecting Layers of Heart and Mind - Neha Grewal

The skin forms a protective layer over the body, the undulations subtly imply underlying form, one that is rarely seen, one that is concealed and reveals only when the heart wills this revelation. Such is the anticipatory quality of Neha Grewal’s works. Layers and layers of depth and meaning, surfacing ever so gently, just enough to breathe new life into the visual interpretations, observes Sushma Sabnis.

Artist Neha Grewal

Neha Grewal is a young, Jamia Millia Islamia, MFA graduate, with a keen sense of correlation between the architecture of a social space and an internal human space. She very effectively and confidently travels through both these spaces, claiming her own and at times creating new openness for the viewer to trespass in utter silence, albeit with the eyes of a compassionate observer.

Neha works in a multitude of formats, most of her works, canvases are large scaled, yet have these imageries of many things happening simultaneously. Like one would relate to Persian miniatures where time stands still, and the viewer gets a moment in that time frame, a bird’s eye view of the complete bigger picture. Her earlier works on paper, are resplendent with an illustrative quality, rendered in pencil, charcoal, acrylic and water colour washes. The entire visual comes together like a smorgasbord of events, happened at various time frames, but connected in the form of the theme by an invisible umbilical cord of experiences and memories. The pictorial surface is rich with textures, broken and unbroken lines, scratches, markings, calligraphic writings, sharp colour dabs wave-like patterns move over the forms unifying it as a whole.

(The Painting  Interior Space I)

Her series titled, ‘Interior Space I - III’ shows how the artist articulates her understanding of personal space as opposed to a space one makes in their surrounding. How one claims their own territory and the displacement one feels and endures to fit into a societal norm. Interior Space III has a seating area, and a flight of stairs going down to what seems to be a basement, while on the opposite wall is a blurry shadow of a flight of stairs. The complexity of this seemingly simple image pronounces the dichotomy and obligation one feels in life when aspirations are mauled and shaped into duties towards something or someone. The flight of stairs on the wall appear ephemeral, dream like, where as the harsh reality of the stairs to the basement seem brutally grounded in contrast. The immovability of the seat points to the indecision or stagnation in life.

(The Painting Interior Space  III)

Another poignant and bold work, the ‘Figure in empty space‘ sees a reference to feminist leanings of the artist. The female figure in the painting, displays her genitals in a gesture as a mockery to the masculine gaze, unafraid like the women in Klimt’s paintings. The mouth also shaped like female genitals addresses the age old conditionings of society, of seeing the female body as merely a vessel for procreation. The hands of the figure lie slack and limp on the body in complete despair.

(The Painting Figure in Empty Space)

One of her works on paper, ‘By the Garden’ presents a picture of a lonely woman, a table with seeds of fruit strewn over it and hands grabbing and grasping towards them. Two mouths open wide to consume these undeserved fruits.Two headless human figures perform a mating ritual on one side of the visual and disembodied hands reach out to  claim a vulva under the table, as a gesture of dominance. The work speaks of eons of torturous endurance by the female body, under the canopy of religion, society, progeny and many such doctrines.

(The Painting  By the Garden)

Another work which covets interest is ‘Conversation(s)’ where the artist writes and over-writes the love notes she has shared with her lover, on the canvas or paper, reiterating the deeper nuances of that relationship. No amount of words could probably encompass a feeling of such magnitude, but Neha attempts and succeeds at bringing the layers of that association she had and cherishes through her distinct calligraphic work. The overlapping of words, form a skin, an epidermis of memory, wounds are hidden and scabs are formed healing them, some remain open under the deeply impacted surface in her rich imagination.

(The Painting Conversations)

Neha has been participating in shows in India and abroad, her recent participation was in the R.A.P.E. (Rare Acts ofPolitical Engagement) show, curated by  Delhi based critic, curator Johny ML. Her work ‘Untitled’ was a family of works which formed a whole picture of her political-personal statement. In the coming years, one could expect Neha to grow  deeper, sensitive roots in her fearless approaches and form an ocean like depth in the dynamic, layered visual dermis of her works.

