Art review

A Bird’s-Eye View of the Raj

Science and whimsy mix in Delhi Art Gallery’s exhibition of Company paintings. ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. For Major-General Thomas Hardwicke, it wasn’t enough to employ an artist to paint the birds he came across in India. The naturalist and British East India Company officer also ‘employed a shikari to shoot …

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The Nature of Things

A rare exhibition from ‘somewhere in Northeast India’ forces you to see both the woods and the trees ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. Composing a landscape is inherently an act of taming nature. There isn’t necessarily a direct relation between the rules of artistic composition (perspective, thirds, movement within the frame) …

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Object lessons

Subodh Gupta greets New Yorkers with A Glass of Water ♦ Subodh Gupta’s stainless steel glass, filled to the brim with water, created quite a splash in New York. This isn’t surprising for an artist who is often referred to as the ‘Indian Damien Hirst’ in international circles. What is surprising, however, is that Gupta’s …

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Looking back at you

While Gieve Patel’s Clouds and Skulls come across as simple studio sketches, his Wells offer a meditative exploration of the natural world ♦ Over the last four decades, Gieve Patel’s work has turned inward. Wells Clouds Skulls, his solo at Bose Pacia Gallery, Brooklyn, from the 5th of May to the 25th of June, displayed this …

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Music of the spheres

Ranjani Shettar’s fluttering installations at a New York gallery reveal their secrets ♦ Ranjani Shettar’s skeletal sculptures hung festooned from the ceiling of Talwar Art Gallery from October the 2nd to January the 30th 2010. The filigreed shapes – loops, curlicues and disk-like embellishments – seemed to be suspended in mid-air. From their spare beauty, it …

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Kaghaz Ke Ghar

Zarina Hashmi at Gallery Espace ♦ New York-based Zarina Hashmi has lived in homes all over the world and it is fitting that her retrospective is titled Kaghaz ke Ghar/Paper Houses. Spanning two decades (1979-99), the exhibition showcases Hashmi’s innovative use of paper in three dimensions, although it includes etchings as well. Made by pouring paper …

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Child Speak/Woman Song

Vasundhara Tewari Broota at Shridharani Gallery ♦ Much like her paintings, the title of Vasundhara Tewari Broota’s current show at Triveni suggests more than it says outright. However, as is evidenced from the catalogue essay by Gayatri Sinha, Broota has a lot to say – this time about childhood, and the woman as a mother and …

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The Street

Yusuf Arakkal at Art Alive. ♦ There’s something very theatrical about Yusuf Arakkal’s “The Street” series. Culled from candid photographs that Arakkal took of people in London, Lisbon, Singapore and elsewhere, and transferred via silkscreen to canvas before painting over them, the works round up a cast of everyday characters, each one unaware that he …

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Group Show at the Visual Arts Gallery. ♦ This story was originally published in Time Out Delhi.

Fragments of beauty

Attiya Shaukat at Anant Art Gallery ♦ Lahore-based Attiya Shaukat’s miniature-style paintings on view at Anant Art Gallery are sensitive and intelligent works. Like several Pakistani artists nowadays, Shaukat draws on contemporary themes and symbols in her miniature paintings. Her work stands out, though, for its experimental montaging of symbols and compositions and for her inspired …

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