From mundane objects to rapidly changing surroundings and her own ponderings, for artist Anjum Singh the subject remained experiential. Her complex compositions held multiple layers within, including fragments of her experiences and fight with cancer, which she succumbed to on November 17 in Delhi. She was 53.
An enigmatic figure sits cross-legged in a meditative pose in the middle of a circle in N. N. Rimzon’s sculpture The Round Ocean and the Living Death, 2019–20, which lent its intriguing title to the artist’s most recent exhibition. The statue’s nose and closed eyes are vermilion, offering a vivid contrast to its grayish body...
“Pull With a Direction,” a lovely and engrossing show at Talwar Gallery, presents a compressed, in-a-nutshell version of the development of Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), one of the most original modernist artists of post-World War II India. While following the trajectory of the much larger retrospective at the Met Breuer in 2016...
Sinuating ripples along a shoreline, the sound of waves—one cannot underestimate the calming effect certain kinds of landscape have on the psyche. However, in Alia Syed’s work Meta Incognita: Missive II (2018)—the second in a trio of roman à clef–style films whose themes center around the River Thames in England—all is not what it seems.
Solo Exhibition of the Year: Ranjani Shettar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Won for Seven Ponds and a Few Raindrops, where her shape-shifting stainless steel elements covered in tamarind-stained muslin speak evocatively of the threatened natural environment of rural India, showing both her ethical and aesthetic commitment to the natural universe.
After nearly a decade of limiting her marks, Singh returned to figurative painting with a vocabulary of abstract marks. It seems to me that Singh should be known internationally. Her figurative paintings and these abstract works on paper add up to an extraordinary achievement.
Ranjani Shettar, arguably one of India’s foremost visual artists, is exhibiting at the gallery till 12 August. In every respect, Bubble trap and a double bow is a perfect show. With just 12 works on display, it’s a lesson in precision: small enough to allow quality time with each piece—a rarity today—and large enough to justify being called an exhibition.
Immigrant, exile, refugee, traveler, stranger: these are the figures that define our time. They are alternately the fantasy and the nightmare of globalization—neoliberalism dreams of a “flat earth,” a world system where laboring bodies travel across borders as easily as capital, while populism fears those same bodies as dangerous, even deadly, parasitical drains on local economies and civil society.
Thiruvananthapuram-based artist N.N. Rimzon is known to reflect his socio-political concerns through his works. His works — mostly figurative — are conceptual and minimalist in nature through which he pares down typical imagery in order to reach the core of things, basic states and fine qualities of humanity.
"One of the inaugural exhibitions at The Met Breuer is a retrospective of Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990). Organized by the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, the exhibition spans Mohamedi's entire career, bringing together works on paper, photographs, and little-seen diaries."
Any clear distinction between the human and the natural in Alwar Balasubramaniam’s refined sculptures has become increasingly blurred since he abandoned Bengaluru, India, for his ancestral village in Tamil Nadu. His latest exhibition features a series of textured monochromes, the surfaces of which uncannily resemble geological formations shaped over millennia.
As one enters his ongoing exhibition, Forest Of The Living Divine, at Talwar Gallery in New Delhi, one is struck by the spectacular appeal of his paintings and sculptures. Warm colours dazzle the eye, towering statues seem to grow upward, and tiny figurines sprout like saplings from the floor.
The “gestural” exists as a shallow act of mere rhetoric—one that lacks what novelist and social critic James Baldwin described as the “integrity of the artistic practice”—and as a poetically precise and self-aware act, which we are so desperately seeking in order to move away from the fraught contexts that the art world often becomes immersed in.
In 2011, the Phillips Collection in Washington commissioned Allan deSouza to create a photographic response to Jacob Lawrence’s 60-painting “Migration Series” (1940-41), half of which is owned by the Phillips, the other half by the Museum of Modern Art in New York
Inspired by Derek Jarman, the Jarman Award recognises and supports artists working with moving image and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of artist filmmakers in the UK.
One of Ranjani Shettar’s diaphanous, constellation-like sculptures of hand-molded wax beads and cotton thread, installed at the entrance to “On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century,” at the Museum of Modern Art, made a stellar introduction to that 2010 show.
The Seventh Walk is a wistful and beautiful voyage into the world of dreams and the creative process by experimental filmmaker Amit Dutta. It is set entirely in the popular tourist landscape of the Kangra Valley and based on the art of landscape painter Paramjit Singh.
Shettar’s solo in Delhi comprises eight new wooden sculptures, including a small work, titled Remanence from Last Night’s Dream, carved from rosewood and lacquered wood and fixed to the wall like a painting. This work draws from the artist’s memories of watching children of her generation play with Channapatna toys (toys made from lacquered wood in rural Karnataka).
In her last journal entry, she writes: “Vibrations multiply. Intensity of sweep. Undulative. Curve slowly comes to a ...,” and the writing falters, jumps, drifts off like a thread unspooling, but finally forms a closed circle. I can’t imagine seeing a more beautiful and tender gallery solo this winter.
Allan deSouza’s current exhibition at the Phillips Collection, produced through an initiative to encourage interaction between contemporary artists and the institution’s holdings, displays photographs conceived as a reaction to Lawrence’s canonical series.
Allan deSouza, born in Kenya of Indian parents, has lived in California for years, commuting between a home in Los Angeles and a teaching job in San Francisco. Partly to pass the time on the routine intercity flights, he got into the habit of taking photographs from the plane windows before takeoff, and in the air, and on landing.
ALLAN DESOUZA: 'THE LOST PICTURES' New pictures by this conceptualist photographer meditate on the photograph as a memorial object. Mr. deSouza placed prints made from old family slides around hishome, allowing them to become faded and abraded and to accumulate hair, dust and other debris. He then turned them into large, glossy digital prints in which the ghosts of the original images haunt the new, busily textured, semi-abstract surfaces.
Nasreen Mohamedi (1944-90) is still little known outside of India, though she is a much-admired figure there. In New York, a few of her abstract drawings have turned up in group exhibitions, and Talwar Gallery has surveyed her photographs. Now samples from both are united in this hushed but magnetic show in the Drawing Room, across the street from the Drawing Center.
The work of Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990) made an unforgettable impression in ''Out of India: Contemporary Art of the South Asian Diaspora'' at the Queens Museum of Art in 1997. In a show dominated by figures and color, her linear ink and pencil drawings looked like nothing else. Made up of layered, perspectival, gridlike planes, they were like Malevich crossed with Agnes Martin, magic carpets or space ships sailing into the fourth dimension.
Art India inaugurates a column by Geeta Kapur, India’s most distinguished art critic, who takes the turn of the century as departure point for questioning existing frameworks for perceiving art. In her first essay she traces the development of Rummana Hussain over the past six years.