Must-See Exhibitions in New Delhi | Feature

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/features/must-see-exhibitions-in-new-delhi/

Building on New Delhi‘s reputation as a contemporary art destination, local and nearby galleries are presenting an exceptional programme of shows around the upcoming India Art Fair (1–4 February 2024). From Alicja Kwade’s inquiries into universal mysteries to the presentation of an exhibition previously staged in the Fukushima exclusion zone, here’s what to see.

Jayashree Chakravarty, Breathe closer to the skin 4 (2023). Cotton fabric, Nepali paper, jute, tissue paper, tea stain, dry leaf, acrylic colour. 58.5 x 101.5 cm.

Jayashree Chakravarty, Breathe closer to the skin 4 (2023). Cotton fabric, Nepali paper, jute, tissue paper, tea stain, dry leaf, acrylic colour. 58.5 x 101.5 cm. Courtesy Akar Prakar.

Jayashree Chakravarty: Breathe Closer to the Skin
Akar Prakar, D-49, Lower Ground Floor, Defence Colony
31 January–20 February 2024

Expect: large-scale installations made from textiles and organic matter, lamenting the loss of India’s natural environments.

As part of Breathe Closer to the Skin, Kolkata-based sculptor Jayashree Chakravarty transforms a vast length of handmade paper-fabric composite into a cocoon-like installation that seems to engulf Akar Prakar.

The 30-foot scroll (Experience of the Land, 2024) appears to envelop viewers, drawing them close to a fragile surface where remnants of plants, lengths of thread and fabric are held together. Primordial in appearance, the piece is, in part, a lament for the loss of nature at the behest of India’s rapid urban development.

A series of wall-based works, each a tactile web of fibres, home in on root networks. Intrigued by subterranean communication systems, Chakravarty embeds tree silhouettes in the dense textile tablets. A further installation, Nest (2022–2023), combining fabric, puffed rice, leaves, and tea and coffee paste to form a suspended lace-like structure, is on display at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art Noida until 31 March 2024.

Exhibition view: Alicja Kwade, MatterMoments, Nature Morte, New Delhi (25 January–3 March 2024).

Exhibition view: Alicja Kwade, MatterMoments, Nature Morte, New Delhi (25 January–3 March 2024). Courtesy Nature Morte.

Alicja Kwade: MatterMoments
Nature Morte, 287–288, The Dhan Mill
25 January– 3 March 2024

Expect: a continuation of the Polish artist’s inquiry into the mysteries of the universe across new sculptures and works on paper.

Alicja Kwade’s work makes its first appearance in New Delhi. Her solo show at Nature Morte is accompanied by a large-scale installation in the courtyard of Madhavendra Palace, which forms the centrepiece at Jaipur Sculpture Park.

Kwade’s work, which focuses on humanity’s quest for knowledge and the empirical systems manifest to satiate this thirst for comprehending the world, seems resonant in India, a country that has experienced the sharp edges of colonial knowledge production.

Her new series of sculptures incorporate hunks of stone harnessed onto hardback volumes of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Regarding these books as representative of attempts to make sense of the world, Kwade’s gesture of juxtaposing the tomes with centuries-old material highlights the absurdity of human attempts to render the universe legible.

Expanding on the idea of phenomena that lie beyond our grasp are works on paper and a floor-based sculpture. Reliant on interaction, a reflective orb held at the intersection of a real and patinated bronze tree branch, is a provocation to consider life’s poetics.

Curatorial team on a site visit in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone.

Curatorial team on a site visit in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone. Courtesy Don’t Follow the Wind.

Don’t Follow the Wind
Pollinator.io, Non-Visitor Center, 3227, Sector 23, Gurgaon
20 January–20 February 2024

Expect: a glimpse into an exhibition that opened in Japan’s Fukushima exclusion zone almost ten years ago.

In 2015, the curatorial collective Don’t Follow the Wind (comprising artists Chim↑Pom and Eva & Franco Mattes, and curators Kenji Kubota and Jason Waite) opened an inaccessible exhibition.

Mounted in the Fukushima exclusion zone, a space of over 300 square kilometres that remains radioactive following the 2011 explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the artworks resulted from a collaborative process between 12 artists and displaced residents that began in the wake of the disaster.

At Pollinator, an interdisciplinary space founded by artists Thukral and Tagra, the artworks, including a new video, can be experienced. The three-channel piece, Non-Visitor Centre (2023) explores the exclusionary zone, capturing footage of animals alongside testimonies from scientists working on the area’s decontamination and reflections from those forced to relocate. Textures from the area, like pavement designs developed for the visually impaired, are isolated by Eva & Franco Mattes and projected onto objects to allow engagement with the zone.

Atul Bhalla, Under The Brown Fog of Any Day (2024). Exhibition view: Reimagining The Waste Land, Art Heritage, New Delhi (20 January–29 February 2024).

Atul Bhalla, Under The Brown Fog of Any Day (2024). Exhibition view: Reimagining The Waste Land, Art Heritage, New Delhi (20 January–29 February 2024). Courtesy Art Heritage.

Reimagining The Waste Land
Art Heritage, 205, Tansen Marg
20 January–29 February 2024

Expect: contemporary artists responding to ‘The Waste Land’ (1922), a poem by American author T.S. Eliot, conceived as a post-war reckoning.

T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ is considered a modern masterpiece. The five-part poem combines languages, including Sanskrit and Greek, and literary references from Dante’s ‘Inferno’ (c. 1314) to Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ (1667). In curator Jesal Thacker’s group show, works by Atul Bhalla, Benitha Perciyal, Ishita Chakraborty, Raqs Media Collective, and Ratna Gupta dig into Eliot’s words and relate them to contemporary ecologies.

Responding to the section ‘The Burial of the Dead’, Benitha Perciyal moulds organic materials, including fragrant spices and banana fibre, into small earthen forms embedded in open books.

Atul Bhalla’s photographic installation, Under The Brown Fog of Any Day (2024), considers ‘Death by Water’, where Eliot describes a man drowning. Bhalla focuses on the mortality of the Yamuna, a disappearing river that runs through north India. A large-scale image of its arid banks is flanked by two open cabinets lined with cylindrical objects cast from alluvium and paper, memorialising a past project where Bhalla distributed filtered water by the riverbank in paper cups. —[O]

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/features/must-see-exhibitions-in-new-delhi/