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An immersive look

Statesman News Service |

A diverse work of retrospective of the artist SH Raza since his death on 23 July 2016, Piramal Museum of Art, Mumbai, designed as an engaging and immersive exhibition titled SH Raza: Traversing Terrains presenting his life’s story from early 1940s to late 1990s through his paintings accompanied by rare archival photographs, diary extracts, and written correspondence between him and his contemporaries.

One can also expect talks, film screenings and workshops designed to increase the accessibility of Raza’s work for a wide range of audiences. The exhibition opened recently at the Piramal Museum and will be on view till 28 October.

The space has been designed to mirror the distinct visual language of Raza’s artwork. The exhibition will be accompanied by a broad public outreach programme which will draw upon key themes in Raza’s work, and the narrative focus of the exhibition.

Throughout July and August there will be events, performances, workshops and poetry readings, with a special three-part event series to commemorate Raza’s death anniversary. Additionally, the exhibition features braille text and tactile representations of key works for the visually impaired.

The exhibition is curated by Vaishnavi Ramanathan, curator and art historian, Piramal Museum of Art, and Ashvin E Rajagopalan, director, Piramal Museum of Art, with exhibition design by Gallagher & Associates.

A canvas-painting workshop will be held at the museum inspired by Raza’s paintings. For all age groups, the workshop is in partnership with Bombay Drawing Room as part of a series of events to commemorate his death.

Presented in collaboration with Alliance Française and shot by French filmmaker Laurent Bregeat, there will be a film screening of The Very Essence which is made up of a series of conversations with the artist and presents a window in to Raza’s life in France and how he kept the Indian element in his works alive.

Hindustani classical musician Neela Bhagwat will join poet, cultural theorist and curator Ranjit Hoskote to discuss ideas of abstraction in music and visual arts. The session will be moderated by Ashok Vajpeyi and Vaishnavi Ramanathan.

Much like how artists express abstract thought using paint and colour, Moving into Freedom will be an experimental dance therapy workshop by Renelle Snelleksz drawing from memories and using movement to revitalise, re-energise and refresh the body, mind and spirit.

Piramal Art Residency, Thane, will host Re-Imagining Mumbai where five artists will make their city their muse and tap into its myriad facets, just as an entire generation of Indian modernists before them had.

Presented in collaboration with RainbowFish, the museum will be hosting a guided walkthrough of the exhibition, followed by an interactive workshop that will open a conversation on creating content for introducing contemporary art in classrooms.

S.H. Raza was an artist whose work was deeply influenced by his engagement with philosophical questions. A special edition of Café Philo at Theosophy Hall, Churchgate, will be an open discussion influenced by Raza’s paintings.

There will be a panel discussion at the museum with Kamini Sawhney, Mortimer Chatterjee and Lina Vincent Sunish looking at collecting practices from 1947 until 1980’s, a time when the art market was still at a nascent stage. The session will examine the reasons that motivated patrons to collect.

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