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Capital art: Your guide to art shows to visit in and around Delhi

From internationally acclaimed Alicja Kwade’s solo exhibition to the third edition of Jaipur Art Week, a compilation of the shows you must not miss

Superposition by Alicja Kwade will be the centre- piece in this year’s Sculpture Park exhibition at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur.

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 26.01.2024  |  10:00 AM IST

An Elusive Pursuit
Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade will be presenting her first solo exhibition in India titled Matter Moments. Presented by gallery Nature Morte, the show has the artist delving into the intricate pursuit of knowledge and unravelling the paradoxes that while we relentlessly seek it, it often eludes us. Known for experimenting with everyday objects, this exhibition has Kwade using materials as disparate as books and rocks.

At the heart of the show are four sculptures titled Know-ledge, where a set of Encyclopedia Britannica books, representing a consolidation of knowledge, are tethered to one end, while a stone serves as a counterweight on the other end. Additionally, another installation by Kwade, Superposition, will be the centre- piece in this year’s Sculpture Park exhibition at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur. The installation comprises interlocking steel frames that are equipped with four mirrors. Complemented by bronze chairs that are adorned with locally sourced stone spheres, it’s designed to confuse and provoke us to question what is reality and perception. At Nature Morte, 287–288 The Dhan Mill, Delhi, till 3 March, 11am–7pm (Tuesday–Sunday)

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A painting by Prahlad Karmakar that will be a part of DAG’s exhibition, Kali: Reverence & Rebellion in Delhi

A Goddess for All Times
A fearsome goddess, a divine mother, a champion for the disenfranchised, and a symbol for freedom... the idea of Goddess Kali and what she signifies has changed with time. DAG’s exhibition, Kali: Reverence & Rebellion, draws upon artworks from the 1800s to the present period to trace the deity’s pervasive influence in the country down the ages. The exhibition, as curator Gayatri Singh shares, is divided into sections that chart this evolution: they highlight her antecedents, varied depictions in different parts of India, and her representation in contemporary art.

On display are a range of works from sculptures to miniature paintings, prints and artworks by the likes of Nirode Mazumdar and Prahlad Karmakar. “Drawing on both narrative and abstraction, Kali continues to fascinate as a fluid and deeply engaging subject in art, retaining her allure and profound resonance—in reverence and in rebellion," Sinha writes in her curatorial note about the continuing relevance of Kali. At DAG, Janpath Road, Delhi, 3 February-17 March, 10.30am-7pm (Monday-Saturday).

An oil painting by Rajendra Dhawan on display at the Anunada: Between Space exhibition

A Harmonious Dialogue
Threshold Art Gallery ongoing exhibition, Anunada: Between Space, features works by artists Rajendra Dhawan and Pandit Khairnar. On the face of it, the artists couldn’t be anymore different. Yet, as the name of the exhibition—Sanskrit for consequent sound—alludes, their language of abstraction echoes a similar tone. Where abstractionist Dhawan’s canvases throb of gestural colour patches, strewn together by merging the edges, Khairnar’s works are seamless orbits of colour tonalities. Earth tones dominate both their canvases, conveying a harmonious symphony. In the exhibition’s press note, curator Tunty Chauhan notes, “Two artists who have a very distinct vocabulary, but their language resonates as both artists embrace you in a tonal embrace, evoking a response far removed from retinal perception". At Threshold Art Gallery, Sarvodaya Enclave, Delhi, till 1 March, 1am-7pm (Monday to Saturday)

Also read: Be curious, ask questions, buy art you love

Artwork by Megha Gupta for Jaipur Art Week 3.0

An Ode to Creativity
The city of Jaipur prepares for a grand week-long celebration of contemporary art with Jaipur Art Week: Edition 3.0. An open and free event for all, it will be held across multiple venues in the city. The art week’s programming includes exhibitions, site-specific installations, performances, architecture and food walks, artist-led exhibition tours and workshops with artists and artisans. With Indian and international artists participating, some of the highlights include the unveiling of Shilo Shiv Suleman’s sculpture, SHANKHA; Hasan Shahrukh’s unique and immersive solo exhibition, Bhavnagari—A Journey into Mythological Science Fiction and Accessibility; the announcement of Hindolo, a new public artwork by Jaipur-based artist Bhimanshu Pandel, among others. Also of note is the showcase of 20 plus emerging and mid-career artists, who were selected through an open call.

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As a satellite event to the art week, Saat Saath Arts Foundation, in collaboration with the government of Rajasthan, will open the fourth edition of the Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur on 28 January. Curated by Peter Nagy, the exhibition presents works by Indian and international artists. Jaipur Art Week is a Public Arts Trust of India (PATI) initiative. At Albert Hall Museum, Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK), Hawa Mahal, Amrapali Museum and Golcha Cinema, Jaipur, till 31 January. 

An oil on canvas painting by Shibu Natesan on show at the Four Favorites And Other Works exhibition.

Still Life in Fresh Strokes
Art Alive Gallery’s current exhibition is a solo show of eminent artist Shibu Natesan’s recent paintings. Titled Four Favorites And Other Works, this is a landmark show considering it’s Natesan’s first in Delhi after 11 years. Being held in parallel to the India Art Fair, the paintings on display, in a departure from his signature style, are smaller and depict objects that represent the debris of our culture, be it a fragment of a head from a doll or discarded figurines of gods and goddesses.

