Five ongoing exhibitions by Indian contemporary women artists you must visit

Five ongoing exhibitions by Indian contemporary women artists you must visit

Although the pandemic is not officially over, the grim shadow that captured the world through 2020 seems to be slowly lifting. The art scene in India has also caught up to the challenge of functioning in this new normal and many galleries have now reopened with restrictions to showcase new works from their artists. Delightfully, many galleries around India happen to be showing works from some amazing women contemporary artists of India right now! Here are five of them we think you must visit and see for yourself if you can!

Notes for Tomorrow|Divya Singh
Shrine Empire Gallery, New Delhi
January 22- March 6, 2021

Divya Singh, Places, Oil on canvas, 30 x 26 inches, 2020 ©️ Shrine Empire Gallery

The title of the show comes from the artist’s childhood visit to a newspaper printing press, where seeing the news for tomorrow being inked a night before, altered her perception of ‘time.’
Drawing from Andrei Tarkovsky definition of ‘striking imagery’ and the idea of, ‘adequate images,’ propagated by Werner Herzog, Divya Singh’s paintings capture the quick visions of the fleeting moments embedded between ever-moving time.

“These moments carry with them visions, either glimpses that are revealed only for fraction of a second by an errand ray of light, a fleeting feeling projected by happenstance upon a scene encountered daily to endow it with unconscious meaning, or recognizing profoundness in the imagery shaped by a found verse from a poem or a still from a film encountered long ago,” says the artist in her statement about this body of work that was set in motion as she witnessed at close range a death in her family.

This moment created a tectonic shift in my understanding of Life and Death as more than merely theoretical concepts. It marked within my practice, and for me the beginning of my understanding of our ‘Thrownness’(Geworfenheit) , the meaning of our Being, mortality, and Time,” writes Divya.

Birth of a New World | Rithika Merchant
TARQ, Mumbai
14 January – 27 February, 2021

Rithika Merchant, Forefathers, 2020, Gouache, watercolour, ink and found images of crows on paper ©️ TARQ

For her second solo show at Tarq, Mumbai, artist Rithika Merchant recedes back to primordial time, where searching for the answers in stars, she proposes to create paths to a new world, in order to understand where we find ourselves right now. Through a combination of watercolour, gouache, ink, collage elements and use of organic shapes and colours, Rithika invites us to ponder the age-old questions of what is deemed worthy of saving and how do we strike a balance? Is there a possibility of a utopia or are we chasing after the unattainable? What will we take with us and what gets left behind?

Code Switch |Lubna Chowdhary
Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai
January 14- February 27, 2021

Lubna Chowdhary, Code 7, 2020, Gouache and acryl ©️Jhaveri Contemporary

For series Code (2020) which makes for the larger part of the exhibition, Chowdhary used digitally designed templates to industrially cut boards into sets of smaller interlocking shapes which were then reassembled back into rectangular fields. The forms and patterns painted atop these jigsaw-like composites, in a palette as vivid and luscious as her signature ceramic glazes, often extend across the physical cuts, suturing them together visually. The result is a subtle but uncanny disjunction between the two layers of the resulting image, between support and surface, between underlying structure and emergent form.

Reincarnate, We Meet Here in the Afterlife | Shilo Shiv Suleman
Art Musings, Mumbai
January 14- February 28, 2021

Shilo Shiv Suleman , Embrace, Mixed Media on paper, 15”x 29”, 2020 ©️ Art Musings

Exploring different themes through illustrations and installation art, the artist whose show ‘Reincarnate: We meet here in the Afterlife’ – encompassing paintings, sculptures, wearable art and sculptures is on view at gallery Art Musings in Mumbai, delves into shadow lines and talks about mortality. “Most definitely it was because of pandemic this year it really felt like 2020 was a death and a resurrection. I started to think about how many times our worlds have ended and begun again. So, the ‘Reincarnate’ looks at mortality and ideas of the afterlife, but again from the space of great luminosity. From hope and mystery, from being able to embrace mystery. I feel while this year has brought so much chaos and overwhelming grief, we also need to be able to hold mystery and understand how magical it is to be able to live with this kind of intensity.”

Bare Bones Ayesha Sultana
Experimenter – Ballygunge Place, Kolkata
11 February, 2021 – 10 April, 2021

Ayesha Sultana | Bare Bones | ©️ Experimenter – Ballygunge Place

Ayesha Sultana’s third solo at the Experimenter gallery, Kolkata, title Bare Bones brings together an intensely personal yet acutely revealing body of work, that deals with the body and stillness, its relationship with space and movement, breaking down the act of painting to express an intimate moment, where physical and emotional limitations are stretched, tested and broken.

Solitude is exacting, taking away more than it gives. Studio practice, for Sultana, is often an act of solitude, one fraught with silence, of deep reckoning and distance. The distance that can sometimes be comforting, can also be intensely painful. To live with oneself and to paint in expressing this solitude, one has to cut off the hand that offended, cut, slice, peel, scrape, and tear away, until what one is left with, are stripped-down bones. Sultana attempts to make two ends of the horizon of her vision come together in Bare Bones that coalesce in seemingly transient moments. Paradoxes appear, where secludedness, introspection and a solitary gaze, further suggest a constant oscillation of emotions that underscore this exhibition.

The exhibition in its physical form will be open to the public between 11 am to 6 pm every day except on Sundays and other government mandated closure dates. Visitors to the gallery must wear facemasks at all times. Physical distancing and other safety measures will be followed at the gallery.

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