‘Passage to India – Part two’ at Initial Access

The Frank Cohen Collection presents ‘Passage to India - Part two’ courtesy Initial Access, continuing its exploration of Indian contemporary art following the phenomenal success of the first edition of the show almost a year ago.

This new edition of ‘Passage to India’ is an extension of the earlier effort. It features a careful selection of new, innovative and exciting painting and sculpture by today’s prominent Indian artists. Elaborating on the theme and the core of the show, an introductory note points out how Asia's art scene has undoubtedly come to the fore in the past few years, driven by the continent's fast growth and rapidly emerging talent. It adds: “In the wake of overwhelming attention being paid to contemporary art from China, interest is growing in a new generation of artists from India. Contemporary art from India is now the focus of more interest in the West than ever before, providing a platform for the most talented painters and sculptors who have become a major force in the international contemporary art world.

“Always tuned to the trends in the contemporary art market, Frank Cohen has been among the first to show works from India in the UK. These artists have attained worldwide attention for their work that combines an understanding of the western canon of art but retains its cultural origins and flavors – a contemporary extension of the past, which remains so crucial to the themes and concepts in their work.”

The first part of ‘Passage to India’ presented new Indian art from the collection. It showcased a selection of important painting and sculpture by a new generation of artists from the country getting prominence on the international contemporary art scene. The artists, whose work form part of ‘Passage to India – Part Two’ are Murali Cheeroth, Reena Saini Kallat, T.V. Santhosh, Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Thukral and Tagra.

T.V. Santhosh’s subject matter deals with violence and injustice. His paintings are a comment on inequality, famine, terrorism and war. His skillfully executed paintings have a photographic quality. It appropriates references from print media, television and the internet. Subodh Gupta consciously plays on clichéd images of everyday life in India. He is best known for his sculptures made from accumulations of everyday objects.

Artist Reena Saini Kallat’s work often brings the intimate imagery and objects associated with the human body into the expanse of the public and political arena. Jitish Kallat’s work incorporates modern technology and popular essentials with profound subject matters and often autobiographical elements. Belonging to a new generation of young Indian artists, Thukral and Tagra reflect on and live in India. Working collectively, they choose to express themselves through a wide range of media, following a desire to create democratic art for the masses.

New Indian Art from the Frank Cohen Collection is showcased at Initial Access at Wolverhampton from March to August, 2009. This is the sixth exhibition at the vibrant Initial Access venue. Initial Access, opened in 2007 as an avenue to host exhibits from Frank Cohen’s internationally important collection of contemporary art, is located on the outskirts of the millennium city of Wolverhampton, in two refurbished warehouses that provide close to 10,000 square feet of exhibition space. It presents different aspects of the collection in a series of exhibitions.

The new show brings out how artists from India influenced by global developments are creating wonderful works in based on an identity rooted in their own culture and their people.

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