Down the centuries has come to us one of the most exquisite and beautiful traditions in art: the expressions of the presence of the Divine. Artists have grappled with this across the world in various ages and places bringing into artistic materiality the ephemeral nuances of such a sublime belief. Various religions have tried in their own ways to bring into color and sound what was missing in physicality.
Nine Fish brings into its gallery the Christian strains of Divine Art through the works of two outstanding contemporary artists, Milburn Cherian and Paul B. Both have distinct styles and forms and their works speak volumes for themselves. Cherian is well known in the international circuits for the sheer complexity and skill of her canvases. To first encounter them is to be transported into a fantastical world of possibilities wherein "we are simulated simultaneously to exercise our own emotional, visual, structuring functions" as Carmel Berkson so insightfully points out.
Paul B on the other hand, draws deeply and sensitively from the tremendous Byzantine tradition and makes his art all of his own. Nuanced with a sense of contemporariness without losing the sense of the longer tradition, they dazzle and engage viewers with their colors and delicate lines, entranced with the use of gold leafing, archival paper, wood, glass .Paul's works are part of the permanent collections of many private collectors world wide as well as that of "The Museum of Sacred Art" in Brussels.
Curated by Gourmoni Das
At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
9th March to 9th May 2018 (All Days),
10:30 am to 7:30 pm
In the aggressively marketed world of contemporary art today perhaps one of the greatest living legends and most reclusive of artists has finally been cajoled into coming out with a grand solo show. After years of shying away from the market space and the media, Prabhakar Kolte is ready to present his tremendous show - Re-Unveiling Kolte - at the Nine Fish gallery in association with Dot Line Space.
His reclusive and silent life, his deep abstract works delve into the silences of space and non-space, of attempts at closing the distances between being and non-being, existence and non-existence, the complex relationships between sound and form, space and representation. His works explore the very meaning of art and its materiality, and begin to close the distance between his own life and his canvases.To look at the recent works of this master is to be exposed to the unending questions of the purpose and expression of art itself and the paths it has traversed in the last few decades and perhaps the trajectories down which it will take us as viewers and more importantly as humans. To stand with a required reverence before his canvases is to be exposed to the delicate, perhaps elusive, spaces where art and life meet in silent profundity.
Kolte personifies this both through his life and his art. His privately lived, varied complex life, has been layered like his canvases, that of the personal, the academic, the social worker, and the role which is most important for him - that of the teacher. And so are his canvases, spaces - covered and hidden - then created again, then covered again, turned into other spaces, into non-spaces, eradicated or forgotten, and then created again, or older spaces struggling through the attempts to dissolve them . . . each with an existence of its own.
"Re-Unveiling Kolte" chronicles the last decades of Kolte's deep evolution and that of art. The show starts on the 9th of March in an equally and historically layered space, the Nine Fish gallery. Over the period of the show are related events, like talks, discussions, etc. relating to Dr Kolte's art and evolution and the history of abstraction in India.
Text by Dr. Anurag Kanoria
At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
17th Feb to 4th March 2018 (All Days),
10:30 am to 7:30 pm
After the "Retro Realism in Post Modern World" this chapter examines contemporary trajectories in the contemporary world of the visual arts in India, mainly in painting and sculpture. This is explored through the works of four mid-career contemporary artists in India. Herein we explore the ways in which these artists venture forth in their individual trajectories, at once emboldened and hemmed in by the forces of the market, religion, the current turbulent political scenario, as well as the more immediate and confused paths that contemporary art in India is following. We have used the word 'trajectories' to show the individualism of each artist's career, while also exploring whether such individualism is at all possible in the current situation, or if they are all shades of the same.
The history of art in our times can be viewed as a pendulum swinging between the urge to copy and the urge to invent - both being valid traditions. It is obvious that we are now far removed from the former, with our following the Enlightenment moment of European history. Instead of relating to external facts, visible for all to see, artists today prefer to retreat inwards and conduct a specialized dialogue within limited circles of their own, commenting not on their attitudes to reality, but on their relation to art itself. Hence the somewhat reclusive nature of present day works, which err by chasing the swing of the pendulum with zeal – total abstraction. So the painter reconciles the dual attractions of art and reality with skill. He or she cannot therefore be accused of replacing the poetry of invention with the prose of fact. In this way the work is a bridge between worlds. But every mind and every culture has a more or less tendency in these directions. Arya so far as one can see, works his way from an idea downwards, proceeds deductively, starting from some ideal conceptions, and seeking in realities visible illustrations of time-tested existences. Well, this is one way of approaching his work.
