Currently showing at one of Mumbai’s most interesting contemporary art galleries, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, is a group show entitled ‘PINK’. Perhaps taking inspiration from the doyenne of fashion Diana Vreeland who said that ‘pink is the navy blur of India’, the works in the exhibition celebrate the colour’s longstanding presence in Indian visual culture and locates its multiple meanings and contexts in contemporary art.
In India the colour pink is everywhere, its is part of daily life, proliferating in historical and contemporary Indian art. This exhibition owes much to eh Indian artist Bhupen Khakhar who used the colour liberally and inventively throughout his career. The artist’s sophisticated and subtle ‘Pink City’ (1991), titled in ironic reference to the nickname for Jaipur, forms the cornerstone for the exhibition.
Bhupen Khakhar, ‘Pink City’, 1991
Oil on canvas; 175 x 175 cm
Polly Apfelbaum, ‘Pink Crush’, 2007
Synthetic velvet and dye; 366 x 366 cm
Complementing Khakhar’s bold experiments with bright colour is ‘Pink Crush’, a hot pink floor installation by the American artist Polly Apfelbaum, and a series of untitled abstracts in layered pink tissues by Yogesh Rawal. Both Sudarshan Shetty and Tushar Joag have executed new room-size installations especially for this exhibition. Shetty’s Stain develops a dialogue in pink between natural and artificial that the artist attributes to a longstanding influence of Khakhar’s now iconic 1976 painting ‘Man With Bouquet of Plastic Flowers’. Joag’s ’249 Meters Under Water – Pink Slip 1′ and ’249 Meters Under Water – Pink Slip 2′ invent ‘political pink,’ relating thematically to an ongoing crisis of disenfranchisement of communities submerged by local politics of dam building on the Narmada River.
Bharti Kher, ‘rinky dink’, 2004/5
Bindis on fibre glass, life size; Edition: 2/3
Thukral & Tagra, ‘Pan Troglodytes’, 2006
Acrylic & oil on canvas; 183 x 183 cm
Engaging a more commercial connotation of pink, Bharti Kher uses bindis and an artificial panther in ‘rinky dink’, which publicizes ‘shocking pink.’ Thukral and Tagra’s Pan troglodytes presents a bright pink-Pop-chimp in a large acrylic on canvas work that juxtaposes artistic imagination with contemporary design. Both Anandajit Ray and Shahzia Sikander present pink works that adapt miniature painting with a critical, contemporary edge; while only Arpita Singh deals directly with the leading cultural stereotype of pink as a sign of gender in her contemporary watercolors.
Until September 21
GALERIE MIRCHANDANI + STEINRUECKE
2 Sunny House
16/18 Mereweather Road, Behind Taj Mahal Hotel
Colaba, Mumbai 400 001
T: +91 22 2202 3030/3434/ 3636