Zehra Jumabhoy

  • Yasue Maetake

    Do you believe in magic? If you had visited Japanese-born Yasue Maetake’s first solo show in Miami, you might have begun to. For “Sculpture Without a Skin,” the New York–based artist used parts of dead animals to make spindly sculptures that are so dainty (and deadly), they seemed like tools fashioned for evil-intentioned fairies. Leaning against a wall was Manufactured Decay in the Spear (all works 2009), a long, medieval-looking lance made from ivory-hued bones and wickedly glinting steel. The disturbingly beautiful Warped Floor and Object seems to present tools for a ritual sacrifice—is that

  • El Anatsui, Black River, 2009, aluminum bottle caps and copper wire, 105 x 140".
    picks May 02, 2009

    “Chance Encounters”

    Ghanaian El Anatsui’s gigantic, iridescent installations are unusual treats in Mumbai. In this exhibition, his Black River, 2009, which offers bright golden aluminum liquor-bottle caps that simulate a quilt, and India, 2009, wherein similar dark golden caps are interwoven with blue, red, and green ones, hang like rich folds of crumpled kente cloths on creamy walls. Anatsui’s works are, admittedly, the most alluring on view in this group show of African art, curated by Lagos-based Bisi Silva. Nonetheless, “Chance Encounters” presents an exhilarating array of paintings, installations, and photographs,

  • Tallur L.N., Souvenir Maker, 2009, barb wire machine, gold plated barb wire, speakers, glass jars, dimensions variable.
    picks April 09, 2009

    Tallur L. N.

    Dividing his time between Korea and India, Tallur L. N. hasn’t had a solo exhibition in Mumbai in ten years. This show, titled “Placebo,” is stuffed with macabre sculptural installations and makes up for lost time. Tallur’s medicinal title alludes to society’s tendency to delude itself and to believe that it has a cure for its ills. The artist took courses in museology at Baroda’s MS University, and the discipline exerts a strong hold over his art, which gleefully dismantles institutional structures.

    “Placebo” lampoons stifling paradigms of power. Souvenir Maker, 2009, is its most impressive

  • Nataraj Sharma

    Those who are irritated by the interminable construction projects littering Indian cities will discover no soul mate in Baroda-based artist Nataraj Sharma. Sharma’s solo exhibition “Work in Progress” included paintings of lone figures surrounded by seemingly incomplete structures and a dark red, sixteen-foot-high mock-up of a building under construction—proof that for Sharma, such sites are fonts of inspiration. His deliberately rusty iron installation from 2008—also dubbed Work in Progress—hints at conflicting views on the construction boom that has overtaken urban India in the last few years

  • Peter Buggenhout

    Visiting a gallery in Mumbai is generally gratifying, if for no other reason than that the air-conditioned white cube provides a welcome respite from the heat and dust of the city’s streets. But not this time. For his first show in India, “Res Derelictae II,” Belgian artist Peter Buggenhout was determined that we should encounter at least one of the things we were fleeing from: dust.

    Buggenhout’s show, curated by Sofie Van Loo and gallery owner Abhay Maskara, comprised four large, lumpy objects, each made of waste material. Iron slag, polystyrene, polyester, and cardboard were thickly coated with

  • Vivan Sundaram

    For some, India’s cities are tomorrow’s miracles. “India Shining,” boast government slogans; “Mumbai will be another Shanghai,” promise others. The veteran Delhi-based artist Vivan Sundaram, however, rubbished the idea that India’s rapid urbanization is an unmitigated blessing with his recent solo show “Trash.” The exhibition of installations, videos, and photographs featured so-called urban refuse—empty bottles, discolored plastic bags, broken toys, crumpled newspapers, and so on—and overran two chic galleries, Project 88 and Chemould Prescott Road. As anthropologist Mary Douglas famously put

  • T & T

    It’s all in the packaging, say the marketing gurus. Delhi-based Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra, at least, are not likely to disagree. Their second solo show in Mumbai, “New Improved Bosedk,” consisted of a large painting and several installations. The collaborative duo (better known as T & T) transformed Chatterjee & Lal into what resembled a luxury department store. The floor was carpeted with hot pink vinyl, and gleaming glass cabinets were stacked with plastic bottles brimming with gorgeously colored liquids.

    T & T started their careers as graphic and product designers. Their signature brand,

  • Ranjani Shettar

    Ranjani Shettar’s recent solo show, containing two sculptural installations and four woodcut prints, dressed the mundane in the garb of the mysterious. In Touch Me Not, 2006–2007, creamy-colored wooden beads are attached to a snow-white wall; their carefully fashioned, lacquered spheres balance on silvery metal rods. Like the bashful plant for which it is named, Shettar’s beadwork seems acutely sensitive to the viewer: The beads form undulating lines on the wall that seem to meet and merge while casting tiny, shuddering, bubblelike shadows.

    For the second installation, viewers meandered down a