Ashok Art Gallery The mystique nature of contemporary art comes alive, an international Art Exhibition in Orissa India, art exhibition reviews
Orissa is a land of multiple cultures ranging from folk to tradition to music and dance forms and many more. The visual art has been strong at the traditional level while modern contemporary art is striving for a place in cultural space. The fact that Orissa has two recognized art colleges with valuable exponents but due to the misplaced understanding at the local level, the entire environment is affected. The contemporary artists have taken their stand to propagate artistic issues since long, at least for last fifty years. But the expositions are limited to the artists rather than getting closer to the social community. The problem seems to be lying with the communicating values. The state non-cooperation and their limitations to foresee the present and future of the arts have taken disseminating position. Blame game is a strong culture that persists in the sphere by choice or otherwise. While taking stock of the matter, it seems as if one is addressing the politics in art. That is very much by chance, while the fact is no one would like to project a negative perspective of the communication, at least in a time when information technology has taken over the virtual space of interaction and art has become a substantial part of it. Well the artists have been trying to cap issues that are very much relevant and social. The present artists have somehow tried to create a positive feeling by coming together on singular platform to present their art with concern.
Art unfolds and the artists are approaching new avenues to interact. This time its the turn of many young and dynamic artists pulled together to exhibit in the Rashtriya Lalit Kala Kendra, Bhubaneswar. The group show was organized by the Ashok Art gallery (an International art gallery) operating from New Delhi promoting the art and artists. This is for the first time the young and budding artists and people of Orissa are privileged to view few international artists like Ruth Olivar Millan (USA) Thea Walstra (The Nederlands) Amna Ilyas (Pakistan). The show was scheduled between 27th February and 5th March 2009. Many artists those including the Orissan Master Chandrasekhar Rao, Baladev Moharatha, young reputed artists like Jagannath Panda Pratul Dash, Ramakanta Samantaray, Adwaita Gadanayak, Sitikanta Pattnaik, Pradosh Swain, Subash Pujhari, Manas Ranjan Jena and several others. Among the national artists are Dharmendra Rathore, Hukumlal Verma, Ramesh Tardal , Vinod Manwani, Indu Tripathy, Sanjoy Bose those have placed themselves in the global platform also joined the show.
For last couple of months the art scene of Orissa seems to have upgraded its activities to keep pace with the time and need. City’s art calendar has seldom been so active.Several exhibitions, Film Shows, camps and symposiums have been organised up to update the young artists with the latest global developments. This exposition truly reflected the global ideology while representing the local. This can mean one thing. Bhubaneswar is fast growing as a metropolis, said Minati Singh of TOI. The signs are quite clear and the trend of the art market has been growing over the past few year. A good number of artists and art aficionado have got into a habit of visiting art galleries have also come up to hold exhibitions in the city with an aim to popularizes love for art and create an art market. The rationale behind these exhibitions is to bring the potential of these local artists under one roof, alongside some of the noted artists of the state. This exhibition will help market the works of these small-time artists. Speaking about the camps, Ashok Nayak from New-Delhi based Ashok Art Gallery says, “earlier art camps were organized only by Lalit Kala Akademi. Since the AKademi has its own limitation, other organisations have started top take initiative to place the artists under one roof through camps and other similar events”.
The gallery organized this international exhibition of more than a hundred art works by eighty four artists comprising of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and installations here on Friday at the Lalit Kala Akademi. “There is demand for genuine artworks and the buyers are choosing to invest in art. They are searching for fresh venues to explore the right art and therefore, we must organize regular art shows, camps and exhibitions so that chances are created for the better selection,” Mr. Nayak said. In this exhibition, he added, “we brought artists both renowned and aspiring, from all over the world so that the creative gap is lessened. Most of these have dealt with issues of major political and social concerns. Adding to the flavor of the exhibition the corporate houses have offered their patronage to the event. “Patronage is essential to the growth of art. Now the time has come when the government should invest in the growth of public art and earmark some fund for it. A growing city like Bhubaneswar has all essential facilities for it. The corporate houses and other private sector should join hand to make the difference feel to the citizens of this city”, said Ashok. Kanta Kishore Moharana, another artist said,” I am not worried about selling my sculptures. I want people to just come and have look at my creations so that they get a feel of them. The new trend has come up these days to combine sculptures with other from of art in a single item. So I tried to mingle them with my sculpture.”
“Art has never known boundaries. It just captures viewer’s attention through colours, images and expressions, each work saying something different and important. The mystique nature of contemporary art comes alive in the work of Nederland based artist Thea Walstra’s brush work on canvas showing a looped bright light in vermillion shades as in Sajal Patra’s acrylic work where a woman stands in front of a locked door. Pratul Dash’s water cololur on paper brilliantly brings out a scene of crowd while Tapan Dash has used dry pastel on paper to produce a thought provoking face. Sculptor Biswaranjan Kar has shown his efficiency in painting, again based on his continuing work on Olive Ridley turtles”, a city based Art Critic Namita Panda said.
