A group exhibition in Kolkata, which explores what lies beyond 'still life'...
Several artists who took part in the international exhibition 'Translations - Kolkata', which was curated by Samindranath Majumdar in collaboration with Emergent Art Space in 2016, were reunited again in 'Still Life & Beyond', which was shown at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata, between the 23rd and the 29th of January, 2018.
Samindranath Majumdar, artist, curator, and art teacher, presented here the works of a group of his former students at The Indian College of Art and Draftmanship, young artists who are still receiving from him inspiration and guidance
Abhijit Alder, Arpan Ghosh, Aryama Pal, Debajyoti Das, Debashri Gupta, Jayeti Bhattacharaya, Mithun Das, Prasanta Ghosh, Sampurna Naskar, Sumit Sarkar and Suresh Kumar Singha explored for this show what lies beyond the still life painting genre, the infinite possibilities of figurative art that moves beyond representation, exploring the metaphorical, the symbolic, and the tensions inherent in every representation of reality.
Samindranath explains in his curatorial statement,
"it is the word 'beyond' in the exhibition title that opens up a space of interesting and enigmatic possibilities.... There is no attempt whatsoever to paint objects carefully composed on a tabletop with lustrous folds of drapery in the background; in other words, there is no discernible loyalty to what is still ideally considered to be still life in the strict academic sense... In the aspect of teaching, art still has a colonial hangover. Before the British, people used to paint from imagination and memory, but the British taught us to paint by seeing and copying, and that has remained...The young artists [in this exhibition] have taken the autonomy to build narratives of their own by arranging, creating and composing forms as signifiers. An undernote of unmistakable contemporaneity is discernibly present in all the works, with all the directional pluralities that our times have opened up for us."
Samindranath curated 'Still Life & Beyond' exhibiting the works by his former students, and in turn dedicated it to his former teacher, Sri Partha Pratim Deb, In a meaningful gesture that not only reminds us all the crucial role teachers and mentors play in our life, but that makes also visible the fertile relationship in the art realm between mentor and mentee, be it expressed in continuity or in break and separation.
You can view here the online catalog of the exhibition: 161924798-still life & beyond_web
'Still Life & Beyond' was reviewed by Shaswata Kundu Chaudhuri in the English edition of 'Marquee', on February 3rd: http://epaper.thestatesman.com/c/25942134