An Art-Lover's Guide To Mumbai's Gallery Weekend
Chemould Prescott Road
Chemould Prescott Road is perhaps the most globally recognized gallery from the Sub Continent. Established in 1963, the gallery has been firmly in the reins of Shireen Gandhy since the late eighties. Housed in a hundred year old British colonial building with high ceilings and a spectacular view of Mumbai’s heritage architecture, the gallery has dedicated itself to organizing important exhibitions of contemporary art. Chemould Prescott Road will open with a brilliantly conceived exhibition by the cerebral Jitish Kallat during the Mumbai Gallery Weekend. Kallat’s unique and stimulating imagination culminates into a solo show titled ‘Sightings.’ The artist presented his last solo exhibition in Mumbai in 2011. Bringing together an assembly of conceptual and sensory propositions through a suite of drawings, sculptures, photo-pieces and video, the artist explores themes of time, sustenance, sleep, along with an interplay of scales and proximities, and evocations of the celestial; preoccupations that have recurred across his wide-ranging work.
This former grain storage in the heart of one of Mumbai’s busiest markets has been on a mission, since its inception, to push the boundaries of art. Gallerist AbhayMaskara has, over the years, presented artwork in inventive ways and has developed new talent with original ideas that transcend limitations of any kind. The gallery’s programme is dynamic and energetic, with a vision to expand the city’s art scenetowards a fresh direction , often challenging the viewers’ aesthetics. Gallery Maskara will open a two-person show curated by Abhay Maskara titled ‘Portraits of the self.’ The exhibition places the human body in focus, revealing not only its sensuality and vulnerability but also its strength and passion.The exhibition which questions the prevailing notions of gender, identity and selfhood features Max Streicher, a theologist and sculptor from Toronto who presented his enormous floating dolls in 2008 at the gallery along with Baroda based art historian and painter Parag Sonarghare.
The exhibits at Sakshi Gallery are diverse, ranging from cutting edge work from established and emerging artists to paintings and sculpture of celebrated Indian and International artists.The gallery will open ’60/60,’ an exhibition of works by award-winning photographer Pablo Bartholomew over the MGW. The 60 works represent a visual celebration of the journey and experiences of the artist over the years. In his artist statement, the Delhi based photographer remarks, “This body of work, 60/60, is 60 images which will possibly be the last resurrection, a visual testimony to friends and people in the arts that I encountered as I traversed and muddled through life in my early years as I was establishing myself in the ’70s and ’80s. These men and women of the arts; painters, filmmakers, theatre directors, actors, writers and poets, some still alive, others now gone, form an important cultural grid of the nation looking back three decades. For me, this represents a visual celebration of my turning 60 in December 2015.”
Since it opened a decade ago, under the direction of second generation gallerist, Sree Banerjee Goswami, Project 88 has not shied away from its interest in presenting experimentation and interdisciplinary exhibitions. The Gallery has firmly lodged itself within the cultural context of the city’s promising present-day artistic identity. From exhibiting Delhi-based curators and artists, from Raqs Media Collective to Turner Prize nominees The Otolith Group and Pakistani artists Huma Mulji and Risham Syed, among others, Project 88’s examination of theterrain of contemporary art remains incredibly important. For the Mumbai Galley Weekend, the gallery showcases a solo exhibition of Mumbai based artist Prajakat Potnis titled ‘When the wind blows.’ Appliances repeatedly appear in Prajakta Potnis’ work, belonging principally to the space of the kitchen – that laboratory-like space where otherwise indigestible vegetal and animal flesh are routinely processed, reshaped, and cajoled into forms appropriate for human ingestion. Trained in painting at the J. J. School of Art, Prajakta’s own engagement with minimalism as an aesthetic proposition extends beyond works displayed in the present exhibition.
Chatterjee & Lal
Founded by husband-and-wife team Mortimer Chatterjee and Tara Lal in 2003, Chatterjee & Lal has a strong roster of artists, showcasing them through eclectic thematically curated group shows and solo exhibitions. The programme at C&L takes in an international range of contemporary artists, including Nikhil Chopra , Hetain Patel, Minam Apang and Kiran Subbaiah. The gallery will present a much awaited solo exhibition of Mumbai Based Sahej Rahal — at 28, Rahal has already been invited to four prestigious residencies and presented a large body of sci-fi inspired sculptures and ceremonial masks made from clay at the 2014 edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale. Rahal works with multiple mediums — from painting and performance to sculpture and videos, his work draws upon imaginary characters in unfamiliar and peculiar situations. Since his debut solo show, the young and edgy artists’ practice has captured the attention of collectors both at home and abroad.
Lakeeren Art Gallery
When Lakeeren Art Gallery opened in 1995 in Vile Parle as one the first galleries to exist outside South Mumbai, its programme was a ground breaking and pioneering one for its time. Dr Arshiya Lokhandwala, art historian and curator, reestablished the gallery in2009 at a Colaba location. The gallery represents a stellar cast of emerging and established range artists from across the world. Dr. Lokhandwala’s diverse choices have developed the gallery into a space that provokes questions and challenges beyond convention. Lakeeren opens a solo exhibition by German artist Alke Ree this year. Architecture and the analysis of its structures is the crux of the artist’s practice wherein the artist views architecture as a form of sculpture itself. In this exhibition, she uses pleating, a classical leitmotifin sculpture examining the interior/exterior as well as the negative positive spaces that it inhabits. For the artist, this is an attribution of function as a reference within a system of references to which we continually go back in order to try to understand the world that surrounds us.
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
Located in a quaint building behind the Taj Mahal Hotel, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke has had the credit of bringing international artists such as Leiko Ikemura, Kiki Smith ,Jonathan Meese and Wolfgang Laib to India for the first time. A recent show titled ‘level’ of by Tanya Goel continues through the Mumbai Gallery Weekend and demonstrates the gallery’s ongoing commitment to showing art by young and emerging artists of the highest quality. Delhi Based Tanya Goel, who completed a BFA from MS University in Baroda before she graduated from Yale University, USA, with an MFA in Painting/Printmaking, exhibits large scale paintings as well as experimental drawings on small pieces of found cement and stone.
MGW 2016 takes places from 22 – 24 January from 6 pm – 9 pm. To download a complete schedule of MGW openings & events visit: www.mumbaigalleryweekend.com.
By Farah Siddiqui