Exhibited at the international art exhibition of painting, drawing, sculptures, photographs, and installations these paintings stood alongside almost a hundred more of similar brilliance artists like Amna Ilyas from Pakistan, Ruth Olivar Millan, Adwaita Gadnayak, Gauranga Bariki, Sitikanta Patnaik, Jagannath Panda, Pratul Dash, Tapan Dash, Gadadhar Ojha and growing ones like Pratap Jena, Ajay Mohanty, Somanath Raut, Manas Moharana, Subash Pujhari and Kanta Kishore Moharana.
The art tradition in Orissa is so very strong that artists adapt the visual elements with subtle changes to suit contemporary makeover. In the case of Ajay Mohanty, one could easily consider these remains. They have emerged with subtle aesthetic layers with focus on the compositional patter. Stylistically different though but the gestures and colour have strong reference points. The only deviation perhaps is that of the space treatment and that make it visual strong and appealing. The present form of Anup has travelled long beyond Bihania and the transformation has remarkably shown up. The synchronization of the butterfly, the mystery and the illusory impact of the veil underlines the invisible face with intelligent symbolic. Gadadhar Ojha's Sans Titre holds the clue to the textural adventure and the space arrangement. The marble images refer to the Indian concept of bindu and vistara, a concept that deal with the centre and the periphery. The coordination that necessarily speak of the relationship in interface: the globe and the India, the local and global and its likes. Hukumlal Verma's image is a simple play of colours and its definition in overlapping pattern.
Indian contemporary art has now started evolving new paradigms and several artists have been relocating themselves in the present context. The boundaries of the mediums are intelligently merged and meaningfully redefined to engage in artistic creativity. Emotion and expression are charged with intellectual input into and outside the civilisational aspect. Jagannath Panda is such an artist who has overcome the restraint of time and space with the medium. Environment and human relationship gets attached to the expressive medium. The overlapping planes represent timeless narrative with the man calculating the journey through its triangular device locating its existence. It seems to be an endless calculation in the background. The triangle shows the past , present and future coinciding to the three angles and the human race to achieve all in one go, finally failing to synchronise the ends. The compartment below derives the sky and its relational value to the upper segment. Pratul has sensitively arranged a human-scape with photo-dynamic. The composition seem to have a sense of social congregation. He might be nostalgic with the terror strikes in Mumbai and initiates the unique oneness of the subcontinent. Tapan continues to draw with his mask(y) faces with layers of personality hidden within one self. This reality has surfaced with the racial competition to win over the world, every one individual trying to over do the other and justify the presence. This could also hint at a psychological value of human existence. Pradosh Swain has semantically drawn the earth through the bird image; upper part of the image beautifully interprets the sky with the runway at the background merging to the vistas, while the lower part reflects the dry land beginning to beg its fate looking at the past (which might have just saved its life). It is a sensitively created piece referring to the misbalance caused by human to nature.
Ruth is different and direct, creating a equilibrium between form and affection, of desire and achievement. The simple expression of the child and the mother is derived from life and diligently put forward on the canvas. And Shekh Hifzul is narrative in his form and composition, decorating the image with subtle rendering of designs and trying out mythical representation with a wing (?). In this couple, male has the wings of desire and freedom remaining at the upper band while the female share its presence delicately supporting the figure. Thea Walstra speaks about the laser interactive rays those radiate to unite and spread around like dvani (sound), glowing into the cosmic sphere merging into the air and bringing back the sound to the ears, with the same transparency and layers.
There has been huge footfall and the viewership has widened to family people and youngsters too now. In fact many of the displayed works were bought as well. The weeklong exhibition that concluded on 5th March 2009 also included a work by the immortal art guru Chandrasekhar Rao and present master Baladev Moharatha. Though too huge for a viewer to absorb all the creations properly, almost every form of the art was present at Lalit Kala Akademi Regional Centre. One could easily find his interest as a number of subjects like environment, nature, society, beauty, spirituality, culture, and many more were included in various media like metal, wood, marble, fibre, rock in sculpture and pastel, acrylic, mixed media, water colour, graphic in paintings. This exhibition is a venture projecting the insider and the outsider to and from the subcontinent and more so in Orissa it would definitely make sense as they all bring different vocabulary on one platform. Ashok Art Gallery has done this in Delhi before and now presenting this to the Orissa audience, and hopefully they will cater to the creative desire of the young state art forum. What we need is reasonable spirit and appreciation of the art situation today, because we live in the present and need to keep pace with time. More such exhibitions will expose us to the global happenings. This first exhibition of its kind will definitely work as a catalyst for future.
The Ashok Art Gallery is internationally known for one of its most important holdings: more than 2000 major works by the world's most significant Artists.Over the past years, as Ashok Art Gallery has become a major centre for contemporary visual art, the Gallery has built a strong collection of contemporary work of different artists.Last year we became a sponsor of the STANDUP-SPEAKOUT Artshow, Organized by Art Of Living Foundation and United Nations.Organized an International Contenmporary Art Exhibition including artists from USA, The Nederlands, Pakistan and India.We have also participated at Art Expo India 2008 Mumbai and India Art Summit 2008 New Delhi.