As the art world emerges from a hiatus, art curators around the world are finding innovative ways to draw the crowds back to museums and galleries. It’s no longer about viewing art but also about the visual experience and interactions that come with it. Drawing from this school of thought is Palette Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, ’18 Dimensions’ that opened at Bikaner House in Delhi today addresses that.
Leaving their minimalistic space in Golf Links to take over the historic Bikaner House, Palette Art Gallery‘s new exhibition, ’18 Dimensions’ displays the sculptural works of 18 contemporary artists. Exploring a wide range of material and methods, the exhibition includes artworks by Arunkumar HG, Ashiesh Shah, Gigi Scaria, G. R. Iranna, L. N. Tallur, Narayan Biswas, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Manjunath Kamath, Pooja Iranna, Himmat Shah, Jagannath Panda, Rajesh Ram, Riyas Komu, Sangam Vankhade, Sumedh R, Subodh Gupta, Sudarshan Shetty, Valay Shende, Vibha Galhotra, and Vipul Kumar.
Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna on Palette Art Gallery’s ongoing exhibition, 18 Dimensions at Bikaner House in Delhi
In the midst of this excitement, we catch up with founders at Palette Art Gallery, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna about the exhibition. The fashion designers, known for their modern and minimalistic designs, lend their astute aesthetics to the curation of the exhibition that is drawing Delhi’s swish set to it’s magnetic space.
Tell us about the concept behind ’18 Dimensions’
The intention behind ‘18 Dimensions’ is to bring a range and variety of sculptural expressions and encourage viewers’ participation and physical engagement with artworks once again, as the city opens up to mobility. This is an exciting medium of expression for us as sculptural art requires a certain amount of physical presence to be appreciated and this form of interaction can be a motivating factor to draw-in viewers’ participation.
Why the focus on sculpture?
The sculpture is thinking with things or considering how things think – contesting the distinction between thoughts and things, subjects, and objects. A sculpture can network ideas, articulate subjectivities and even create communities. A sculpture reflects its place – its society – its time. It’s more eternal. It is a key indicator of the cultural achievements of evolution and becomes an important influence on the development of art worldwide.
What was the criterion behind the selection of sculptures for the exhibition?
Our criteria and expectation while selecting the sculptures for this exhibition was to amalgamate artistic and creative excellence, diversity of viewpoints on cultural significance. The seniority of the professional background of the artists, special capacity and compatibility of the venue space, and prioritizing artworks and related programs that address social issues.
Take us through the diverse materials and methods used as a part of the exhibition.
Our artists have used various materials and techniques in their creations, and their choices reflect on the resultant objects. We have covered everything from clay, Natural and dyed hemp and jute, stone & wood carving, bronze casting, cement, recycled paper pulp, to staple pins just to name a few.
Can you tell us about the key pieces at the exhibition like Mrinalini Mukherjee’s rare hemp work?
Mrinalini moved away from the figurative-realism tradition of sculpture making to create biomorphic syntheses in her style. She used fibers such as jute or hemp and established new methods of working with unconventional and commonplace material. Her labour-intensive sculptures either are rooted to the ground or suspended in air, by their innate quality which demands them to be exhibited either against a wall or hung from the ceiling. Mrinalini Mukherjee’s sculptures demonstrate the real and the fantastical elements from human anatomy and imaginary biota to look for relationships between man and nature. The work Vriksh Nata (Arboreal Enactment) was displayed in the exhibitions, Time Unfolded – An Exhibition of Modern and Contemporary Art at KNMA, 2011, Burning Down the House, 10th Gwangju Biennale, 2014, Transfigurations – National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi, 2015, Phenomenal Nature- The Met Breuer, 2019.
Palette Art Gallery’s 18 Dimensions exhibition is on at Bikaner House, Delhi till December 6, 2021.
All images: Courtesy brand