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Right Foot First

Works from the Sangita Jindal Collection 1998 - 2023

February 6 - May 31, 2024
 

Bharti Kher
BV Doshi
Dayanita Singh
Lubna Chowdhary
Manish Nai

Artists

Ai Wei Wei
Andy Warhol
Annie Morris
Atul Dodiya

 

Sheba Chhachhi
Shilpa Gupta
Suhasini Kejriwal
Tushar Joag
Zarina Hashmi

Manu Parekh
Praneet Soi
Reena Kallat
Rohini Devasher
Sayan Chanda

 

Right Foot First is a testament to the rich legacy of art nurtured by the Jindal Family over the past 25 years, showcasing their unwavering support for the arts. The exhibition explores the idea of putting one foot in front of the other as a symbol of continuous progress. It prompts us to visualize how this forward momentum can be the foundation of connection, bridging the divides of age, history, or materiality among the showcased artists. The exhibition challenges us to question the borders of these divides and the inherent mystery that separates art from the artist, the creator from the collector, and “us” from “them”.

The exhibition’s title Right Foot First draws inspiration from Hindu traditions, where starting a new endeavor involves taking the first step with the right foot. This tradition serves as a metaphor for the exhibition’s main question: How does one move from one point to another, from one era to the next? Is the simple act of moving forward the key to bridging gaps between different ages, histories, and materials seen in the displayed artworks?

Right Foot First’s thematic concept involves curated pairings of artists from diverse generations and practices, symbolizing the multidisciplinary vision for Hampi Art Labs. Key pieces in each gallery, such as Bharti Kher’s Sari portraits and Reena Kallat’s Vortex, act as anchors to the exhibition, exploring themes of absence, materiality, and legacy. The exhibition guides visitors from intimate chambers to larger dramatic areas. The artworks contribute to this rhythm, with diverse pieces raising questions about Hampi’s landscape, cultural zeitgeist, and political experiences in contested regions.

The artworks by Annie Morris and Manish Nai set the context for the foundation of the site, and are evocative of the landscape of Hampi. Their pairing here is premised on the fundamental questions: why here and why now? Whereas Reena Kallat, Lubna Chowdhury, BV Doshi, and Dayanita Singh – all artists who work extensively with architectural elements and topographies – ground that inquiry in a tenor of home and belonging.

As the elemental quality of Rohini Devasher’s aquatint clouds leads us into the larger gallery, the focus moves to more abstract pairings of artists. Atul Dodiya and Andy Warhol come together as masters of depicting their cultural zeitgeists; Praneet Soi and Ai Wei Wei who have each spent large periods of their artistic practice in contested regions like Kashmir and China, might distill these politically charged experiences in mediums as different as ceramic and papier-mache and yet share a common language for the potential for the physical expansiveness of ideas in art – whether across the horizontality of the floor or as a simple straight line vertically cutting to the ceiling.

Manu Parekh’s rare collaboration with the Chanakya School of Craft stands tall with Sayan Chanda’s early tapestries.

The exhibition crescendos with Tushar Joag are set against the backdrop of Shilpa Gupta’s elegant installation. The pairing of these works bookends the show with themes of everyday life juxtaposed with poignant silence and reflection. The exhibition’s unique design, echoing the curves of the space, adds depth to the visual experience, aligning seamlessly with Sameep Padora’s poetic architecture. The metaphorical connection to the Tungabhadra River in Hampi becomes a focal point, symbolizing the non-linear flow of time and history. The riverbed serves as a metaphor for the fluidity of knowledge and the ever-evolving nature of artistic expression, woven intricately into the exhibition’s design and philosophy.

Ultimately, Right Foot First is a thought-provoking journey, inviting viewers to contemplate the chasms between art and artist, history and the present, and the potential for dialogue across diverse perspectives.

Curator: Phalguni Guliani
Curatorial Advisor: Abhay Sardesai, Editor, Art India Magazine

Artworks

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