January is a month for new explorations and adventures, it also welcomes an overwhelming number of art exhibitions around the country that can help you start the year afresh. These retrospectives range from heritage showcases that study the country’s rich artistic past as well as some shows that invite young talent to innovate, experiment and create modern experiences.
Art galleries are challenging norms with contemporary modes of showcase and while engaging with fascinating new ways of curation. These ongoing and upcoming exhibits present a range of mediums, inspirations and art periods, making it a wholesome experience. So start the year on an artistic note with exhibitions that would expose you to poetic narratives and original art-forms.
An upcoming show titled ‘Roopantar-Transformation’ traces traditional craft practices and their transformation into contemporary design. This exhibition focuses on how so-called traditions move forward, deal with change and respond to the 'new', be it processes, materials or functionalities. The main content of this exhibition is made up of a collection of contemporary ‘Mata ni Pachedi’ by master painter, Sanjay Chitara from Ahmedabad. This is complimented by a diverse range of products from all over India and abroad reflecting contemporary thinking and engagement with traditional skills and recycled materials. An artist from Venice, Italy called Alberto Pillan has been working in India for 10 years developing the skill of Mosaic work among a large group of women outside Ahmedabad which has enabled them to create their own independence. He will also be presenting his work that uses light and colour to push the limits of the simple medium.
Where: 47 A Design Gallery (Jan 21- Feb 19)
Kindness is Your Weapon
Behind every war there is a battle to overcome. An upcoming solo show by renowned Spanish artist Mujer Gitana plays with peaceful weapons capable of winning battles. Through love, forgiveness and compassion everything generates the energy that you bring to it. "If you respond with violence to a situation of violence, the result is the sum of the two: more violence. On the other hand, if you add compassion, the formula is distorted and the result can be to help others or yourself to live in a more peaceful world". 'Kindness is Your Weapon' is an invitation to understand peaceful responses as weapons with the possibility of leaving this world a little better. In addition to the artworks on canvas, Mujer Gitana will also be making three editions of handmade rugs.
Where: Method Bandra (Jan 12- Feb 12)
A full-scale retrospective exploring the remarkable artistic journey of renowned collagist, G. Subramanian, 'Asrama' spans over five decades of his life and career. The fascinating showcase moves backwards and forwards in time and showcases a rich multiverse of art works, interspersed with old photographs and artefacts that throw light on the multitude of chapters, experiences and influences that have shaped his vision and inspired his art-making. Moving beyond popular works and familiar themes, tracking back to Subramanian’s beginnings as an artist. On display are his rarely seen, early collages charged with rawness, eroticism and the intertwining figures of primaeval men and women.
Where: KYNKYNY (Until January 15)
Curator Ranjit Haskote explains how Tejal Pandey’s photography in upcoming exhibit ‘Intimate Distances’ spring from a recognition of this miraculous nature of light’s advent. “…the light we take for granted and by which we contour our world, is an interstellar visitor. An emissary from infinity that settles into the finite recesses of our terrestrial lives.” Her images are meditations on the interplay between light and place, between the vast expanses that surround us and the miniature interiors we inhabit.
Where: Cymroza Art Gallery (Jan 12-Feb 19)
Yes, Blue! But Which Blue
The second solo show by Utkarsh Makwana, ‘Yes, Blue! But Which Blue’ showcases a body of work that is gravitating toward a specific inquiry, one that foregrounds human experience, and emotions, in its investigations. The artist is exploring storytelling methodologies alongside structural ones. The narratives that emerge are derived from conversation, from the anecdotes of the lives of his friendships and family members, from his own personal history as well as the histories of entangled communities. He deters from rendering anything too specific as at its heart a painting hopes to create room for the viewer’s subjectivity.
Where: Akara Art (Jan 12- Feb 25)
Transcending Boundaries, 'Art! Science! Life!', a solo show from Riddhima, looks at the vital link between art and science, which is integral to life and the development of human civilisation. The works are inspired primarily by Leonardo Da Vinci and others who have found a common thread that human creativity plays a significant role in path-breaking solutions for future generations. The famous quote by Albert Einstein, 'The finest scientists are artists', enables one to reflect on the intricate link between art and science. The paintings look closely at the working of the mind, the body, built structures, trees and birds, and humans who have played a significant role in shaping our thought processes. The drawings in the Reflective Mind series look at various aspects from a feminine perspective. The smaller, intricate drawings focus on attention to detail going beyond the obvious.
Where: Gallery 'B' (Jan 13- Jan 19)