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De-mystifying art

Published : Jul 4, 2018, 12:08 am IST
Updated : Jul 4, 2018, 12:08 am IST

The Tao Art Gallery’s walkthrough on minimalist art is aimed at educating audiences while having fun.

A few of the minimalist paintings on display at the gallery.
 A few of the minimalist paintings on display at the gallery.

A trip to an art gallery can be inspirational, exciting and thought-provoking. But it can also be intimidating and perplexing if you’re not sure what you’re looking at. To make art-viewing a more positive experience, the Tao Art Gallery recently organised its first walkthrough on “Maximising the Minimalism”.

The gallery has over 18 artists exhibiting their minimalist-themed works, a trend with origins in Europe. It’s the first to bring together names like S.H Raza, Dashrath Patel, Sohan Qadri and Kisalay Vora under one roof.

As the walkthrough begins, not one of the audience members is distracted by the mesmerising rain falling on the gallery’s glass walls. They’re all listening with rapt attention to Sanjana Shah, the creative director of the gallery, as she explains the concept of minimalism; her words illustrated by the works on display.

The concept
When you think of minimalism, think of clearing the clutter. Getting rid of the unnecessary to be able to focus on what’s important.

“Minimalism is very prominent in western art. It led to an art movement in Europe in 1900, but it never came to India,” Sanjana explains. She has chosen this theme in order to acquaint Indian art-lovers with a different form of expression. “My idea was to present Indian artists who have been doing minimalist work without calling it that. We’ve created a show that highlights each artist’s interpretation of the minimalism movement,” she says.

The gallery has also tried to combine art with entertainment. Going out on a Friday, why not do something fun and intellectually stimulating? Have some good food, meet like-minded people, and make a night of it.

The artwork
“The inspiring works of Sohan Qadri, known as a Yogi, are meditative. His art is all about highlighting focal points,” Sanjana explains to the audience.

When someone asks her on what basis she’s chosen the pieces on display, she says, “Each artist uses a different medium and has their own interpretation. We’ve chosen artists who fit the theme best.”

“We are used to seeing figurative art, but this is not the same — it’s abstract, unconventional and contemporary. It requires great intellect to understand the newness behind each piece. This art is intellectually stimulating, which is why we’ve planned walkthroughs so we can explain it to people,” the creative director adds.

Through the eyes of an artist
Kisalay Vora, who is present for the walkthrough, explains his work, saying, “I’ve worked on two series – one’s reflective, and the other’s introspective. This piece is introspective. I selected a picture that my wife clicked and I combined it with the object closest to me at the time — drawing pins. The pins are suggestive of the pain of love and attachment. Some of our memories are fresh and shiny, some are fading, and some are no longer there, but they’ve left imprints that continue to affect our day to day lives. That’s what has been represented.”

Audience perspective
Artist and art-lover Aarti is attending the event seeking inspiration. “This is a brilliant concept. Such walkthroughs help common people gain exposure to art. Culturally, we are an extremely rich country, but it’s not just about buying art, it’s also about appreciating it and absorbing its richness,” she says.

What’s next?
Sanjana and team have lots of interesting activities planned including art workshops for children.

Tags: art gallery, tao art gallery