As part of the India Art Fair 2020, Delhi has developed into an art center where works of art from all over the world are exhibited and invite to discussions with different values. Media, materials, metaphors and moods – the fair promises something for everyone.
We select five artists from 75 galleries at the fair, whose works must be used for their practice in terms of spontaneity and versatile use of composition, contour and subject wit in a world obsessed with internet and technology.
The works articulate an artistic language that lives beyond the moment because perception and representation go hand in hand.
Ganesh Pyne: Rajkumari Poncho Pushpa
Pen drawings by the late modern master Ganesh Pyne at the Aakriti Gallery stand enliven the stories of his grandmother in 10 illustrations that were commissioned for a book in 1982. Pyne recreates anthologies written by famous Bengali literary writers. It shows the illustrations for "Shotoborsher Roopkatha" – 100 years of fairy tales. The authors include Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar and Sunil Gangopadhyay.
His pen drawings are captivating and stirring, they are shaped by his own experiences with loneliness, alienation, pain, horror and moods of tenderness and serenity, which he experienced in his childhood. If he illustrates "Rajkumari Poncho Pushpa", then there is the premonition of observation and memory and the power of nostalgia.
Sometimes these pictures are offshoots of ideas while his grandmother told him stories in the middle of the night or in the monsoon months. The lines are bold and precise and create a controlled alchemy of characters and emotions. The drawings that are created are powerful in form and content. Without color, they convey an architectural quality in the structuring of the pictures – we also understand its perfection in scale and gesture.
Meera Mukherjee: Fiery Nataraja
The sculptor Meera Mukherjee once said: "In my opinion, every artist must also be a craftsman who brings a dedication into his work that moves him through the progress of his work." Mukherjee died in 1998 after a life with incredible sculptural explorations. She believed that real sculpture is only possible if a sculptor delves into her roots in the hope of finding modernist modes.
Meera Mukherjee's bronze from 1995 at the Akar Prakar stand is a treat for tired eyes. It has tribal threads of rustic rhythms. It is reminiscent of the scene from Lord of the Dance. The Anandatandava, the frenzy and the iconic charm merge into a Nataraja. She takes advantage of the economy of attributes by giving us four hands, like the Chola bronzes of the past, but keeping both feet planted firmly on the ground. We have to imagine that Nataraja's right hand is raised to calm down abhayamudra and left hand in gajahasta, Reference to the defeat of ignorance that hinders the realization of universal truth. We can see how Mukherjee stretched her shapes far beyond the rules of the classic Chola tradition, as if asking her viewers to broaden their imaginations as she did.
L N Tallur: Untitled
Sculptor and installation artist LN Tallur loves to draw crowds and wants us to look at his work on the Chemould Prescott stand with awe. Since his time at the M.S. University Baroda, he has developed a strong interest in the relationship between viewer and museum object and has researched crazy, brilliant interactive processes.
L.N. Tallur's work at the India Art Fair
You can see his installation of a uniquely designed Apasmara set between printed tooth plasters, which is reminiscent of the museum object, but makes the viewer curious, who is in a dilemma. Tallur calls it Floccinaucinihilipilification – it's a prototype for an idea. “It was antique yesterday, when you took a close look at it, you got a beautiful pattern – I printed this pattern on the sculptures. So here micro and macro are seen together. This is a test for an idea, so I don't know if it is worthless or worthwhile. I want the viewer to be part of the journey of contradictions, and they should either be amused, shocked, or thought-provoking, ”says Tallur.
The viewer will be forced to touch this didactic work, the little dwarf almost squeezes between the gaps and the folds. In addition to the content-related and humorous aspects of this work, Tallur harmonizes fine craftsmanship and observes historians and antiquities in museums and the art of subjectivity with convincing aesthetics
Nityan Unnikrishnan: Untitled
A work without title by Nityan Unnikrishnan at the ongoing India Art Fair
At the Chatterjee & Lal booth you can see a moving portrait of a man with glasses and gray hair. His gaze probes, provokes and prompts you to stop and look back. Nityan Unnikrishnan, a NID graduate and artist in the middle of his career, paints an urban landscape full of people in the background, while the gray-haired gentleman in the plaid shirt takes center stage.
We can sense bizarre men and women among his crowd, who are detailed with the details of a dense domesticity. A powerful observation and the ability to create multiple images of city life are evident in his work. The silver-haired man seems strangely familiar to me. His works attract your attention because they have both a piece of surrealism and the ability to present an image that could belong to any of the cosmopolitan cities of India. His penchant for perfecting the visual language and weaving in satirical comments refreshes his works.
Anjan Modak: Untitled
An untitled work by Anjan Modak
Anjan Modak is a discovery among emerging artists. His fragile figurative works dance before your eyes. At Emami Art, Modak's works reflect the ephemeral, the ephemeral and the evocative. His figurative works are based on quasi-abstract elements and satire. His pictures speak of conspicuous consumption. He subtly describes brands and status as well as gaps between rich and poor.
Disruptions between social classes and people and the superficial whims of society all play a role in these simple human forms, which are both surreal and modernist when they have anchored expression. The texture-rich mixture of graphite and watercolor lets us discover rare fantasies – here is a dream world full of thorns and confusion.
(The India Art Fair runs until February 2, 2020 at NSIC Grounds, New Delhi)