Exhibitions 2008

Ideas, Images, Experiences

          There are those who feel that Indian contemporary art is largely about self-indulgence and the loss of values and creative zeal has degenerated into empty gesture and the language of art is becoming increasingly restricted and creativity being packaged as a materialist manifestation of a consumerist society. 

          The whole model of artistic practice needs to be reconsidered and all six artists in this exhibition have attempted to take up the challenge to forge a novel and enlarged notion of the same. 
          ‘Ideas, Images and Experiences’ is an attempt to represent the context, structure, dimensions and dynamics of the dominant aesthetics of a new generation of artists working in Shantiniketan and Kolkata.


          It is also the result of the cumulative energies of these six artists whose works derive strength from the complementary methodologies that surround them. Any attempt to give narrative shape to spontaneous bursts of creative energy is largely futile but it is important to chart its shape and contours, formulate its style and sensibilities and even record its dissonances.

          The paintings, sculptural arrangements and installations in this show all transcend their formal boundaries and evoke in the viewer the complexities of the vibrant cultural forces from which they have emerged. The entire exhibition is intended to go beyond the sum of its parts to suggest a unique rhythm or cadence, capturing the explosive creative energies of Bhaskar Chowdhury, Ramu Das, Mahmud Husain, Soumya Samanta, Arunima Sanyal and Saikat Surai.
---- Anirudh Chari



          A show hosted in Hong Kong by Mon Art Gallerie and Art Konsult with the following participating artists : Alok Bal, Birendra Pani, Dileep Sharma, Kazi Nasir, Pratul Dash, Sonia Mehra Chawla, Sovan Kumar, Suneel Mamadapur and Rupa Paul.



          This is an exhibition of paintings by three artists whose works are not so known to Kolkata art lovers. However, these artists have been engaged in a series of artistic activities over the years which are worthy of much praise.

          Prabir Sen is a senior artist and writer who has already established himself as an extremely successful graphic designer and calligrapher. Besides, he has authored several remarkable books with magnificent illustrations by himself. His paintings in this exhibition bear impressions of his artistic skills, his fine sensibilities and his spontaneous reaction to the present society and life. Prabir’s paintings have a rich graphic quality with intricate patterns. His works are thought provoking.


          Krishnendu Chaki is another widely known artist with lasting contributions to the world of Indian graphic designing and illustrations. He has also produced several artist’s books of high creative distinction. Krishnendu clearly draws inspiration from the Indian folk traditions, depicting fairy figures of fantasy and imagination. His selection of colors has a magical charm with all gracefulness and innocence of a beautiful mind.

          Nilanjan Banerjee, the youngest among this group, is a poet-painter. His creative force has always found brilliant expressions in various media of art. When it comes to painting, I have no doubt that Nilanjan is going to take a progressive role in course of time. Nilanjan paints out of a deep sense of freedom. His mingling of vibrant colours, his restless yet powerful lines, his riveting forms and lyrical abstractions together with experiments in division of space make Nilanjan’s paintings clearly distinct.

           This is a wonderful show. I find expression of joy in all of these works exhibited here. It is fresh air in end April.
---- Jogen Chowdhury

View the show at  -  www.monartgallerie.com


A Solo Show by Prasun Roy

          Art offers many possibilities for self-discovery. It allows me to have a conversation with the materials and how they work. I often discover things that are not planned in the process, and use them in my work. All my expressions are very much preconceived and spontaneous. It often welcomes accidents. My works are very much influenced with changes and effects of globalization. 

           Sometimes viewers can see self portraits of artist but my presentation and analysis are quiet different in this aspect. In my painting all characters are same in their outer expressions but there are three elements in the pictorial space: the space itself impregnated with memory of living tradition, the signs or symbols of the destructive modernity or the time present and the self of artist or some of his beloved ones. Each is kind of ‘signifier’. Through the interaction or dialogue between these signifiers, the ‘signified’ develops. The development from personal memory or consciousness of the artist himself is often difficult to decipher. The role of spectator comes here. His/her self acts as another component in constructing the signified. But ultimately the signified is a representation of the complex situation of the present socio-temporal vibrations.