Rahul Mukherjee is a visual artist works at Baroda. His works range from painting to installations to sculpture. He did his Bachelors in Fine Arts with specialisation in Painting from College of Art, Delhi and Masters in painting from Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. His art works deal with the space, the imagined limitations of paintings, the construction of his installations and the interpretations that he consciously lets his works manifest, all telling the story about existence or human presence today can only be suggested in abstractionism.
A line embodies a lot more than what it implies. A line which runs between two countries defines their territorial boundaries, while the unreachable yet visible horizon line represents a union of intangible entities. For her this very line helps to divide the space into several units, and is a key element of her works. There are certain other invisible lines drawn on unmapped territories of the human psyche- emotional once, of love, hate, ego, avarice etc. An imbalance of any of these lines could result in disharmony, in the miss-functioning of the very ecosystem of humanity. Be it a family unit, society, a nation or the entire world, lines of control are employed for the balance to be maintained.
Whether a social, political, or personal identity, one is subjected to a constant battle of dominance and subjugation based merely on the employment or defiance of these mental or physical lines of control. While these rules and regulations help to harmonize the difference in humanity, ironically, at some point these same rules and regulations restrict humanity. Her works address these conflicts zones that all of humanity carries within, expressed and unexpressed. The very lines that divide are the ones that unite and connect
The socio-political conditions of the days have always fascinated Shardul Kadam, as art is not devoid of what happens in the society he feels. While he might not take on too literally individual events in his works, the social and political flavour of the times certainly informs his penetrating works.
Kadam's work is not just decorative. All these experience formulate the imagery, if not the subject itself. Layers of meanings may unfold as the viewer tries to search beyond the basic aesthetics of the works. Kadam wants to make the viewer neither happy nor sad. His works are like our lives, fine and ideal on the surface, but broken and worn out within. His works reveal the hidden shadows that are less apparent.
Retro Realism in a Postmodern World
At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
11th Aug to 14th Oct 2017 (All Days),
10:30 am to 7:30 pm
Currently, the world of contemporary art is sadly facing two major issues. The times for the art scene look at best a bit grim in the near future. The sad implosive effects that the art world is currently facing because of the upheavals in the larger world are not being debated enough, nor can solutions be found easily.
The first and more practical crisis, as we all are only too well aware, is the financial one, wherein markets/investors and collectors have been continuously losing monetary confidence in the acquisition of art. Its repercussions run deep. The world of art has always shied from debating larger economic issues, artists, and art academics especially. The onus of this to whatever extent has fallen on the shoulders of galleries, dealers, and auctioneers. And they have their own trajectories to follow. One only hopes for larger involvements.
The second issue is the path that art and its manifestations are taking. With the end of the postmodern world, or that is what one presumes it to be, art is floundering in its own representations, and the more obtuse they get, the more the 'actual' buyer gapes at it with less and less understanding. No wonder then that the highest prices are still being enjoyed by the Moderns and the Masters.
This show, as the title "Retro Realism in a Postmodern World" suggests, attempts at bridging this widening gap. Each of the three artists tries in her or his way to do so.
They bring forth a past and posit it in today's troubled times.
Helen Brahma is very conscious of this and carries in her work a deep interest in religious iconography and the myths/realities of the Hindu deities, and various life forms that are familiar to us. Her work, though contemporary and cutting edge, is grounded to the land that she comes from - Odisha. And in that, she manifests a postmodernism that becomes relevant and identifiable.
Diptish Ghosh Dastider too presents on his canvases images which we are all familiar with but through his challenging compositions and almost graphic-like representations creates a bridge between the received imagery of India and the movements in contemporary art.
Retro Realism in a Postmodern World is curated by Gourmoni Das. Graduated from Sir JJ School of Art. He has been actively involved in a number of exhibitions and art events.