Showcasing the spiritual in Indian art

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015,19:04 IST By metro vaartha A A A

New Delhi | An uncanny wood charcoal rendition of the Goddess Kali, S H Raza’s iconic Bindu and an eclectic Jesus in oil are among artworks on display at an ongoing exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi here.
Titled, Forms of Devotion, the showcase seems to aim at a spiritual union through the 400-odd works of art created by artists from across the country, both celebrated contemporary artists and those who work on the streets. Spaced across three storeys of the Akademi, the multidimensional exhibition contains a plethora of art mediums – paintings in oil and water colours, sculptures in ceramic, brass, iron and glass, photographs, fabric scrolls, all concurring in a spiritual fervor.
Initiated by Martin Gurvich, director and founder of the Belgium-based Museum of Sacred Art (MOSA), the artworks on display have been collected from not merely all of India but also across the world over a span of three years. It has been conceptualised around the notion of spiritual and devotional in Indian art. It explores the theme through artistic creations in different forms and styles, across ideologies and philosophies as well as faiths and regions of India, says curator Sushma K Bahl who is author of the book titled 5000 Years of Indian Art.
The exhibition is a manifestation of a journey that began with a handful of artworks, acquired by Gurvich and is centered around the theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (The world is one family). Martin initiated the project… the inclusive nature of the project runs through its ethos at various levels. It brings art from across cultures, faiths, genres and regions of the sub-continent and beyond, on a shared platform, says Bahl.
A two volume illustrated book, co-published by MOSA and Niyogi Books, that includes contributions from Indian and international authorities on different aspects of devotional art and a film, Studios of Devotion directed by Goutam Ghose will also be launched during this five-week long celebration of divine art. During the course of the exhibition that continues till April 26, various performances are scheduled.
Rage and beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari a retelling of the entire Mahabharata from the point of view of Gandhari, performances by Panchavadyam performers from Kerala, musical renditions by Chugge Khan and Mahesh Ram from Rajasthan, the Qutabi brothers who are significant qawwalli artists are among the different performances to be staged within the exhibition complex.
Meanwhile, the exhibition is slated to travel to Bangkok and Shanghai among other venues before becoming a part of the permanent collection to be housed in MOSA’s new building in Belgium.

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