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"Theatrics of Art in the Work of Durga Kainthola"
2007-11-14 until 2007-11-18
Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre
Hong Kong, , HK Hong Kong

From November 14 until the 18th, 2007, Indian Contemporary features Durga Kainthola at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre in "Warhol and the History of Art - Part II". Sushma Bahl, "Marilyn Munroe to Aishwarya Rai, Dali to M F Husain, Andy Warhol to Cézanne, Amrita Sher-Gil to Arpana Caur, Souza to Bhupen Khakhar, Frida Kahlo to self portraits- they all make an appearance, sometimes directly and at others discreetly, in some form or another; in theatrics of sorts that Durga Kainthola recreates through her wide spectrum of artistic expressions." Durga Kainthola has been a Premiere Portfolio Artist at absolutearts.com since 2004.

Sushma Bahl continues, "She does this with great aplomb combing religious symbols with pop culture, fabric with calligraphic writings, handmade art with digital prints, complex motifs with simple line markings and colourful paintings intertwined with splashes of black and white. There is an interesting juxtaposition of the old and the new, classical and contemporary, east and west in her work that comes in a range of sizes and garbs.

"Her search for an idiom met with its nemesis when she began to read into footprints, making it the theme for her first major display at Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai in 1989. Later in 1996, she had Husain performing and walking for her over a canvas that she had painted, leaving his footprints as a memory and history. Belonging to a family from Garhwal but born in Kolkata, trained in Mumbai and Baroda and living in Delhi, Durga seems to have traversed a long way and absorbed a lot in the process. She had her first solo show abroad in Amsterdam at the Holland Art Gallery and has not looked back since then. With an interesting use of technology that she says, “is a tool and not my master” Durga’s work is a rich collage of images that retrace art history to bring it up-to-date for us. Consciously and subconsciously she draws myriad images that represent the familiar together with ‘something new’ and her work in Pages from my Visual Notebook series like a diary, falls in this category.

"She uses selective images some that come from her imagination and others that flow from her admiration for old masters’ and contemporary artists’ work as a metaphor. History, landmark incidents and mythology that she finds inspiring come to play in her work. Issues around gender and violence in society also feature in her work often in subtle tones such as The Last Judgment from the Warhol series where she laments the way women continue to be treated or mistreated around the world even today.

"Durga’s work is like a dreamland full of mythology, deities, incarnations and fantasy. She animates her images by connecting them with history of the world here and now and in its multi-hued facade. Blending her imagination with selective imagery from her favourite works by other artists, Durga presents us with a new vision. In the process of recreating the metaphors and retelling old stories, she seems to be trying to rewrite art history.

"In a selection of her work that relates to her Warhol and the History of Art series some of the images such as Amrita Sher-Gil, Marilyn Munroe and Dali’s clock re-enter her canvas that she seems to liken to a stage. She has also worked on photographic images of Frida Kahlo. The work in layers invites the viewer to uncover it in the mind’s eye, through her conjured up imagery interwoven with text."

More work from this exhibition can be viewed at Indian Contemporary

Durga Kainthola's Portfolio can be browsed at http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/d/durgakainthola/

IMAGE
Durga Kainthola
Warhol and the History of Art - Part II
4"x6"
Mixed Media, inkjet


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