Aesthetic Bind: Subject of Death: 50 Years of Chemould | Group Show
Chemould Prescott Road, celebrates 50 years of Contemporary Art through a series of 5 exhibitions, Aesthetic Bind, curated by Geeta Kapur which looks at curatorial practices in contemporary art today.
The first in the series, titled, Subject of Death, is a homage to the preeminent painter of our times, Bhupen Khakhar who died 10 years ago. Khakhar was a prominent artist of the gallery from its early days and played one of the most significant roles in making possible, and opening doors to art-making in the 70s, until his death in 2003. While celebrating 50 years, these exhibitions are also dedicated to its founder Kekoo Gandhy who did not live to see this time. The exhibition thus looks at a life-cycle through the practice of Khakhar as also the continuity of the gallery after the passing of its founder Kekoo Gandhy.
The artists selected in this exhibition are selected with specific work. Late paintings of Khakhar, many of whose works addresses his rage at his sudden mortality (as he was struck by a violent cancer), or in the case of Mehlli Gobhai whose paintings appear like panels in a chapel, or Gargi Raina whose boxes are filled with feather-sprouting (life-giving) seeds. Then there are artists such as Anju Dodiya, whose diaristic pages offer an act of concentrated mourning, or Mithu Sen whose shadow paintings extract the work of Khakhar's drawings, etched on glass. Senior artists Gieve and Sudhir Patwardhan's work signify a slow surrender to mortality with paintings of old men.
The exhibition is a silent but thoughtful tribute to a an artist who was a forerunner not only in his own generation, but generations to come and hangs resplendent in his gallery and among friends!