The exhibition sets out to write the history of the contributions of women artists to abstraction with works dating from the 1860s to the 1980s. Far from being a mere catalogue, the exhibition reveals the decisive turning points that marked this development, the specific contexts for creation, the research conducted by the artists, individually or in groups, as well as the founding exhibitions.
Another Energy focuses on 16 female artists in their 70s or older, from across the globe, who continue to embark on new challenges. Showcasing their wide array of powerful works from paintings, video, sculptures, to large-scale installations and performances, this exhibition contemplates the nature of the special strength - “Another Energy” - of these women who have all continued challenging throughout their long-standing careers.
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.
Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning sets out to examine the spectrum of the extended mind through artistic and theoretical means. The Biennale argues for the primacy of plurality, positing that points of origin and influence ought to be accessed not only through the dominant technological systems and machinic vocabularies traceable to the West but also relate to heterodox ancestries.
The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, celebrates its centennial with Seeing Differently. The exhibition marks the first major celebration of the museum’s permanent collection in over 10 years and includes works by Paul Klee, Mondrian, Rothko, Pollock, Picasso, de Kooning, Calder, Jacob Lawrence and Ranjani Shettar amongst others...
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.
The South Asia Art Initiative at UC Berkeley is delighted to present a conversation between sculptor, painter and printmaker, Alwar Balasubramaniam and Atreyee Gupta - Assistant Professor, History of Art Department @ UC Berkeley.
The South Asia Art Initiative at UC Berkeley is delighted to launch Crisis and Creativity: Artists Speak Series, a new speaker series that addresses provocative and generative intersections between creative processes and societal, cultural, and environmental crises. The first event in Crisis and Creativity: Artists Speak Series features a conversation between photographer, multi-media artist, and Professor of Art Practice at UC Berkeley, Allan deSouza and Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and the director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University, Gayatri Gopinath .
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...
The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art turns ten this year. We celebrate the past decade, bringing back vignettes that will highlight the museum’s multi-focal vision, its evolving mission, directions and journeys undertaken, mapping intersecting histories of the subcontinent.
Panel Discussion with Allan deSouza, Schwanda Rountree, Melanee Harvey, & Mel & Juanita Hardy
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, US
Taking as a point of departure her epistolary project Letters to Leena, a series of correspondences to her mixed heritage daughter, curator Jemma Desai and artist Jasleen Kaur present a selection of works from British experimental filmmaker Alia Syed.
Allan deSouza’s book, How Art Can Be Thought (Duke University Press, 2018), examines how we evaluate if art is good as well as art’s claims to be for the social good. The book provides an extensive analytical glossary of common terms used to discuss art, focusing on their current usage and adapting them to new artistic and social challenges.
The curatorial model of Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life posits itself against an art industry’s paradigms of efficiency and production, which stand into relation to real conditions of production and often deprive exhibitions of their potentiality. The exhibition is instead taken as a medium which gives us an opportunity to share knowledge and create new meaning.
Migrating Worlds brings together work by eight of Britain’s leading film and video artists in the first exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art dedicated exclusively to the moving image.
This round table places in conversation three recently published monographs. The scholars discuss how their work approaches questions of aesthetics, visuality, and difference, and what it means to decolonize the practice of making, displaying, thinking, and writing about art.
New Cartographies delves into the unique ways that contemporary artists such as Tiffany Chung, Allan deSouza, Li Songsong, and Sohei Nishino are incorporating cartography into their practices as they look at globally relevant topics such as urbanization, economic migration, environmental change, refugee movements, and the repercussions of colonial legacies.
Earth Songs for a Night Sky is a multi-faceted project by Ranjani Shettar. Occupying two rooms and the staircase of the original Phillips House, the project is conceived in dialogue with Wassily Kandinsky’s artist’s book Klänge (Sounds)—which features 56 woodcuts and was published right after he had made his breakthrough into abstraction—and Klee’s late paintings in the Phillips’s collection, including Arab Song (1932), Efflorescence (1937), and Figure of the Oriental Theater (1934).
Unhinged by events of 1992-93, Rummana embarked on a courageous pursuit to excavate the marginalization of the other, their means and sustenance. Now, over 25 years after they were first created by the artist they still resonate with renewed vigor, except what were local origins at the time are now pervasive around the globe, abundant in echoes of intolerance to secularism and self.
Artist and writer Allan deSouza speaks with James Voorhies, CCA Chair of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, about his recent publication How Art Can Be Thought: A Handbook for Change, which examines the popular terminology through which art is discussed, valued, and taught.
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.
Arpita Singh is one of the most significant women artists in India. This retrospective exhibition at KNMA gives an extraordinary opportunity to view six decades of her art practice.
Kasturbhai Lalbhai Museum is very pleased to host the launching exhibition Alchemy: Explorations in Indigo of the Arvind Indigo Museum. Seeing indigo as an art form, the exhibition will have national and international artists using indigo in multiple media and forms to create a world of all things indigo.
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.
Allan deSouza’s Through the Black Country, or, The Sources of the Thames Around the Great Shires of Lower England and Down the Severn River to the Atlantic Ocean reenacts and upends iconic colonial narratives of discovery in Africa.
Engaging with videos or films in a dark or semi-dark space, where things come closer to life or create a world of their own, the presence of colour, touch, sound, movement, apparitions, light and shadow, draws one into a complex technological environment. One is moved by the potentiality of the mediums used by artists, their diverse and occasionally precarious themes processed through the intricacies of looped time and nuanced languages. The world of today is disenchanting and distraught, yet alluring and demanding, desiring poise and equilibrium
"Can nature's fragility be perceived?" Ranjani Shettar on her installation Seven ponds and a few raindrops
Light in Wartime brings together photographers whose works shed new light on war, both forensically and symbolically. In a world so hounded by images of war, many of the photographers featured in Light in Wartime challenge the conventions and limitations of traditional reportage, underlining the tensions between art, fiction, and photojournalism.