The artwork at the heart of the exhibition is Four Favourites, a still life of a stack of monographs on four pre-eminent artists from Western art history: Frans Hals, Goya, Manet and John Sargent. “Suffering from none of the guilt that many Indian artists have had to confront about ‘aping’ western artists, Natesan frankly, confidently and in a ‘painterly’ mode declares his sources of inspiration with élan," writes JNU professor and curator of the show, Parul Dave Mukherji about the painting. At Art Alive Gallery, Panchsheel Park, Delhi, till 2 March, 11am-7pm (Monday-Saturday). 

A sculpture by Manjunath Kamath for Shakekthu Shalpaka exhibition

A New Language
Gallery Espace will be hosting Shakekthu Shalpaka, a new, solo exhibition of artist Manjunath Kamath’s works at the end of the month, coinciding with the India Art Fair. On display will be a body of large works by Kamath, including sculptures in his chosen medium of terracotta, as well as paintings on canvas and paper. The latter are site-specific works as they have been conceived in response to Bikaner House’s high-ceilinged rooms and arched doorways.

The exhibition’s name, which sounds like a Sanskrit phrase or a mythological name, the gallery’s note says, “is an imaginary word conceptualised by Kamath with a sound and a script of elements drawn from several Indian vernacular languages." In the artist’s own words, the name alludes to the phenomenon of maya or illusion. It also reflects his approach to language as “an arrangement of sounds and forms, which seldom correspond with the things they stand for". At Centre for Contemporary Art (1st floor), Bikaner House, Delhi, 29 January-16 March, 11am-7pm.

Also read: Indian Ceramics Triennale: Artists reimagine working with clay

A Jeram Patel artwork on display in the exhibition, A Reconstruct

An Artist who Rejected Colour
Palette Art Gallery’s ongoing exhibition, A Reconstruct, is a tribute to Jeram Patel and the art he created during his six decades long career. An alum of Sir JJ School of Art in Mumbai and Central School of Art in London, Patel’s art language was significantly influenced by Lucien Freud’s rejection of colour. This aversion for colour comes through in his art, especially his celebrated blowtorch works. The exhibition features 20 artworks that include paintings drawn with ink on paper to works created with blowtorch technique and laminated wood. “The exhibition authentically decodes and reconstructs Patel’s journey, offering viewers an enchanting exploration of materiality, imagery, and the mysteries of life and death. Jeram Patel’s enduring influence, celebrated in this show, invites a renewed appreciation of his timeless art," says the gallery. At Palette Art Gallery, Golf Links, New Delhi, till 17 February, 11am-7pm (Monday-Saturday)

Jasjyot Singh Hans, Pencil and ink on paper

Girl Behaviour
Contemporary art gallery Pulp Society is set to present Sit Properly, Chicago-based artist Jasjyot Singh Hans’s debut solo exhibition in India. The illustrator’s works have been displayed in Superchief Gallery, New York; Paradigm Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Mortal Machine Gallery, New Orleans. An artist whose practice explores the ideas of morality and the gendered norms of “good behaviour", Sit Properly is Hans’s critique on how girls are expected to behave in a subservient manner that doesn’t draw attention to themselves. The show, the gallery shares, will be dynamic with Hans visiting the gallery and drawing works on certain days. At Pulp Society, Okhla Phase 1, Delhi, 28 January-30 March, 12pm-6pm (Monday-Saturday).

Unity, a vinyl, metal and LED Installation by Raihan Vadra

Why Compare?
Visual and installation artist Raihan Vadra will be showcasing an immersive exhibition, Upamana, starting this weekend. Upamana is a part of a series of five solos by Vadra that are based on the five schools of logic in Indian philosophy. A portmanteau of Sanskrit words, upa and mãna, the show explores the concept of comparison and its impact on our perceptions and our daily lives. Vadra has used installations, visual art, sound and lighting to make it an immersive experience for the viewer. A soundtrack created for the show will introduce the viewer to each room. Curated daily walk-throughs will be held where visitors can interact with the artist. At Bikaner House, Delhi, from 28 January-4 February, 11am-7pm.  

The Surgery Room, 8.66 x 6.3 inches, Digital Archive print on PhotoRag paper by Zahra Yazdani.

The Body as Canvas 
Gallery Latitude's upcoming show, Scripted Selves: Sutures of Signs and Symbols , is a solo presentation of photographic works of Iran-based artist Zahra Yazdani, curated by Manan Shah. The body, with its nuances and complexities, has been a favoured subject of Yazdani's photography practice. Her work attempts to underline the politics of the human body along with its vulnerabilities and invincibility. The exhibition features 75 photo works where the body, shot in orchestrated settings, ‘seems to move and sway, as though exercising its agency in the form of (un) folding, (dis) entangling and (mis) appropriating’. “The photographic works by Zahra Yazdani in the exhibition probes the human body through the effect of distortion and layers. The asymmetry reimagines the points of location and registration of the dominant scripts to let the human body have its agency," writes Shah in his curatorial note. At Gallery LATITUDE 28, F - 208, F/F, Lado Sarai, New Delhi, till 29 February, 11am-7pm (Monday to Saturday).

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