City galleries are organizing many art exhibitions to coincide with the third annual India Art Summit in the Capital from 20-23 January. The themes, subjects and artists are of a high order, as in the case of the two shows previewed here:
Laugh Lines: Humour, Wit and Satire
Humour crops up ever so often in Indian contemporary art, but it is not taken very seriously. Isn’t that how it should be? Maybe not. Tunty Chauhan, curator of Laugh Lines, feels enough attention isn’t paid to humour in contemporary art. It is, she says, the perfect antidote to all the high-brow seriousness that surrounds much of contemporary art discourse. The show, with works by artists such as K.G. Subramanyan, Atul Dodiya and Jogen Chowdhury, features works that are playful, absurd, satirical and funny in a dark vein. There is self-deprecation (Bhupen Kakkar), political commentary (Ved Gupta) and potshots at the commodification of art (Manjunath Kamath).
Peeping Tom by Amit Ambalal; water colour on paper
The show will be on from 19 January-19 February. For details, log on to www.gallerythreshold.com
The pill—short for female oral contraceptive—was invented in 1960 and its 50th anniversary was marked in the US media with much enthusiasm. By comparison, curator Avani Doshi’s show on the pill—with works by Indian, Pakistani and American artists—strikes a more ambivalent note. “The assumption behind The Pill is that sexual relationships are monogamous and between a man and a woman,” says Doshi. “That excludes a large segment of people.” But she feels the show carries a more social than political import. Tazeen Qayyum’s It’s Complicated features 10 hot-water bags with miniature-style paintings on them. Tushar Joag’s mixed media work, Collateral Damage, sees the pill as an intrusion that disturbs the natural rhythm of the female body. “I was surprised that a lot of artists didn’t have a positive feeling about the pill,” says Doshi. “Their view was more nuanced.”
Chloe; Photograph by Vito
The show will be on from 22 January–12 February. For details, log on to www.latitude28.com