Usually composed of numerous nonrepresentational forms, Ranjani Shettar’s immersive environments are inspired by her observations of the now-threatened natural environs of her native India.
Artworks are commonly viewed as stand-ins for the artist, as the truth of the artist’s interiority manifested in material objects. Allan deSouza will consider his own work through this desire for “truthiness,” what possibilities there are for artistic doppelgangers and fictional stand-ins, and what roles they might serve in an era of “fake news.”
You Remind Me of Someone relies on mechanisms triggered by resemblance, mimicry, and reciprocity in order to explore our relationship to images in a world in which they multiply endlessly on a daily basis. The visual and gestural similarities between the works question affinities, elicit encounters, seek to find a common thread in this continuous flux.
DeSouza’s most recent work reenacts and upends iconic colonial narratives of discovery in Africa.
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.
Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora, organized by Asia Society Museum with the support of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, considers the work of nineteen contemporary artists from the South Asian diaspora who explore notions of home and issues relating to migration, gender, race, and memory across mediums and aesthetics
Making films since 1986, acclaimed artist Alia Syed’s recent works combine her interest in storytelling with a compelling presentation of history as visual narrative. Her unique approach connects different subjective positions in relation to culture, diaspora, and location.
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.
Visions From India is a celebration of artists who proffer their own paths that link them to India and the rest of the world.
Allan deSouza, chair of UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice, presents an exhibition that reenacts and upends the traditional colonial relationship, positioning modern-day England as the object of investigation by an explorer from Africa.
The exhibition brings into focus the works of five artists who spent their formative years in Kerala and whose subversive art practice problematised the discourse of Indian Art in the 1980s and 1990s.
For the 2016 Phillips Collection—University of Maryland International Forum, leaders across disciplines will discuss artistic and curatorial approaches to visual narratives of migration and immigration.
Alia Syed made her early 16mm films at the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative in the mid 1980s, using the Co-op’s optical printer as a means to explore issues of identity and representation. Her films draw from personal and historical realities in order to address gender, location, diaspora and colonial memory.
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.
One of the most significant artists to emerge in post-Independence India, Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990) created a body of work that demonstrates a singular and sustained engagement with abstraction. The Met Breuer exhibition, the first museum retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States, is an important part of the Met’s initiative to explore and present the global scope of modern and contemporary art.
The Van Every/Smith Galleries and Davidson College are pleased to present Contents Under Pressure, featuring the works of Allan deSouza and Alia Syed.
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.
Indian artist Ranjani Shettar discusses how her sculpture is a concrete version of her experiences ‐ those transient feelings and environments that exist purely because of perceptions.
Time / Image explores the interrelationship of time and thought in contemporary art. The exhibition borrows its title and, loosely, its philosophical framework from French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995).
Nasreen Mohamedi was one of the first Indian artists to embrace abstraction, moving away from the more conventional doctrines of Indian modern art in the early decades of the 20th century. The exhibition, organised by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in collaboration with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, displays her work – combining thought and action – in the intersections between her life and her art.
The Phillips Collection celebrates the fifth anniversary of Intersections, which since 2009 has presented the work of 22 artists—9 men and 13 women—from the US and abroad. This exhibition presents works by Intersections artists that have been acquired to date, both pieces that were featured in past installations and new works that are reminiscent or emblematic of the projects. Most importantly, the anniversary exhibition is a celebration of the Phillips’s mission to actively collect and display contemporary art.
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
‘Working Spaces’ can be read in multiple ways. Bordering between representation and abstraction, artists have employed acts of drawing, structural forms of architecture and of objects, principles of visual deception and optical illusion, nuances of colour and the effects of light and sound to manifest concepts/ideas about materiality and non-materiality, fullness and emptiness, form and formlessness, often entering into realms of the transcendental and the mystical.
This epic show takes Kazimir Malevich’s radical painting of a black square – first shown in Russia 100 years ago – as the emblem of a new art and a new society. The exhibition features over 100 artists who took up its legacy, from Buenos Aires to Tehran, London to Berlin, New York to Tel Aviv. Their paintings, photographs and sculptures symbolise Modernism’s utopian aspirations and breakdowns.
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.
Nasreen Mohamedi reveals the artist’s significant contribution to modernism that expands the boundaries of Western art history and offers an opportunity to reconsider the meaning of abstract art. Featuring more than 50 of her works, Nasreen Mohamedi charts the evolution of Mohamedi’s work, exploring how she, like Mondrian, moved away from a figurative style and developed her own unique approach to abstraction.
This exhibition brings together a group of international artists active between the 1950s and today, all of whom explore new frontiers for abstraction. The line functions in a variety of ways, including: writing, weaving, notating, diary-keeping, nature, the body, the environment, and the everyday; each resulting in expanded, eroded, and perverted grids generated by a liberating line.
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.
Abstract Drawing is Drawing Room’s fourth artist-curated exhibition, a strand of the programme that aims to provide insight into the ideas that inform the work of key contemporary artists.
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).
At one level, the exhibition reflects upon the immediate and the impending political and social crisis through acts of resistance, and at another level, it becomes a site of recuperation and healing. The selected artists have been committed to a socially engaged practice since many years. Through their seminal works, themes that touch upon issues of oppression, violence, historical identity and cultural memory will be addressed in diverse formats and modes of representation.
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.
RANJANI SHETTAR in
On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century
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.
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.