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Celebrate their genius

What: Two personalities united by the era they inhabited and their creative genius will be the focus of In Dialogue: Amrita Sher-Gil and Lionel Wendt, the latest exhibition at Jhaveri Contemporary. Curated by Shanay Jhaveri, the exhibition pairs the Indo-Hungarian painter Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941) with Ceylonese photographer Lionel Wendt (1900-1944) to set the background, and the backdrop against which they created their great art.

Self Portrait with Long Hair (2), Oil on canvas
Self Portrait with Long Hair (2), Oil on canvas

Both were from affluent backgrounds, of mixed ethnicity, and led cosmopolitan lives. While Sher-Gil was known for her artistic output, Wendt boasted of an extensive archive of photographs. This is where the similarities ended.

Self Portrait by Amrita Sher-Gil
Self Portrait by Amrita Sher-Gil, Watercolour on paper

Sher-Gil returned to India in 1934, to create some of her most significant paintings, while Wendt (originally a pianist in London) turned to photography only in the early 1930s in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Untitled (Standing figure in Sarong) by Lionel Wendt; Gelatin silver print (c.1934-38)
Untitled (Standing figure in Sarong) by Lionel Wendt; Gelatin silver print (c.1934-38)

Their works centred on the body and on the people of India and Sri Lanka, respectively. They integrated past and present into their art, and their practices are central to modernism in South Asia. While Wendt’s photographs have never been displayed in India, Sher-Gil’s paintings, on display here, are on loan from private collections and have never been exhibited.

An Untitled work by Lionel Wendt (from the Man, Rock and Vetti series); Gelatin silver print (c.1934-38)
An Untitled work by Lionel Wendt (from the Man, Rock and Vetti series); Gelatin silver print (c.1934-38)

How: Priya Jhaveri, co-founder, Jhaveri Contemporary, shares, “The exhibition examines connections between two towering figures in South Asian art. Sher-Gil’s works have recently been exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (in New Delhi), as part of the centenary celebrations of the painter’s birth. Here, we have brought together previously unseen works, ‘hidden’ in private collections. Although Wendt is a central figure in modern Sri Lankan culture, his photographs deserve to be better known in India.”

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Untitled (And the lonely owl my marrow) by Lionel Wendt; Gelatin silver print, montage (c.1938-39)

Where:
At:
Jhaveri Contemporary, 2 Krishna Niwas, 58A Walkeshwar Road.
Till: October 25, 11 am to 6 pm
Call: 23693639

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