To commemorate its 150th Birthday, the MET commissioned 12 contemporary artists to create original prints for a limited edition portfolio: Jasper Johns, Richard Serra, Ed Ruscha, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Vija Celmins, Sarah Sze, Xu Bing, Siah Armajani, Gabriel Orozco, Wangechi Mutu, and Ranjani Shettar. We are honored and delighted that Ranjani Shettar is part of this illustrious group of artists.
I’ve long turned to works of art as a way to process current events and wrestle with problems — both political and personal.
One of the most significant functions of a museum, after all, is to make space for works of art to console, inspire and prod us to think in new ways about the here and now.
Sometimes they pause, to listen to the music.
Dubbed "A tale of two stones", The Seventh Walk with its contemplative images and sitar score is a film meant to be slowly absorbed, a production following the creative process of an Indian artist Paramjit Singh, playing himself.
Nasreen Mohamedi’s works from the late 1970s—intricate monochrome lattices previously on fine display at the Met Breuer’s landmark solo in 2016—operate so powerfully in the realm of “pure” abstraction that the critic Geeta Kapur has placed her “within a great lineage of metaphysical abstraction in a way that no other [Indian] artist is.”
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...
In 1968 the Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi noted in her diary, ‘One creates dimensions out of solitude.’ An apt expression when most of the world finds itself in isolation, reminding me of her Untitled (circa 1970), a quiet and elusive work in which a realm of patterned, ruled lines appears to be subtly and effortlessly emerging from a gray wash...
Anjum Singh dissects the corpuscular. She enters the internal domain of her own body and imagines the drama that is unfolding at the level of the cellular. She performs this surgical act with a painterly hand that seems convinced of its curative capabilities.
Rarely has an exhibition been as keenly anticipated as Anjum Singh's forthcoming, and autobiographical I am Still Here, almost an invocation by the artist whose absence from the current art scene has been the result of life-threatening cancer which she has been grappling since 2014.
Allan DeSouza's book is both a reflective investigation exploring how artistic meaning takes shape and a functional handbook that clarifies terms often used in the art world without much lucidity.
Arpita Singh was discovered by accident. In the early 1970s, scholar and costumier Roshen Alkazi-who, along with her husband, Ebrahim Alkazi, is responsible for hundreds of contemporary art exhibitions in India-found one of Singh's paintings mixed up with the works of another artist she was hoping to exhibit. Alkazi presented Singh's first solo exhibition at New Delhi's Kunika Chemould Gallery in 1972.
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.
In Ranjani Shettar’s installation “Seven Ponds and a Few Raindrops,” looping, delicate steel forms covered in tamarind-stained muslin sway ominously in midair, evocative of parched flora or exoskeletons
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.
Though Ranjani Shettar, who turned 40 last year, is a mid-career artist (at least by Western standards), her work remains youthfully lyrical and close to nature in ways that evade her closest American counterpart Sarah Sze, whose work is busier and more mechanical.
The title of Ranjani Shettar's Seven ponds and a few raindrops (2017)—which joined The Met collection as a gift from the Tia Collection, and is on view through August 12—compels audiences to apprehend the sculpture's abstract elements as constitutive of a literal landscape of seven ponds.
The local became global with the arrival of Indian artist Ranjani Shettar’s installation Seven Ponds and a Few Raindrops (2017) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which brought a slice of her native country to one of the most international cities in America.
I met the artist Alwar Balasubramaniam in Mumbai recently. What struck me about Bala, as he is popularly known, was the sense of serenity he seemed to possess - his calm demeanour, his scientific approach to life's problems and his determination to arrive at clear solutions, were quite impressive.
Each of these exhibitions showed me something I had not seen before. An admired artist in India, Arpita Singh, who is best known for her figurative paintings of woman, often floating in an elusive space, rarely shows in America and that is our loss. These drawings will likely surprise those who know Singh’s figurative work.
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.
Eighty-year-old Arpita Singh spent almost a decade in this self-training, with an occasional urge to use colours, when small strokes of orange and yellow began to make appearances.
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.
What is the self? What is reality? Far removed from the physical realm, the philosopher revels in the world of the abstract. Abstract artist Alwar Balasubramaniam applies such philosophical inquiry to his sculpture. We discover more about the life of the voraciously philosophical artist Alwar Balasubramaniam.
The work of Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990) seems both a textbook example of the complex fusion of intellectual, cultural and personal experience that constitutes international Modernism, and an ideal opportunity, particularly as one of the inaugural offerings at the newly opened Met Breuer, for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to demonstrate how it might expand both the museum’s and the public’s understanding of the ‘global’, the ‘local’ and the ‘individual’.
