Artists say there is no season for art, but gallerists vouch for the season to sell. Shutters in the art district come down as temperatures sore, only to open with the monsoons. Clouds bring not just respite from heat, but also mark the arrival of significant exhibitions and a bustling art calendar.
Curated shows are becoming a constant, but solos will always retain the charm — after all it gives an opportunity to view a large body of work by an artist.
“Solos represent a trajectory of the artist’s career. It’s the journey of a single artist, what path the artist has taken and not taken to achieve where they stand,” says Sonia Ballaney from Vadehra Art Gallery. The gallery known to have organised some of the most important shows of the masters will be exhibiting, among others, a retrospective of Rameshwar Broota in October. In collaboration with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, this will comprise his early satires, his acclaimed ape series and the blade scrapings. Scheduled in January, meanwhile, is an extensive solo of Padma Bhushan recipient A Ramachandran. Celebrating 60 years of his career in art, the ground floor of the Defence Colony gallery will have on display paintings and sculptures, while the first floor will showcase over 3,000 drawings. Publications on Broota and Ramachandran will also be released alongside.
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Preparing for another awaited solo is Sunaina Anand, director of Art Alive Gallery. She will have Parisian artist Sakti Burman’s recent work in her gallery in February. Preceding that will be Sudhir Tailang’s cartoons in November.
Known more for the curatorial exhibitions it hosts, Latitude 28 will focus on solos in the coming months. “These are young artists I have been working with during the last three-four years. I’ve showed them in group shows and I think now they have a substantial body of work for a solo,” says Bhavna Kakar, director of Latitude 28. She has four solos of four contemporary artists lined till January. Baroda graduate Deepjyoti Kalita’s installations will open the season in September and Nilofer Suleman’s kitschy acrylics will travel from Bangalore to the Lado Sarai gallery in November. “Solos can make or break a younger artists career, so one should be careful. Commercially too, the risk is much higher when compared with group shows. In the latter, there is a wider possibly of something for everyone, but with a solo a collector might or might not like an artist,” says Kakar.
Anu Bajaj of Gallery Art Positive agrees. She is planning a solo of sculptor Dimpy Menon’s bronze exhibits in October. Few blocks away from her, in the Lado Sari neighbourhood, Rasika Kajaria of Exhibit 320 is bringing in Princess Pea, an alter ego of the Delhi College of Art graduate who works under the moniker. The Delhi-based artist who first came into limelight at the 2009 India Art Fair, will be showcasing works based on Hans Christian’s fairytale The Ugly Duckling.
Artists from the subcontinent will also be visiting. Senior Sri Lankan artist Senaka Senanayake will be at Art Alive Gallery in March and Pakistani contemporary artist Mohammad Ali Talpur will exhibit at Latitude 28 in October. One can expect him to show his minimal linear drawings.
Preoccupied with an exhibition of drawings to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Gallery Espace in November, Renu Modi’s first solo of the season will be Manjunath Kamath’s recent work in January. The same month will have Anju Dodiya exhibiting at Vadehra Art Gallery and a younger Dhanur Goyal at Gallery Ragini. The calendar already seems packed? Wait for more. Some announcements are yet to be come.