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Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

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    Art Radar Asia News conducts original research and scans global news sources to bring you selected topical stories about the taste-changing, news-making and the up and coming in Asian contemporary art.

Posts Tagged ‘MF Husain’

Krishen Khanna traces evolution of Indian modern art: innovative interview technology used

Posted by artradar on April 12, 2010


INDIAN ARTIST INTERVIEW PODCAST

Saffronart is hosting a series of invaluable art historical documentary interviews with leading Indian artists to broaden the discourse about the evolution of modern and contemporary Indian art. The imaginative use of new interactive podcast technology is an initiative to emulate by both for-profits and non-profits.

The second interview in the speaker series  is to celebrate a retrospective by Krishen Khanna at Rabindra Bhavan, the Lalit Kala Akademi, in New Delhi, which lasted from 23 January to 5 February 2010. In it Krishen Khanna talks about his inspirations for painting and experiences regarding the development of modern Indian art.

Khanna, Bandwallaas in Practice, 2002

He begins with a personal ancedote about how he became involved in India’s art scene in the 1950s: he was formerly a banker, but his wife encouraged him to quit his job and take up painting. and discusses the artists (including F.N. SouzaS.H. RazaM.F. Husain) involved in Progressive Artist Group.

He mentions specific shows, such as Souza’s 1953 show containing a frontal nude self-portrait, which shocked the public and drew the attention of the moral police. Khanna emphasises Souza’s diverse inspirations, which ranged from Hokusai and Picasso.

Khanna, In My Studio, 2008
Khanna, In My Studio, 2008

Khanna also places the Progressive Artist Group into a historical context: he discusses the exodus of artists from India after it won its independence and how major events, like the death of Gandhi, affected  Indian artists globally. He then answers personal questions involving both his participation in the Progressive Artist Group and his relationship with its members.

Using a technique that we have not seen before the 30 minute audio is organised into searchable snippets under the following categories: Souza’s Solo Show, News of Ghandi’s Death, Progressive Artists’ Group, Nationalism in Art, The Form in Art and Drawing and Painting.

To hear the podcast click here.

AL/KCE

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Related topics:  INDIAN ARTISTS, NATIONALISM IN ART, ART AND THE INTERNET

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Posted in Art and internet, India, Indian, Interviews, Krishen Khanna, Nationalism, Painting, Profiles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Indian contemporary art reaches a new stage of development

Posted by artradar on December 30, 2008


TV Santosh

TV Santosh

INDIAN ART SHOW

Signs Taken For Wonders: Recent Art from India and Pakistan to January 31 2009

Indian contemporary art is reaching a new audience with large-scale museum surveys such as ‘Indian Highway’ at London’s Serpentine Gallery and ‘Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art’ at Japan’s Mori Art Museum. As the Aicon Gallery Signs Taken For Wonders show press release points out, this is a ‘pivotal moment’  when international curators, writers and galleries articulate how, which and whether Indian artists will become part of international art history.

Compared with art scenes in other locations, this new exposure to rigorous and objective criticism is all the more significant for contemporary Indian art which lacks its own museum and curatorial infrastructure. And unlike other emerging Asian markets such as China, there is a limited history of patronage, collecting and connoisseurship. This fascinating cusp for Indian art marks an unusual opportunity for collectors, critics and connoisseurs around the world to assess and shape a response.

Justin Ponmany Salt Friends
Justin Ponmany Salt Friends

 

The Financial Times says that the two London exhibitions, the Serpentine Gallery’s Indian Highway and Aicon’s Signs Taken for Wonders, are the UK’s most ambitious attempts yet to distil coherence into the chaotic rush of art emerging from the Indian subcontinent.

While some of the artists are in both this show and at the Serpentine (MF Husain, Raqs Media Collective) it is worth visiting both shows which together cover many of the emerging names. At Aicon you will see some of the auction favourites  (TV Santosh and Justin Ponmany) as well as up and coming Pakistani art which is absent at the Serpentine . (Aicon Gallery for more images). Visit the Serpentine to see female artists  and video work. These were both given a smidge of approval in a generally bleak review by The Independent.