These immaculate, quiet, and perfectly disciplined drawings are exercises at one level, and at another, they constitute the very proof that lines drawn with the aid of a set square, a ruler and a pair of compasses can create the premises and conditions of art.
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."
Mohamedi’s retrospective feels like a private enclave, suiting a woman who wrote of creating art from solitude. The curators, Sheena Wagstaff with Roobina Karode of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi and Manuel J. Borja-Villel of the Reina Sofia in Madrid, aim for spaces suitable to works on paper.
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.
The galleries on the second floor of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s brand new enterprise, The Met Breuer on Madison Avenue, devoted specifically to modern and contemporary art opened with a retrospective of the Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi, indicating a commitment to non-Western art for the museum, and conversely securing the artist’s prominence within a global narrative of modernism.
Pianist Vijay Iyer has an unlikely backstory for a musician who’s been voted jazz artist of the year in Downbeat magazine’s critics’ poll, received a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, and is a professor in Harvard’s music department.
“We are proud to present Nasreen Mohamedi in our first wave of exhibitions at The Met Breuer,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met. “Mohamedi’s work calls on us to expand our understanding of graphic minimalism in a transnational context. It is a project that speaks to our interest in introducing a broad range of audiences to the innovative work created by artists across borders.”
My whole life, I’ve entered the Metropolitan Museum the same way: up the majestic stairs, through the vaulted lobby, then right towards Ancient Egypt, left towards Greece and Rome, or straight ahead, down a hallway of ancient bric-a-brac leading back to the Middle Ages.
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.
“I first encountered Mohamedi’s work at the Walker Art Center, when my colleague [curator] Douglas Fogle included several of her photographs in an exhibition [“The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982,” 2003-04]. I found them extraordinary.
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
"My ideas are better represented in my works than they can ever be in my words," Alwar Balasubramaniam cautions before he begins to talk about his ongoing exhibition, "Layers of Wind, Lines of Time," presently on view at Talwar Gallery in the capital.
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.
The South African artist William Kentridge is best known for creating low-tech animated films, often based on charcoal drawings, that explore the painful effects of apartheid.
Unlike much contemporary Indian art, Mohamedi’s works feature an austere, mostly black-and-white palette and stark geometric compositions, mostly constructed through lines traced in graphite or pen and ink on paper, though at times she also captured the geometry of real-life through photography.
Makhijani mostly works in a painterly tradition—hectic brushstrokes and jagged lines fill her art with a nervous energy. She manages to convey an intrinsic edginess without relying too heavily on impasto—the layering of colours—or outré iconography.
LACMA's presentation of a special screening of selected works by artist Alia Syed in their original 16mm format, in conjunction with her exhibition Eating Grass, located in the Ahmanson Building. In between screenings, Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent at LACMA curator, join Syed to discuss her work.
Straddling the threshold between presence and absence, materiality and immateriality, the physical and the spiritual, object and space, Balasubramaniam’s deeply philosophical sculptural practice insists that the second term of each of these dyads be understood not as mere lack or negation, but rather an independent, empirical state, observable under appropriate conditions.
Rummana Hussain's politically aware, philosophically provocative, yet obstinately poetic, self-referential art presents us with a complex, if at times an uncomfortable, perspective of a lived experience, which continually reaffirms her significance as an artist and her installations that continue to blur the lines between aesthetics and activism.
Ranjani Shettar says that she turned from painting to sculpture because "I realized I had to move around the object, it had to occupy the same space that I did and there was no illusion in it. Although I was little equipped for it, I knew that was what I wanted."
Enter the NGV International's newest gallery, Contemporary Exhibitions, and you will find yourself transfixed by an ethereal sight: gigantic, buoyant bubble-like creations with wings that seem to float in the air, casting strange but captivating shadows on the gallery's walls.
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.
Ranjani Shettar has succeeded in shattering that stereotypical image with her work. Inspired by life and her daily experiences, she resolves problems of weight, balance, space, composition, color and light to bring out the essential character of each material, manipulating how it looks and behaves.
Having spent much of the last couple of years showing at organisations statewide, like the San Francisco Musuem of Modern Art and Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art. Bangalore-born sculptor Ranjani Shettar returns to India this month with a show at the Talwar Gallery in Delhi.