Neha Grewal lives and works in New Delhi.


Anjolie Ela Menon at Grosvenor Vadehra

(Recent work by Anjolie Ela Menon)

Vadehra Art Gallery, presents a solo show of recent works by eminent senior artist, Anjolie Ela Menon at their London gallery space, Grosvenor Vadehra. The show displays the works made by the artist in the year 2013. 

The show previews on the 7th of June 2013 and will be on view till the 27th June 2013. 

Anjolie Ela Menon is one of the leading women contemporary artists of India and her figurative works and style has been an inspiration for many younger artists. Her preferred medium is oils on masonite and she has also worked in other mediums like glass and water colour. She is also very well known for her murals. She was awarded the Padma Shree award in 2000. Her subjects of her works usually hovers around women, human relationships, societal interpretations and other conflicting subjects.

The recent works on display are a mix of portraitures and some abstract figurative works, collages on paper, and oils on canvas.

On the 8th of June 2013, the artist will deliver a talk about her work and recent paintings at the gallery at 5 pm.

The Alchemy of Mapping Thoughts

(The Alchemy of Mapping Thoughts)

Hanna Hollmann, an artist from Vienna, presents a show of her works at the 1 Shanthi Road  gallery, Bangalore. Titled, ‘The Alchemy of Mapping Thoughts’, Hanna tries to capture patterns, rhythms and repetitions in the everyday lives of  people of India using lines and objects as a metaphor. This according to her is a ‘mapping of thoughts’. 

Hanna has studied art at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna,in stage design and fine art.
In her work her focus is on print making, and drawing. She also specializes in costume design and doing projects including theatre performances, animation films in parts of Europe. Being a part of the ‘Loose Collective’ an Austrian based group of internationsla contemporary dancers, artists , choreographers and musicians, adds to her artistic expression. 

She has been a part of the Theertha International artists workshop at Colombo, SriLanka in 2012, and also a participant of the Colombo Art Biennale 2012.

This is her first show in 1 Shanthi Road Gallery, Bangalore and it previews on the 7th of June 2013 at 6 pm. The show is open for public viewing fro 8th of June 2013 to the 12th of June 2013.

Call for Artists : Border Cities & New Identities

(Border Cities And New Identities)

International ArtExpo announces its call for artists for a new exhibition to be held in 2013 August. The exhibition titled, ‘Border Cities & New Identities’, is an International Art Festival of Architecture, Photography, Video Art, Computer Graphics, Painting, Installation and Performing Art, to be held in Suceava, Romania from the 26th of July 2013 to the 2nd of August 2013.

The call for artists to participate is for interesting architecture projects, photo works, video/ short films, computer graphics works, paintings and performances. The selection is based on the main concept of hybridization between identities and urban environment, as a result of liquid identities and liquid contacts between people. Sustainable economic development results from modern communication infrastructures to shape a better world. 

The deadline for the application for the exhibition is 1st of July 2013. For further information please contact :

Memories of  a Rustic Romance 

(A painting by Prithvi Soni)

Gallery Leela, Mumbai presents a solo show of art works by eminent artist Prithvi Soni. The show is titled,’ Rustic Romance’ and displays the artist’s works in a figurative style which is his trademark. 

The oil and acrylic on canvas works capture the rustic beauty of rural women and their myriad facets. The artist captures the innocence of a romance in lucid hues and poetic visuals. Prithvi Soni is known for his portraitures of eminent celebrities and film personalities in the past. He is also known for his landscapes which capture the essence of rural India. He was once known as the original poster painter of Bollywood and regarded for his exquisite works. He is also known for his melodious singing ability.

The show ‘Rustic Romance’ is on view till June 6th 2013 at the Gallery Leela. 

(News Reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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