Art Basel 2021: a look at Indian heavyweights in sight

Art Basel 2021 at Messe Basel, Switzerland will be open to the public from September 24-26 in a hybrid format, with digital and physical offerings. The event that championed radical art promises to showcase emerging names alongside established names this time around as well, as they present themselves to a wider audience through their two-pronged approach.

With Art Basel returning to a physical fair for the first time since the pandemic, the lineup includes 272 galleries from 33 countries and territories, among which Mumbai’s Chemould Prescott Road art gallery is making its presence felt with its magnum opus. , The room is nomadic, named after the work of artist Anju Dodiya by gallery director and curator Shireen Gandhy.

“Each artist was at his own pace, and at the center of various emotions, I, as a gallery owner, saw the desire to maintain equanimity. My efforts to balance the scale, advising both: spirited and fragile emotional come together today as we tell the story through the voices of each of our artists, ”Gandhy recalls on how the Art Basel exhibition took root in his mind, and eventually took its current form in collaboration with contemporary artists from across the country.

She talks about the powerful portrayal of Themis by NS Harsha (selected image), the blind Greek goddess, as a schoolgirl from Mysore dressed in bright colors, armed with her grocery bags and kitchen utensils to try to amplify the voices of “countless invisible women caught in the domestic trap of contemporary society” .

Atul Dodiya’s presentation at the fair includes six works of art he created in response to the daily pandemic news, while Mithu Sen stoically pricked a sheet of white paper relentlessly, in a bid to crush the memories of distress. His work, entitled Up to the house, “Is a joyful, colorless, uncontroversial and virtuous set of drawings that serve as a warning and an exercise in perceiving what images are and are not. “

The “Fishermen” of Atul Dodiya, in reaction to the news of the pandemic

Gandhy’s inclusion of Jitish Kallat highlights his abstract gestures that “crystallize and acquire a noticeable form to dissolve into abstraction” through celestial, geographic, biological and botanical motifs that mark the cycles of “growth, evolution and entropy ”.

On the other hand, an artist like Anju Dodiya gives a quality of rooting to the exhibition with her “museum memories” which are added to her “ruminations linked to the house”. “There is furniture, domestic and reassuring, as in Lichtenstein’s painting. There are the knotted emotions that mimic the playful Rei Kawakubo, or Maria Lassnig’s theater, which hovers like a nightmare for the quarantined soul! Pacing up and down, always there, the room is nomadic! Gandhy talks about the presentation of the artist, whose work gives its name to the gallery’s exhibition at Art Basel.

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