- Interact With Art
Knma endeavors to become a space for confluence and its publications are a corroboration of that vision for posterity. They underscore the drive of this department to come out with well researched books after each exhibition which act as reservoirs of in-depth information to scholars, students, and art lovers alike. Since its inception in 2010, the Knma publications department has published many titles including exhibition catalogues that uphold the creative energy of the publication program.
Seven Contemporaries captures the artistic practices, anxieties, inspirations, preoccupations and trepidations of seven women artists who together have enriched the contemporary Indian art scene. The publication describes how the artists not only reaffirm the exclusivity of their diverse engagement with art through their extraordinary undertaking of form and content, but also help in engendering new curatorial possibilities. The rich assortment of text attempts to unravel any traces of commonality between these artists; since they are not bound by common ideologies, the question that arises is whether their gender specificity acts as the only binding factor by highlighting any common idiosyncrasies and shared concerns.
The publication comprises of essays delineating the art practice of the seven artists by Parul Dave Mukherjee, Gayatri Sinha, John Zarobell, Roobina Karode, Akansha Rastogi and Marta Jakimowicz. It also includes write-ups by these women artists, interviews, excerpts from their diaries and excerpts from conversations.
Visions of interiority: interrogating the male body reveals Rameshwar Broota’s choice of the lesser trodden path throughout his artistic practice. While his contemporaries filled their canvases by capturing the nude female body; Broota remained intently focused on exploring and depicting the male nude. The publication commences with a foreword by Kito De Boer and also contains an essay on the artist by renowned poet and art critic, Late Keshav Malik.
The monogarph elaborates Broota’s journey, which began with his figurative works and gradually moved to reduce the form from the canvas altogether with the artist creating abstracted forms. His practice is categorized into separate sections which describe his oeuvre that roughly comprises of the Ape Series, Metamorphosis, Traces of Man, Confrontation, Counterparts and New Arrivals. These segments illustrate the endless excavations of the male body which was seen by Broota as a site of investigation. It not only made him aware of its corporeal strength and erotic potential but also instilled in him the stark truth of its fragility and vulnerability.
You can’t keep acid in a Paper Bag examines the multifaceted and wide ranging oeuvre of Nalini Malani which spans a period of over 45 years. This engaging publication, through stimulating articles and images traces her journey as an artist from the time when experimental art sparsely dotted the art scene and women artist worked from the margins of the art fraternity, both in India and internationally.
Just like the retrospective which took place in three segments, the publication comprises of three sections, each of them carrying texts by renowned writers pertaining to specific areas from Malani’s wide art practice. Essays and interviews by art historians and theorists such as Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Rhana Devenport, Doris von Drathen, Chaitanya Sambrani and Shanay Jhaveri enrich the parts, titled Utopia, Medea and Transgressions respectively. The publication also visually documents the three part retrospective in a comprehensive manner.
Oneiric House: round about midnight seeks to explore the space of dwelling as a site inhabited by incongruent elements, as if in a dream. It contains insightful conversation between Belinder Dhanoa and Sonia Khurana through which the former makes an attempt to delve deeper into the artists’ work. The conversation navigates us through the installations which are an attempt to articulate the poetics of dwelling and desertion.
Excerpts from the artists’ notes shed light on how the dream house was occupied by a series of symbols and disparate cast of characters, and further investigate the inherent features as well as the momentariness of the house. The images of the installation contained in the catalogue offer a glimpse into the site-specific exhibition and the various facets that layered the work.