Q2 Quarterly Magazine 2014



There is a saying in India when referring to something that is intrinsically Indian, “Issme se is mitti ki kushbu ati hai” loosely translated it means that “one can smell the fragrance of this motherland in it”. Such is the issue of our magazine this quarter – it bears the essence of India, its culture, people and their traditions. Which is why, while writing it, this issue has turned into one that is completely dedicated to traditional Indian art be it trying to fathom the amazing wealth that is Madhubani art or understanding the depth of inspiration and the need to stay with ones roots with our Artist in Focus – Gond Artist, NikkiSingh Ureti. We welcome any comments and suggestions that our readers have.

5 things you probably didn’t know about Madhubani Paintings

5 things you probably didn’t know about Madhubani Paintings

Madhubani or Mithila paintings are one of the more famous forms of traditional Indian art forms. Originating in the region of Madhubani in the Indian state of Bihar, the art is now practiced across India by amateur artists and even some contemporary artists have at times borrowed inspiration from these colourful mosaics. Much has been written about the art form – the fact that it was first practiced only by women, that no part of the canvas is left blank, that the paintings depict nature, Gods and demi-Gods, that they are ritualistic in nature and still form an important part of festivals and ceremonies like marriages; is common knowledge. But there are still a few things that probably not everyone knows about Madhubani, we bring you a few of these little known truths about the paintings:

How Madhubani art was revealed to the world?
Interestingly, it took an Englishman to introduce Madhubani to the Indians and the rest of the world. As history has it, in 1934, the state of Bihar suffered from a massive earthquake. A British officer, Willain Archer, was inspecting the damage caused by the quake in Madhubani district when he chanced upon the paintings on the interior walls of the dilapidated homes. He took some of the earliest known photos of the works in black and white. Later in 1949 he published an article on the paintings in the Indian art journal, Marg, which brought the paintings into the public eye. Later, Archer was to become the South Asia Curator at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. It took another natural disaster, a severe drought in the 1960s, that inspired the transition of the paintings from the walls of the homes onto paper, wheen the All India Handicrafts Board encouraged the women to create these paintings for sale.

The paper works are forever
Often one finds clients hesitant to purchase works on paper. After all when it comes to longevity, canvas is better than paper. But the works created by the Madhubani artists on special handmade paper are built to last. To start with the quality and gauge of the paper is standardized handmade paper. Add to that the artists use neem extract to treat the paper, not only to give it a peculiar stained background colour but also to protect it from insects and other pests. Sometimes an additional mild solution of cow dung is also applied. This is why, though Madhubani paintings are made on handmade paper they are immune to attacks from silver fish, termites etc.

The Feng Shui connect
Few would realize it, but the Madhubani paintings are replete with symbols and tropes which have a strong association with the Feng Shui philosophy. The use of flowers, especially the lotus, has special significance in Madhubani lore and even in Feng Shui flowers are supposed to imbue a beautiful energy and bring good luck and good fortune. Birds, which find pride of place in the Madhubani paintngs, especially those associated with the tree of life are linked to divinity and attaining knowledge and spirituality in Feng Shui as well. The fish in Madhubani paintings signifies prosperity and fertility and is considered to bring good luck in Feng Shui. The turtle or tortoise is another symbol that is in common and represents vitality and good luck. Thus, is a sense one could say that installing a Madhubani painting in your home will bring with it the immense benefits of Feng Shui as well!

The Importance of the Sun

The sun since ancient times, in all civilizations, has always had an important place in the legions of Gods and nature worship. Even modern science professes that the sun is the greatest source of energy and necessary for life on earth. Little wonder then that the Sun occupies such an important place in the Madhubani paintings as well. There are paintings which are wholly dedicated to the Sun and if not, then the Sun will find some place as a trope in most of them. As a primarily agrarian economy the Madhubani villagers are dependent on the sun for a good harvest. Interestingly, the Sun is painted in different moods and in different colours. The Sun painted with large eyes and in vivid colours represents the noon day sun, while the more mellow eyes would indicate the Sun either at dawn or dusk. Every Madhubani home will have one painting on the Sun as they pray to it on a daily basis.

The Marriage Sacrament
Marriages in the village are very important and joyous occasions. For every marriage a special painting is created so as to invoke divine blessings on the newlywed couple. Thus, in the painting will be depicted the nine planets, the sun, the moon and other auspicious symbols like the fish, turtle etc. Along with these seven special leaves similar to that of the lotus form the centre of the composition.
The Madhubani paintings are not just pretty and colourful additions to a home or office. For those who choose to explore them and read deeper into these amazing works will be well rewarded with a wonderful and amazing insight into the rich thoughts of these simple people.

~ Razvin Namdarian

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Snippets

Kalaghoda Art festival
T2 at the Mumbai International Airport
Kalaghoda Art Festival
T2 at the Mumbai International Airport

Kalaghoda Art Festival

February is the month in which the much awaited Kalaghoda Art Festival is hosted in Mumbai’s primary art district – Kalaghoda. The art installations here always do tend to have a social conscience and are related to events that are plaguing the society. While environment is always a primary concern voiced by the artists and plastic bottles have now become almost a cliché in such installations, this time the art festival also saw a commentary on women’s issues from the all-pervasive gender bias in Indian society to the heinous increase in the crimes against women in the country. These included Unsafe Touches and Imbalanced Justice. There were also some innovative ideas for public seating or street furniture presented by some artists. Illusion was a work that was particularly interesting as the perception changed as the viewer moved along the length of the work. With a new makeover in the organization of the festival, art is once again taking precedence at the festival with the installations outshining the ones of previous years both in terms of conception as well as number.

T2 at the Mumbai International Airport

It took four years, 1500 artists, a thousand sketches and many renderings to create the astounding display that is the T2 terminal at the Mumbai International Airport. It is a showcase of the finest of all art that India has to offer, from contemporary to traditional art, from world renowned artists to the humble artisan from the slums. Each work is site specific and created for the T2, thus one seamlessly leads into the other and even though the works are variegated to the extreme, nothing jars on the viewer as being out of place. An artist associated with bCA Galleries Rekha Rani has also contributed her works for the T2 as have other art luminaries like GR Iranna, Jagannath Panda, Baiju Parthan, Mithu Sen and Riyas Komu. Rajeev Sethi is the scenographer ( creative designer, art director and curator) of this mammoth project that holds more artifacts than any museum in India. For those travelling via T2, be warned, Sethi’s brief while launching into this creative maze was to create such an awe inspiring display that people could well miss their flights.

Regular Features

Poll Result
Artist in focus

Poll Result
bCA Galleries presents Poll Result…

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Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months…

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Art Extract
The field of Abstract Expressionism is divided into two – Action Painting and Colour Field Paintings. Both these styles emerged in New York in the 1940s. While action painting is all about exuberance and burst of energy, colour field paintings are considered to be more introverted…

Read more…

NikkiSingh Ureti

NikkiSingh Ureti

Needless to say India is a melting pot of cultures. The rich diversity in terms of background, race, ethnicity…that is to be found in India, is probably unrivaled. It is this same diversity that given rise to various traditional art forms in the country…

Read More…

bCA Galleries has introduced on-line solo shows of its associated artists… Stopress
Artist in Focus – NikkiSingh Ureti

Artist of the month

Needless to say India is a melting pot of cultures. The rich diversity in terms of background, race, ethnicity…that is to be found in India, is probably unrivaled. It is this same diversity that given rise to various traditional art forms in the country. One of these is the Gond style of traditional art and we bring you one of its leading artists NikkiSingh Ureti.

How did your interest in art develop?

I remember that I must have been around only five years old studying in the first standard in my village when I got drawn towards painting. I started painting everything that I saw around me in the village – the way we live, the work we do – so my paintings had scenes like ploughing the fields, women cooking on an open fire and such. I would even have dreams at night about what I would paint the next day.

When I was very young my mother fell very ill, due to that I dropped out of school and later decided that painting would be the goal of my life. I was greatly inspired by Jangarh Singh Shyam who had taken our Gond art form to such international heights. All around me also in my village were these amazing paintings done on the walls by the women of our village. With such a rich heritage around me and with the blessings of Jangarh Singh Shyam, I too started painting in the Gond style. In a way you can say that is a family tradition that has been passes down through the generations.

Tell us more about Gond art.

Gond is more a way of life than just art. It is not only something that is colourful or looks nice but bears our history and culture. It tells the stories of our Thakur Devis and Gods, it celebrates our festivals, it rejoices in a bountiful harvest and it speaks of the poignant love of a family when a daughter weds and leaves the home. For those who seek to understand our Gond art, they will find everything of the way we live in our paintings.

Is there any difference in the way the young Gond artists create their works from the way it was done in the past?

Well, life is in a state of continuous evolution and since our art is based on life, it too has not been immune to changes. There have been modern influences on our art, for instance in some paintings you would find images of an airplane woven into the story. I feel that there is greater finesse in the manner of creation of the paintings and this is also because the medium we use has changed from rough walls of the homes, our art has now transitioned to canvas and paper, in addition we no longer used natural dyes but commercial paints which has increased the options of the colour palette immensely and introduced a new vibrancy to the works while not compromising on our traditional roots.

