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Gallery Beyond - The contemporary art gallery
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Gallery Beyond

Gallery Beyond
Kahini Arte Merchant View Gallery 


Kahini Arte Merchant finished her schooling in India and England. Studied art at Sir J.J.School of Arts in Mumbai (1st Class first) in 1979. Has held several solo shows: 1988 “Evening” Taj Art Gallery, 1991 Passages, 1994 The Fractured Dream & 1998 An Inverted Memory & Altered Images at Jehangir Art Gallery Mumbai. 2001 – Metamorphosis at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. She had participated in numerous group shows: 1992 Bombay Art Society Show; 1995 Jehangir Art Gallery, Y.B. Chavan Gallery; "Show of premier Artists" (Citibank), 1996-Nehru Centre; "Harmony•" (Reliance Industries Ltd.), Y.B. Chavan Gallery; "Show of Premier Artists" (Citibank), 1997- Chitrakala Parishad (Bangalore); "Art for Ashraya", Nehru Centre; "Harmony:" (Reliance Industries Ltd.), & NGMA (Mumbai); "50 Years of Art in Mumbai Part-II", 1998- Nehru Centre; "Harmony." (Reliance Industries Ltd.), Y.B. Chavan Gallery; "Art Quest for CRY", Hongkong Bank; "Windows to the Soul", followed by Auction conducted by Sotheby's in Aid of the National Association for the Blind (India), Apparao Galleries (Singapore), 1999- NGMA (Mumbai); followed by auction for Kargil Children's Fund (with ABN Amro Bank & the Rotary' Club), Sans Tache Gallery; "Miniature Format Show; 2000 - Intex Universal (Dubai), Art Today (Dubai); Dubai Shopping Festival, Nehru Centre; "Harmony" (Reliance Industries Ltd.), Sans Tache Art Gallery•; "Monsoon in the Millennium", Kala Ghoda Festival; 2001-Soul Kurry.com online exhibition curated by Anjolie Ela Menon.; "Shakti", Studio 51 J; "Wish you were here"-Picture Postcards from Mumbai, Nehru Centre; "Harmony" (Reliance Industries Ltd.), NGMA (Mumbai); The RPG Collection - Self Portraits and & Bombay Artists, NGMA (Mumbai) AGRFES- Art for Gujarat Relief. Her murals are on show at Gaylord Restaurant, Mumbai. Kahini lives and works in Mumbai. TOUCHING THE SHORES WITHIN: A JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION Encountering the pathless terrain of the inner landscape the artist feels the need to turn around do it all differently, to shift perspective and perceive her/himself askance. The restless struggle makes for a re-examination of idea and image. It calls for permitting the creative process to flow, leading to an inversion of known visual vocabulary. It is this inner metamorphosis that pushes the creative individual to rephrase the language of gesture. This meandering journey invariably reverts to the nucleus. The adventure is in the plunging away, the testing of the waters and the return to the beginning, to the nodal point of polarity where a spontaneous flux and a stable constant are held in a fragile balance. While this journey is fraught with risk, it opens fresh insights and a new way of looking at things, which virtually makes the creative process a way of inner growth and aesthetic motivation and cognition of self-transformation. In her present work, Kahini charters a path that follows this transformative journey. Shifting away from formalized figuration she risks transgressing the boundary between representation and abstraction while empowering herself with their inherent strength. Using the extreme inversion of form and formlessness through a parallel portrayal of protagonist and void Kahini chooses to charter new territory, appropriating its stimulating dynamism for her self. Metamorphosis, Awareness, Blood, carry the stamp of myth, dream, scorcery, the encountering of contrastive layers of the self, environment and psyche. Kahini’s search is for the mythic mean, for a world courageous enough to recognise its masks and deal with them. The large abstract oils rendered in fine translucent layers of earthy tones hold a compositional sweep and equilibrium that include a potency of organic elements. They seem curiously on the verge of releasing forms from their underbelly. As far as the figuration goes the strong, largely female protagonists remain focal in a flowing quasi-abstract ground. As against the artist’s earlier work these nayikas now seem far more questioning, magical, strong and quite self-aware with an inner empowerment that gives them the play of space and time. Self-absorbed sorceresses, they display a detached, idealised imagery that refers to classical European figuration while holding the still meditative stance and jewel tonality of Indian miniatures. Metamorphosis I, Blood, Awareness III, Pretence II, and the large abstract canvases mark the path of a journey begun. Searching, mapping the secret pathways within Kahini has set herself new challenges. Her protagonists track spaces of renewal, shed old skin in the simultaneity of dying and rebirthing themselves, warily examining the tempestuous void. Sumitra K Srinivasan, Mumbai, Dec 2001.


 
 
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