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Press Releases - Chemould Prescott Road

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Inaugural exhibition
A sculptural installation by ATUL DODIYA
Friday 2 February to
Saturday 3 March 2007
11:00 am to 7:00 pm
(Sundays Closed)

(Chemould Prescott Road, Queens Mansion, 3rd Floor, A. K. Naik Marg, Fort, Mumbai-400 001, P: +9122 2200 0211/ +9122 2200 0212,,

Gallery Chemould (est. 1963) is delighted to announce the opening of its new premises – Chemould Prescott Road – on Friday 2 February 2007, with an inaugural exhibition by Atul Dodiya. Chemould Prescott Road, measuring approximately 6000 square feet, is housed in a neo-gothic colonial building located in Bombay’s historic Fort precinct. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, the space will offer us the opportunity to work on large-scale exhibitions, ambitious projects, and events.

Atul Dodiya will exhibit a sculptural installation titled Shri Khakhar Prasanna at Chemould Prescott Road. Dodiya is one of India’s most critically acclaimed artists. Though primarily a painter he has never restricted himself to any singular style. His installations usually retain elements of painting and portraiture; and his imagery draws from a variety of sources, from art and political history, the media and popular culture, found objects and autobiography.

Versions of Shri Khakhar Prasanna were displayed in the Bhupen Among Friends show at Gallery Chemould in 2005, and in Baroda, at the Faculty of Fine Arts, where Khakhar lived and worked. The exhibit includes 36 smiling busts of Bhupen Khakhar reminiscent of public sculptures made to commomorate national leaders, wall sculptures of Manorama – the crocodile that Khakhar frequently visited at the Baroda zoo, and portraits of the artist painted on pepal leaves. Dodiya invokes the legacy of Mahatama Gandhi with a series of white marble tablets engraved with ‘thoughts for the day by the Bapu’. He also pays homage to the Russian avant-garde artist, Nikolai Pirosmani – who’s work, Dodiya suggests, Khakhar might have admired – with paintings that mimic his naïve-art style.

Dodiya was intrigued by Bhupen Khakhar’s paintings even as a young man not yet in art school. Khakhar’s untrained hand displayed a directness and a clumsy humor which was refreshing and distinctly original, as was the bold vibrancy of his colours and the fluidity in his application.
Khakhar was known for his spontaneity, wit and sarcasm and he loved to be photographed. A figurative painter, his subjects included his immediate environment, his own homosexuality, and the ethnic violence that had taken over Gujarat. His visual vocabulary was inspired by Company School paintings, kitsch, popular street and calendar art and he is said to have brought to contemporary Indian painting a distinctly Indian local Pop imagery and language.

Shri Khakhar Prasanna is Dodiya’s tongue and cheek tribute to the life, work, and memory of Bhupen Khakhar, his colleague and friend. Dodiya brings together street, shrine, memorial and museum as he plays with notions of the sacred and the profane, the private and the public with his installation.

Gallery Chemould has shared a long standing relationship with both the artists – Khakhar’s work was exhibited in the inaugural exhibition of Gallery Chemould in 1963, while Dodiya had his first solo exhibition with the Gallery in 1989, the year Shireen Gandhy took over as director. It is with great pleasure that we invite you to enjoy Shri Khakhar Prasanna at Chemould Prescott Road!

Beds and Chairs
Gallery Chemould, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
Opening reception for the artist: Thursday, February 8, 2007, 6 — 7:30 pm