How do you perceive the future?

I wish to continue in this line as long as I am able, God willing. I hope one day that I too will get the recognition that the great Jangarh Singh Shyam enjoyed. By the grace of God, my painting has opened up my horizons for me, from Bhopal I have had the opportunity to travel to many cities in the country including the amazing metros of Mumbai and Delhi. Who knows perhaps I may get a chance to travel abroad as well and from painting an airplane, may actually get to travel in one!

~ Razvin Namdarian

Interesting Exhibitions seen in the past 3 months

Pix - The Iran IssueTirthankars
"Pix – The Iran Issue"

"Tirthankars"

"Pix – The Iran Issue"

Iran – a country which has stirred up several international controversies in the recent past and which has oft been berated for the autocratic manner in which it treats its women. This exhibition which showcases works by 14 upcoming Iranian photographers “explores the various notions of censorship and limiting freedom of expression due to political anxiety and cultural history.” The photographs have primarily been shot in a studio setting and not only bring to the fore the oppression that people face within the country but also the effects that years of war have had on the psyche of the citizens. This exhibition is a poignant acknowledgement of things lost – opportunity, innocence and hope.

"Tirthankars"

The Buddha is an oft used muse in the wold of Indian Contemporary art, he has become synonymous with meditation and a symbol of peace. His contemporary, Mahavir, the 24th Tirthankar of the Jain religion has not been featured in Indian art, until now. Bharat Tripathi brings us canvases dedicated to all the 24 Tirthankars of the Jain religion. Based on diligent research, each of the Tirthankar’s has been depicted in a unique manner. with particular symbols associated with each such as the turtle, snake, swastik etc.

 

Poll Result

Poll Result

bCA Galleries presents the results of the previous Poll

Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months

Associated artists
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined & Updated with us in the past 3 months.

Bahadur Singh
Chandrakant Tajbije
Karuna Pawar
M Singh
Sardar Jadhav

Shivani Mathur
Rani Rekha
Prakash Nayak
NikkiSingh Ureti
Ashok Roy

The artists have been listed in alphabetical order.

Art Extract: : Traditional Art

Traditional Art

Traditional art is defined as a kind of an art that is a part of a culture of a particular group of people, skills and knowledge, usually passed down through generations from the master craftsmen to learners. Traditional art includes anything that you do with your hands such as painting, printmaking and sculpture among others. In addition, as opposed to fine art which is based more on aesthetics, traditional art is more decorative and utilitarian. Some may also find it rudimentary in technique as the sophisticated methods of modern art are not employed here. Also, unlike fine art, the symbols and motifs used in traditional art have a deep rooted meaning, often the materials used to create this art are also held in high regard by the community. Traditional art by definition is limited and specific to a particular culture, ethnicity and its traditions, thus it is not possible to categorize it or define it in terms that are beyond broad generalizations.

Stop press

Stoppress

Madhubani paintings are renowned worldwide as one of the prime forms of traditional art in India. In this exhibition we bring you the varied styles and colours of this ancient art form. Thus, the Fish is typical of the ‘tattoo’ form of Madhubani while the Shiv Parvati painting shows the figurative skills of the artist. The paintings also showcase the various rituals and religious motifs associated with the beliefs and culture of the artists – these include the sun, fish, elephant, peacock, tree and tortoise, each of which is particularly relevant in the ethos of these simple people.

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Online Exhibition:- bCA Galleries is proud to present the solo on-line show of Madhubani Paintings

Review:- Madhubani paintings are renowned worldwide as one of the prime forms of traditional art in India.In this exhibition we bring you the varied styles and colours of this ancient art form. Thus, the Fish is typical of the “tattoo” form of Madhubani while the Shiv Parvati painting shows the figurative skills of the artist. The paintings also showcase the various rituals and religious motifs associated with the beliefs and culture of the artists – these include the sun, fish, elephant, peacock, tree and tortoise, each of which is particularly relevant in the ethos of these simple people.

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http://www.bcagalleries.com/products.asp?section_ID=177&parent=177&section_name=Forest%20of%20Honey

bCA publishes article on Artist’s Resale Rights

A Tyeb Mehta painting makes headlines at art auctions selling in crores. The works of most of his contemporaries like S H Raza, M F Hussain, Jehangir Sabavalla, F N Souza also cross the crore or million mark; these being the same works that the artists had probably sold for a few thousands a couple of decades ago. Most would believe that such is the art world; after all haven’t the greats like Van Gough, Rembrandt and Monet died in near penury? The morbid joke was always that the artist commands a price for his paintings only once he is dead. The wise buyer who picks up art when the artist is not that well known stands to benefit from his investment when the artist gains popularity – it is also an investment fraught with risk and hence the buyer deserves the gains. Once it is sold, the painting belongs to the buyer to do with as he pleases, right? However, when it comes to art, things can never be so cut and dried. The artist may sell a painting but the copyright remains with him and there has always been the hankering that the artist and his heirs too need to benefit from the delayed pecuniary rewards of their work. Thus a number of countries have introduced the artist resale right or droit de suite. This right allows artists to participate financially in the resale of their original works of art. As with copyright, the duration of the resale right is usually the lifetime of the artist plus 70 years.

The droit de suite was first proposed in Europe around 1893, in response to a decrease in the importance of the salon, the end of the private patron, and to champion the cause of the “starving artist.” Historically it was prompted by the sale of the painting Angelus by Jean François Millet for 1,000 francs in 1865 and its resale just 14 years after Millet’s death in 1889 by the copper merchant Secretan for 553,000 francs; while the artist’s family lived in poverty. France was one of the first countries to introduce this right. The same was regularized throughout the European Union in 2001.

The UK too has its own version of the Artist Resale Rights though they have a gradation wherein the percentage of payment to be made on resale to the artist decreases as the amount paid for the artwork increases. Thus, an artwork sold for upto £ 50,000 will command 4% but one sold for more than £ 500,000 will be entitled to only 0.25% as resale fee to the artist.

More recently, in 2009 Australia too introduced The Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act 2009 which gives the creator of an artwork the right to receive a royalty when their work is resold on the commercial art market. For artworks already in existence at 9 June 2010, the royalty applies only to the second and subsequent resale after that date. The royalty is calculated as 5% of the sale price, but does not apply where that price is less than $1,000. It can be paid directly to the creator, on resales made during their lifetime and to their heirs for resales made up to 70 years after the creator’s death. The primary legal obligation to pay the royalty rests on the seller. However, in economic terms, it may effectively be passed on to the purchaser. Eligible artworks include original works of graphic or plastic art, including pictures, collages, paintings, drawings, engravings, prints, lithographs, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics, glassware, photographs, fine art textiles, installations, fine art jewellery, artists’ books, carvings and multi-media artworks.

Even the Philippines recognises the resale rights of artists and The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (Republic Act 8293) gives the author/artist or his heirs a 5-percent share in the gross proceeds of the sale or lease of the original painting, sculpture, or manuscript, subsequent to its first disposition by the creator. This right exists during the lifetime of the author or artist and fifty years after his/her death.

One would feel that a great disservice is being done to Indian artists that they are not being awarded the same rights as enjoyed by artists the world over. But the truth is that India is one of the first countries to have provided for resale rights to artists.

The Artist’s Resale Right is contained in Section 53A of the Copyright Act of 1957. Under this Section, certain artists or his legal heirs enjoy a ‘resale share right in original copies’ of their works provided that certain conditions are met. The original copies referred to in the title of the Section refer to an ‘original copy of a painting, sculpture or drawing, or of the original manuscript of a literary or dramatic work or musical work’, and to benefit from the right contemplated by this provision of the statute, the artist must have been the first owner of rights under Section 17 of the Act. The resale right says that each time a work of art is sold within the copyright period, the artist will get a share. And this period is computed as copyright term (time) plus 60 years after the death of the artist. That means if the painter/sculptor/author is alive within the ‘selling period’ he gets a percentage of the resold amount, and within 60 years after his death, his family would be entitled to a percentage each time it is resold. But if the work is commissioned, then this term would only be 60 years from the time of the first resale.

If an artwork is re-sold for over Rs10,00, the exact share which would be payable to the artist or his legal heirs would, according to the statute, be fixed by the Copyright Board whose decision would be final. The statute also empowers to Board ‘to fix different shares for different classes of work’ although it stipulates that the share may not ‘exceed ten per cent of the resale price’ in any case. Finally, according to Section 53A(3) of the Act, any dispute relating to the Artist’s Resale Right is to be ‘referred to the Copyright Board whose decision shall be final’.

The issue is not the provision for the resale right but rather the ignorance of its existence. Even an artist of Tyeb Mehta’s calibre is said to have remarked about the auction of his paintings in millions, “Kash hamare paas bhi resale right hota.” (If only we, in India, too hade resale rights). Despite its existence for more than 50 years , reportedly, not one artist has even applied for his resale rights. No gallery, or auction house, has gone on record to say it has made a payment on a secondary sale to the artist in question.