           It is also a characteristic of the post 1990s paradigm of art, which is amply reflected in my works. Civilization and nature are simultaneously contrary and united. My art is a personal statement of my own struggles to unite the physical body, the emotional and rational mind with the spirit. “When we move out on faith into the act of creation, the universe is able to advance”. Art offers many possibilities for self-discovery. It is a way to use the creative process for dealing with life’s ups and downs. This method of working offers a window into my psyche that can be self- revealing.
----K. Prasun Roy

View the show at  -  www.monartgallerie.com


Trends & Trivia


          The trajectory of the artists in the exhibition is one of the several that crisscrossed various art schools displaying different dynamics and tempo vis-a-vis the contemporary and this is what makes this group a trite different from the others.


          Armed with a training at leading art schools of the country, these contemporaries form a loose ring, each of them facing a different direction as if to radiate out in different ways that won't intersect. Acutely aware of the ideological and artistic baggage that comes with the institutional tag each negotiates with it in an imitable ways. 

          Striking a movement as opposed to the Pop movement and several others of the west, the artists in this group initiated a narrative mode of painting that encompassed a different historicism of the international kind. Extreme stylistic eclecticism also brought with an intermingling of what was everyday and factious. Still it was the foregrounding of the local referent that marked the entry of both the Post Modern and the Post Colonial into the contemporary art scene.

          Such a wide range of emblematic strategies at play in the works of these young artists makes one reflect on the ways in which they have imagined the contemporary. What is obvious is that most of the artists continue to remain enchanted within the pictorial realm of image making on a two dimensional surface.

          Despite exhibiting an adherence to the wall space, these young artists continue their engagement with the contemporary in ways as inventive as possible. They also seem to posit an argument that the time for storytelling is not over yet.

          That is what really matters is how of storytelling and the ways of redeeming its norms. That narrative is an inevitable condition for capturing the social imagination of one's time. Foreseeing them as artists with an immensely bright 'Tomorrow' both in terms of artistic endeavor and appreciation, 'Trends and Trivia' brings to you an eclectic mix of artists who articulate the language of 'Now'.
----Bhavna Kakar.

View the show at  -  www.monartgallerie.com



          Most of the works reflect globalization and the rapid changes happening in Orissa. Many people are migrating to the city and emptying the villages. The inherent desire within human being to be associated with nature along with a serious thinking about the fate of future generation and projects the optimistic and reconstructive attitude with a hope for surviving the present condition. On the other hand a lot of paintings are also related to the India tradition and the Patta paintings of Orissa. So basically most of paintings depict the recent changes happening in Bhubaneswar and also hand in hand the others reflect the tradition of Bhubaneswar.


View the show at  -  www.monartgallerie.com


In Search of the Abyss

          Paradoxes, pluralities and hybridities. These are recurring leitmotifs, that appear whenever we consider the question of what constitutes ‘India’. Right from the dawn of civilization, from the Indus-Harappan period moving into the twenty-first century, India has never been constant. 

          Tumultuous, steady and apathetic by degrees, India has been in a state of constant flux. A flux, which is very much a part of its own inherent perception.
         Manoj Kachangal is an artist who is exploring the quintessential spirit of what it is Indian. A personal language he has created through spirituality, colour and abstraction. Manoj began with an enchantment with the world, landscapes, figurative constructs that gradually evolved into a uniquely personal vocabulary. 


          Frequent trialling has been one of the constants in Kachangal’s artistic journey. The assortment of canvases on display represent colour, rhythm, balance, accord, a sense of mysticism and tranquility. Canvases possessed of a strong and dynamic energy.

          The atmosphere is meditative and introspective yet inviting, a window to a world that beckons and invites further exploration. Absconding the obvious, his works allow for a freedom of analysis and reading, each unfolding and captivating account.

           Like a ‘yogi’ like a ‘sadhak’ a person striving towards excellence, Manoj pursued his artistic vision relentlessly. The impact of colour is direct and emotional, which is one reason colour can form the basis of a universal system of symbolism that goes beyond the narrow confines of language.
----Bhavna Kakar