Go Away Closer
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Colaba, Mumbai
Opening reception for the artist: Thursday, February 8, 2007, 7:30 — 9:00 pm
Dayanita Singh (*1961 in New Delhi), studied Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York.
Represented internationally by Frith Street Gallery, London, Singh’s work has been shown at leading venues including a solo exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin in 2003, Das Achte Feld — Geschlechter, Leben und Begehren in der bildenden Kunst seit 1960, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2006, and Cities in Transition, a public project together with Chuck Close and Mitch Epstein in New York City, Boston and Hartford in 2006. Three books on her work, Chairs, Privacy, and Go Away Closer, have been published by Steidl (Göttingen, Germany).
In 2005, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston hosted a solo exhibition of Dayanita Singh’s portraits of chairs — images of un-peopled spaces taken during visits to palaces and homes, libraries and museums, theatres and temples around the world including Calcutta, London, Goa, Florence, Bombay and Boston. The chairs may have been in the same place for decades, their occupants having moved on to other worlds. Singh, consumed by this seeming emptiness, simultaneously turned her vision to beds: beds of those who had passed away but that were still made every day, beds turned into shrines with photos and sandals on them, and of course, the beds of the living but without their physical presence.
The two series resulted in a solo exhibition entitled Beds and Chairs at the Valentina Bonomo Gallery in Rome in 2006. On February 8, 2007, Gallery Chemould will present Beds and Chairs in Mumbai.
Later that evening, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke presents Dayanita Singh’s Go Away Closer series, a body of work created by the artist during the years 2001-06. Here, Singh chronicles lost moments of intense vision. The photographs illuminate the idea of ‘somewhere or other’ almost magically, precisely because place and time are eliminated.
In Go Away Closer, Singh creates narrative horizons that remain open to any viewer or reader. The photographer has disappeared completely as a source of information and the idea of the photograph as an all-embracing image of a complete or valid story has been set aside. These photographs look for viewers who will edit them — imaginatively — charging the images that can be gleaned from them with possible stories from their own experiences, informing them with their cultural and psychological cast of mind.
Both exhibitions continue until February 28, 2007.
Jehangir Art Gallery, 1st Floor, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, +91 22 2284 4356/ 2283 3640,,, Hours: Mondays — Saturdays 10:30 am - 6:30 pm

2 Sunny House, 16/18 Mereweather Road, Behind Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001
+91 22 2202 3030/ 3434/ 3636,,, Hours: Mondays — Fridays 10 am — 6:30 pm, Saturdays 11 am — 4 pm

Navel one and the many
Drawings & sculptural installations
Anant Joshi
Chemould Prescott Road, Tuesday, 13 March, 2007, 6.30 – 8.30pm
exhibition will continue until 4 April 2007, 11.00am - 7.30pm (Sundays closed)

Chemould Prescott Road is delighted to announce the opening of Anant Joshi's solo exhibition on Tuesday, 13 March, 2007. The exhibition will continue until Wednesday, 4 April, 2007 and will feature Joshi's recent drawings and sculptural-installations.

Anant Joshi has often arrived at his drawings and paintings from forms and spaces that he sculpts or constructs. He uses carefully selected toys that he breaks apart, paints over and re-contextualizes (a process of de-construction and then re-construction within his own space and context.) At times he creates mini-dioramas using packing materials like thermocol, crates and boxes. He throws light off of these staged "backdrops", casting shadows and silhouettes, which have on occasion worked to induce ideas for paintings and drawings.

These studio practices often serve as the initial trigger for a concept or a form to emerge, inspiration often being drawn from the changing in social morals that initiate him to co-operate with the demands of these constantly changing diaromas. He addresses issues like mass-scale movement of populations, mediated images of bodies in collective social/political protest actions and cultural/economic processes that tend to mark the quality of human life. Today, with television and print media playing an active role of mediating between the private, the personal and the public experience, these hybrid notions of belonging are zoomed in to the scale of haziness or at times radiating the consciousness to the level of isolating the private to the domain of public spheres.

When Anant Joshi received the two-year scholarship to live and work at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, after having graduated from the J. J. Collage of Art, Mumbai, he used the time and resources available to make spectacular installations. He crafted his own ceramic objects, using both recognizable and unrecognizable shapes, creating forms, casting shadows and reflections with these shapes and objects.

In the current exhibition, Joshi's occupation with creating this "spectacle" continues: the multi-layered/sensory-filled works hope to create experiences that hit at the deep, dark, violence of the mundane acceptance of our individualistic schizophrenic everyday urban lives. In Navel: One and the Many, hybrid creatures, bulbous minaret-like ceramic forms, and the sharp razor-blade screen, come together in a dramatic theatre of public/private protest.


Recent paintings and sculptural installations

Preview: Tuesday, 10 April, 2007, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, 10 April - 15 May 2007, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm (Sundays closed)
Chemould Prescott Road, 3 Floor, Queens Mansion (above Yantra), G. Talwatkar Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, Ph/Fax: 22000211/2/3,,
Chemould Prescott Road is delighted to announce an exhibition of recent paintings and sculptures by Delhi based artist Jagannath Panda from 10 April - 15 May 2007. Originally from Orissa, Jagannath (born 1970) graduated from the M.S. University in Baroda, Gujarat, and went on to do his MFA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. His work examines urban India’s quickly growing, consuming middle-class, its changing cultural traditionalism, and its relationship to a changing landscape. His often large-scale, semi-narrative, mixed media installations that combine drawing, painting, collage and sculpture are expansive spatial representations of his immediate urban milieu and have an enveloping, explosive, yet still quality to them. Hindu mythology and religious iconography enter his work metaphorically to address issues of pollution, damage, and loss that one sees in Indian villages and small towns where concrete is fast replacing natural reserves, water-bodies, gardens, and playgrounds. He combines in his drawings and collage works materials like cloth, matchsticks, photographs, foil or bandages to create textures and surfaces that are used symbolically to highlight, layer, conceal and reveal aspects in the created picture.