Of course there will be numerous hurdles faced with artists demanding their rights and the manner in which the same will be provided to them. The best way of organising it would be to appoint a collection agency which will track sales and collect the percentage due to artists on resale of works. The same is currently in practice in the UK. However, the collection of the resale fee aside, the Herculean task will be not only to mobilise the artists and their heirs in recognising and demanding their rights but also to ensure that the major players in the art business, auction houses, galleries and dealers, accept resale rights as part of their business dealings.

– Razvin Namdarian

 

Q3 Quarterly Magazine 2013



The monsoons have wreaked havoc in India and our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered and lost their dear ones in Uttarakhand. For our regular readers, we apologise for not publishing our magazine in the last quarter, there were inadvertent circumstances which we had to deal with. This issue of the magazine deals with a pertinent topic for most young artists, the importance of a mentor to guide them in their foray into the art world and give a direction to their art pursuits. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome and for those who have art exhibitions planned, please do write in with details for our Art News section.

Whither the Art Mentor?

Whither the Art Mentor?

The names of Hussain, Raza, Souza, Gaitonde are well known in the art world. They are considered the pioneers of the contemporary art movement in India. Yet, few would have heard of A A Raiba, one of their contemporaries and indeed equally talented as any of them. However, Raiba lacked the ability to promote himself in the art world. He burnt his fingers a few times with unscrupulous dealers and so withdrew into himself. The J J School of Art in Mumbai had hosted an exhibition of his paintings a few months ago. That exhibition mainly proved that Raiba had also been a talented artist who did not get his due. It also raised an important question – How many other artists are there like Raiba whose talent goes unrecognised only because they lacked direction and guidance at the very beginning? Would these artists benefit from having an art mentor? Indeed, who is an art mentor and where would one find him/her?

Who is a mentor?

A mentor is defined as "a person who gives another person help and advice over a period of time and often also teaches them how to do their job." Thus, it would be wrong to equate a mentor with a teacher, as a teacher is someone who provides knowledge and instructs or trains a person. A mentor’s role is far deeper and more prolonged compared to that of a teacher. In fact, it is similar to that of a coach or counsellor, thus merely becoming an apprentice to an experienced artist cannot be called seeking him out as a mentor. The mentor has to be invested in the future of the ‘protégé’ and be willing to invest their time in providing their knowledge to the young artist. The mentor provides support, guidance and encouragement. A mentor will not only help a young artist define a vision for him/herself, but also assist in working towards that vision.

Thus, given the parameters, one would assume that the mentor would be someone who is far more experienced, established and older than the artist. This would be the general trend but not the rule, as your mentor could be someone who is your peer or much younger than you but has skills and experience that you admire. One could have several mentors in different fields and aspects of your art – whether it comes to creating your art, the technical aspects of art or even the marketing of yourself and your creativity. What is important in this relationship is mutual respect and the ability of the mentor to direct rather than dictate the manner in which you conduct your professional pursuit of art.

Benefits of a mentor
Artists, especially those just out of art school, tend to have a very romantic notion of the artist’s life. They categorise themselves as dreamers and believe that the creative process demands a reclusive lifestyle, though, of course, we are generalising here. The way the art market functions today requires that an artist be as visible as his work; networking is not just a term relegated to the business circles but is an important aspect of the art field as well. A mentor can help an artist understand the business side of art and with approaching the right gallery for promoting their art. Even small aspects like framing and presentation of the work is something a mentor can provide guidance on. A smart artist can go far by learning from the experience and past mistakes of his mentor. Essentially with the assistance of a mentor, your sojourn in the art world will not only be smoother but you will achieve your goals faster. This is also a field in which it is easy to lose heart, many young artists have moved to the commercial aspects of designing and advertising after not finding success in the arena of “fine” art; a mentor can help you stay motivated.

Conclusion
Finding a mentor in the art field is easier said than done. If you know of an artist you admire and wish to mentor under, it is not necessary that s/he will be willing to don the mantle of a mentor. Indeed, some artists tend to be suspicious of those seeking their guidance assuming that their “trade secrets” will be lost. Creating a relationship based on trust, mutual respect and an open mind is not an easy task. Finding the perfect person who is willing to mentor you is also challenging, but once an artist hitches onto a star, he will find himself reaching for the firmament before long.

~ Razvin Namdarian

Participate in our online POLL

You can cast your vote at the top right of this page!

Snippets

Kalaghoda Art Fair
Art Paris Art Fair
Kalaghoda Art Fair
Art Paris Art Fair

Kalaghoda Art Fair

The Kalaghoda Art Fair in 2013 actually seemed more dedicated to art this year. Over the past few years the lament had been that the commercialisation of the fair had led to the fine and performing arts taking a back seat. This year, reorganising the space also gave greater opportunity to artists to showcase their installations and sculptures. Of special note were the totem poles installed by Sukant Panigrahy which displayed the fragile balance between nature and man. Sanyyam by Sachin Chaudhari displayed a tortoise whose limbs represented the five senses of hearing, sight, touch, etc and referred to having a control as well as a sense of restraint in the way we live life. Another interesting installation was Tarewarechi Kasrat which had human figures covered in wires or different colours denoting the various binds that tie us down in this struggle for survival in the big city, from technology to aspirations and goals of riches and success.

Art Paris Art Fair

This year, the Art Paris Art Fair hosted from 28th March – 1st April, brought together 144 galleries from 20 countries. The fair tends to focus on art from Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Russia was the guest of honour this year. With 74 newcomers, fair brought about greater international participation, about 43% of the galleries are from abroad. In addition, the this year Art Paris Art Fair launched a new section entitled “Promises” reserved for galleries that have been established for less than five years and who have never participated in the fair. Twelve galleries took part in this new initiative which aims to provide an opportunity to discover new talent. This year our very own Warli tribal master artist, Jivya Soma Mashe’s artworks were also displayed at the fair.

Art Basel, Honk Kong

After Basel, Switzerland and Miami, USA, the Art Basel art fair now comes to Hong Kong. 23rd – 26th May 2013 marked the inaugural Art Basel event in the city. This is seen as an attempt to establishing a dialogue between art collectors, artists, dealers, curators, critics and art lovers from an Asian perspective for the first time. Earlier Hong Kong had hosted an art fair named Art HK, but the association with Art Basel has introduced a greater standing to the event which has this year seen participation by established galleries and museums from London, Paris and the USA. The fair’s 245 exhibitors, hailing from 35 countries, were spread over two floors of the gigantic Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), with two long escalator rides separating levels one and three. Art Basel’s involvement in Hong Kong art scene has inspired not only greater confidence in the Asian art world but has also introduced a global flavour to the erstwhile ‘east’ or regional dominated fair.


Regular Features

Poll Result
Artist in focus

Poll Result
bCA Galleries presents Poll Result…

Read more…

Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months…

Read more…

Art Extract
An artist who is sure of his painting will lay down the work in precise and decisive strokes…

Read more…

Sanjiivv Sankpal

Sanjiivv Sankpal

Sanjiivv Sankpal is an artist who has been compared to the greats like Hussain. His emphasis on line and the colours he prefers to use have been appreciated by art collectors and critics alike. He is an artist who prefers not to create the features on his faces, leaving it up to the viewer to use his imagination…

Read More…

Stop Press

bCA Galleries has introduced on-line solo shows of its associated artists… Stopress

Artist in Focus – Sanjiivv Sankpal

Artist of the month

Sanjiivv Sankpal is an artist who has been compared to the greats like Hussain. His emphasis on line and the colours he prefers to use have been appreciated by art collectors and critics alike. He is an artist who prefers not to create the features on his faces, leaving it up to the viewer to use his imagination.

How did your interest in art develop?
I was a very bad student at school in studies. Everyone says I am a born artist. My parents and teachers realized this and encouraged me in that direction. And I continued art education to polish my talent. I just happen to be an artist by passion and by profession.

Tell us about your journey in art? Was your family supportive?
Yes, of course my parents were very morally supportive in all terms though they were not that economically sound to nurture any passion and take a risk of making it as profession and realization of this became my biggest strength for my art journey. After my schooling I entered art school and sought D. P. Ed and G. D. Art (Drawing and Painting). Then I joined as a lecturer at Kolhapur and also did G. D. Art (Sculpture and Modelling). Soon I quit the lectureship which hindered me from flourishing as artist and evolved gradually artist. Making art as my profession and a source of my livelihood I did not stop my study. Last year I completed M.F.A. My art journey is of about 20 years of joy and also hardship.

Who would you say are the artists who inspire you?
While gaining education at Kolhapur, I was inspired by local masters Ravindra Mestry and K. B. Kulkarni and by their realism. As I gone deep into the study I was fond of modern abstract figurative paintings of Amrita Shergil. M. F. Hussain and Raza are my national inspirations and being a student I learnt and loved all Impressionists. But Paul Gauguin and Henry Matisse have really affected my art positively. And my other inspirations are my surroundings, people, animals, life styles, Indian miniature paintings and its tiny designs and plain application influence me a lot. Overall my biggest inspiration is Mother Nature.

