On the art prowl

10 December,2023 06:10 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Neerja Deodhar

From philosophical reflections about the Moon to a cheeky take on consumerism—December brings with it a delightful variety to Mumbai’s galleries

Curious Case of LV by Abhay Sehgal. PIC COURTESY/METHOD

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As the days become pleasant and evenings turn more adventurous in December, the city too offers up more reasons to explore it. A day at an art gallery could be the pause and detox you need - between parties and bar hops. In the few weeks between Art Mumbai's debut edition and the upcoming Mumbai Gallery Weekend, the works on display across institutions in Kala Ghoda, Colaba and Khotachi Wadi reflect on natural phenomena, invoke old masters and speak to present concerns.

Moon Dot by Lekha Washington. PIC COURTESY/47-A

1. The absence of darkness
Interior architect Kunal Shah returns to Khotachi Wadi's 47-A as the curator of a show examining light as both a physical phenomenon and symbol. Shah has assembled artists across disciplines, such as textile maker Jayshree Poddar and architect Rooshad Shroff, to explore how light and shadow inspire us to see the world. "My interest was in questioning the associations we have with light and darkness - hope, celebration, freedom or fear, hopelessness and mystery. And this quest led me, organically, to poets, artists, designers, weavers and storytellers," Shah says. Consider Lekha Washington's iconic Moon Dot - a seat fashioned like the moon - or Maharukh Desai's vintage sunglasses with green frames. Works such as Riyazuddin's miniature paintings, which reference classic iconography, remind us that the fascination with celestial objects is one we have nurtured since ancient times.

On display till January 6, 2024
Where: 47-A, Khotachi Wadi, Girgaum
When: 11 AM to 7 PM, Tuesday to Sunday

2. Amrita Sher-Gil: A Portrait of Observations
For the unacquainted, this show at Akara Modern is a great introduction to Sher-Gil and the life experiences that shaped her oeuvre, such as her father's interest in photography and her own resultant pursuit of self-portraits. When watercolour works such as Mrs. Eginnah and After We Came Back from Italy are viewed alongside Veeranganakumari Solanki's curatorial note, we learn about why the artist began employing bolder pencil strokes and chose to focus on the female form.

On display till December 16 , 2023
Where: Akara Modern, 4/5 Churchill Chambers, 1st Floor, 32 Mereweather Road, Colaba
When: 11 AM to 6.30 PM, Tuesday-Saturday

3. Add to Cart
In spotlighting contemporary artists such as Mohd Intiyaz and Sidhant Gandhi, Method effectively draws in the millennial and Gen-Z art enthusiast who is socially aware. At its Kala Ghoda outpost, the gallery is hosting a show by multidisciplinary artist Abhay Sehgal who investigates the commodification of our identities and the blurring boundaries between who we are and the objects we own. In Curious Case of LV, Sehgal depicts a group of men from the mid-1880s bewildered by a high-fashion hand bag. The work Retro Memories, set in a storage room, comments on the habit of collecting objects that we cherish but never use. "It depicts how current consumerism has made classic retro symbols nearly extinct… We fail to throw these objects away and they are stored solely for nostalgia," Sehgal explains.

On display till 31st December, 2023
Where: Method Kala Ghoda, 86, Nagindas Master Rd, Kala Ghoda
When: 11 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday to Sunday

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