Home Architect International Art Forum

International Art Forum

by godlove4241
0 comment

Vivan Sundaram and Geeta Kapur in their New Delhi home, 2022. Photo: Rattanamol Singh Johal.

Vivan Sundaram and Geeta Kapur in their New Delhi home, 2022. Photo: Rattanamol Singh Johal.

ON A CRISPY NIGHT IN NEW DELHI Last December, I visited the brutalist bungalow of Vivan Sundaram, nestled in a verdant garden and casually adorned with some of the most iconic examples of Indian modernism: the melancholy young women of his aunt Amrita Sher-Gil, the repairer of Playful and clumsy watches from his friend Bhupen Khakhar. , the rigorous lines of Nasreen Mohamedi and Vivan’s own prodigious portrait of her maternal family which was recently installed in the living room. As I apprehended the work’s imposing scale and understated palette, Vivan and her partner, the influential critic-curator Geeta Kapur, emerged from different ends of the house. We were reuniting after a pandemic-induced break, and I was relieved and reassured to see them in good spirits. After receiving a generous helping of Vivan’s favorite single malt whisky, I was ushered into his study studio where we sat together to watch footage of the ambitious new series he had just completed for the Biennale of Sharjah, chillingly titled “Six Stations of a Lifetime”. For follow-up.”

Vivan was obviously excited about the projects he had coming up in 2023. In addition to Sharjah, his historic facility Memorial, 1993, was due to premiere at Tate Tanks in April, and a major release was due to coincide with its eightieth birthday, in May. There have been many setbacks in recent years on the health and family fronts (his sister, journalist and filmmaker Navina Sundaram, died in April 2022), but Vivan has remained driven by his myriad ideas and her enthusiasm for creating and sharing critical and experimental works of art. . As evening turned to night, we moved to the dinner table. Geeta joined us and together we analyzed the news and discussed recent exhibitions as well as the work of institutions and artists of mutual interest. Noticing that it was well past midnight, I began to excuse myself, pulling out my phone to order a taxi and snap a quick photo of my glowing hosts. Now I can’t help but wish I had lingered a little longer.

Vivan Sundaram, Memorial, 2023. Installation view.  Tate Modern, London.  Photo: Michael Raymond.

Vivan Sundaram, Memorial2023. Installation view. Tate Modern, London. Photo: Michael Raymond.

Vivan left this earthly realm on March 29 after a period of hospitalization in February and March which prevented him from attending the opening of the Sharjah Biennale, itself organized around the vision of his late friend Okwui Enwezor. Obituaries and social media posts in recent weeks – written by friends, interlocutors and admirers around the world – have confirmed the resounding impact of this intrepid polymath on the landscape of contemporary art and art. cultural activism in India and beyond. Recent retrospectives in Munich and New Delhi have highlighted the breadth of his artistic achievements, from distinctive pop-inspired paintings of the 1960s; to the forms of narrative figuration of the 1970s and 1980s; to his groundbreaking installations using handmade paper, motor oil, charcoal, family photographs, urban detritus and archaeological fragments often brought together in videos and assemblages. This diversity of forms and materials across the decades was conceptually underpinned by a coherent and committed dialogue with currents of cultural Marxism, the lessons of May 1968, a keen interest in avant-garde historical strategies, experiences of living in an expanding megalopolis and a dialectical approach. and a reflective engagement with what Saloni Mathur poignantly called “a fragile heritage.”

For all who knew him, Vivan’s energy, enthusiasm and curiosity were uncontrollable. He has dedicated himself to making space for his fellow artists and thinkers, to constantly challenging himself and others to do something new, and to theorizing his own work in dialogue with comrades and collaborators. This dynamic – the lived relationship between discourse and practice – is evidenced in his archives, in projects like the Journal of Arts and Ideas (1982-1999) and the Kasauli Art Centre, which he directed at the family property. from 1976 to 1991 and was actively reinvented for the present day under the aegis of the recently established Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation. The “Ways of Resisting” exhibition that he organized in 2002 for the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (of which he is a founding member), brings together three generations of Indian artists engaged in the fight against the Hindutva wave that is sweeping the country.

For my generation of cultural workers, Vivan will always remain a star and a catalyst, preparing the ground on which we stand and teaching us how privilege can be mobilized to critically confront the demands of the present. He will be missed but he cannot be forgotten.

Rattanamol Singh Johal is Deputy Director of the International Program at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

@2022 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by artworlddaily