How would you describe your art?
I owe a lot to my motherland and my painting is a tribute to my motherland. Since, my childhood I am intrigued by nature, people and their simplicity in living, my rural surroundings and they are the only integral parts of my paintings. My paintings are the logical arrangement of figures which are nothing but the forms that balance the negative and positive space in my painting. I try to paint the core of my subject in simple lines, forms, colour schemes. My application and strokes are more Indian which is plain, like miniature style. Moreover, my mentors like Hussain, Raza also have strived to represent our mother land and its dignity and I count myself as another struggler for my mother land.

Your paintings have a strong emphasis on the line; also, you tend to do faceless figures – any particular reason for this?
Lines are the source of expressions; it is core of painting since ancient age as painting has started from lines. A line exists in paintings of all artists. Line is sometimes drawn externally or it is formed on its own while applying colour. Line is not drawn purposefully but it comes there because it is necessary to balance the painting. Force into painting comes due to lines. They also get a flow in the subject.
To talk about faceless figures, right now I do not feel the necessity of face to prove the identity of the particular figure in my painting. When we pray to that almighty spirit we close our eyes because everyone has his own conception of God and hence I want everyone who is looking at my painting to have their own conception of that personality in the painting. Moreover, each figure is correlated to each other in the painting and their body posture is only their gesture that communicates to each other. Who knows but some day there may also be a face in my painting.

What has been the response to your art by collectors and critics?
An art connoisseur had commented that “I feel that you are continuing the half done art study of Amrita Shergil in your own different style. Another American famous sculptor named Carmell said that, “you are a true Indian artist because your paintings are the simple expression of your motherland; along with the essential ethics required for painting. And I desperately feel that this is going to take you high”. Gallery 7 where I have never exhibited and its owner Chandra Sachdev whom I had never met before saw my paintings in some catalogue and called me up saying, “Hussain and Tyeb no longer exist but I found their talent in your paintings and I expect you to reach the pinnacle of their glory because one fine day, as early as possible, I will exhibit your paintings in my gallery.” My collectors are my real mentors. I am satisfied because my collectors get happiness by looking at my paintings. They enjoy it every time they look at it. They call me up, message me and I have maintained strong and friendly relations with my collectors.

Have you ever felt pressure to create as per the market?
No. I listen to my heart and emotions.

How important are awards and winning art contests to an artist?
Awards and contests are not the true measures of an artist’s competency. No, they are least important for an artist to prove himself.

Do you think an artist needs to be based in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, to make his mark in this field?
I do believe that metro cities help in exposure and earning but to evolve as a master it is not necessary to stay there. It depends on artist’s choice. And the media and internet have brought the world closer so that artists can stay connected to world always.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
I would surely advice them, when I will be as big as Hussain. But for time being I would say be honest in whatever you do.

What direction do you see your art taking in the future?
As I said before I made my realism perfect by following my local mentors. Then, I also studied the modern abstraction in paintings of Amrita Shergil. I also tried to interpret the styles of our masters Hussain and Raza. My art and style went on gradually evolving with time and my study of that can be seen through my lines, figures, composition and colour schemes. I feel my art is trying to attain the stage of simplicity; cultivating all the basic ethics of art.

~ Razvin Namdarian

Interesting Exhibitions seen in the past 3 months

Solo show by Prithvi Soni at Gallery LeelaColours of Life at The Viewing Room

Colours of Life at The Viewing Room

Solo Show by Prithvi Soni at Gallery Leela

Prithvi Soni is a master artist when it comes to realistic works and portraiture. This time he brings us the beauty of the harsh desert climes of Rajasthan. While many have taken the typical path of showing desert dunes and the bright colours of the land, Soni brings us the fantasy. It is almost as though the desert sands have conjured up visions of the quintessential and ethereal Indian beauty. His compositions are to be admired not only for the technically superior portraiture but also for the creativity of the artist’s mind. One particular painting shows the Indian woman juxtaposed against the sculpture Venus de Milo – it is almost a comparison between the Western and Indian concepts of beauty.

Colours of Life at The Viewing Room

Art with a soul, is one of the better ways to describe the exhibition Colours of Life showcasing works by Indian contemporary artists. From renowned artists like HR Das, Jagannath Paul and Suhas Bahulkar, the exhibition offers a perfect place for anyone looking to start or add to their art collection. In addition one can have the added satisfaction of knowing that part of the proceeds will go towards the aid of cancer patients.

 

Poll Result

Poll Result

bCA Galleries presents the results of the previous Poll

Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months

Associated artists
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months

Reha Shishodia
Avinash Deshmukh
Sudip Das
Anand Bekwad
N Kanhaiya
Prashanta Nayak

Saurabh Kadam
Venus Sanghvi
Apurba Biswas
Dnyanesh Bembade
Abdulla Pathan
Elayaraja S

The artists have been listed in alphabetical order.

Art Extract: : The Importance of Brushwork in Art

The Importance of Brushwork in Art

An artist who is sure of his painting will lay down the work in precise and decisive strokes. While the work on a painting that has uncertainly of composition or lack of technique will have shabby brushwork and a lot of repainting. Thus the brushwork plays a very important role in determining the quality of the work produced by the artist. In fact, brushwork takes precedence when it comes to certain style of art, like abstract art where the brush strokes add to the effect and expressiveness of the painting. Certain techniques like ‘Impasto’ in oil paintings rely on brushwork to create heavy layering and coats of paints. Controlled brushwork is taught art school and can be employed by an artist to create different effects in the work. There are artists who prefer to use freehand brushwork which is especially useful in the case of landscapes which require the rendering of puffy clouds or waving grass. The essential thing to bear in mind is that the brushwork should have a flow which in itself can direct the eye of the viewer to different aspects of the painting. A good example of brushwork in painting is the works done by Vincent Van Gogh, his work had a sense of urgency which is seen in his paintings especially his self portraits.

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Stoppress

bCA Galleries is proud to present a show of Sanjiivv Sankpal’s paintings. His works are a representation of Indian myths and legends in a modern avatar. His emphasis on line and the colours he prefers to use have been appreciated by art collectors and critics alike. He is an artist who prefers not to create the features on his faces, leaving it up to the viewer to use his imagination.

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Q1 Quarterly Magazine 2013



The year has begun on a high note for the art world; with Navi Mumbai also bringing a new art festival to its environs. Thus, a new chapter in Indian art begins and we are sure it will be a grand success. Our magazine this year speaks of the changing face of the art patron and brings you insights into minimalist art. As always we welcome your suggestions and comments.

The Changing Face of the Art Patron

Changing face of the Art Patron

There was a time when art was relegated to elite and royal circles. This was the time of cultured kings offering royal patronage to artists from different fields of performing arts, singing, poetry, dance and painting. Such royal patronage gave the artists the liberty of pursuing their calling without having to worry about the economics of living. At the same time, the patron too had the opportunity to provide direction to the artist, most of the work produced by artists was in the nature of commissioned works. Hence one finds royal portraiture as the main component of many prominent artists of the Victorian era.

The main difference between an art patron and a buyer in a gallery is that the art patron has had an influence in the creation of the artwork. The painting or sculpture would not exist if not for the directions and creative inputs of the art patron. On the other hand, the art buyer from a gallery is merely purchasing a work and in probability will have no interaction with the artist. The patronage provided in the commissioning of the artwork guarantees the demand and sale of the artwork, while an artist putting up paintings for display can only hope that they strike a chord with the buyer who will then be inclined to purchase it.

There are artists who will be quick to criticize the above simplified differentiation between patron and buyer. They would also take offence at the insinuation that their creative process would be impinged upon by an outside influence that is driven by pecuniary considerations. But the truth of the matter is that art patronage has through the ages played a pivotal role in the creation of art. The strongest example of the patron-artist relationship in history was that between Pope Julius II and Michelangelo throughout his work on the Sistine Chapel. Some would also argue that it was also one of the first examples of censorship in art where the Pope instructed Michelangelo to cover up the extremely realistic statue of David!

Art galleries today to a certain extent do fill the role of the art patron, especially when they nurture artists and create a relationship with them. Galleries are the in the business of art and as such not only feel the pulse of the buyer and guide the artist towards producing the work that is in ‘demand’ but also create a ‘market’ for the artist’s work, there are many a buyer who don’t know anything about art but are ready to trust the judgment and recommendation of a reputed gallerist. But here too, the gallery serves more in the capacity of a mentor rather than patron of art.

Today, the art patron has been reduced to one provides the finance for art projects or scholarships. There is little or no contact between the new age art patron and the artwork. Moreover, he will probably not have any personal ownership of the artwork that has been ‘funded’ by him. Typically, all one has to do to qualify as an art patron is to give a donation or endowment to an artistic organization or art school who will (hopefully) utilize the money to promote the artistic talent within its fold. Else, an art aficionado can become affiliated with a museum and provide his art collection for exhibition purposes, there is usually a fee charged by these institutions and this goes towards the art museum’s upkeep.

