The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art has collaborated with Hub India, a multi part project initiated for Arttisima, Italy’s most important contemporary art fair. It kicked off on November 3 and will run through December 3, 2021 in Turin, Italy. It is an overview of the ecosystem comprising galleries, institutions and artists active in India, which has grown into an intelligently expansive curation. It features over 65 artists from all over India and 10 of India’s leading contemporary galleries. It is supported by the Consulate General of India and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Hub India – Classical Radical (A tripartite museums show) has been presented in partnership with KNMA and has been curated by KNMA’s Chief Curator Roobina Karode. It will take place across the Palazzo Madama – Museo Civico d’Arte Antica, MAO Museo d’Arte Orientale and Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino.
The exhibition will feature contemporary and modern art from the Indian subcontinent that explores legacy and antiquity in the sociological here and now. It aims to explore questions such as – How do contemporary artworks illuminate, complicate and re-appropriate heritage? The generation of new knowledge is and must be part of our relationship to our ancient visual traditions. How does contemporary art set against India’s variegated religiosities and plural histories carry residues of motifs, styles and ideas through millennia to come to this cultural moment? The exhibition will be an attempt to look at the classical and traditional legacy through a fresh lens. This is the first time that an invited project for the Artissima Art Fair expands to this incredible opportunity to inhabit three locations in the city and connect major institutions and museums. The show is divided into three sub-groups:
1. Palazzo Madama – Museo Civico d’Arte Antica | Disruptive Confluences
The exhibition in Palazzo Madama explore syncretism and hybridity through mostly three-dimensional works, that connect and juxtapose the outstanding collection in the Palace with the history of the Indian subcontinent, suggesting complicated histories of trading, religious exchange and dominations, imperialist remains and syncretic evolutions. Creating a hybrid imagery that is both veiled and provocative ultimately reveals narratives and relationship with a Eurasian perspective.
Artists: Jayashree Chakravarty, Ranbir Kaleka, Manjunath Kamath, Benitha Perciyal, G Ravinder Reddy, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Ayesha Singh, LN Tallur, Himmat Shah
2. MAO – Museo d’Arte Orientale | Residues & Resonance
The exhibition in MAO comprises of contemporary renaissance composites that both iconize and obliterate the very classicism they reference. The works are rooted in heritage, examining traditional styles, schools, and genre, and going beyond to develop a relationship, a language, a dialogue with it. While the concerns have travelled with the vagaries of time, the forms of these works have retained hauntingly similar patterns resonant with residues of the past. Like a Philip Glass concert, each iteration sounds familiar but the cumulation of successive iterations makes each a different and unique experience. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a radical section of neo-miniaturists, who borrow from the evocative stylized and gemlike ornamentation of traditional miniature styles and vasli paintings but are subversive and explore ways to stretch and pull apart the vocabulary of a seemingly insular style.
Artists: Waseem Ahmad, Khadim Ali, Anindita Bhattacharya, Sakti Burman, Sudipta Das, Priyanka D’Souza, Baaraan Ijlal, Manjunath Kamath, Puneet Kaushik, Samanta Batra Mehta, Piyali Sadhukhan, Paula Sengupta, Yugal Kishore Sharma, Nilima Sheikh, The Singh Twins, Gopa Trivedi, Waswo X Waswo
3. Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti | Multitudes & Assemblages
The trajectory of visual art in India is one of multiple transitions; it spans and internalizes the wider discourses of colonialism, nationalism and International modernism. It relates to visual traditions in the light of postmodernism and seeks to validate its position in the contemporary arena of visual art making. Multiple narratives unfold simultaneously in this exhibition. These artistic narratives are like haptic elements, refusing to lose their reality, presence, speed, heat or humidity even while being an incongruous evidentiary of a connective focal point in a curation towards a community of possibilities. Evoking more nostalgia than history, these voices rise sometimes in unison and sometimes in tension with each other at opposite sides of time, like a mirror, reversing the gaze upon a new familiar but radical pastiche of liberation, ecology, urbanisation, migration, feminism, gender, subjectivity and sensation.
Artists: Harshit Agrawal in collaboration with 64/1, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Sakti Burman, Sheba Chhachhi, Jogen Chowdhury, Priyanka D’Souza, Tanya Goel, Laxma Goud, Ganesh Haloi, Manjunath Kamath, Puneet Kaushik, Bharti Kher, Martand Khosla, Neerja Kothari, Amina Ahmed, Rahul Kumar, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Shruti Mahajan + Ravindra G. Rao, Paresh Maity, Debasish Mukherjee, Manish Pushkale, Mona Rai, Rekha Rodwittiya, Debanjan Roy, Prasanta Sahu, Wardha Shabbir, Shailesh BR, Shambhavi, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Ayesha Singh + Abhimanyu Dalal, LN Tallur
Hub India is poised to be the most recent and biggest collaboration made with the western world in recent times. Kiran Nadar, Chairperson and Founder of KNMA said, “Hub India is an ambitious project aimed at illustrating countless strands that characterize contemporary and modern art of the Indian sub-continent. Involving 65 artists from different generations, designing exhibitions that intertwine and establish emerging practices, and engage with new audiences of the western world to capture an unparalleled understanding of this unique genre.” The timing of the exhibition also coincides with India’s celebration of 75 years of Independence, a tribute to the history and a looking forward to the future.