For a heady dose of art, drop by two shows — Varna and JJ80s — one focusses on discrimination on the basis of skin colour while the second is centered on figurative art from the 1980s
Varna by antonio Puri
Philadelphia-based artist, Antonio Puri’s one-year-long residency in India has resulted in the exhibition, Varna, an artwork that incorporates various colours of the human skin of a diverse group of Dhal ni Pol’s residents in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Focussing on the issue of colour discrimination, Puri underscores why Ahmedabad caught his eye, “It was Gandhiji’s hometown and fought against discrimination on the same lines. Dhal ni Pol happened to be the place where I was residing so it made sense to research skin colours within the city.” Continuing, he stresses, “This also showed me how a small community can have so many variations. My intention was to photograph the hands of approximately 112 residents and then create canvases from the photographs.”
An artwork from Antonio Puri’s exhibition; (extreme right) artist Antonio Puri
The idea of the exhibition came from another thought that Puri had been nurturing for many years. He wanted to question the set boundaries an artwork has, in terms of a canvas. But, after extensive travel he realised that in all the places he went to, people were being stacked like canvases as per the colour of their skin. “This made me push the idea, which portrays this man-made inequity. I heard about the concept of varna, which means to cover or to envelope i.e., the skin for your spirit,” he adds.
From January 8 to February 8
AT The Loft, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel.
JJ 80s — A juncture of relevance and reverance
If the 1970s were an era of abstract art in the JJ School of Art, the 80s were of figurative, which gave several popular names to Indian art including Atul Dodiya, Sudarshan Shetty, Sharmila Sawant, Anju Dodiya, Vishaka Apte and Sunil Gawde among others. Now, three former students of the art school have curated JJ 80s — A Juncture of Relevance and Reverence, a new show that looks into the works of 30 artists who graduated from JJ School of Art in the 80s, and how they continue to influence Indian art even today.
Inshallah, one of the artworks on display at JJ School of Art
“The idea behind the show is to facilitate a dialogue between students and artists and artists and art lovers, and at the same time show how they matured as artists,” says Ratnadeep Adivrekar, of Arka Art Trust, who has curated and organised the show along with his two other business partners, Anand Prabhudesai and Nilesh Kinkale.
He adds, “The artists are showcasing their modern works, juxtaposed against works from their college days. Besides, there is also a series of talks by Atul Dodiya, Sharmila Samant and Professor Prabhakar Kolte, whose teachings influenced a majority of these artists, and a screening of films by P Mansaram.”
Half of the proceedings from the sale of the artworks will go towards scholarships and buying newer tools for the institution.
Till January 12, 10 am to 6 pm
At JJ School of Art, Dr DN Road, Fort.
Mumbai on Canvas
Catch 14 artists from all over Mumbai as they showcase the myriad hues of mumbai in the show, Mumbai Lifeline. These artists worked over a period of one and half years to create this unique collection of paintings.
Till January 13
At Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli. CALL 24963426