In the changing face of the art patron, companies have taken over the role of commissioning artworks. Most often these take the form of portraits of managing directors and CEOs and also sculpture that are put on display in public places – who can forget the iconic Arcelor-Mittal Orbit Tower created by Anish Kapoor for the company prior to the London Olympics. Closer home the Rhino ‘scrapture’ by Arzan Khambatta for Ceat Tyres is a landmark in Mumbai’s CBD – Nariman Point.

Ultimately, while the art patron is now relegated to providing the finance, he still holds a very important place in the art world, for without the funds, certain grandiose works may never go beyond the initial sketch. Art for art’s sake is a very clichéd philosophy to tout and artists may argue about not creating artworks for the money but rather for the love of art and pursuit of their creative instincts, but the bottom line is that money matters and hence the art patron may take whatever form he chooses – rich royal or company honcho – it’s just old wine in a new bottle.

~ Razvin Namdarian

Participate in our online POLL

You can cast your vote at the top right of this page!

Snippets

Navi Mumbai Art Festval 2013
India Art Festival 2012
Navi Mumbai Art Festval 2013
India Art Festival 2012

Navi Mumbai Art Festival 2013

The satellite city that has long been living in the shadow of Mumbai is coming into its own – first it was real estate and excellent infrastructure and town planning that was the attraction and now Navi Mumbai is also entering the field of art with its first ever art festival this month. 200 artists from India will participate with live demonstrations, fine arts, seminars, workshops, dances, fusion performances and food art. The festival will also have music and dance performances by distinguished artists and groups, ranging from classical to contemporary and Indian folk. The art forms will include conventional paintings, wood carvings and bangle making as well as live stone carving, Madhubani tribal art, paper mache, clay modelling, metal wire art and more. Bing held from 24 to 28 Jan at Urban Haat, Navi Mumbai, the festival promises to bring the best of art to the city as organiser, Gautam Patole, avers, “Instead of people going out of the city, we want them to experience a great artistic weekend right here.”

India Art Festial, Mumbai, 2012

The MMRDA ground in Bandra, played host to the 2nd Edition of India Art Festival, from the 19th – 22nd of December. 40 art galleries and 500 professional artists from fifty major cities in six countries participated in the exhibition. The festival which attracted over 47 000 visitors is probably the first art fair in western and southern India to receive the highest number of visitors. Of the visitors, 50% were first time art buyers. Out of 175 booths in the art festival, 85% booths recorded good sales.


Regular Features

Poll Result

Artist in focus

Poll Result
bCA Galleries presents Poll Result…

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Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months…

Read more…

Art Extract
Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design where the work is set out to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts…..

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Yashwant Shirwadkar

Yashwant Shirwadkar

Bringing alive on canvas the historical building and monuments from around India is not an easy task, especially when it comes to getting the architectural perspective right…

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bCA Galleries has introduced on-line solo shows of its associated artists… Stopress
Artist in Focus – Yashwant Shirwadkar

Artist of the month

Bringing alive on canvas the historical building and monuments from around India is not an easy task, especially when it comes to getting the architectural perspective right. But Yashwant Shirwadkar does it with aplomb. He became an artist in the face of severe family opposition and now his sons have followed in his footsteps, we bring you a conversation with the artist.

At what age did you become interested in art?
I think it was around the seventh or eighth grade that I became truly interested in art. Then I would be drawing pictures and regularly get beaten for that by my parents at home. My parents had the typical middle-class mentality where education meant getting a degree and becoming a doctor or engineer. For them artists meant those who drew chalk drawings of gods and goddesses on the pavement and collected the small change people threw on the drawings. Or they thought I would be painting name plates, there was no understanding of this field and its scope. But I was adamant in pursuing my art.

Today, have you proved to your family that art can be a lucrative field?
I have my house, educated my children in Australia and they are well settled there. I have many clients for my works. It is a good field to be in but one must be careful not to become totally commercial.

Your art has focused more on historical buildings and monuments, have you had any interest in architecture?
I am still very interested in architecture, hence there is an architectural perspective in my works. I have studied monuments, spent years in Benares, Rajasthan, Ramghad and Jaisalmer, paying attention to details and doing many sketches. You will find influences of Mughal architecture as well as Kerala style in my works.

Which medium do you prefer? Have you experimented with different mediums?
I have never done photography or sculpture. I do water colours, pen and ink drawings, oil paintings. I tried acrylic, but I find that the colours intensity fades after about 8-9 years. I enjoy working with oils as the colours even if they become dull we can always do it up. I also work with the palette knife which is a time consuming process, there are not many artists working with it.

Are you comfortable with doing commissioned works or prints?
I have done numerous commissioned works for big companies and banks including Oberois, Air India, Lufthansa, HDFC, American Bank, Citibank, Singapore Bank and Nationalle de Paris. There are also galleries who have issued limited edition prints of my works – Marvel Gallery in Ahmedabad and Aurobindo Gallery in Delhi.

Do you feel there is a difference in working abroad and in India?
I have had shows in 18 countries in Europe, also in America, Australia and in India. I think the main difference is in the mentality and attitude of the buyers. A British buyer will remove the painting from the wall, inspect the canvas from behind; a German buyer will go into minute details about the quality of the canvas used, the paints, the longevity of the material; an American buyer will just buy a painting because he likes it; an Indian buyer will have more faith in the artist and value the art and the artist.

Your sons are also artists, is there a plan to create an artistic dynasty or pass on a legacy?
I have never taught my sons even how to hold a pencil. When they were in school their focus was only on studies, of course, they would study in my studio and hence got influenced by my art, however, there was never any intent to pass on a legacy. I always told them to do what they want. They prefer the art field as here there are no deadlines, no age limit, no retirement age and you are enjoying your work. As a family we do discuss the work we are doing, consult each other when we are stuck on a particular painting, but these are more dinner time conversations. The only conscious decision regarding my family that I have made is that all our names should start with the alphabet ‘y’ and the meaning of the name should be associated with the Lord Shankar, whom we are stanch devotees of.

What are your plans for the future?
In the future I would like to set up a museum of my works but not in a city and I am working towards that. There has never been a problem selling my works, even before the internet, people would see my works in a bank or elsewhere and find my contact details and come to buy form me. Now I have started keeping aside at least a couple of works every year to display in my museum/gallery at a future date.

~ Razvin Namdarian

Interesting Exhibitions seen in the past 3 months

Solo show by SH Raza at Jehangir Art GallerySolo show by Yogesh Shirwadkar at Jehangir Art Gallery
Solo show by SH Raza at Jehangir Art Gallery

Solo show by Yogesh Shirwadkar at Jehangir Art Gallery

Solo show by SH Raza at Jehangir Art Gallery

It is not every day that one of the pillars and founding members of Indian Contemporary Art presents a retrospective of his works in Mumbai. Vistaar by S H Raza was a visual and cultural treat for art lovers in Mumbai. The works were as recent as 2012 as well and in some instances one felt that the artist had regressed to his earlier style of abstract cityscapes. The omnipresent Bindu was there of course, it wouldn’t be an exhibition by Raza if it did not find a pride of place in the show. In the recent works the mastery is there, the balance of colours continues to amaze even though some works depict a subtlety in the palette which one assumes has come in with the mellowness of age. The video showing the artist at work and the various catalogues and books on the artist’s works added to the viewing experience. On a personal note this exhibition was of special import to me as it was the first introduction to art of my three month old son – he too was enthralled by the colours and shapes, at least that is what I would like to believe.

Solo Show by Yogesh Shirwadkar at Jehangir Art Gallery

Rustic, evocative, emotional, just some of the adjectives that come to mind when one sees works by Yogesh Shiwadkar. There is a nascent understanding of human interactions and bonds that is evident in his paintings. Though the themes may be tried and tested like those of Krishna and Yashoda, he brings them to life win his own unique style. The colour palette is vibrant and earthy , a refreshing point of view and must see for those who enjoy Indian art.

 

Poll Result

Poll Result

bCA Galleries presents the results of the previous Poll

Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months

Associated artists
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months

Sanjoykumar Samanta
Sunil Chawdiker
Abid-Shaikh

Aditya-Dey
Sudhir-Bangar
Krushna-Kuchan

The artists have been listed in alphabetical order.

Art Extract: : Minimalist Art

Minimalist Art

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design where the work is set out to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts. Minimalism is any design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect. The Minimalist work’s absence of pizzazz in technique allows the viewer to become immediately part of the canvas. The art composition is simplified by reducing the number of colors, lines, values, textures, and shapes so that the observer can readily identify the central concept or message. The experience of wondering what the painting means is absent. Some have tried to define minimalist art in terms of percentages wherein the main subject of the artwork cannot occupy more than 30% of the space.

Minimalism is a primarily American art movement often characterized as a reaction to the Second World War. It was prominent in American art works in the 1950s and 1960s. The works of the American artist, Frank Stella, provide a great example of Minimalism. Ad Reinhardt actually an artist of the Abstract Expressionist generation, but one whose reductive nearly all-black paintings seemed to anticipate minimalism, had this to say about the value of a reductive approach to art, “The more stuff in it, the busier the work of art, the worse it is. More is less. Less is more. The eye is a menace to clear sight. The laying bare of oneself is obscene. Art begins with the getting rid of nature.” Minimalist art follows the adage of “Less is More!”