The gallery spaces are very quiet. Well suited to works like those of Karnataka-based artist Ranjani Shettar. As compellingly soft footfalls take you past the neatly nurtured greens that wait in welcome as you tread beyond the drive into the building, up towards the artworks, what strikes here are the pristine white hues that pervade the dignity of uncluttered spaces.
Today’s younger and more experimental artists are reaching beyond the canvas and using three-dimensional spaces to express their concerns and concepts. Anjum Singh in her latest solo show ‘The Skin Remembers’ explores the urban industrialized environment through works that are more sculptural than painterly.
As if in direct response to its overscaled, canon-cementing Abstract Expressionism display, the Museum of Modern Art is also giving us something quirky, speculative, physically light, a show called “On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century.”
Bengaluru-based artist A. Balasubramaniam's sculptures and installations are best known for the ways in which the use of different materials, compositions and lighting can undermine the sculptures' defined form, illuminating their physical presence and confounding the audience with visual tricks.
His creations stand out among the hundred-odd artworks by contemporary Indian artists on display at the 'Chalo India!' exhibition organized by art collector couple Karlheinz and Agnes Essl at the Essl Museum on the outskirts of Vienna, Austria.
A. BALASUBRAMANIAM'S "In Between", at Talwar Art Gallery in Delhi, is a show that suggests some exciting new approaches to reinventing and recombining Post Minimalism's diverse strains, especially the emphasis on language and the use of dispersed, decentered installations.
In Ranjani's first solo exhibition 'Home' (2000), the ambition of the work was to capture the intrinsic beauty of the delicate fabrications made by birds, insects, bees or silkworms - cocoon-like forms, web-like constellations or clusters of berries.
Seeing is Believing. In Alwar Balasubramaniam’s case, seeing and believing are two separate acts, depending on your discernment and perception. His prints, paintings, and sculptures, with their constant plays on the visible and invisible, illusion and certainty, challenge notions of the real and the unreal.
In 1996, Muhanned Cader, then a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, rented a studio overlooking Bolgoda Lake, a picturesque reservoir outside the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Bolgoda was a prepossessing location to the young Cader, who was attracted to the quixotic local landscape.
Ranjani Shettar is a young Indian artist currently working in Bangalore, India. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA; Ninth Lyon Biennale in Lyon, France; and the XV Sydney Biennale in Sydney, Australia. Currently, her work can be seen at “Life on Mars: 55th Carnegie International” in Pittsburgh, PA.
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.
Ranjani Shetter, extensively exhibiting abroad but least in the country, continues with her project of weaving multiple moods and memories, light and shades together in her current/ongoing solo show, “Epiphanies: between the bodily and the aural”, at Talwar Gallery, New Delhi
Over the course of the last year, San Francisco has experienced an influx of artists and curators from around the globe. The appointment of Documenta Xl curator Olcwui Enwezor as Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice-President at the San Francisco Art Institute back in July 2005 has been a magnetic force drawing new faculty from around the world such as artist-educator Renee Green, curator-critic Hou Hanru, and artist-writer Allan deSouza.
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.
Ranjani Shettar at Talwar Gallery. Indian artist Ranjani Shettar's fragile ceiling installations charm with their innocence and joyfulness. These large and meticulously made works of art suspended from the ceiling on thin strings radiate a rare freshness and tenderness, almost like that of a blossoming tree in a village untouched by the anxiety and angst of urbanization.
Since one is used to seeing Asian art that is either rooted in a specific cultural context or has a strong imprint of the artist's own culture on it, Nasreen Mohamedi's black and white photographs come as a surprise because of their pure, minimalist beauty that is not tied to any particular context.
Allan deSouza's photographs alternate between two images omnipresent in recent news: rocky, desertlike landscapes and the Manhattan skyline. In fact, Mr. deSouza's pictures are taken of hand-made tabletop studio setups and were, with two exceptions, shot early last summer during an artist-in-residence stay at Art in General in TriBeCa.
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.
Rummana Hussain continues in the post-Modernist footsteps of Vivan Sundaram's installation at the Gallery Chemould. Instead of discarding the xeroxed letters stuck to the wall, the leftovers from his Shergil Archives installation, Rummana has "cancelled" them painting them over with white-wash, leasing the viewer (like Joseph Kosuth with his 1986 environment of Cancelled Texts) into reading the still discernible letter forming the backdrop for the photographic images in her own installation.
Rummana Hussain's show of installations and paintings, 'Multiples and Fragments,' is revealing in the links she makes between what she believes in, the means and the medium she used to express herself, and the reality she speaks of.