Colours, only

art1st India

A new exhibition in Delhi introduces the rare genre of ‘colour field’ painting to art lovers  

Ankush Arora

How does an artist’s canvas reflect natural landscapes, without using any kind of recognisable shapes, images, forms or human figures? A good example of this style of art-making is the work of Pandit Bhila Khairnar, who is known as a ‘colour field’ artist. Delhi-based Gallery Threshold recently inaugurated a solo show of the artist, who hails from Nashik city in Maharashtra.

Nashik_Flickr_Deeku's.jpg Nashik. Courtesy: Flickr

As a young man, Khairnar found himself drawn towards abstract painting, and began his training in art at Yashwant Kala Mahavidyalaya, Aurangabad, and L. S. Raheja School of Art, Mumbai. His early interest in abstract painting deeply influenced his artistic vocabulary that we see today, so much so that he is now considered one of the lesser known, but foremost, colour field painters of India.

Pandit Bhila Khairnar Profile Photo.png Pandit Bhila…

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Interwoven narratives of Indian and Thai textiles   

art1st India

The revival of Thai’s ‘mudmee’ silk industry is the subject of a new exhibition at New Delhi’s National Museum

Ankush Arora

Between the 14th and 18thcentury, the Kingdom of Ayutthaya (present-day Thailand) began importing various kinds of Indian textiles for the local market and royal court. These included block-printed or painted cotton from Masulipatnam (Andhra Pradesh), silk brocades from Banaras, and Gujarat’s patolaor double ikat silk—the latter was believed to have been commissioned for the Ayutthaya king during the 1660s.

1024px-Gezicht_op_Judea,_de_hoofdstad_van_Siam_Rijksmuseum_SK-A-4477.jpg Painting of Ayutthaya c.1665, painted by Johannes Vingboons, ordered by the Dutch East India Company, Amsterdam. Courtesy: Wikipedia

While the origin of silkworm breeding and silk weaving in Thailand remains unknown, the early hybridization of Indian-made textiles with Siamese (dated term for Thai people) royal court patterns began to take place sometime during the Ayutthaya kingdom, according to a new art exhibition at New Delhi’s National…

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In a rare showing, Delhi gets a glimpse of indigenous art from National Gallery of Australia

New Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art is currently showing masterpieces from Australia’s indigenous artists – a rare, large-scale project that is not only a precursor to the upcoming Australia-India Fest, but also part of India’s long-standing initiative of cementing ties with other nations through the realm of art and culture. In the recent past, … Continue reading In a rare showing, Delhi gets a glimpse of indigenous art from National Gallery of Australia

A video tour of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art’s personal collection

Founded eight years ago, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) has acquired the reputation of being the first private museum of art exhibiting modern and contemporary works from India and the sub-continent. It’s core collection is made up of a generation of 20th century Indian artists from the post-Independence period, while engaging art practices of younger … Continue reading A video tour of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art’s personal collection

Fan-ning art: A look at Indian artist Jatin Das’ vast collection of ‘Pankhas’

For an urban audience addicted to instant air cooling, a trans-national collection of hand-made fans might be of little interest, until you visit an exhibition showcasing artefacts belonging to a rare and dying tradition. The exhibition has been curated by Indian visual artist Jatin Das, a well-known researcher and archivist of the craft of hand-made … Continue reading Fan-ning art: A look at Indian artist Jatin Das’ vast collection of ‘Pankhas’

Can you take the stench of Mumbai’s Sassoon Dock? You can’t, but maybe you should

Installation "Idea of Smell" by artist Hanif Kureshi (St+Art India Foundation) If you are put off by the lingering smell of fish at Mumbai's Sassoon Dock, a new art project in the city will make sure you cannot miss the stench even if you cover your nose. As you enter the St+Art Project galleries at … Continue reading Can you take the stench of Mumbai’s Sassoon Dock? You can’t, but maybe you should

Sunday ‘baithak’ with Ashwini Bhide Deshpande at Mumbai’s NCPA

It was a Sunday morning well spent listening to a Hindustani classical recital by vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande at Mumbai's National Centre for the Performing Arts. In a small, but cosy, musical gathering, Deshpande presented the different styles of the Todi raga that is traditionally sung during the morning hours. Todi is believed to be one of main parent scales in … Continue reading Sunday ‘baithak’ with Ashwini Bhide Deshpande at Mumbai’s NCPA