I thought Nalini Malani had something, painting flights of female figures on clear acrylic panes, where swirling smears of pigment get transformed into snaking bodies – The Independent) and  Kiran Subbaiah’s brief video, Flight Rehearsals, about an introverted young man climbing the walls of his bedroom, was tight and funny.

More positive reviews are linked below.

Artists included in the Aicon show include MF Husain, Adeela Suleman, Amjad Ali Talpur, Atul Bhalla, Bose Krishnamachari, Chintan Upadyay, GR Iranna, Justin Ponmany, Muhammed Zeeshan, Raqs Media Collective, Riyas Komu, Sajal Sarkar, Shibu Natesan, Talha Rathore, TV Santosh and Vivek Vilasini.

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What do you think about Indian contemporary art? Take part in the discourse, leave your comments below.

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Posted in Bose Krishnamachari, Gallery shows, Indian, London, Museum shows, Pakistani, UK | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mixed reviews for Serpentine’s Indian Highway show in London – Evening Standard, Independent

Posted by artradar on December 18, 2008


N S Harsha Melting

N S Harsha Melting

 

INDIAN ART OVERVIEW SHOW

Indian Highway to 22 February 2009 Serpentine Gallery London

Indian Highway, a show of 25 contrasting artists from India, is billed by the Serpentine as a “snapshot of a vibrant generation of artists” and “a timely presentation of their pioneering work following the remarkable and rapid economic social and cultural developments in India in recent years”. 

The show which  incorporates architecture, art, literature and performance, will continually grow as it tours internationally to different institutions for the next four years. After London, it will be presented at Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, from 4 April to 21 June 2009, where it will expand with the addition of new works as well as a section curated by Bose Krishnamachari.

M F Husain Naad Swaram Ganeshayem

M F Husain Naad Swaram Ganeshayem

The show features the following artists some of whom have already made an impact on the international art world:

Ayisha Abraham
Ravi Agarwal
Nikhil Chopra
Raqs Media Collective
Sheela Gowda
Sakshi Gupta
Shilpa Gupta
Subodh Gupta
N. S. Harsha
M. F. Husain
Jitish Kallat
Amar Kanwar
Bharti Kher
Bose Krishnamachari
Nalini Malani
Tejal Shah
Dayanita Singh
Kiran Subbaiah
Ashok Sukumaran & Shaina Anand

In an inevitable comparison with Saatchi’s show of Chinese art, Indian Highway comes out on top in the Evening Standard.

Everything that Saatchi gets wrong with his Chinese show the Serpentine gets right in its Indian one. While the Duke of York’s Baracks show is a chart of the cheesiest Chinese auction house hits, the Serpentine is a treasure trove of subtlety and surprise.

There are new history paintings from India’s 93-year-old Modernist master, a multi-screen documentary of cinematic quality about terrible violence against women, sculptures made from whistles and rotating microphones about sectarian division, and a wall drawing of super-sized technicolor bhindis.

Typical of the shrewd tack taken is the way the exhibition handles the two shooting stars of the Indian contemporary art boom, Jitish Kallat and Subodh Gupta. Kallat’s large portraits of impoverished Indians, painted in a colourful screen-printed style, with their turbans transformed into intricate urban scenes, have become must-haves for aspiring billionaire collectors. Nothing that predictable here, though. Instead we have a series of photographs of dilapidated urban India, often decorated with stencils of Hindu gods.

But Kallat’s photographs are lenticular – that kind of 3-D photo with a fuzzy surface which takes on depth and reveals hidden details as one stands at an angle to it – a kind of photography you will know from souvenir postcards of tourist attractions, cartoon characters and Princess Diana. Kallat’s process turns a photojournalistic essay into not only an alluringly colourful spectacle but also a conceptual work which plays on where tourists find beauty in India and ennobles a popular visual idiom.

ravi_agarwal___kite_102525a

Ravi Agarwal Kite

Subodh Gupta is India’s best-known contemporary artist, whose trademark works are made out of Indian cooking utensils. He won early fame with a set of shelves with neat piles of stainless steel pots and pans, organised according to minimalism’s simple geometries.