Chemould Prescott Road
Relics Of Grey
an installation with photographs, objects, paintings & video
Archana Hande
Preview: Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 7.00 pm onwards

The exhibition will continues until 4 August, 2007, 11.00am to 7.00pm (Sundays closed)

Archana Hande’s artwork and creative practice has always extended into diverse modes, venues, concerns and forms. She has with ease slipped into the intersecting roles of activist, facilitator, interventionist, and maker all wrapped into one. Her interests have led her to draw upon a variety of resources, her projects having often taken-on an involved collaborative spirit. In her current exhibition at Chemould Prescott Road, Hande presents her year-and-a-half long project that culminated in the production of 3 large sculptural installations – White Town, Black Town & Grey Town.

Her research took her to historic landmarks that have been officially re-named, in attempts to politically erase the significance of colonial architecture in India’s cultural imagination. Shivaji, for instance, who is commemorated in the new name for the Victoria Terminus in Bombay, can stake little claim over the aesthetic sensibilities and imposing aura of the building. Mimicking architectural façades from different eras, the installations are created using materials like cloth, linoleum, stickers and packing materials. Doorways in the facades lead into inviting back rooms housed with objects, videos, sound, drawing or collage; the faux decor suggesting references to specific urban communities and issues.

In White Town: Victoria House, she draws attention to the re-naming of the VT Station. To create the façade she employed the skills of the street-side billboard painters from around the VT area, who are quickly loosing their livelihood to digital print technology. The videos works with the piece, delve into the emotional and psychological aspects of being displaced off status and privilege, a reality experienced by members of several classes and minority communities with the dawn of Independence. These groups, having emerged as a result of foreign contact and colonial policies imbibed particular socio-cultural attitudes and codes of conduct. In Grey Town she evokes aspects of an earlier interactive performance-installation, in-which she played the character of a Hindu woman influenced by Western libratory ideals, who attempts to illegally claim a share of her adopted family’s property. The performance had lasted several days and metaphorically raised micro and macro questions related to rights to property claim. Black Town further deals with issues of migration and displacement.

The project was initiated as an investigation into the cultural, social and political attitudes of people in the four port cities & commercial hubs of Madras, Calcutta, Bombay and Mangalore. For centuries these were the main points of entry into India for sea-faring explorers, traders and invaders alike. She began her research with what was most personal: childhood memories, stories and photo-albums from her ancestral family home in Mangalore, that of a severely orthodox Brahmin family. From this place of intense social-political-familial critique she continued to probe and unearth narratives of different castes, classes, communities, and professions. She conducted video interviews with members from the Anglo-Indian, the Parsee, and the Portuguese-Manglorian minority communities, which she used to create mini-mock documentaries, news reports, or TV entertainment shows. In one section, a migrant Chinese hairdresser talks to her about style in the 60s, while in another the members of a Country Club talk about a Raj-leftover culture of luxury and exclusivity, which continues to be practiced in relation to dress codes or gendered rights to club membership.

The issues of displacement, rights to property, and discrimination based on notions of purity & pollution, aggravated in contemporary times by the politician & multi-corporate nexus, are some of the broad issues that Hande’s exhibition, B & W = Grey, deals with. In the midst of our everyday insecurities – basic claims to food, water, shelter and livelihood – asks Hande, how do we maintain a culturally enriched life of dignity & empathy?

Flames, Flowers and Other Images

an installation of sculptures, photographs and video by

preview on Friday 17 August at 7 pm. The exhibition will continue until 6 September, 2007
11.00am - 7.00 pm, Sundays closed at

Chemould Prescott Road
3rd floor, Queens Mansion, G. Talwatkar Marg, Fort, Mumbai – 400001,
Ph: 22000211/12/13

As a multi-media artist Surekha has been exploring the gendered self as a self-conscious choice. Her works from the 1990's explored diverse materials as metaphors. She negotiates the public and private realm with ease, transcending genres and locating the body as a site of contestation and appropriation.

