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Vadehras at DCAW 2018

K M Madhusudhnan, Anju Dodiya, Ranbir Kaleka, Atul Dodiya are few of the artists whose work are displayed at DCAW 2018

Vadehras at DCAW 2018

At the DCAW, Roshini Vadehra decided that Vadehra Art Gallery would plumb the depths of history to unveil works that had historicity coupled with vintage vitality.

K M Madhusudhnan's untitled ship made of leather, thread, ink, charcoal and LED light was at once surreal and steeped in the narratives of the past. Madhusudhnan is a famed film maker, whose artistic practice flows seamlessly across various mediums in art and cinema, including video art and narrative feature film. He is deeply concerned with war, colonization, and man-made borders. Marxism and Buddhism have been decisive influences on Madhusudhanan's art. This work incorporates materials that echo the genesis of an odyssey bringing forward the past into the present with the use of lead, it also positions the artist for a unique personal style in engaging with the historical subject and evoking magical powers of different materials.

Anju Dodiya's felicity with metaphors is always charming as well as echoing with an elegance that straddles minimalist modes. Art remains rooted in the figurative and her works are charged with an emotional value that is unique to her artistic language. Anju's self keeps recurring in the changing pictorial contexts as it does here too in Green Dive. Her watercolours and charcoal are an inward looking investigation with a keen sense of self-awareness and introspection. Her work compels the viewer to unravel the untold stories of the (usually) female protagonists, yet never fully reveal the full narrative.

Ranbir Kaleka's 'Raja Raja Ravi Verma' in the house of levi is an archival ink and oil on canvas and it creates corollaries in context and content. Ranbir fuses the East and the West by playfully planting Raja Ravi Varma's Indian figures from various paintings among the Biblical characters of 'The feast in the house of levi'– Paolo Veronese's iconic renaissance work. Ranbir takes up visual inscriptions of subjectivity: the image retains the aura of the icon and the desire for profane exposure; it reinvigorates the exhausted protocols of the identity question and the discourse of postcolonial theory.

Atul Dodiya's 'The vegetarian society 1890' was a part of his historic show – 'Mahatma and the masters' in 2015. Dodiya used painting and photography to focus on episodes of the life of Gandhi and combine them with contemporary and modern occidental artists.The result is a confrontation between two different moments of history: the fight for the independence of India, between 1910 and 1947, and important moments of European art. This image of 1890 becomes a hybrid work combining oil painting and photography. The figure of Gandhi is central, it questions the notions of modernity and universalism. Atul establishes a dialogue between two simultaneous moments in history: the fight for Indian Independence between 1910 and 1947 and the founding of artistic modernity in Europe.

This work combines an episode of Gandhi's struggle with contemporary creations from artists such as Picasso, Mondrian and Malevich. The complex fusion of painting and photography challenges the distinction between copy and original, between Eastern and Western tradition. Atul has been one of the first artists to to build bridges between Indian and Western art. The experience gained during a one-year course at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, during the early 1990s was key to his artistic development. In many ways this work created a counterpoint in a world that is battling cruelty to animals.

Uma Nair

Uma Nair

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