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. 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
ArtistsAbhay & B R Pandit
Art Heritage in collaboration with The Alkazi Foundation for the Arts presents for the first time in New Delhi, GLOBETROTTERS: Early Postcards from the Indian Subcontinent. The exhibition traces the rise of the picture postcard in the 1890s, heralding the birth of an ubiquitous new media form. Not only was the postcard associated with the invention of photography 50 years prior, and the mass-produced Kodak camera that came out in the 1880s, it played a great role in democratizing photography; illustrated postcards established a swift channel of communication between families, friends and businesses across the world.
While printing technologies, like rapid press lithography were being exploited by small workshops and artisans in European and Indian cities, the very first advertising postcards of the subcontinent were apparently published by the Singer Manufacturing Co. in 1892 for the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The Exposition also marked the first official exposure of America to India: Swami Vivekananda expounded on Hinduism in a series of historic lectures while the painter Raja Ravi Varma won a Gold Medal.
Probably the earliest postcard from an India-based publisher is the postcard Greetings from India, displayed in the exhibition by W. Rossler in Kolkata from around 1897. Billions of postcards exchanged hands internationally between 1898 and 1903, with postcard production in Germany shooting up from under 100 million to almost 1.2 billion/year – two postcards for every person on the planet.
The history of the picture postcard in India is closely intertwined with Germany and Austria, countries where most image postcards were first printed. The very nature of postcards was global: a photograph would be sent to Dresden by a publisher from India, postcards would be struck from it by a printer there and then shipped back to Jaipur to be sold to tourists outside the Hawa Mahal or other tourist spots and finally it would be mailed to London, arriving there two weeks later. A minor miracle for a few annas or pennies.
The Globetrotters exhibition charts the evolution of the postcard between 1880s and Independence in major metropolitan cities across India, highlighting as it does so the associated themes of urbanism, art practice and popular culture, industrialization and tourism, social transformation and eventually, the rise of freedom and nationalism.
Mounted in Art Heritage 1 & 2, the exhibition begins with a representation of the Presidency states and then covers the larger South Asian ambit of postcards in Ceylon and even the North West Frontier.
A section of the exhibition is devoted to images of Delhi as it became the capital in 1911. Preceding these are not only the cityscapes and elite communities but also the mythological, allegorical works of Ravi Varma, who founded a press just outside the city. This year marks the 160th birth anniversary of M.V. Dhurandar, an artist whose works are displayed here too. The final section of the exhibition in Art Heritage 2 explores popular images from the popular hills stations of Shimla, Ooty and the Kashmir Valley. A video on the growth of postcard culture in the subcontinent is an additional treat.
17 Oct - 17 Nov 2018