All is Not Lost 20:20:20 at the Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai is a valiant response to the worldwide crisis where 20 artists survive and try to forge their way forward.
Al Qawi Al-Qawi Tazal Nanavati, A Letter to my Mother – Unfinished Conversations, Watercolour Screenprint and Embroidery on Linen Dyed with Onion Skin Dye, 48ʺ x 38ʺ, 2020. All Images are Courtesy of the Artists, Sakshi Gallery and Space 118.
In the carefully curated show at the Sakshi Gallery in Mumbai, that is on display till the 28th of November, curator Saloni Doshi brings together an intricate exposition of works interconnected. She doesn’t simply arrive at a point where art survives the pandemic, where retaliation meets true effort on the face of a terrorising blow to the industry. But was rather keen to showcase it as a powerful reaction. Doshi wants her audience to believe in the vitality of art and how one uses it to fight against the most brutal of enemies, even a virus.
Chinmoyi Patel Chinmoyi Patel, Constructions (Arc), Found concrete, foam, cloth, football, thread, 31ʺ x 19ʺ x 31ʺ, 2020. All Images are Courtesy of the Artists, Sakshi Gallery and Space 118.
There is hope, and then there is the working towards it. As the curator allows the participating 20 artists to come out of their rooms and showcase their artworks, designs, sculptures and such, she willingly takes them out of their studios and gives their pieces room for breathability, and attention. Doshi was at her most sensible when she told us how she ‘felt more like a mentor than a curator’. ‘I’m no more than a patron and a collector. When I started 20.20.20 as this Instagram series, I wasn’t thinking ahead into an exhibition which would turn these artists’ lives around. These artists were on different wave lengths, didn’t know where their work or life was going, and most of them were elated to have been recognised on such a level let alone their works being sold. It’s a journey, really. I remember telling them that “all is not lost” and there is hope when the pandemic was at its most brutal and that’s how the title came to stick, you know,’ she said.
Soham Gupta Soham Gupta (17 works), Eden Series, Archival Pigment Prints, 18ʺ x 12ʺ, Edition of 7 + 2AP,2019–2020. All Images are Courtesy of the Artists, Sakshi Gallery and Space 118.
Visitors to the gallery are in for an experience, as these 20 artists give it their all to produce an elementary taste of their work. From Soham Gupta’s collage of monochromatic photographs of an almost abandoned town titled Eden Series, to Tarini Sethi’s incomprehensibly exquisite piece The Waiting Game; from clay and concrete sculptures and Chinmoyi Patel’s Constructions (Arc) – a contemporary piece doused in eye candy abstraction, to Teja Gavankar’s untitled collection of ten minimalist pieces ambiguously celebrating the artistic process – All is Not Lost 20:20:20 is art at its most rudimentary level. And put together, it is a war cry.
Teja Gavankar Teja Mahendra Gavankar, Sphere 5, Brick and construction material, 21ʺ x 15.5ʺx 9ʺ, 2020. All Images are Courtesy of the Artists, Sakshi Gallery and Space 118.
The initiatives by Space 118 and Sakshi Gallery and Doshi’s own curatorial drive come at a time in the year when we embrace the words ‘Support the Arts and Support the Artists for they need it more than ever’. Today, we understand how vital curators and patrons are to the industry, as they provide further impetus to great works of art and to the many, many up and coming artists everywhere.
Mayur B. Hatibaruah is a young and upcoming writer from Guwahati.
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