Some good always emerges from hard times, and a clear case example is the art space. The pandemic lockdowns hit art galleries and artists, as well as the ones looking to acquire artworks. The positive fallout of this was a profusion of initiatives in the digital space, to mend this lacuna, bringing a new vibrancy to the old and dusted format of slumberous physical shows, and reaching art lovers beyond borders and seas.
One such was the arrival of the art blog artamour founded by Aakshat Sinha and Ranjan Kaul, in October 2020. Having completed one year successfully, they celebrated the first anniversary with an art exhibition, ‘An Imaginal Affair’, an eclectic exhibition of contemporary art featuring 40+ well-known artists from India and abroad. The exhibition was inaugurated in the physical space at the Stainless Gallery, New Delhi, and scheduled for two days from 8 – 10 October, 2021. The digital exhibition will additionally showcase the works of ten more artists.
Subsequently, the exhibition is now extended into an online version from 10 – 31 October, 2021, on the art blog www.artamour.in. Each of the artists showcased here were featured over the past one year on the artamour blog. The process of selection and curation of the works exhibited in the show was set in motion over 15 months ago when Ranjan Kaul and Aakshat Sinha, the Founding Partners of artamour and the joint curators of the show, envisioned artamour.
The exhibition presents the diversity and multi-dimensionality of contemporary art ranging from the lyrical and abstract expressionist drawings and paintings of artists like Prem Singh, Hemavathy Guha and Sri Lanka artist Sarath G Perera to the visual and poignant commentaries on society, polity and gender relations such as those by Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Inder Salim, Orijit Sen, and Satadru Sovan. The show also features representation a land fantastical works of artists like Santosh Verma, Rajan S Fulari and Kanchan Chander; the provocative fibreglass sculptural installation pieces titled “So, what’s your problem if I look sexy?” by Durga Kainthola; stainless steel sculptures by Shovin Bhattachrjee; art photography works by the likes of Shailan Parkar; fine-grained works of Ramachandra Pokale; and the pictorial calligraphy of Qamar Dagar.
What really stand out in the exhibition and will provide viewers an exciting experience are the unique video art by Russian artist Maria Arendt; Blender videos by the young artist Aadit Basu; in-situ sculptural installations of multi-media artists with wall and floor installations by Rita Prasad; the kinetic work of Susanta Mondal; and the mammoth, hanging origami work by the “ortiecture” artist, Ankon Mitra.
To provide a global flavour, the exhibits on display include works by renowned international artists such as the US-based artists, Tracy Lee Stum and Mark Lewis Wagner; Sri Lankan abstractionist, Sarath Perera; UK artist Paul Liptrot; Pakistani artist Rumana Husain; and the Mexican artist and creator of illustrated books, Carolyn Watson-Dubisch.
The co-curator of the show, Aakshat Sinha, said, “It is a privilege that we have been able to get so many artists on the same platform to showcase the richness and variety in contemporary art practices not only in India but internationally as well. We have tried to ensure that the works included in the show reflect global contemporary art trends. To this end, we have included, besides drawing and painting, creative installations, art photographs, and videos. The works are elegantly curated to do justice to the high quality of works on display and thus provide viewers with an aesthetic and unforgettable viewer experience. To provide a fuller understanding of the works and to ensure their accessibility, we have provided, where necessary, QR Codes where viewers can listen to the artists speak about their own work.”
Ranjan Kaul, the other co- curator, stated, “The show is a satisfying culmination of one year of artamour. Since its launch on 9 October 2020, our art blog ensured that art lovers did not lose touch with the world of art during the pandemic. In our selection of artists and their representative works, we have made a conscious attempt to not only exhibit art that meets the highest aesthetic standards, but, equally importantly, we have included art that is meaningful and has deeper social relevance. This is therefore a show with a difference. We feel confident that the viewers will find resonance with the works on display at An Imaginal Affair and will simply love the show.”