Her feminist aesthetics and cutting edge strategies move beyond the confinement of
two dimensionality into a multidisciplinary approach. She uses domestic skills like stitching to explore an aesthetic way of living; and a craft with contemporary concerns relating to women's labour and life.

Her recent body of work uses photography to archive and document, performance and masquerade. Images become memory and recollection of feminine spaces and gestures. Her video- installation called "Communing with Urban Heroines" takes on the issues of women as survivors of domestic violence and moves away from the victim mode and celebrates the survivors. The mundane becomes magical and mythic. The simple game/life becomes a poetic evocation of endurance and strength. Surekha has an ability to use material and media with conviction and like her own heroines, she will endure.


Silent Speech: the space between my hands

Paintings and paper casts by
M. Shanthamani

preview on Friday 17 August at 7 pm. The exhibition will continue until 6 September, 2007
11.00am - 7.00 pm, Sundays closed at

Chemould Prescott Road
3rd floor, Queens Mansion, G. Talwatkar Marg, Fort, Mumbai – 400001,
Ph: 22000211/12/13

Shanthamani's earlier work focused on the industrial urban landscape. She fractured her objects from a functional state and constructed another reality. Her canvases looked like an aftermath of violence; with gestures of tactile expressions and delineation.
The artist has emphasized the human presence with her sensibility, heralding the return of the hand from exile into the mechanical world. It is her attempt to return the spiritual to the material.
The recent works are focused on the gestures of the hand in acts of labour and celebration. Her work "silent speech" is not about opposing growth but locating the self in it. Her body is the canvas of subjective interpretation and transformation, as she layers it with codes and text that voice her social concerns.
Her images suggest the underlying concern of the urban metropolis-displacement, migration and the notion of the cyber coolie. She weaves the iconography of gestures and fragmented narratives of the human hand. Her underlying discourse about gender is evident to create a new visual experience and validity.


Paintings by

Mehlli Gobhai

preview on 14 September at 7 pm. The exhibition will continue until 4 October, 2007
11.00am - 7.00 pm, Sundays closed


Chemould Prescott Road
3rd floor, Queens Mansion, G. Talwatkar Marg, Fort, Mumbai – 400001,
Ph: 22000211/12/13

Mehlli Gobhai’s paintings record the dialogue of spare line and burnished field: often, a gradual luminosity emerges from beneath the sombre colours that he layers, one above the other, in strata of roughened and smoothed textures, so that the painting aspires to the condition of leather or parchment sanctified by years of ritual.

For Gobhai, the act of painting in series goes beyond mere repetition, and assumes the aspects of intensification, affirmation and renewal. Serialism does not denote the exhaustion of a theme. Instead, it connotes a system of correspondences and mutations that unifies an artist’s work in time. It is through serial encounter with his material that the artist re-visits a theme that has exercised him, not only exploring it within the span of a current suite of paintings, but also returning to paintings executed in the past, to retrieve and re-direct their impulses.

Gobhai’s works address a specific formal problem: the split between surface and structure that is a defining characteristic of much modern painting. After the pictorial revolutions of Cubism and abstractionism, it was no longer possible to pretend that surface and structure could unproblematically be melded in the production of a representational picture space. It seemed that the painter would have to choose between rival mandates: the sensuous immediacy of surface or the austere linearity of structure. But the problem would not admit of so dualistic a solution; the greater and more stimulating challenge is to reconcile the two principles after the critique of the representational.

Gobhai proposes a resolution by establishing a dynamic relationship between surface and structure. The surface is associated, in his oeuvre, with a tactile eroticism: here, he dwells on the attractions of organic form and metallurgic physicality, charging his paintings with the feel of stone and fruit-rind, earth and leather, river-veined rock and metal sheet. Structure marks the other pole of Gobhai’s personality: here, he refines the bodily human presence to the briefest but starkest notation, that of the axis, which is also the pivot around which the universe turns. The relationship of the body to the cosmos is indicated through an elegant economy of means. Surface and structure are tuned finely to each other: Gobhai’s is an art of deep coloristic and textural saturation held in counterpoint by geometric precision.

The colours and textures may bear subliminal associations, but the sharp linearity and deliberate saturation remind us that Gobhai registers the primacy of the human imprint of order over the contingencies of nature and chance. These paintings function as energy diagrams, holding a set of forces together through linear symmetries, chromatic assonances, subtle allusions to the genres vestigially latent within Gobhai’s abstractionist idiom, such as the figure and the landscape. Significantly, the artist often draws metaphors from geomancy and cosmology to approach his work; it is clear that he continues to regard the painting as a ritual theatre of forces that becomes a model of the universe. In Gobhai’s practice, the art-work occupies a space midway between easel and altar.


