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A quick glance at major shows of Indian art
A series of shows in different parts of the world, cutting across Asia and Europe, highlights emerging talent, focus on young artists and re-emphasizes the abundant creativity as well as sensitivity exuded by some more established names in an honest attempt to fathom the state of mind, spirit and the thought process of this generation.

Prime among them, a group exhibition presented by Shanghai based Pearl Lam Fine Arts incorporates thought-provoking works of art by several established and talented artists from India. ‘Window in the Wall: India and China – Imaginary Conversations’, curated by Gayatri Sinha and Gao Minglu features Ranbir Kaleka, Abir Karmakar, Manjunath Kamath, T. Venkanna, Mithu Sen, Sharmila Samant, Gigi Scaria and Lavanya Mani. Interesting works by Chinese artists Hu Zhiying, Li Zhanyang, Cui Xiuwen, Ge Zhen, Su Xinping, Tan Xun and Ma Yuan also form part of an intriguing mix of painting, video, sculpture and photography on view.

The exhibition investigates philosophical and cultural concerns and strives to redefine Asian consciousness in context of both individual and collective identity. At one level, urban fantasies and cultural icons, whereas personal experience and collective memory at another, are deftly intertwined in all the featured artworks in a defining contemporary theme, which engages not only the two major powers of the world but ‘extends’ to the individual and the imaginary realm.

The participating artists look to propose new means of communication wherein cultural heritage and contemporary artistic vision become the unified basis of an imaginary artistic dialogue. In effect, ‘Window in the Wall’ reflects the Pearl Lam Gallery’s commitment to promote works by Chinese as well as select international artists that serve as a re-creation and extension of both traditions and contemporary realities.

On the other hand, ‘Generation in Transition: New Art from India’ at Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warszawa, Poland includes works by noteworthy names like Sarnath Banerjee, Rakhi Peswani, Prajakta Potnis, Jaishri Abichandani, Nikhil Chopra, Baptist Coelho, Shezad Dawood, Rohini Devasher, Tushar Joag, Vishwas Kulkarni, Swati Khurana, Anay Mann, Gauri Gill, Shilpa Gupta, Prayas Abhinav, Ravi Agarwal, Ashish Avikunthak, Devendra Banhart, Ansuman Biswas and Jem Finer.

The show curated by Magda Kardasz also features creations by Charmi Gada Shah, Tejal Shah, Praneet Soi, Kiran Subbaiah, Gitanjali Rao, Akshay Rathore, Malik Sajad, Sharmila Samant, Mithu Sen, Yashas Shetty, Bharat Sikka, Janek Simon, Anup Mathew Thomas, Prasad Raghavan, Nandini Valli Muthiah and Navin Thomas. Contemporary ideas by all these artists are effectively expressed through traditional and new media, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, animation and video installation. An explanatory note to the exhibition elaborates: “It presents are not only existing works, but also projects specially created for the show by a wide range of artists, with different modes of expression and artistic concerns configured in several important themes: city/ change/ urban architecture, society; tradition/ ritual/ costume; portraits; politics/ identity/ activism; and science and technology in art.”

The origins of Zachęta as an art venue can be traced back to as early as 1860 when the Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts was formed in Warsaw. Its history as an institution encouraging the fine arts movement is the shared history of the journey of both artists and art aficionados and the tradition it actively seeks to foster even today.

Simultaneously a new exhibition, entitled ‘Boundaries Obscured’, courtesy Haunch of Venison at its new venue in the heart of Chelsea’s gallery district. It features new works by an array of artists who spontaneously respond to the trend of globalization, resulting in the blurred cultural and geographical boundaries as technology engulfs our lives. They highlight the overwhelming difficulties and/or advantages of being an individual in a relentlessly encroaching mass of information and external pressure. Apart from Ahmed Alsoudani, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Kevin Francis Gray, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Patricia Piccinini, Peter Saul, Eve Sussman-Simon Lee, Gunther Uecker-Joana Vasconcelos, India’s Jitish Kallat also forms part of the sizzling showcase.

A gallery note lauds him as one of the most exciting and dynamic Asian artists to have received international recognition in recent years. For working in variety mediums like painting, sculpture, installation, and photography He exhibits a deep involvement with his home city (Mumbai) and derives his visual language largely from his immediate urban milieu. His Wider concerns include urban India's tireless effort to negotiate its entry into a globalized economy, addressing developmental and existential crises, improper city planning, suppressed caste and communal tensions etc.

Apart from the group shows, mention also must be made of a solo of by the New Delhi-based artist Jagannath Panda’s new paintings, works on paper and sculptures at Nature Morte. His works revolve around his captivating characteristic collage technique. The surface of the canvas/ sculpture in it is projected with the addition of brocade fabrics, finely blended to create the feathers of birds and skins of beasts, in order to mimic foliage or approximate man-made surfaces.

This hybridized surface treatment essentially corresponds with many of his favorite themes that concentrate on moments, locations and icons, which are constantly in a state of flux, caught between extremes, being reconciled only with a sense of confusion and anxiety. His depiction of the burgeoning city of Gurgaon (where he is currently based) reflect the intensity of tensions visible, as rampant development and urbanization endangers natural habitats.

The carefully conceived and thoughtfully curated international showcases – solo and group exhibitions - divulge diverse curatorial practices that exude tradition and modernity, blend religion and technology, signifying the ever-evolving Indian spirit and ethos.