At the Serpentine, however, there is not a trace of his kitchenware. Instead, he presents an evocative installation based on the interior of an Indian county court. There are worn wooden tables, half-broken chairs, ageing electronic typewriters and bundles of creased files. I had become rather disillusioned by all the repetitive pots-and-pans pieces I’d seen by Gupta over the past few years, and I loathe the terrible spin-off photorealist paintings of the same kitchenware which have been on show in every auction preview. The new work shows what resources this artist can tap as long as he doesn’t pander to the tastes of his dimwitted market of millionaire collectors.

Alongside these shooting stars, there is also India’s most famour post-war artist MF Husain, born in 1915. He is represented here in depth by a large number of canvases including several which have been exhibited – in another imaginative act of curating – on the outside of the building.

Husain is a sure-footed master of colour and texture and his compositions are boldly drawn – a mass of charging horses, elephants, mountain ranges and dynamic figures. He has only just begun to receive the recognition he deserves, but a demanding viewer may feel his old-fashioned mythological modernism owes too much to Chagall and Kandinsky for comfort.

The show makes plain some of the shortcomings of younger contemporary artists in fast-developing economies that will have flashed through the mind of anyone familiar with contemporary Chinese art. There is a sense of these artists having quickly learned to speak the foreign language of conceptual art-ese. They get the basic grammar – take a material of symbolic significance in your home country and make a big sculpture of something else with it

Overall, the work is of sufficient interest to push these criticisms to the back of the mind. The Indians don’t make the worst mistakes of their Chinese counterparts – there is no subcontinental equivalent of Wang Guanyi’s gimmicky Maoist propaganda posters peppered with Coca-Cola logos, or Zhang Xaiogang’s cutesy soft-focus paintings of bug-eyed Cultural Revolution families. The Indian artists engage with the politics of the present, not nostalgia. The work has an impressive discipline and severity, from which flashes of fairytales suddenly burst forth.

Evening Standard review

While the Evening Standard gives legendary MF Husain and the show overall a wavering thumbs up,  the Independent has nothing much good to say starting with the show’s guiding theme. “There must be some agenda, some network of contacts, guiding the selection. A more knowing person than me could tell you what. ” And the presence of ‘Picasso of India’ s MF Husain’s work confuses matters further:

The difficulty with Husain’s art is a matter of reputation. Why should he be rated as an even remotely interesting or important artist? His crudely cartoony pictures seem to belong, not at this gallery, but across the park, on the railings of Bayswater Road. Yet in an Indian context he has been a major figure. And so a baffling cultural gap opens up, about which the show leaves us none the wiser.

There’s no such gap with the work of the younger artists. On the contrary: it looks exactly like the kind of thing you’d find at the Serpentine. Its content is often Indian, but its forms are the established idioms of international contemporary art. You’ll find all the familiar fixtures: the room-filling installation, the multi-screen video projection, the enormous colour photograph, the found-object assemblage.

If you have any doubts about the embrace of artistic globalisation, Indian Highway will settle them. You could give the show a brisk walk-through, and almost not notice where things came from.

Where Indian culture is referenced, the Independent finds the motifs and usage too obvious.

Bharti Kher makes everything – or covers everything – in bindis (adhesive forehead dot decorations). Bose Krishnamachari makes much use of tiffins (the much-used metal cylindrical lunch box). Slightly obvious ideas, true, the sort of idea you can imagine an Indian artist having rather easily – and it turns out they’re used in rather an obvious way, too.

Subodh Gupta

Subodh Gupta

I found myself feeling that too often. The work is plausible enough, but nothing special. Shilpa Gupta’s In Our Times puts two old-fashioned microphones see-sawing on a stand, broadcasting the Independence speeches of Nehru (India) and Jinnah (Pakistan), delivered by a woman’s voice. Well, if I was pretending to be an Indian artist, that’s the kind of thing I’d do!

Or there’s Subodh Gupta, who’s been dubbed – well, it had to happen – “the Damien Hirst of India”, but here he appears more in the character of “the Mike Nelson of India”, with a room filled with a run-down and packed-up office. But then, same problem again: compared with Nelson’s dense and atmospheric environments, this is a very thin and under-imagined space.