Chemould Prescott Road
“and when she roared the universe quaked”
paintings & video installations by
Shakuntala Kulkarni
Preview: Friday 12 October, 2007 at 7.00 pm onwards, The exhibition will continues until 30 October, 2007, 11.00am to 7.00pm (Sundays closed)

The video installation of six video films:

“Is it just a game?”
* Four films are about the games I played as a young girl…games played with innocence for pure fun and joy. Today, through the same games, I convey violence, viciousness, victimization and power games which pervade the entire society.

The films deal with several areas like displacement, migration, ethnic disputes and various atrocities within the local and the global context.
I have used body language as a site of contestation. The contrasts between silence and sound, light and dark, create the environment and tension necessary to the expression of my concerns.

“The role I would love to play
* In two films I use images of ceremonial martial arts.
Martial Arts are not just about self-defense but defeating the opponent with self-respect and dignity. Meditative in nature, they help to improve concentration, to strengthen one’s character and to realize the value of self. I have particularly chosen Aikido, Kyodo and blocks from Karate to convey these aspects.

In the films I pose as a warrior, some times a messiah who wants to end the power games and the viciousness and violence that follows. I pose as a savior who wants to put an end to the sorrow and pain. I pose as if to implore that we need to live with self-respect and dignity, with peace and harmony even within the present chaotic world.

Mix media paintings on fabric and glass
“ Unsung Epics”

The martial arts imagery is also used in the paintings, along with images of women exploring and challenging gender roles— which in turn, are situated in social and political contexts. Thus the women are, at various points, defiant, rebellious, self-contained, enraged, and yet, vulnerable.
The paintings on fabric are layered with charcoal and acrylic drawings, as well as torn pieces of fabric which are stained and marked. The layers help to simultaneously create a feeling of violence or desperation and a sense of being self-possessed, being calm. The linear drawings seen through the transparent material generate curiosity and engage the viewer deeper into the work.

“and when she roared the universe quaked”
In the glass paintings, the imagery of the martial arts is juxtaposed with the brittleness of the glass to underline the contradictory situations faced by the protagonist.

Medium –fabric, fabric paint
Size-6 ½ ft x 3 ½ ft
glass ,acrylic paint

Medium-glass, acrylic paint
Size—65/8” x 9”

Rashid Rana: Selected Works 2006 - 2007

On view from:
November 12 at Chatterjee & Lal Gallery and Chemould Prescott Road
On view at Chatterjee & Lal Gallery till November 17
On view at Chemould Prescott Road till November 29

Rashid Rana returns to Mumbai after three years with a major solo show spread across two galleries and showing in a range of media. Having shown at some of the most important art platforms around the world over the last few years Rana’s Mumbai exhibition will showcase both new works and those created in the last one year.

It is difficult to under-estimate Rana’s importance on the global art stage. He has come to represent an entire generation of Pakistani Contemporary Artists. Moreover in terms of the Indian art scene, he is the first artist from across the border to have been so thoroughly embraced since partition era artists such as Abdul Rehman Chughtai and Allah Bux.

Between 2006 and 2007 he has displayed his work at a number of prestigious exhibitions, such as the Fifth Asia Pacific Triennale, Queensland Art Galley, Brisbane, Australia; Kemper Art Museum, St Louis USA; 1st Singapore Biennale, Singapore; Manchester Art Gallery, UK; Art Basel, Switzerland; Art Taipei, Taiwan; Gallery Korea, International Digital Photo Project, Loop, Korea, Albion Gallery, London; SHISHA, Manchester; the National Art Gallery, Islamabad; Shanghai Contemporary as well as multiple international art auctions.
Working both on major public installations as well as gallery based works, his art is now some of the most recognisable among artists from South Asia.

The artist will be present at the openings at both Chemould Prescott Road and Chatterjee & Lal Gallery.

“Deftly traversing between the media of painting, photography, video and installation, Rashid Rana is one of the leading artistic voices working out of Pakistan. His works have been showcased internationally in numerous venues and most recently alongside Piet Mondrian, Agnes Martin, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Andrea Gursky in the GridMatrix exhibition held in 2006. It is the aesthetic concept of the grid exploring the language of minimalism and geometric abstraction which serves as the link that connects Rana’s work to his mentor Zahoor ul Akhlaq.” (Text from catalogue ‘South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art’ auction New York, Christie’s, September 2007)

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