Monday, July 29, 2013

EDITORIAL - Art Selling and the Never-Say-Die Hypocrisy, A Ramachandran Retrospective and more..


The Ultimate Struggle of Art Selling and the Never-Say-Die Hypocrisy
Art in the time of market recession is a phenomenon to watch. I have been grounded for the last two weeks thanks to an untimely affliction of chickenpox. However, all these days I have been keeping a watch on various art activities happening all over our country through respective postings done by people related to such programs and exhibitions. I see necessity and desperation making strange bed fellows. There in Bangalore, I see 1 Shanti Road, a residency program initiated by art critic, Suresh Jayaram, after its successful franchising of Khoj International Residency program now holding hands with Take on Art Magazine to start a new residency. Also I see, Mumbai’s Mohile Parikh Centre for Visual Arts tying up with a local gallery in Lado Sarai, New Delhi as a part of its mentor program. What intrigues me is the choice of exhibition and seminar spaces. While the MPCVA features its exhibition at Art Motif, a gallery not reputed for its intellectual posturing, it carefully chooses Kiran Nadar Museum of Arts (KNMA), New Delhi for its seminar. Though one could think about strategic collaborations and support in deciding the venues, I am surprised by the never-say-die hypocrisy of art institutions. If a seminar could be conducted at KNMA, why should not the show also be featured in the same venue or if the show could be put up at Art Motif, why shouldn’t the seminar be conducted there? Our art organisers should think about it. They should learn a lot from the boom and recession years. Hypocrisy does not pay.
( An image of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art )

There was a time when Indian galleries did not see eye to eye with each other. But then there came a time when collaborations became an imperative for survival. These days nobody shies away from flaunting their affiliations and collaborations with those establishments which had once fought each other like cats and dogs. It is not applicable to galleries alone. Curators and small time organisers also get a chance to work with erstwhile biggies in the name of curatorial projects as the tripartite relationship between galleries, curators and artists has either degenerated to convenience or elevated into philosophical acceptance. For example, I was surprised to see Rekha Rodwittiya who has never worked with any new curators or especially the ones with bad reputation, now publicly endorsing certain curatorial projects and even publishing blogs to substantiate her arguments. It is always good that hopeless curators get such fabulous chances to work with so called great artists. But my question is where had this symbiosis gone when there was a flourishing market for art and most of these independent curators were literally struggling for an existence? As a keen observer of our art scene, I just cannot swallow this pill of affection freely distributed in the art scene these days.

The other day I was seeing a few photographs of an art opening in Mumbai. The photographs are filled with people who need to be introduced to a person like me. They all look like those people who are very rich and have a filthy amount of time at their disposal and also have pretty much wasted three fourths of their life time. They must be very important people and for them a person like me must be absolutely non-existent and negligible. But it all depends from which hemisphere we are looking at the scenario. What I am trying to say is that these people were just props during the boom years as artists had taken the centre stage in those days in such openings. Today, I try my level best to trace the presence of some artists; and I could hardly count ten of them. The artist must be happy for the full attendance of famously wrinkled rich people addicted to all kinds of suctions to keep their youthfulness. But for any art lover who genuinely cares for the art scene, it is the most depressing scene. Andy Warhol in 1970s used to move around with fashionable people whom he really did not know. They just joined him in art dos. So he famously said everybody had fifteen minutes of fame. Forty five years after this famous statement is made, if we still believe in that and try to live up to it, we must be living in a retro film set.

Many galleries and art promoters now blatantly do art business. They do not veneer their words with intellectual plaster anymore and I love it. I wish more and more art people do business with absolute truthfulness. If they sell a work of art which has investment potential let them say so. If they are selling decorative pieces let them say so. Let nobody fool anybody anymore.


A Ramachandran - Retrospective
(A work by A Ramachandran)
Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, hosts an exhibition of eminent artist, A Ramachandran’s selected works done from a period of 1964 to 2013. The show is being held at the Durbar Hall Art Centre, Lalithakala Academy, Kochi.

A Ramachandran is a renowned painter, sculptor, graphic artist, designer and art educationist from Kerala, and is one of India’s most distinguished and prolific artists. He is known for his exploration and experimentation with visual language and use of diverse mediums and bending of various traditional Asian styles in his exquisite, unique works. His work usually draws inspiration from mythical stories and have a deep and rich illustrative quality. His art is both contemporary and modern in essence.

The show, on the lines of a retrospective, will preview on the 11th of August 2013 at 5: 00 pm. The show continues to be on view till the 25th August 2013.

Spiritual Realm Show
( A work by Ramesh Thorat)
The Ark art gallery, Pune, presents a solo show of art works by eminent artist Ramesh Thorat. the show titled,’ Spiritual Realm’ is a collection of recent works by the artist in oil and mixed media on canvas mediums. 
The renowned Pune based artist has displayed his works in several galleries in India and abroad and is known for his deep rooted affinity for portraying rural and village life on canvas over the years.
However in this show, Spiritual Realm, he showcases his latest works of Tantra on canvas. The paintings has ancient symbols of tantric significance as well as images with vibrant colors and bold strokes. 

The show is on view till the 30th of September 2013

Shadows of my mind

( A Work by Goutam Sarkar)
The Tejas Art Gallery, Kolkata, presents a solo show of artist, Goutam Sarkar. With fluid lines and soft moving imagery, the solo show titled, ‘ Shadows of my mind’, is a collection of the artist’s recent works.

Goutam Sarkar is a scholarship holder in water colour painting and has worked as an designer, visualiser, and project designer at various museums in the country. 

He is most appreciated for his vibrant strokes that lend vigour to his canvasses. The core of his paintings is mostly women folk and cityscapes. The works in this collection are a reference to the way the artist portrays the women in his life, as a symbol of endurance, fertility, stability and gentleness.

The show is on view till  the 30th of July 2013

The Cityscapes show

( A work by Pramod Kumar)
Galleria art space, Mumbai, presents a group show of art works by upcoming artists in a 
show titled, ‘Cityscapes’.The exhibition showcases the works of well-known artists Fawad Tamkant, Yashwant Shirwadkar, Pramod Kumar and Parag Adhikari.

Fawad Tamkant has a Masters in Fine arts and straddles the traditional and contemporary art with equal ease. He has held over 20 shows and many group exhibitions in India and overseas. Yashwant Shirwadkar is also a popular artist whose works are mostly based on Indian landscapes of Benares, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Kulu Manali, Goa and Kerala. He has been painting for more than three decades. 

Artist Pramod Kumar hails from Bihar and holds a Diploma in Painting from the College of Arts, Patna and a Master’s degree in fine Arts from Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Parag Adhikari belongs to the fresh breed of artists. His paintings depict spectacular landscapes and seascapes created on handmade paper with a splash of vibrant watercolors. The artist from Kolkata relies on logics drawn from dreams, memory and a sense of need for self.

The show is on view till the 2nd of August 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)
( All images sourced from Google for illustrative purposes only)


  1. Mr Gaoutam Sarkar is close , but not quite there yet

  2. Rekha did not publish a blog...she made a post on this one