I thought Nalini Malani had something, painting flights of female figures on clear acrylic panes, where swirling smears of pigment get transformed into snaking bodies. And Kiran Subbaiah’s brief video, Flight Rehearsals, about an introverted young man climbing the walls of his bedroom, was tight and funny. And Amar Kanwar’s The Lightning Testimonies used that unpromising form – the eight-screen all-around projection – and nearly made it work. But there’s nothing to bring you running.

An India-focused show looks like a good idea. But if it turns out to be a dud, then it’s a very bad idea. Anything disparaging you say about it is likely to become a disparaging generalisation about India itself. And if none of the art seems much good, you’re tempted to think that there’s a general cultural problem. The artists may seem fluent in contemporary art, but this language is clearly a Western invention. They have adopted it in an efficient but derivative way, as a badge of contemporaneity. They lack the confidence to take it over and reshape it.

Maybe. But an alternative explanation is available. It is simply that the artists in this show are stymied by the almost universal problem of not being very good artists. It can happen to artists anywhere. And then the question is, why the Serpentine didn’t find better ones?

Independent

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Posted in Gallery shows, Indian, London, Museum shows, Overviews, Surveys, UK, Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

India Art Summit August 2008 is India’s first contemporary art fair

Posted by artradar on August 13, 2008


Sohan Qadri

Sohan Qadri

 

 

INDIA ART FAIR India is hosting its first art fair of modern and contemporary art called “India Art Summit”. It will be held from the 22nd to the 24th of August 2008, at Pragati Maidan (ITPO) New Delhi.

More than 30 galleries from India and abroad will show works in an area of 1400 square metres. The three day event is expected to attract thousands of people.

Anjolie Ela Menon, one of India’s most outstanding contemporary artists and one of the patrons of the India Art Summit along with artists SH Raza and Krishen Khanna and art critic Keshav Malik, sees this fair as a gateway to the future of modern and contemporary art reports the magazine Asian Art News.

“It’s high time that India offered and art fair to the world” says Renu Modi of Gallery Espace.

Established artists on show will include MF Husain, Vaikuntham, Sohan Qadri, FN Souza, Atul Dodiya and Riyas Komu.

Younger artists such as Babu Xavier, Thukral and Tagra, Birendra Pani, Mekhala Bahl, Rooshika Patel, Sara, Tanmoy Samanta, Apurva Desai, CF John, Debraj Goswami, Pratul Dash, Murali Cheeroth, TM Azis, Raqs Media Collective will attract younger collectors.

Murali Cheeroth

Murali Cheeroth

Sculptors include Nagji Patel, Saroj Kumar Singh and Arzan Khambatta.

The timing is right says Asian Art News: Indian art’s bouyant annual growth rate is estimated to be 30 to 35%.

There will be networking opportunities at the concurrent Art Forum with speakers such as Rajeev Lochan, director National Gallery of Modern Art, art critics Geeta Kapur and Gayatri Sinha, Robert Storr dean Yale School of Art and Hugo Weihe Christie’s head of Asian Art.

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Asian contemporary art course Sothebys July 2008 London

Posted by artradar on July 6, 2008


ASIAN ART COURSE SOTHEBYS LONDON JULY 21-25 2008

If you have arrived at this post and want more up to date course info (click here for latest)

This one-week course will explore the work of artists from East Asia, India, and the Middle East. The lectures will also investigate the key players in the market for Asian Art, as well as opportunities for growth in key regions.

Fee: £550 inclusive of visits and champagne reception.

