contemporary art news

Tarq Gallery, Mumbai

Mumbai Gallery Weekend opens 2024 schedule.

organised by the Mumbai Art Association

Focus: 4 must-see shows in the Fort & Colaba neighborhoods in the most southern part of Mumbai.

Experimenter (Colaba)

Experimenter presents Ghosts in My Sleep, Sohrab Hura’s (b.1981) solo at Experimenter – Colaba during Mumbai Gallery Weekend 2024. The exhibition takes its title from a new body of work comprising works on paper made with gouache. Alongside these small paintings, the ongoing pastel drawings from Things Felt But Not Quite Expressed, the short film Bittersweet as well as other image and sound notations dispersed across the gallery underscore Hura’s ongoing engagement with the ‘image’. While photography marked his beginnings and has been integral to the core of his practice, subsequent shifts towards experimentation with the moving image and sound and now drawing and painting are simply

Sohrab Hura at Experimenter

Hura continues to engage with a constantly shifting image world. Perhaps this shift to ‘trying to work more with his hands’ is also an existential attempt at finding something ‘more real’ at a time when the screen has become the primary interface to determine what is real or not. These new ‘broken images’ that he feels he trusts more and more, carry with them undercurrents similar to his early photographic works that tended to reflect upon everyday ordinariness of love, joy, relationships, and the familial. His immediate space also includes animals while the significance of title texts, tempering the tone of the images, creates a parallel between this body of work with the format of a photo book. 

Project 88 (Colaba) showing “Her Nature” In this exhibition, transdisciplinary artist Ashwini Bhat explores a trajectory toward a metaphysical understanding of nature and self. In both English and in Kannada, Bhat’s mother tongue, “nature/prakriti”, references wilderness and the inherent qualities of a personality. Through sculpture, installation, and video, Bhat connects visual language to the yearning to be part of nature, to the recognition of human interconnectedness with the more-than-human.

Ashwini Bhat, Self Portrait, Nagalinga Pushpa, 68 x 24 x 24 inches, 2023
Photographer: John Janca

After thirty-five years in Southern India, transdisciplinary artist, Ashwini Bhat now lives and works in the foothills of Sonoma Mountain, California. Coming from a background in literature and classical Indian dance, Bhat uses sculptures, installations, video, and text, to develop a unique visual language exploring the intersections between body and nature, self and other. Her practice draws from her rural agrarian community upbringing. Her work is influenced by syncretic shrines, rituals, & non-Western metaphysical concepts of empathy for the non-human. Bhat’s work, in part, is an act of (re)mapping consciousness, contributing to a spiritual or psychological archive, with an emphasis on the transformative aspects of place.

Chemould Prescott Road (Fort) presents Anant Joshi’s large-scale new works for his show ‘Raised Eyebrow’. Anant Joshi (@anantjosh) invents a circus of the past: forms that populate his work act out stories of political upheaval and social turmoil in the country. He plunges us into this troubled world with the satire of a semi-cartoonist, semi-toymaker, and artist.

Anant Joshi, “Hour glass, Glass hour”, 202
Acrylic on primed canvas, silver gift wrapping paper, tar paint, and UV varnish on gift wrapping paper.
144 x 108 in

Inhabiting multi-coloured interiors and boxed in by the edges of the canvas, Joshi’s figures reference found photographs, newspaper clippings and cartoons. His protagonists appear faceless, ghoul-like creatures, that dissolve into their psychedelic surroundings. The artist is reluctant to entirely reveal its intricacies repeatedly veiling his work using techniques of masking and camouflage that often divert the viewer.

He creates a surface alive with webs, intersected networks, and hidden beams of incredible colour, only to be disrupted by black dematerialised forms in their very centre; shifting our focus from the primary subject. Yet, a multitude of figures emerge from the layers, where forms forge to reveal themselves. Tactical distractions, misinformation, and political strategies are natural subjects to him and come to the fore again. Here a sense of history and longing is seen through the contemporary gaze.

TARQ presents work by Areez Katki featuring paintings, embroidery, and clay sculptures, the exhibition, is entitled ‘As this chin melts on your knee’. Katki’s practice explores conceptual and material-based intersections, focusing on the phenomenology of postcolonial identities. Navigating across disciplines and pedagogies, Katki’s work poses questions on hybridity, particularly through embodiments that have been subject to rupture.

artist Areez Katki at TARQ (Mumbai)

Acts of gathering and conservation can be seen in his nearly decade-long art practice, while his writing contextualises the repurposing of historic material through engagements with storied narratives. Both these practices examine the historical and the personal, using gestures that survey the nature of (our) relationships with sites and embodiments.