From doodles to photos of mom: Flip through personal books of artists
Discover books as works of art at Chatterjee & Lal. Sketchbooks, scrapbooks, photo books, study books and book ‘museums’, pick these spined beauts that narrate artists’ way of being creativeart and culture Updated: Aug 13, 2016 09:21 IST
Slip on the gloves you are handed. Rummage through textbooks with phone numbers scribbled in the margins; find a footnote on creativity in Assisi; read a poem dedicated to a father who is no more — through those pages and enter the intimate lives of artists.
Unlike most art exhibitions where you aren’t allowed to touch the works on display, at Zones of Privacy, which aims to look at books as art, you can thumb through diaries, sketchbooks, study-books, storybooks, photobooks, even a book sculpture. With contributors ranging from animators, graphic designers and photographers to painters and students, you can find the many innovative ways in which books are used.
For instance, you may chuckle as you look through illustrator Priya Kuriyan’s notebook of loony sketches — complete with caricatures of a honeymooning couple at Delhi airport or a Sardar on a scooter, sketched in her trademark head-larger-than-body style. Or you could travel the world with photographer Dayanita Singh’s wall-mounted accordion-shaped photobooks, often referred to by the artist as a ‘museum’.
The show has been curated by the book designer Rukminee Guha Thakurta, who is visiting faculty at National Institute of Design (NID), and includes many student works. Guha Thakurta says, “After teaching a brief Book Design course at NID’s photography department, students would bring in their books to me for critiques. Some of them were so keen to experiment with books that as a teacher, I was delighted. Around the same time the team at Chatterjee & Lal was discussing ideas for a show, and I immediately suggested one centred on books.”
The book designer adds that it is time books come into the commercial space of a gallery, as art works. “because some artists make books as an expression of their art, while others make art in books — just like some artists perform or paint.”
Immerse yourself, then, in wispy, painted clouds from Assisi, Italy, accompanied by artist Prashant Miranda’s curlicue-handwritten diaries in his study book; or marvel at artist Nityan Unnikrishnan’s melancholic hand-painted comics. There are piles of experiences for the reader to dive in to.
WHAT: An exhibition looking at books as art by showing journals, sketchbooks, and photo books of artists
WHERE: Chatterjee & Lal, 01/18 Kamal Mansion Floor 1, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba
WHEN: Until September 3, 11 am to 7 pm (Sundays and Mondays closed)
ENTRY IS FREE