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Check out Warsaw in Mumbai, a one-man show, and just what’s so funny

It’s a great week for art. A round-up of shows you shouldn’t miss.

mumbai Updated: Dec 09, 2017 15:14 IST
Anubhuti Matta
Anubhuti Matta
Hindustan Times
Story, created in 1967 by VV Godkar, shows a grandfather narrating a story to his grandchildren. It was only later in his life that someone told him that it followed the style of Cubism.

The weather’s finally cooperating with your weekend plans, and this weekend, the art world seems to be cooperating too. Spend an afternoon gallery-hopping – there’s a retrospective spanning a surprising array of styles, a group show designed to raise money for a good cause, and a show about humour. Will you laugh at the works, laugh with them or wonder why you’re laughing at all?


Sub-Plots: Laughing in the Vernacular
  • When: Until January 14, 11am to 6pm,
  • Where: National Gallery of Modern Art, Sir Cowasji Jahangir Public Hall, M G Road, Fort

Wit, satire and humour are important expressions that artists have used to explore history, politics, society and community. At Sub-Plots: Laughing in the Vernacular, 24 artists will showcase their work along these lines. Curator Meena Vari, dean of Bengaluru-based The School of Media, Arts and Sciences aims to dispel the idea that humour is simplistic, non-academic or non-serious. “Every work derails the dominant narrative and challenges the recognised perception of humour,” says Vari.

Artist G Ravinder Reddy’s life-size figures of women are a part of his series titled Relief, an attempt to reflect society’s gaze in the way they are perceived.

Relief, G Ravinder Reddy’s life-size figures of women, was made in 1981. The women are dark and voluptuous and also display intimate details of the female anatomy. “Through this series, he wanted to reflect society’s gaze, the way we perceive women and tell them where to draw the line before it starts to look vulgar,” says Vari.

Another artist from Kerala, Vivek Vilasini, displays Out-of-Home, a series of photos of hoardings and billboards. An advertisement for a women’s health centre reads “My wife is my everything—cook, housekeeper, laundry woman, nurse, teacher, bank manager…overwork and stress affects health, share responsibilities”. Vilasini says it points to information overload creating society’s idea of the ideal woman. “Why couldn’t it start with roles women play outside of their homes?” he asks.

Apart from the works in the gallery, several outreach programmes have been planned through the duration of the exhibition, including guided tours, lectures and workshops.


The Rhythmic Black Line by VV Godkar
  • When: Until December 11, 11am to 7pm
  • Where: Jehangir Art Gallery, MG Road, Kala Ghoda

Over 50 years, VV Godkar has painted in pretty much every style – so it’s possible that you might think his retrospective in a group show. The Rhythmic Black covers 60 painting, from his school work to better-known paintings like Story, Navalata, Gauri Ganesh and Cock Fight. Story, created in 1967 shows Godkar’s grandfather narrating a story to his grandchildren. It was only later in his life that someone told him that it followed the style of Cubism.

Created in 1980 and titled Navalata, this piece shows VV Godkar’s pregnant wife, who died in November. It’s the first time this piece is leaving his studio.

A black and white painting, titled Navalata and created in 1980, depicts his pregnant wife sitting against a luminous canvas. “For me a canvas is like a sun, it gives me energy,” he says. “The painting is very close to me since my wife passed away a month ago,” he says. “She was like goddess Lakshmi, a constant source of inspiration and perseverance. These paintings are like treasure I thought I would never give away. For an artist, it’s all he has!”


WHAT: The Colours of Life
  • When: Until December 16, 11am to 7pm
  • Where: The Viewing Room, Elysium Mansion, Opposite Cusrow Baug, Colaba Causeway

For 13 years, the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) has been organizing a sale of art works to raise funds for the care of underprivileged children suffering from cancer.

Known for his work with watercolours, Samir Mondal’s Love Letter shows a yellow rose that celebrates love and life.

This year, 72 artists will exhibit 134 works. Some, like Lalita Lajmi and Samir Mondal have contributed works before. Many, however, are first-time contributors from across the country. “We’ve also kept in mind the painting sizes given the space constraints in Mumbai homes,” curator and director of CPAA, Piali Syam. The paintings will cost between Rs 25,000 and Rs 20 lakh and cover landscapes, portraits, abstract, figurative and realistic work.

Veteran artist Samir Mondal, known for his watercolours is showing Love Letter. “It’s just one motif, a happy painting to celebrate love and life.”


Prince Polonia
  • Where: Clark House Initiative, c/o RBT Group, Opposite Sahakari Bhandar and Regal Cinema, next to Woodside Inn.
  • When: Until December 20, 11am to 7pm

Cameras, glassware and hair dryers—who knew the things Polish mountaineers once smuggled into India to fund their expeditions, would become art exhibits?

The exhibition Prince Polonia, travels from Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art to India for the first time to examine the relations between the two nations. It stems from the time Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, visited Warsaw to enhance economic and cultural co-operation in 1955.

Prince Polonia presents a collection of paintings and literature to examine the relations between India and Poland between 1955 and 1991.

“The exhibition is a collection of photographs and paintings, advertisements, maps, architectural plans, films and other complementary texts,” says Yogesh Barve, co-director of Clark House India, which is hosting the show. Polish journalist Max Cegielski and artist Janek Simon, curators, took more than a year to put the show together.

The choice of the title, Barve says, dates back to the 1980s. “It is named after a hotel in Delhi which was popular with Polish tourists and it literally means Prince of Poland,” he says. Think of the show as a freeze frame of an India supportive of a very different kind of Westernisation.

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 19:58 IST