What: Born in 1957 in a family of dyers and washer folk in Tripura, Ajit Kumar Das is a renowned master of natural dyes using the traditional ‘kalam’ (a hand crafted bamboo reed). His works are on display at the exhibition titled, ‘The Art of Hand Painted Textiles’. This selection of hand painted works represents Das’s long engagement with flora and fauna, which began as an artist at the Weavers Service Centres, established by the Government of India in the early decades of independence. It was here that Das received his learning from among the most accomplished textile experts and artists in the country — the natural dye master C Chandramouli, the educator K G Subramanyam and the curator Martand Singh, among others. Dass’ practice is particularly noteworthy for extending the understanding of Kalamkari — conventionally associated with painting using a kalam or bamboo reed and natural dyes in Andhra Pradesh — beyond its community-oriented, regional identity, as an individual art form in its own right.
When: January 19 – February 15 (10am – 6pm)
Where: Gallery Art Motif, A1-178, Safdarjang Enclave
What: For all the music aficionados in the city, block your dates for Mehfil-e-Basant. An evening of poetry and music, celebrating the onset of spring by bringing a collection of musical compositions set to the melodies of Basant by The Nizami Brothers, in traditional khanqahi style. The event is curated and narrated by Rene Singh, storyteller of the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb.
When: February 8 (7pm)
Where: India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
What: Sculptor Ravinder Reddy’s dalliance with the nude form began in 1979. His recent works on display at the show ‘Soma’ includes his consistent and controversial portrayals from the eighties up to the present, giving viewers the opportunity to track the artist’s developing oeuvre in response to ever changing climes and contexts over the years. Soma, meaning ‘body’ in Greek and ‘nectar’ in Sanskrit, is a discursive blend of value and affect, with Eastern and Western connotations resounding in both Reddy’s ideological and technical approach to the nude sculpture. Famous for his gilded female heads that take inspiration from ancient temple idolisations while channeling the bold spirit of the contemporary woman, in this exhibition Reddy turns to the undraped body with a similar intent, challenging interpretive depictions of women by celebrating their agency as well as their intimacy.
When: January 25 – February 29 (10am – 6pm)
Where: Vadehra Art Gallery D-40 Defence Colony