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bCA Galleries is proud to present a solo show by Warli artist – Anil Vangad. His works bring to life the world of the Warlis from their daily chores and rituals to the enactment of their legends and folktales. His works have a movement and fluidity in them that is a pleasure to view.

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bMagazine Q4 2012

It is a time for traditions to be honoured and upheld, a time of festivities, a time to return to our roots to appreciate where we came from and where we are headed. The current issue of our magazine highlights the role of the art museum which puts paid to the popular misconception of the museum merely being a building for showcasing art. The Warli artist Anil Vangad is our artist in focus as he brings us a glimpse of the Warli life through his interview. We would like to wish our readers a Happy Diwali and hope that the festival of lights brightens your homes and lives.

Role of Art Museum

Role of the Art Museum
The Art Museum is defined as a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art. Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection. The items on display can range from paintings to sculpture, furniture, textiles, books, photographs and installation art. However, this definition is greatly limited and one dimentional.

The art museum finds a place of pride in most countries and major cities. It presents a panorama of artistic history of the nation. Most art museums have the political agenda of presenting the art forms and works by prominent national artists to instil a sense of patriotism and nationalism. Thus, in India’s National Gallery of Modern Art one would find works in the permanent collection by famous Indian artists like Gaitonde, Raza, Hussain, Sabawalla, Raja Ram Verma, Dhurendra and also by the more contemporary artists like Atul and Anju Dodiya, Riyas Komu and others.

Moreover the art museum is entrusted with keeping the artistic heritage through the ages. A casual stroll through any art museum will present the viewer with diverse styles of art and art movements that have evolved through the centuries. The Louvre in the Paris, France, is a treasure trove of art that has the works of greats who have pioneered the Renaissance, Impressionism, Cubism and other ‘isms’ of the art world.

Art museums work on another level to inspire the artist to greater levels of creativity. As Paul Klee famously observed, “art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see!” Thus, the role of the art museum as that of an agent that channels the thoughts and ignites new ideas in creative minds cannot be undermined.

In fact, most art museums do tend to subtly direct the art viewers and buyers decisions in terms of what construes as ‘good art’. The new movements and developments in art can find general acceptability only once they are featured in a museum. As much as modern day artists may wish to present a rebellious attitude they need an art museum to popularise and give credence to the art they profess. For instance in the 1950’s the Museum of Modern Art showed a decided reluctance to showcase the works of the ‘New York School’ of artists who practiced ‘abstract expressionism’ – this had even led to artists picketing the museum, questioning its ‘modern-ness’. The stamp of approval from an art museum is the final seal in ensuring that an artist has achieved a level of competency in the field. An artist whose works are displayed in a prominent museum almost automatically will find an increase in demand for his/her artworks.

Art museums are again instrumental in bringing international talent to the countries and exposing the viewers to different cultures and political ideals. The National Gallery of Modern Art in India also enters into the form of exchange of creative talent with different countries. The exhibitions of foreign artists add to the richness of the art experience of the museum visitor. In this regard museums also frequently hold talks and workshops to further enhance the understanding and appreciation of arts amongst their patrons.

Thus, those who consider an art museum to be merely a place to display art are missing the point and fail to understand the extensive role that an art museum plays. It serves a dual purpose of not only storing and presenting art but also inspiring art. An art museum needs to bear in mind the impact that the kind of art it chooses to promote will have in the art circles in particular and its cultural connotation on society in general. The art museum is not only a keeper of the past but also provides a blueprint for the future.

~ Razvin Namdarian

Participate in our online POLL

Poll Question

You can cast your vote at the top right of this page!

Snippets

Homai Vyarawallas retrospective
The Kochi Muziris Biennale
Homai Vyarawallas retrospective
The Kochi Muziris Biennale

Homai Vyarawalla’s retrospective

A new retrospective at New York City’s Rubin Museum of Art is showcasing the works of Homai Vyarawalla, a celebrated Indian photojournalist who rose to fame as she chronicled the post-independence period of her home country. The exhibit, titled “Candid: The Lens and Life of Homai Vyarawalla,” features photographs taken by the artist throughout her career, as she captured memorable shots of cultural greats like Mohandas K. Ghandi, Jawahralal Nehru and Ho Chi Minh and will be on display till 14th January 2013. This is the first retrospective of Vyarawalla’s work outside of India, presenting photographs from the late 1930s to 1970, accompanied by a biographical film. Throughout the 1950s Vyarawalla, now considered to be one of the first females to enter into the field of photojournalism, continued to take snapshots of some of the world’s most famous politicians, from the Dalai Lama to Mamie Eisenhower, appearing in publications such as TIME-LIFE and Current. Vyarawalla’s work is characterized by her ability to capture candid shots of high-profile figures, catching Jacqueline Kennedy in a moment of elation or Queen Elizabeth II demonstrating sincere curiosity. Never posed and often processed in simple black and white, her images depicted the more serene moments of otherwise hectic meetings between these larger than life icons. Commenting on Vyarawalla’s work, New York Times critic Hollan Cotter wrote: “Much has happened since — sectarian violence, economic upheaval, the extended medical emergency of AIDS — to eat away at that initial tragedy-shadowed optimism. And the heightened, even exultant mood that runs through Ms. Vyarawalla’s pictures is nowhere to be found in the work of her younger colleagues.”

The Kochi Muziris Biennale

Kochi-Muziris Biennale is scheduled to take place from 12 December 2012 till 13th March 2013. It seeks to invoke the latent cosmopolitan spirit of the modern metropolis of Kochi and its mythical past, Muziris, and create a platform that will introduce contemporary international visual art theory and practice to India, showcase and debate new Indian and international aesthetics and art experiences and enable a dialogue among artists, curators, and the public. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale seeks to establish itself as a centre for artistic engagement in India by drawing from the rich tradition of public action and public engagement in Kerala, where Kochi is located. Further, it seeks to reflect the new confidence of Indian people who are slowly, but surely, building a new society that aims to be liberal, inclusive, egalitarian and democratic. The time has come to tell the story of cultural practices that are distinct to the Indian people and local traditions, practices and discourses that are shaping the idea of India. These share a lot with the artistic visions emerging from India’s neighbourhood. The Biennale also seeks to project the new energy of artistic practices in the subcontinent.

Regular Features

Poll Result
Artist in focus
Poll Result

bCA Galleries presents Poll Result…

Read more…

Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months

Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months…

Read more…

Art Extract

Video Art is defined as the type of art which relies on moving pictures and/or sound effects to convey the artist’s perception and ideas. Video art originated when the technology to create such art came into existence during the late 1960s and early 1970s and derives its name from the ‘video tape’…..

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Anil Vangad

Anil Vangad

The Warli tribal art form is quite famous especially in Europe where many connoisseurs of art appreciate its rustic appeal and intricate compositions that weave a tale…..

Read More…

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bCA Galleries has introduced on-line solo shows of its associated artists… Stopress

Artist in Focus – Anil Vangad

Artist of the month

The Warli tribal art form is quite famous especially in Europe where many connoisseurs of art appreciate its rustic appeal and intricate compositions that weave a tale. The name Jivya Soma Mashe is also practically synonymous with Warli art. Indeed, this master artist is considered the pioneer of introducing the Warli art form to the rest of the world. But, it would be amiss to say that Jivya is the only Warli tribal gifted with the skill and imagination of a master artist. Tucked away in a small Warli village is one such artist – Anil Vangad, though he may not be as famous as the Master – Jivya Soma Mashe, he is no less talented and has a growing number of buyers who appreciate his style of art. We present a small interview with this reticent artist:

What made you interested in creating Warli paintings?

My mother is what we call in our culture a ‘Suhasini’ which means whenever there is a marriage in our community, she is called to create the special Warli paintings associated with the various wedding ceremonies on the walls of the bride and grooms homes. As a child I would also go with her and spend the four days required for the various wedding rituals watching her paint and learning with her – I have been painting for seventeen years now.

What do you like to portray in your paintings?

I like to experiment with themes of gods and goddesses and also topical themes like weddings and the famous tarpa dance from our Warli culture. We do not have a script in the Warli language and all our folktales and legends are depicted in the pictorial manner and passed down from generation to generation. Even when our people were uneducated they had this rich cultural heritage in the form of our paintings. I am only carrying forward that heritage and I paint what I see all around me, much as my ancestors have done. So when I paint the Tree of Life, some may find a similarity with other tribal artforms like Madhubani but I am showing what I see in my village every evening – after a hard day’s work the men gather under the spreading branches of the tree and discuss things, much as people do at coffee shops in the big cities.

Jivya Soma Mashe has gained international recognition and the National Award – are you ambitious as well?

Jivya Soma Mashe has introduced the Warli art to the world. He deserves the accolades that he has earned over the years. As an artist I want to portray my thoughts and ideas through my art. I want to show the evolution in our lives and art through my paintings. The aim is to keep our culture alive, whether fame and fortune will come my way depends on ‘kismet’.

