Curator's Statement :
Entries for the 2010 Erasing Borders show included artists working in diverse media-in painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation, photography, video, and animation. As in previous shows, again we had a very good response from our artist community throughout North America….We are always concerned about the artists whose work we have not exhibited. We receive an overwhelming number of entries and we wish it was possible to showcase all our talented artists.. We hope all artists will become members of the IAAC family and continue to attend and participate in our exhibitions and other events.
Today, living in the Diaspora no longer implies that relationships and hometowns are irrevocably left behind. The internet and the web…Skype and phone cards…affordable travel…the globalization of art, literature, cuisine and pop culture…all keep us instantly connected-not only to relatives and friends, but to the news and events of our homeland as well. So, in this ever-more-global world, it has been interesting to see what a profound influence India still has on much of the artwork in this show-even (or especially) for many of the younger artists.
This influence is incredibly diverse-ranging from the inspiration of Indian music and performance on Avani Patel's delightfully exuberant and colorful paintings…to childhood fantasy and memories on Nidhi Jalan's animated fable "Supper with a Vulture" which begins humorously but then turns dark…to a terrifying childhood experience on Chetan Mangat's video installation which distills and interprets his memory of when he was eight-years-old and his boarding-school compound was attacked by anti-Sikh rioters following the assassination of Indira Gandhi
The other artists who are exhibiting with Erasing Borders for the first time are…Roshani Thakore whose simple perspective installation drawings (done in pastel) beautifully complement her installation whose pieces are fabricated from everyday Indian ingredients and materials…Rasika Reddy who skillfully uses smoke in her mixed media paintings, the beauty and delicacy of the smoky forms in opposition to the unease of what that smoke might imply…Satyakam Saha whose paintings are a "conversation" with the text of the newspaper he chooses to paint on…Sheena Sood whose hand-woven tapestry highlights her fascination with color and pattern…Pinku Roy-Bari whose narrative paintings remain mysterious…Urmila Mohan whose deceptively-simple piece from her "Suitcase Series" (aptly subtitled "terra infirma") speaks eloquently about the immigrant experience…Ruby Chishti whose construction in the shape of a woman's torso or dress, inset with multiple pairs of windows (mostly open, many askew), provokes thought on many levels…Shaurya Kumar who incorporates vibrant color in his etchings…Erum Chughtai and Talha Rathore who both use their training in classical miniature painting to make work that is personal but very different (Talha's paintings are collaged over NYC subway maps)…Jeet Aulakh whose paintings are inspired by Tantric art…and Obaidullah Mamoon whose Giclee print of a textured sandy surface is surprisingly but appropriately titled "Fireworks".
Also exhibiting are Nandini Chirimar, Neil Chowdhury, Pritika Chowdhry, Anujan Ezhikode, Reeta Gidwani Karmarkar, Haresh Lalvani, Samanta Batra Mehta, Anjali Srinivasan, and Yetish Yetish, all of whom have participated in previous Erasing Borders exhibitions.
As part of this show, two of our artists, Talha Rathore (originally from Lahore, Pakistan) and Nandini Chirimar (originally from Jaipur, India), have been invited to create a joint wall-piece installation in the Center for Visual Arts gallery space-another wonderful, symbolic erasing of borders.
I am very pleased we are able to honor our distinguished guest artist, Professor Krishna Reddy, a sculptor and master printmaker universally known for viscosity printing, a technique for printing multiple colors together on a single etching plate.
I want to thank Mari D'Alessandro, Marion Grzesiak, Jennifer Ayres and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey for hosting this exhibition and for their generous support. Special thanks to my co-curator Mary Birmingham for working with us to bring this exhibition to the Visual Arts Center, and for interviewing the artists, visiting their studios and writing the essay for this show. I also want to thank very much Amina Ahmed, IAAC Exhibitions Director, for her knowledge and non-stop help during the long process of putting this show together, and (as always) Aroon Shivdasani for giving us this IAAC platform to show the work of these talented artists. Finally I want to thank our other hosting venues: Ayesha Z Khan of Twelve Gates Gallery in Philadelphia, and Renuka Sawney of The Guild Art Gallery in New York City.