24 November 2016 – 19 February 2017
Opening Wednesday 23 November 6 – 8.30pm
Prabhakar Barwe, Tom Chamberlain, Shezad Dawood, Nicola Durvasula, Alexander Gorlizki, Goutam Ghosh, Prafulla Mohanti, Jean-Luc Moulène, Anthony Pearson, Sohan Qadri, Prem Sahib, G.R. Santosh, Richard Tuttle, Acharya Vyakul and Claudia Wieser
An exhibition exploring Tantric drawings as sites of transformation, including artworks by contemporary artists and those from the Indian Neo-Tantra movement (1960s – 80s) alongside anonymous Tantric drawings.
Famously introduced to the West by Ajit Mookerjee in his seminal 1967 Tantra Art, Tantric drawings have an unwritten history that is explored here for the first time. A complex body of beliefs and practices, Tantra enables individuals to conjoin with cosmic forces and inhabit alternative dimensions. Omnipresent to those that are attuned, there are tools that facilitate tantric transcendence: rituals, sculptures, drawings, maps, and chants, to name but a few. At different times, in different places, and in different ways, artists have taken up elements of Tantra and adapted or incorporated them into works of contemporary abstraction. Art historians and art dealers have been responsible for categorising and defining Tantric drawings in the west; this exhibition presents artworks, in a range of media, that suggest a range of alternative perspectives.
The exhibition is curated by Rebecca Heald with Amrita Jhaveri. A first iteration of the exhibition was at Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, in early 2015. Rebecca Heald is an independent curator and consultant, and currently Tutor in Curatorial Practice at the Royal College of Art.
A research paper will be published to coincide with the exhibition. This will include essays by the curator Rebecca Heald, the artist Shezad Dawood, Dr Kaustubh Das (Researching scholar on religious study at Centre for Social Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India) and Dr Virginia Whiles (art historian, critic and curator specialising in contemporary Pakistani art).