Timetable:

Monday, 21 July
China

09.30-09.45 Registration and Coffee
09.45-10.00 Welcome
10.00-11.00 Influences in Chinese Art
11.30-12.30 The Cultural Revolution: the Birth of A New Iconography
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.30 Chinese Contemporary Art from 1980 to Present
15.00-16.00 Chinese Painting in the 21st Century
16.00-18.00 Visit to Qiu Jie exhibit at the Red Mansion Foundation

 Tuesday, 22 July
The Middle East

10.00-11.00 Islamic Art and its Influences
11.30-12.30 The Diaspora and Questions of Identity in Middle Eastern Contemporary Art
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.30 Highlighting Iranian Art
15.00-16.00 Building a Heritage in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities
16.00-18.00 Visit to the exhibit ‘Mitra Tabrizian: This is that Place’ at Tate Britain

Wednesday, 23 July
India and Pakistan

10.00-11.15 Indian Contemporary Art – A Brief Introduction
11.30-12.30 Influences and Aesthetics of Indian Artists Working Abroad
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.30Success stories from India: Souza, Husain and Gupta
15.00-16.00 The Lahore Group Impact on Pakistani Art
16.00-18.00 Visit to a Private Collection / Gallery / or Museum

Thursday, 24 July
Korea and Japan

10.00-11.00 An Introduction to Korean Art, from Pyongyang to Seoul
11.30-12.30 Contemporary Korean Artists in Focus
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.30 Japanese Art Today: Beyond Murakami
15.00-16.00 Cultivating Craftsmanship: The Role of Living National Treasures
16.00-18.00 Visit to a Private Collection / Gallery / or Museum

Friday, 25 July
The Asian Art Market

10.00-11.00 Transformations in the Chinese Contemporary Art Market
11.30-12.30 Chinese Contemporary Art: A Marketing Model
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.30 Buying Culture: The impact of the UAE’s activity on the global art market
15.00-16.00 Analysing Growth Prospects for Emerging Markets
16.00-18.00 Champagne Reception

http://www.sothebysinstitute.com/day-eve-6.html

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Posted in Chinese, Courses, Indian, Iranian, Japanese, Korean, Market watch, Pakistani | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

India Embraces the Contemporary: Financial Times

Posted by artradar on May 25, 2008



INDIA The Indian art market is going through a major transformation, where the market’s focus has shifted from modern Indian art to contemporary Indian art.

According to a report this month by ArtTactic, an art market research service which provides analysis and advice for art collectors, art professionals, art institutions and art funds, its contemporary art market Confidence Indicator now stands 20 per cent higher than the indicator for the modern art market. However, recent auction results show that there is still strong demand for the right period works by a selected number of modern Indian artists such as FN Souza, MF Husain, VS Gaitonde, Ram Kumar and SH Raza.

Western museums and private collectors have started to take a strong interest in what is happening in India at the moment. This will continue in 2008, with exhibitions planned at the Serpentine Gallery, the Saatchi gallery, the Mori Art Museum, as well as the current exhibition “Passage to India” at Initial Access, the space recently opened by UK collector Frank Cohen.

According to the ArtTactic Indian Art Market Confidence Survey, the overall Indian art market confidence indicator fell 13 per cent from the last reading in October 2007.

The indicator has been hit by a 54 per cent drop in both the current and future confidence in the economy. With India’s inflation surging to a more than three-year high, with global financial markets in decline and with crude oil prices rising, the economic prospect looks less promising than six months ago. And as the economic component of the confidence indicator carries a 33 per cent weighting in the overall Indian Art Market Confidence Indicator, the significant loss in confidence weighs heavily on the overall results.

However, despite the fall in overall ArtTactic Indian art market confidence, both the confidence levels in the modern and contemporary market increased significantly: up 17 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

After the slowdown that started at the beginning of 2007, where the modern Indian art market experienced a 38 per cent drop in annual auction volume compared with the record year of 2006, the modern Indian art market is now regaining some of the lost confidence.

The ArtTactic Indian Modern Art Market Confidence Indicator is up 27 per cent from the last reading in October 2007, and while the survey respondents are less positive about the near future of the Indian contemporary market, the “expectation indicator” for the modern art market stands 23 per cent higher than the “present indicator”, showing the modern art market could be about to regain some of the ground that it recently lost.

www.arttactic.com

The ArtTactic Indian Market Confidence Indicator was launched in May 2007. It is derived from polling 81 respondents, including curators, collectors, dealers, galleries and auction houses operating in the Indian art market.

 

 

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