In the present times, that allow for contemplation and reminiscence, we at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke took a look at material from memorable studio visits and research trips, and the journeys we shared, before we actually opened our space in 2006. Summer Salon (April 28–June 20) is a collection of selected works sourced during those years, that still continue to ignite our imagination.
The show opens with a serigraph titled Spring, by Norio Azuma. Born 1928 in Japan, Azuma studied at the Kanazawa Art College, then migrated to the USA and studied in Los Angeles and New York. Perfecting his technique as a printmaker, he was using up to 18 screens to print his serigraphs, manipulating shape, colour and texture. Azuma exhibited in important exhibitions such as Sculpture and Prints, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1966; and Silkscreen, History of a Medium, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1972. His work is in leading museum collections, an edition of the work shown here being in the Brooklyn Museum. Azuma passed away in 2004 in New York.
The two works from the Underwater World series by Vietnamese artist Tran Luong are recollections of a time he spent in the countryside as a young boy, during the American bombings of Hanoi. The underwater world provided an alternate world, which he painted years later, in a stylised, near-abstract manner. One of Vietnam's foremost artists, Luong has exhibited widely, and his work is in the collection of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Jyoti Bhatt has documented tribal art forms in India for over four decades. This photograph, of part of a disfigured terracotta sculpture on a tiled rooftop, was taken by him in Bhopal — just hours before the occurrence of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. A trained painter and a printmaker, Bhatt studied art in Baroda and at the Pratt Institute in New York on a Fulbright Scholarship. His work is in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. and Tate Gallery, London among other museums.
Rajendra Dhawan was born in Delhi in 1936. He studied art in Delhi and then in Belgrade, before returning to India, where he practiced as an artist and also taught. In 1970 he migrated to Paris. An important figure in Indian abstraction, Dhawan maintained a unique style of applying paint, allowing his colours to merge and seep. His watercolours are remarkable in how they hold softness and line in dialogue.
Also in the show are two exquisite miniatures by the artist Mahaveer Swami. Mahaveer's mastery of the art of miniature painting has been credited with reviving the original sophistication and refinement of the Bikaner School. Travels to the countryside in South Korea and France led to the incorporation of botanical studies in his work. His work has been shown at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and the Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
The form of Durga is rendered by Suhas ROY in charcoal on canvas. Born 1936 in Bangladesh, Roy studied at the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship in Kolkata, and subsequently on a French Government Scholarship at William Hayter's Atelier 17 and L'Ecole Superieur des Beaux Arts in Paris. He passed away in Kolkata in 2016.
Laxma Goud, born 1940, graduated from the Government College of Art and Architecture in Hyderabad and subsequently, as a student of K.G. Subramanyan at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda, he studied Graphics and Mural Painting. It is the rural figure around which Goud's art is centred, his portrayals exuding a raw appeal.
We close with the work of three contemporaries, born in the 1960s.
Anant Joshi studied at the J.J. School of Art in Mumbai and at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. In the work shown, he foregrounds a dark figure, only to then encase it in bright oversized objects that seem to be cut-outs on a stage.
Nikhileswar Baruah was born in Assam, and moved to Baroda to study art. His works, such as the diptych shown here, reference impressions of apathy and trauma in a state that has experienced particular violence and strife.
Ashim Purkayastha was a student of Jogen Chowdhury at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. In this work, he captures a multiplicity of glimpses, projecting them onto a facade. Incorporating a sliver of street and sky, he adds to the aura of mysterious goings-on. Ashim is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award and the Elizabeth Greenshields Award. His work has been shown in important exhibitions, including the Indian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019.
Press release courtesy Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke.
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