Is anyone else in your family also interested in art?

My elder daughter is very interested and talented in painting. My wife and younger daughter also paint. I prefer to keep to our traditional mediums of gerue, cow dung, charcoal and rice paste and encourage my family to do the same. I do not like to use synthetic dyes and paints, though some of the younger Warli artists are experimenting with different mediums.

Do you feel that tribal art is appreciated in India?

I find that in India we have so much culture – not only in art but also dance etc, but our own Indians do not value it. The foreigners appreciate it more and there is a demand for our art from abroad.

What would you like to see done to keep the Warli art alive?

It is very important to keep our culture alive. Despite so many of our people now getting educated, we still follow the same rituals and customs that have been passed down through generations. I would like to have an NGO take on the task of preserving our culture and showcasing it to the rest of the world – not only the art, but also our dance, folktales, way of life etc. I would like the people to know that there is so much more to Warli than just painting.

Anil Vangad is a many faceted person – he is not just passionate about painting but also about farming which is the traditional occupation of the Warli. He has the vision and zeal to take the Warli life forward adopting the good of the modern world while retaining their old ways and traditions.

~ Razvin Namdarian

Interesting Exhibitions seen in the past 3 months

Italian group show at Sakshi Art GallerySophie Christopher at gallery Kynkyny Art
Italian group show at Sakshi Art Gallery

Sophie Christopher at gallery Kynkyny Art

Italian group show at Sakshi Art Gallery

The exhibition curated by Caterina Corni crosses geographical and language barriers to bring works by three Italian artists Antonella Aprile, Giovanni Frangi, Azelio Corni to Mumbai. The works truly speak a universal language and appeal to the sensitivities of all those who appreciate art. Of special mention are the pencil drawings of Aprile which incorporate a lot of movement and seem to fuse the elements of nature with the human and mechanical elements of our created environment. In fact, his animation video titled “The Happening Beyond The Time” he borrows from Indian culture where Shiva is depicted doing a cosmic dance. Azelio’s works have an almost aboriginal tribal feel to them as he chalks out dark vortexes in his works. Frangi’s works with their decidedly abstract composition have a method in their randomness.

Sophie Christopher at gallery Kynkyny Art

‘Two Slow Cats and a Rooster’, is a dramatic and visually arresting show featuring mixed media works by Bangalore-based textile artist Sophie Christopher.What makes the show truly unusual is the medium Sophie works with – the timeless tradition of tapestries. She breathes new life into this ancient and dying art form by giving it her own free associative twist, reinterpreting a quintessentially indigenous medium with very contemporary aesthetics. The result is intriguing and boundary-blurring, lying halfway between handicraft, fine art and textile design. Incredibly, the weaves, threads and patterns mimic the freewheeling brush strokes, shapes and squiggles of non-figurative art. And so Sophie’s hand-loomed, cotton tapestries are not unlike abstract paintings. Sequences and vortices of colour, assorted textures and free-flowing forms collide, spiral and intersect with symbols, embellishments and glyphs, creating dynamic and charged works of art.

Piu Sarkars solo show

The sensuality, the beauty and the strength of a woman all come through in Piu Sarkar’s artworks. It is a celebration of womanhood. In her works the female form takes on different nuances, in some instances one can even liken it to Mother Nature where there is an amalgamation of the feminine with the living earth around. Thus, the entire composition appears as a living entity with no starkness and in-animation associated with any of the aspects of the work. This is also experienced in the fluidity and movement with which she creates her artworks. The viewer is pulled into the parallel universe that the artist creates and revels in the sublime beauty which is replete in her works.

Poll Result

Poll Result
bCA Galleries presents the results of the previous Poll

Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months

Associated artists
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months
Sanjoykumar Samanta

Sunil Chawdiker

Abid-Shaikh

Aditya-Dey

Sudhir-Bangar

Krushna-Kuchan

The artists have been listed in alphabetical order.

Art Extract: : Video art

Lowbrow Art
Video Art is defined as the type of art which relies on moving pictures and/or sound effects to convey the artist’s perception and ideas. Video art originated when the technology to create such art came into existence during the late 1960s and early 1970s and derives its name from the ‘video tape’. In some instances it is also referred to as video installations. Video art is made available for viewing in different ways – recordings that are broadcast, viewed in galleries or other venues, or distributed as video tapes or DVD discs. Artists also create sculptural installations using two or more monitors or television sets. Video art is radically different from conventional cinema or movie recordings in that there is not necessarily a plot, story, audio or even cohesive content – video art could also just be a series of images in a loop leaving it to the viewer to draw their own interpretation.

One of the first video artists is considered to be Nam June Paik who was a Korean American artist and worked with a variety of media. He is also considered to have coined the term ‘super highway; regarding telecommunication. The first multi-channel video art (using several monitors or screens) was Wipe Cycle by Ira Schneider and Frank Gillette. An installation of nine television screens, Wipe Cycle for the first time combined live images of gallery visitors, found footage from commercial television, and shots from pre-recorded tapes. The material was alternated from one monitor to the next in an elaborate choreography.

The unique feature of video art is that it is not dependent on a gallery context nor in most cases is it site specific. The artist’s creation can be shared and extended across the globe thanks to the Internet and YouTube as well.

Stop press

Stoppress

bCA Galleries is proud to present a solo show by Warli artist – Anil Vangad. His works bring to life the world of the Warlis from their daily chores and rituals to the enactment of their legends and folktales. His works have a movement and fluidity in them that is a pleasure to view.

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Q3 2012 Magazine



The onset of the monsoons in India is often the time for end of season sales and bargain hunters flock to these. The art world is too catching on to the logic of offering bargains to a new breed of buyers who wish to make a foray into buying art but without the risk associated with big price tags. Hence, the entry of Affordable Art into the working vocabulary of the art world. We bring you insights into this relatively new phenomenon in the Indian art scene. Our Artist in Focus Jagannath Paul speaks through his art even as his works are displayed in a solo on-line show with bCA Galleries. Our regular features of Snippets and Art Extract will, we are certain, hold your interest and as always we welcome your suggestions and comments.

Affordable Art

Affordable Art

Art- it serves many purposes in a person’s life – for some it is a piece of décor, for others it is a collectible item, for still others it is a matter of pride and prestige and for the intellectually inclined art feeds the soul. But if there is one thing that almost everyone agrees upon is that art is an expensive buy/investment and probably one of the things a person would consider buying only from their surplus disposable income.

Recognizing this fact, there are now several efforts being made by the art fraternity to make art more ‘affordable’ and hence available to more people. Here one is not talking about the pavement prints that are honestly quite down-market and crass but rather art in its true sense.

Probably one of the first experiments of bringing affordability into the realm of art is the Affordable Art Fair. Founded by Will Ramsay 1999, the mission of the fair is to make contemporary art accessible to everyone while doing away with the notion that only millionaires could buy and enjoy art. Since the concept first launched 12 years ago, more than one million people have visited the fairs buying almost 150 million pounds of art.

The USP of the Affordable Art Fair is that each fair has a fixed price ceiling, making buyers aware of the accessibility of the art. Also, there is a vast variety of art on sale catering to all tastes. Moreover, the fairs have workshops etc which are not only for the adults but also children and have a more relaxed atmosphere than the more conventional art fairs. Currently the Affordable Art Fair is organized in over 15 cities worldwide and is also planning its first Indian outing in Delhi this year – a long way from its origins in Battersea Park in London. The Affordable Art Fair not only gives novice collectors a chance to wet their feet but also offers a platform for emerging artists – besides who knows one may just purchase a future masterpiece!

Closer home, in Mumbai as well, galleries are waking up to the fact that affordable art is the way to go. Even one of the vanguards of the art scene in Mumbai, Sakshi Galelry has bought into the affordability scene. They recently hosted a show that focused on artworks that were within the ‘easy buy’ realm, though the highest priced artwork was still at a stiff Rs 3.5 lakh for a Jogen Chowdhury black and white charcoal drawing. However, the affordability factor at the Sakshi show focuses more on prints and posters, with a few original works that come within the ambit of the price factor that can make them affordable.

Other galleries who wish to cash in on the trend of affordable art prefer to do shows with upcoming artists. Some galleries are even catching young artists who are barely out of art school. Galelry Pradarshak is one such gallery which hosted the show Vidhyarthi Vishesh featuring works by sixty students from art schools in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, Varanasi, Latur, Sangli and Gadhchiroli. Prices at the show ranged from Rs 1,000 – Rs 35,000 low enough to tempt a first time buyer and also encourage an art collector to take a chance on a budding new artist. Further, a more localized version of the Affordable Art Fair was hosted by the Arctic Vision Art Gallery at Goregaon in Mumbai where over 300 artworks were priced between Rs 200 – Rs 25,000.

