Deeply interested in Art since my college days it has been only in the past few years that I have become more involved in the Art World as a new collector. Having attended shows, having endless conversation with artists and meeting curators I find myself more and more humbled in what it is that can often scale this alternate universe. The month of February took me to the India Art Fair on the NSCI Ground and the well known Muziris Kochi Biennale down south. It is safe to say both the showcases has left me wanting to know more than ever.
As an outsider in the Art world I write here on some of the works has left me rather spellbound during these events. Sharing some thoughts and images from these journey focusing on these three artist on the specific projects from both shows in the first chapter. I hope that these range of posts, will give a window to how they affected me in the specific work that I interfaced with.
In the Garden by Sumakshi Singh
- Gallery : Exhibit 320
- India Art Fair, NSIC grounds. Feb 2017
Sumakshi’s installations was a revelation. Lost in the world of organic creativity I found myself involved in what I learnt later in the technique of the artist in creating micro environments within which one discovers time, reflection, the past, present by means of these delicate tracings, drawings and sculpture. The essence of Biology and nature lays the foundation in these lace like creations which I found myself rather lost in. Like lost letters, the moss on a garden wall, that weed which pushes forward to finding the sun takes cues from life for me in our inherent layers of human nature as we are. The hanging panels of her ferns with lace drawings and fine line sketches superimposed took me back to how I would find my way in trying to design spaces and reinterpret possibilities. The composition of what is solid versus what is transparent finds a poetic balance that is quite magical. And this garden stays within a monochromatic setting that makes its soul lay even more bare.
I walked back into the midst of her garden often during the times I visited the show and also purchased one of her works encased in Botanical bell Jar which makes me ponder always as I gaze upon it. The delicacy of the lace, the composition of the growing plant yet in the confines of the glass reminds me of how we are within our walls and what we must often do to find our sun.
More details on, http://sumakshi.com
Scans from the Catalog for the show, Willow 2016
Scans from the Catalog & Work: Untitled, 2017, my indulgence
Image from the show at the Art fair, Delhi and the Piece that now I am proud owner of!!
Material Compositions, Daybreak & 1024 Names by Avinash Veeraraghavan
- Gallery SKE, Bangalore
- India Art Fair, NSIC grounds. Feb 2017
It was the first artwork that one saw when they entered the ArtFair. Strategically placed on the entrance wall of the Gallery it was the materiality that astounded me. Having worked extensively with furniture and wooden veneers the work of graphics and layering of this material in Avinash work is a poetic translation of artistic possibilities. A well-known contemporary Indian artist who is well known for his interest in the visual language of popular culture and digital imaging to create graphic books, layered prints, and multichannel video installations.
Drawing from photography, print, textiles, wooden materials, wall paper, wrapping papers foraying into multilayered cultural backgrounds. In the scale of works showcased in this fair the play of the internet. In the “Dwell in Possibility” installation I was lost in the world of what chaos I today around us. Social media, information, internet, the constant influences of the outside within which sits these works which were like in a purer state of what lay outside it. The materiality of the forms and the sculptural patterning in the artworks seemed to have blended into the surrounding but yet not be part of it.
These words of the artist ring true for me as I stood within this space, “I am still very much concerned about the interior world of the mind as I feel it is the root cause for everything we witness in the outside world.” It is surprising how less we realize it is what we think inside that actually affects our understanding of the outside.
Avinash Veeraraghavan, ‘Dwell in Possibility.’ Art Project at India Art Fair 2017, supported by GALLERYSKE. Photo Courtesy: Andy Barnham.
Source: Artnet News, https://news.artnet.com/market/india-art-fair-2017-845699
‘Daybreak’, Avinash Veeraraghavan, Courtesy: GallerySKE.
Image credit: https://scroll.in/magazine
Although this work has also been showcased in the large hall of images as shown, I had the pleasure also to see this work on its own on a pure white wall. The craft of the artist works in detail gave me time to understand how one finds his own space which is actually a sanctum. The idea of that “interior” within a larger framework seemed to bring together on what Raghavan’s works is wherein he speaks of the spaces within the larger context.
As I stepped away I found myself thinking back on the many contradictions of our own minds and how many time we see but don’t look. Whether within ourselves or in the outside.
HOME by Abir Karmakar
- Kashi Art gallery, Fort Kochi
- Muziris Kochi Biennale, 2017
The value of reinterpretation is a very powerful one in Art. When your context of the understanding of Home is taken away from what you are aware of and relocated by large wall to wall oil canvases of what you see every day, what would that mean. The artist in this installation has recreated with photo realistic representation using canvas rooms of a Home within the art gallery. As I walked in, I was transfixed by the scale of the show. The absence of furniture and scale of each room in the gallery pushed the viewer against the wall making them question their surroundings and their meanings. The walls of objects. Kitchens shelves, stacks of books, artifacts, the television on the wall all collide to raise questions of what does it all mean. In the words of the artist his intent was to encourage the visitor to reassess the meaning of “Home”.
As said by the curator of the Biennale Sudarshan Shetty about Abir, “The Measure of success for an artist is how the craft meets or even comes close to the intention of the subject matter. Abir’s craft and the subject matter cannot be seen in isolation or in binaries. They are not separable. In Abir’s work, I think there is a case to be made for the rigor in ‘making”. I believe that the making too can be a means to production of knowledge”
Images from the Living Room, Bedroom Canvas spaces in the Show.
With Sudarshan Shetty at the Show!!
Leaving the gallery I found myself pondering the idea of a Home.
How much do we know?
How much did we actually realize about the total identity of what surrounds us always. Are we as rooted or wandering even within the walls of what we always know. With this the journey of questions continue!