Contemporary – the word retains its relevance through every era in history. The spatial-temporal context of the subjects being dealt with, distinguishes contemporary art from the art of by-gone eras. Though it gives us an impression that the art of the present context is being termed as Contemporary Art – well it could be the other name for Modern Art, yet ‘contemporary’ in art can always be something present in any conjuncture of history as per its own application and pertinence. But when we are talking of the present times, we are in a way attempting to come to a specific approach and understanding of Contemporary Art. In doing so what we land up to is that the concept contemporary is not purely geographical, doesn’t simply mean mechanization, it is not fashion, not even materialism and not a theory of social reconstruction. It cannot even circumscribe what is exists in the present. Contemporary in art, literature or other creative endeavours is therefore, a teasing proposition and provokes a gamut of varied reactions.
The eighth edition of GenNext welcomes you all to explore and interact with the variable aspects of contemporary art being presented by a group of fifteen young creative minds. They are stunningly proactive to set a mental environment through the discourse in their artworks, both in terms of content and execution. The current edition of GenNext is even more significant because of its collaboration with the Bachhawat Foundation and KHOJ- Kolkata which will select two GenNext artists for a residency program after the conclusion of the GenNext exhibition.
GenNext artists this year have particularly devised contemporary art in quite an experimental way, incorporating innovations in conventions. Fabric, thread and pipe stitched on canvas on one hand make Arpita Dey’s artwork invoke the restlessness of time, more so a rebel within the patch of blue female attire on the central top of the canvas, on the other hand the installation with wire mesh “Let’s play anything except hide & seek” creates the pun for endangered existence on the whole. Ishita Chakraborty is bold enough to use gross elements of Eros and Thanatos in her non-conventional paintings titled “Enslaved” and “Heart-store” bearing strong installation attributes. The minimal use of colour, contours and playing around with white subtly to create space for thought has been extremely done well by this young painter. Ankur Khare is also attracted by fabric and makes an abundant use of the material along with leather to express “Mixed Emotions” in his work of art.
A little conventional though in the process of treatment, Krupa Makhija expresses turmoil and tragedy of time in mixed media on canvas. Mansi Trivedi works in mixed media on plywood and on rice paper to bring out the sense of loss and reminiscence. Neha Thakar takes us deep into the environmental cause through her archival prints “Drawing on Ice” and Sonal Varshneya explores another aspect of nature – “Shakti” and the craving for that eternal power in her work “Shakti-Lalsa”, in colograph. Touhin Hasan in his series “Mustafa’s dream and conflict” also attempts to deliver personal anecdote stitched within the framework of universal realities of desire and delusion in an apt and contemporary pattern through the use of third generation of computer graphics.
Ravi Prakash’s sculpture in metal wire and wood “Discipline paves way to freedom” on one hand bears installation-quality and on the other dissipates the message of freedom through harmony on a universal basis. S Malsa Lakshmi Sanadheera uses pencil, acrylic and glassmaker on canvas with thick shades of colour and mythological content, where as Sayak Mitra makes the similar kind of treatment in acrylic on canvas keeping more relevance with the contemporaneity of the present context. Ceramic sculpture is also a new addition to this edition of GenNext and Sarban Chowdhury creates in sharp contrast of thematic disposition – the two works, “Frolic” and “Overdose”. “An Art of the Tattered Time” in Indian fabric is what Siraj Saxena has narrated - the critical crisis of a creative persona vis-à-vis the agony of contemporary condition and history. Making it more direct a satire, Saptarshi Das has created “Born in WASTE-Bengal (Self Portrait) with discarded plastic objects on plywood reminding us of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” quite apt of the present socio-political situation of the state to which Saptarshi belongs. A much rhythmic pangs of the plight can be deciphered in Sandeep Suneriya’s Etching, “My Journey” where agony and ecstasy get merged into each other probably eliciting the fundamental truth about life which is a combination of happiness and sorrows.
The exemplary exhibition of Aakriti Art Gallery, GenNext VIII is going to be a pulsating experience for the global viewers in the national capital of the country bringing together a wide range of what we all love to define as Contemporary Art, yet bearing the true essence of its plural nature - multiplicity of experimentation and divergence of thoughts and innovations. Redefining new generation art has been the primary focus of the GenNext exhibitions in all these years and it continues with its promise to maintain the unparallel endeavour to support young artists with a platform to experiment and perform in art with optimum facilities also in the years to come.