~ Razvin Namdarian

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Snippets

British Art Fair
Melbourne Art Fair
British Art Fair
Melbourne Art Fair

British Art Fair

20/21 British Art Fair, London, United Kingdom, will be hosted from 12 – 16th September and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The British greats of the 20th century such as Bacon, Barker, Freud, Frink, Frost, Gear, Hepworth, Hockney, Hodgson, Lanyon, Lowry, Moore, Nash, Piper, Riley, Scott, Sutherland and Spencer will be featured at the fair along with contemporary artists like Hirst, Emin, Grayson Perry, Banksy. Dealers who specialise in work from China, India, Japan, Russia, Poland, Serbia and the Ukraine will also be present at the fair. Thus, other than British, art from other countries will also be on show including many European countries, South America and, this year a special exhibit from Australia. Such well known international artists like Matisse, Miro, Picasso, Braque, Chagall (all works on paper) will be on display.

Melbourne Art Fair

The Fair is an exhibition of leading contemporary art, presented by over 80 choosen national and international galleries. The biennial event features paintings, sculpture, photography, installation and multi-media art works of over 900 artists and attracts up to 30,000 visitors. Galleries from countries like New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Canada, America and Europe will be participating in the 4-day event.

Indian Masters Score at International Auctions

Vespers I, by modern Indian artist Jehangir Sabavala has sold for more than 250,000 pounds by auctioneers Bonhams at their annual summer sale of Modern and Contemporary South Asian art in London. The estimated value of the work was £100,000-150,000, but it was finally sold for 253,650 pounds. Illustrated on the cover of his monograph by Ranjit Hoskote, ‘The Crucible of Painting: The Art of Jehangir Sabavala”, Vespers I is one of Sabavala’s most important works, representing a key period of transition in the artist’s oeuvre. Indian painter Tyeb Mehta’s Mahishasura, 1996, the most important painting from his ground-breaking series, was sold for £1.385 million by Christie’s in London on 11th June 2012. The painting had been estimated to sell for between £1.2 million and £1.8 million. Mehta’s Mahishasura was the first Indian contemporary painting to have crossed the million-dollar barrier in 2005 when it was sold for nearly $1.6 million. The Tyeb painting is “heavily inspired by ancient mythology and Hindu literature, Mahishasura recounts the legend whereby the Brahmin demon-king Rambha produces an invincible son through his union with a she-buffalo.”

Regular Features

Poll Result
Artist in focus

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bCA Galleries presents Poll Result…

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Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months…

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Art Extract
As the name suggests, lowbrow art does not lay claim to any pseudo intellectual pursuits. Rather, it is often a sarcastic comment on the conventional art….

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Jagannath Paul

Jagannath Paul

Jagannath Paul is an artist who has risen through the ranks. From humble beginnings of showing his works in theatre lobbies, he has created a niche style of his own that can be recognised instantly. Moreover, he has managed to capture the elusive emotional connect with his viewers which marks a true artist. We engage in a conversation with the artist, who more often than not prefers to let his work do the talking….

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bCA Galleries has introduced on-line solo shows of its associated artists… Stopress

Artist in Focus – Jagannath Paul

Artist of the month

Jagannath Paul is an artist who has risen through the ranks. From humble beginnings of showing his works in theatre lobbies, he has created a niche style of his own that can be recognised instantly. Moreover, he has managed to capture the elusive emotional connect with his viewers which marks a true artist. We engage in a conversation with the artist, who more often than not prefers to let his work do the talking.

What inspired you to become an artist? 
I was always interested in art related activities be it making clay idols, paintings etc. When I was a kid I used to make idols in my spare times. So, it was there in my soul right from childhood.

Was your family supportive in your decision? Most parents prefer their children to have stable careers. 
Honestly speaking my family never pressurized me for choosing any career of their choice. In that way I am very fortunate that I had complete liberty for pursuing career my own choice.

Who do you think of as role models in the art field?
I was always inspired by the work of the great artist Jamini Roy.

You are one of the first artists to use charcoal on canvas – how difficult is the medium to work with?
It is always challenging when you experiment with new medium especially when there you are trying something revolutionary. You always need to think about people expectations. Initially I also faced some difficulties which is quite natural. What is most satisfactory is when you get appreciation for your work.   

One remembers seeing your works being sold almost 15 years ago in theatre lobbies – has the journey to becoming an established artist been a difficult one?
I have enjoyed my journey..

Have you always been enamored by the figurative and this play with shadows in your work? Did you experiment with abstract or sculpture as well? 
As an artist you should experiment with every form of work be it abstract, shadow effect painting or making sculpture or mural. I enjoy art in all its form.

Your creativity is directed in which direction – self realization or what the buyers expect from you?
I feel it is the self realization that inspires you how you want to see the world. For me the priority always lies how you make others to see from your viewpoint. 

The art market keeps going through high and low phases, how do you, as an artist, face that? Do you adjust your prices accordingly?
I never bother about the market prices to evaluate my work. Fortunately I never had to.

In your opinion, when has an artist become established – does it have to do with price and crossing the 1 lakh mark, or getting international recognition? 
There is no such benchmark which makes one established. It is rather the connection you make with your buyer which brings you closer to them that makes you famous or established in your words.  

Where would you like to see yourself in the next 10 years?
I would like to continue with exploring new ideas and forms to contribute more towards the art of painting through my works. 
There you have it, Jagananth Paul, a man of few words who lets his art do the talking and those evocative and haunting images that he creates certainly do engage in a conversation with the viewer that transcends language!

~ Razvin Namdarian

Interesting Exhibitions seen in the past 3 months

J NandkumarParamesh Paul
Solo show by J Nandkumar at Jehangir Art Gallery

Paramesh Paul at Nehru Centre

Solo show by J Nandkumar at Jehangir Art Gallery

Dedicating this exhibition to M F Hussain, J Nandkumar is raising a few hackles amongst the self-proclaimed censors, similar to the negativity that forced Hussain to leave India. It is no wonder then that the themes that he chooses to render in his paintings also bear close resemblance to those of Hussain. Another similarity is the bold lines with which he create his paintings. In fact, even in his abstract works there is a powerful emotional force which grips the viewer, the bold colours; the strong, almost harsh strokes are quite captivating.

Paramesh Paul at Nehru Centre

The peace and tranquility of a bathing ghat at Benares is captured most appropriately by Paramesh Paul in his ethereal landscapes. What is amazing is the use of light in his works which take us through the different phases of the day in the city that he seems to idolize. At a time when most artists prefer to move away from the creation of landscapes, Paul’s works bring back the magic of the art-form that once captivated the attention of art-lovers across continents. Though his works have a typical Indian setting they still have a universal appeal and even without the religious connotations that Benares brings to mind, they instill the viewer with an other worldliness and a sense of meditative peace.

Vigyan Vrat’s solo show of paintings at Jehangir Art Gallery

There is lore of different dimensions co-existing in parallel universes. Somehow, Vigyan Vrat’s paintings bring to mind this sense of otherworldly dimensions. His paintings have depth which is created by using planes and angles which have an almost architectural precision. Yet, they are not rigid; there is ample movement and fluidity in the paintings which leads you to explore all the hidden nooks and crannies. And then one comes across, in some of the works, evidence of human inhabitancy where the figure seems to almost grow out of the work and merges and emerges as an entity that is not quite independent of its surroundings but is rather a product of them.  There are a few times when the Jehangir Art Gallery hosts a show which is impressive and demands viewing and this is one of them.

Poll Result

Poll Result

bCA Galleries presents the results of the previous Poll

Artists who have associated with us in the past 3 months

Associated artists
Our family of artists has been growing rapidly over the past months. The following are the artists who have joined us in the past 3 months



A Achari
Jiaur Rahman
Naveena Ganjoo
Rajiv Pathak
Mayank Sharma

Jagannath Paul 
Sunil Mathad
Narayan Pillai
Vilas Chormale
Sachin Shinde

The artists have been listed in alphabetical order.

Art Extract: : Lowbrow Art

Lowbrow Art

As the name suggests, lowbrow art does not lay claim to any pseudo intellectual pursuits. Rather, it is often a sarcastic comment on the conventional art and the art establishment. This was a movement which began in the ‘90s and tends to be all encompassing, including comics, music album covers, graphics, animation etc. There tend to be rather surreal and imaginary scenarios represented in lowbrow art – it challenges the mind of the viewer even while making the impossible seem probable. Most lowbrow art incorporates contemporary issues, images and movements into it’s art, thus it feels the pulse of the people and offers a greater connect than ‘intellectual or highbrow’ art. However, this also means that its relevance and meaning has to be understood with regard to and within the ambit of the culture and time period of when it was created. A high percentage of lowbrow artists are self-taught and have not had formal training or formal connections to the art world. There are a few galleries like the Varnish Gallery in San Francisco and the CoproGallery in LA that are committed to lowbrow art, but given its anti-establishment nature, lowbrow art is yet find pride of place in museums.

Stop press

Stoppress

bCA Galleries has introduced on-line solo shows of its associated artists. With its maiden show including works by Abid Shaikh, the current solo show – Shadow Play features artworks by famous artist Jagannath Paul. Our solo shows will introduce the talent of our associated artists to a global audience.

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