by Dilpreet BhullarDec 22, 2020
Four leading Indian galleries recently came together under one roof. The project was aptly titled On-site, referring to showcasing artworks at a physical exhibition rather than the forced digital, or ‘online’ viewing due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The show at New Delhi’s iconic Bikaner House consisted of over 40 artists. Each of the participating galleries had dedicated sections. Ladder by NS Harsha of Chemould Prescott Road gallery had a monumental presence at the entrance, underscoring the tone of the exhibit – one that of altering a predetermined route to make a way-around in difficult times. Director of the gallery, Shireen Gandhy, spoke about the highly delicate and personal works of artist Anju Dodiya, and Mithu Sen’s presentation consisting of 26 ‘happy’ pin-drawings. Vadehra Art Gallery had dedicated exhibits of artist Shilpa Gupta and architect BV Doshi. Amongst other gallery artists, Parul Vadehra, the director, walked us through the dreamlike renditioning of artist Arpita Singh’s paintings, most of which were made during the last one year of lockdown. Experimenter, on the other hand, brought its presentation together under a unique thematic ‘Do you know how to start a fire’, referencing an anecdotal conversation between artist Reba Hore and publisher Naveen Kishore, offering a metaphorical insight into paradoxes and environments of silence. Prateek Raja, co-founder of the gallery, explained the intent of juxtaposing the trans-time works of Hore and Ayesha Sultana. Nature Morte created a curated space with three women artists with parallel practices focussed on abstraction and materiality, namely Bharti Kher, Mona Rai, and Tanya Goel. Shivangi, the curator at the gallery, also walked us through a solo large-scale work by artist and architect Martand Khosla and sculptor LN Tallur.
Noelle Kadar, the co-organiser of this event, introduced the walkthrough by saying, “It’s just not the same to see works on a screen”. Kadar also provided and overview of the popup by designer Gunjan Gupta and her iconic furniture line.