New Delhi: Gallery ART KONSULT presents Class of 2008 - a group exhibition by seven young artists from M.S. University Baroda who have completed their Masters in 2008, at Art Konsult, 23, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi from December 10 to January 10, 2009. The young artists will be showcasing a new brand of experimental work in mixed media.

Art Exhibition previously on in India.
From Wednesday 10 December 2008 to Saturday 10 January 2009
Launch Wednesday 10 December 2008, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (IST)

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Published by anonymous on Tuesday 02 December 2008.
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Participating artists are Sandip M. Pisalkar, Boshudhara Mukherjee, Shreyas Karle, Bhrigu Kr. Sharma, Swetha B.V., Bhavin Mistry and Nibha Sikander.

Says curator Bhavna Kakar who has conceptualised the show: “The show is conceptualized as a dialogue of varying visual sensibilities and understanding that reflects not just the artist’s individual preoccupation with the idea and material but also is indicative of their involvement, their interaction with each other and reactions to surrounding events. The pattern of display and presentation highlights an assortment of divergent themes.”

The urban context of these young artists finds expression in the picture-plane along with the memories of contemporary motifs. They belong within the specific contexts as visualized by each artist, which tends to lean on nostalgic recollections of experience that were or as imagined. The issues of identity are also crucial to the contemporary scheme of events, especially those of sexuality, ethnicity among others. The very struggle to cope with such issues as identity, freedom (of expression, of speech, of being) and love has been construed into the subject matter of the works. Certain artists attempt to appropriate the idea of being a woman, of understanding their position in today’s world.

Says Sandip Pisalkar: “Whenever I see an object of historical reference, I wish to transform it through the use of technology. That means the practical context, and historical references are still there but I only try to manipulate the way of seeing that object. I would like to use the word REMIX (Past tense + Future tense = Present tense) to explain my art world. I look at objects of historical importance with an eye of interrogation.” Hence, in one of his works titled Piau (Cooling), one can see that Sandip has created a mini-bar within the traditional format of a water pump!

A similar experimentation in form is being sought by Boshudhara Mukherjee who says that, “The canvas, for me, is more than just a surface to paint on. Not restricting my work to one context, their meanings, like the work are multilayered – some obvious and bold while others are hidden. The canvas is cut and woven, sometimes more than once, to create the work. This relates my work to life and the distortions created by the challenges and problems that one faces. The works are thus like portraits or masks that people wear. But no matter how hard one tries, the distortions continue to reveal the trials and travails of the inner self.” This idea of the hidden and the revealed is further extended to how the artist displays her works. They are hung from the walls in such a manner that their backs are also shown depicting the conscious (front) and the unconscious (back).

Yet, in another installation by Shreyas Karle – Shout, listen and let go… consists of three cone like structures done in steel that hangs from the ceiling. Says Karle: “The first cone acts like an instrument to shout, with holes in the structure, which makes it useless for its functional use. This portrays the attitude of a person always wanting to shout about his or her own greatness, but their attempts are futile. The second cone has three openings which symbolizes the voice of the society one has to hear from time to time. The life of the individual is always shaped by the conditioning voice of the group he or she belongs to and the third part of the installation actually indicates oneself to be in a very neutral position, to let go things and carrying on forward one’s own way of thinking.”

On the other hand, Bhrigu Sharma too looks for an amalgamation of various styles in his works. He says, “Drawing for me is to ‘draw’ (to pull out) and is the base of my work. My work is all about casualness, spontaneity, intuitiveness and one can also find wit and humour in my work. My work and its process try to question the so called ‘seriousness’ of painting. Colour also adds plane to my work and it is devoid of any environmental effect. I try to remove the physicality of an object (almost like a child’s drawing) to induce a feeling of subjectivity.”

For Swetha B.V, it was her inquisitiveness towards experimentation and an attempt to move beyond the conventional format of easel painting that paved way for textiles into her works. She says, “I hunt for particular textiles with particular colors and patterns to evoke certain \emotions in my work which can be seen in the Burkha and I works. My work has a narrative aspect and the usage of different mediums actually supplements or enhances the narrative in my work.”

Another young artist from MSU, Baroda, Bhavin Mistry has consciously avoided human presence in his works, a “no-man’s landscapes” in his words. Some of his works also comment upon the overpowering of manmade technology. “I never try to capture the beauty of landscapes in my paintings instead, I use it just as an element to show depth. These lonely landscapes reflect a deeply introvert, detached perspective on reality. I have always remained free from the ideologies and have used all the freedom that is granted by this institute. Baroda has seen a number of narrative and figurative painters and also very well known for conceptual artists, but the quest to find something beyond and the immediate kept me going on,” says Bhavin.

Lastly the works of Nibha Sikander talks about consumerism, particularly fashion. “I like to paint clothes and accessories which are in fashion and juxtapose them with my own images and designs. I use images which you do not usually see on clothes and which adds humor to the work. I feel that in our globalized world the identity of a person is based on what he or she wears and not who they really are.”

“The purpose of the exhibition” says Bhavna Kakar “is not to display brilliant rendering and drafting skills but to attempt the shaping of a personal language that translates formal, conceptual as well as thematic concerns into creative expression.”

The works by these artists can be meshed together into a broad framework, where various issues like the historicity of objects and its relevance, identity, the concept of a ‘façade’, values of humanity and so forth form the starting points for deeper discussions. Some of the works in the show raise questions pertaining to the over-dependency on technology of the present generation. Global warming and concern for the environment are strong undercurrents in the overall ethos of the show.