A photographer captures a moment in time for eternity, and when that image is able to convey ‘the emotion’ captured therein to the viewer, it becomes a work of art. Being deeply passionate about India, it was a pleasure to curate Independent@73 - a show that explores the question of ‘who we are’ through the lenses of the most renowned photographers in our country.
The themes are varied - ranging from celebrating the emerging modern woman to documenting the ever-increasing income divide between the haves and the have nots, showcasing our monumental heritage and modern infrastructure marvels, documenting the power of prayer and issues like the water crisis or transgenders, or simply cherishing our bountiful wildlife and sport.
Photo journalistic and documentary styles share space with fashion photography and portraiture. We hope to take you on a visual journey, to both experience and to own a moment, and an emotion via photography as a medium of art, this World Photography Day. This show is an attempted dialogue between the camera and the audience, evoking many responses and celebrating a sense of true Independence and Freedom of Expression.
(Monday, 19th August - Friday, 13th September)
Save The Tiger
Ingrained deeply, knitted together with human life since forever. They existed in dense population in human proximity, hence their presence is consistently felt across diverse art forms such as Gond and Warli painting. Tiger is a powerful symbol of dignity, ferocity and will power, together amalgamating into a representation of strength. The Chinese, Egyptian, Korean, Roman and Indian art are a few examples (from many) that have warmly welcomed and celebrated them in their expressions. Unfortunately, the continuous hunting of the tigers as well as the shrinking of greener patches due to deforestation has almost brought the tigers to the threshold of becoming extinct. At the right moment however, with the Indian Government’s conscious efforts towards creating awareness, the human race does realize the stinging fact that the jungle without the roar of these majestic cats would be like a garden without its flower bed.
This show is an attempt to celebrate an undeniable emblem of power, strength, beauty and eternal aristocracy. Through a beautiful series of painted masks, momentarily captured sharp shots and realistic paintings, we make the viewer whisper a prayer that, “May the magnetic, dynamic, wild cat always be present amidst our thick forests and forever be loved as a precious and irreplaceable member of the family.
(Thursday, 25th July - Monday, 12th August)
Form (Form-less) Less
“But we nonetheless intend to put the formless to work, not only to map certain trajectories, or slippages, but in some small way to “perform” them.”
- Yve-Alain Bois, The Use Value of “Formless”
There is a constant search for a moment in contemporary Indian art, for a unique value that is believed to only, perhaps, be deciphered by pulling apart, or breaking down existing structures of visuality. This comes from, what now feels like, an age-old binary between “form” and “content”. Whereas the former is oftentimes seen as a concern with the “how” something is created, the latter is seen engaging with the “why”; the former with structure, the latter with meaning, and so on. The attempt with this exhibition is to pull away from said binary, towards a space where an “operation” could take place. An operation then, being concerned with both form and content, but also existing outside of each, as a space where the performance of art could take place. We have brought together several digital, and material artists, who we feel function within this space of the operation; where each artist showcased is, in their own way, moving towards a performance of the “formless”. The formless, then, would be the space of/for operation, where artists engaged with materiality, digital, or otherwise, could converse.
(Friday, 21st June - Sunday, 14th July)
Words of Silence
When we look at any work of art we try to understand it through words, these words are in turn provoked by the images we are looking at. These are silent words that are provoked during an interactive dialogue with the work of art. Just like this, all images are continuously being translated in to words and all words signal an image. This relationship between words and images are ever lasting and synergistic. The manner in which these interpretations are inspired in the mind, almost effortlessly, is the beauty of any work of art. It stimulates a language to understand, to make a relationship with the unknown. This is an unfolding of the mystery created by an artist.
In this group exhibition there are painters, printmakers, sculptors, ceramists and some installation artists too. Zarina Hashmi is well known for her search through the memory of lines and forms of her lost paradise i.e. her home. Contrastingly, Sheetal Gattani's wanderings are always with a sense of surprise, allowing the viewer to explore the tones and its delicate variations in their own way. Sharad Sonkusale and Nitish Bhattacharjje play with a more geometric and organic approach towards forms. Divya Patwa works with animals and creating awareness through her bold and practical expression, while on the other hand Durgaprasad bandi is more concerned with shaking the existing image of the world around him. Despite the show being so varied in concepts and mediums, all of the works communicate something personal to the viewer. Each takeaway, interpretation and understanding is different. Through this show we invite people to come and communicate with the art through the eternally important Words of Silence.
(Saturday, 20th April - Friday, 10th May)
The Allure of India
Miniature Paintings - Company Style
Dutch, French & British East India Companies
The exhibition, The Allure of Indiaby Dr. Seema Bhalla, explores Company Indian Miniatures. This exquisite art form, set in motion in the 16th century, today stands on the verge of extinction in the 21st century, when there is an increased global awareness to save our heritage for future generations. Now, one final time, a few of the remaining artists have come together to create a re- contextualized oeuvre of twenty five exquisite works. Each, based on academic research, is a visual narrative of documented history, highlighting two sophisticated arts – Indian Miniature painting and Textiles.
(2 - 18 April 2019)
Subverting Duchamp, Celebrating Beauty, Reconnecting with Mumbai by Shakti Maira
When a philosopher and contemplative thinker looks at his work created over the years, he finds that he has consciously worked on a thematic discourse of sorts, traversing time and space and materials. Through varied combinations of universal but personally resonant themes, in this landmark retrospective exhibition, Shakti Maira unravels his vision across two definitive decades and a full range of media. Sculptures, paintings, drawings, and scrolls that are placed in dialogue with one another reveal the breadth and consistency of his sensibility after moving back to India in 2001 from the US, and draw us into the world of a solitary genius.
- Uma Nair, Formed in the Crucible of Time
(28 February - 28 March 2019)
Red, Blue & Yellow
Celebrating 19 years of Tao as we go back to primordial palettes and simplistic styles. The primary colours are a significant part of Tao not just as the colours of our logo but also because of its deeper reference to the role the gallery has played as a foundational melting pot for Indian art. The showcase consists mainly of the original masters like Raza, Hussain and Krishen Khanna but also of the next generation big names like Senaka Senanayake, Paresh Maity and Krishnamachari Bose.
- Sanjana Shah, 2019