Green Art Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition in collaboration with Jhaveri Contemporary from Mumbai with works by Kamrooz Aram, Lubna Chowdhary, Ali Kazim, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Mohan Samant and Lionel Wendt. This marks the gallery’s first collaborative iteration with an international gallery, thereby encouraging the evaluation of existing models in the art market and in exhibition making.
Jhaveri Contemporary was formed in 2010 by sisters Amrita and Priya with an eye towards representing artists, across generations and nationalities, whose work is informed by South Asian connections and traditions. The Mumbai-based Gallery’s dedication to the creation of original scholarship, engendered through its carefully curated shows, is one of the many ways in which it distinguishes itself and resonates with Green Art Gallery. Entwined with this philosophy is another guiding principle: showcasing the heterogeneous practices of long-celebrated luminaries as well as emerging voices, often in generously interrogative conversations.
The exhibition pulls into dialogue the work of several artists including Anwar Jalal Shemza ( b. India, 1928 – 1985) and Kamrooz Aram (b. 1978 Shiraz, lives and works in NY), whose practices are both concerned with the historically complicated relationship between ornamental art and modernist abstraction. Similarly ceramist Lubna Chowdhary ( b.1964, Tanzania, lives and work in London) works with clay to create tiled pieces that challenge historical ideas around form, design and ornament. Her interest in architecture is reflected in the haphazard variety of curves, points and angular shapes that are playfully suggestive of a skyline of a city that sits between the east and west.
The exhibition includes another intergenerational pairing between Pakistani artist Ali Kazim (b.1979, Pattoki) and Ceylonese photographer Lionel Wendt (1900–1944). Both artists’ works are crucially preoccupied with the work of the body and portraits of solitary and ordinary men and women; their protagonists are reservoirs of mystery, absorbed in reverie, in inner places of truth and stillness.
In line with both galleries’ interest in researching and exhibiting Arab and South Asian modernist practices, works from Mohan Samant (b. Bombay, 1924 – 2004) are also included in the exhibition. Considered a ‘missing link’ in the narrative of modern Indian art, Samant was a member of the short-lived Progressive Artists’ Group, exhibiting alongside many of India’s leading artists, including FN Souza, SH Raza, and MF Husain. His paintings are a marriage in diverse materials, exploring the boundaries between painting and other disciplines, including sculpture, drawing, and architecture. Unlike the medium-specific practices of the Progressive Group, Samant’s hybrid and playful compositions deploy unusual materials that challenge the distinctions between high and low art, art and craft.