The Shape of Things

Art Heritage presents ‘The Shape of Things’ – an exhibition of BR Pandit and Abhay Pandit’s ceramic vases, bowls, platters and urns.

BR Pandit and Abhay Pandit’s work occupies an in-between space that possesses the sensibility of sculpture and the practicalities of utilitarian ceramic ware. Whereas many contemporary ceramic artists have moved away from traditional shapes like the vases and bowls, the Pandits perfect these common forms, but with a clear sense of humility and respect for the material and medium. In addition to their relatable shapes, the vases, bowls, platters and urns carry a familiar and magnetic draw – many have textured exteriors, pleasuring not only the eye but also the touch. The play of lines – radiating and churning, colour, form and composition meld on several of the works to create an impression of the continual sweep of wind over water, of waves soft or swirling, blue or brown, yet always eternal and rhythmic. Each work tantalizes the senses and evokes deep emotions, thereby, with ease, making these utilitarian objects true works of art.

BR Pandit and Abhay Pandit have held innumerable solo and group shows, much acclaimed in Japan, Bhopal, Patna, Mumbai and New Delhi. BR Pandit was featured in the documentary Handmade in India, and has been featured, along with Abhay Pandit, in several books including Contemporary Ceramics (edited by Emmanuel Cooper), and Hands of Clay in which he is exclusively featured.

BR Pandit was born in 1949 in Bihar. A third generation potter, Brahmadeo Pandit began his career at Shekhodewra Ashram at the age of 19 years. Panditji owes his undying passion for pottery to his early years at KVIC Central Village Pottery Institute at Khanapur and later, the experience of working with L.R. Ajgaonkar, noted ceramic artist in Kalanagar, Bandra, Mumbai. Panditji has travelled to Japan for cultural exchange programmes, as well as to Germany, Spain, and Africa, where he was sent by the Government of India to conduct pottery workshops. Recently, he was commissioned to create the ceramic art installation titled Water at the Mumbai International Airport (T2).

An acknowledged master of glazes, BR Pandit’s work is distinguished by his sparkling red copper-reduction glazed pots, the mottled blue soda-fired glazed pots and chatter-marked pots. Panditji’s studio pottery workshop called Pandit Art Ceramic, located in Kalakar Niwas, Bhayander turns out over three hundred bonsai and ikebana pots everyday where he is very ably assisted by his wife Devki and sons Abhay and Shailesh, and daughter-in-law Khushboo.

Awards for his work include the Maharashtra State Award (1991), the title of ‘Shipa Guru’, awarded by the Government of India in 2008 and most recently he was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri in 2013.

Abhay Pandit was born in 1978. Belonging to the esteemed lineage of the Pandit family of potters, he did his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Applied Art from the J.J. School of Art. He has also attended a pottery course by Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith at Golden Bridge Pottery, Pondicherry. Abhay received The Charles Wallace Scholarship 2005 and studied ceramic art in England, where he apprenticed under Peter Fraser Beard. His solo exhibition Cityscapes (2003), had an interesting display of tall bottles with narrow mouths, colourful glazes and unusual textures. He says, “Pottery is an expression of my mood, and I like to make bold, huge, tall pots as they are a challenge…I break many pots on the wheel itself till I am totally satisfied with a piece.”

The catalogue for the exhibition has been written by Naman P Ahuja, Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.


23 Nov - 31 Dec 2018


BR Pandit, Abhay Pandit