Jhaveri Contemporary Moves to a New Space in Colaba
After eight years in Malabar Hill, Jhaveri Contemporary relocates to Colaba, closer to the unofficial art district of Mumbai. It becomes the first gallery to take residence at Colaba’s Devidas Mansion. It uses this occasion to ask: How does art simultaneously resurrect, invoke and deny location when that location is as multifarious as Mumbai?
The new space is three times as big as its former home, and features plenty of natural light, exposed concrete walls and tall beams. The two charming balconies overlook the Gateway of India and the Arabian Sea.
Fittingly, it opens with a group show that brings together a host of artists they’ve worked with over the course of the last eight years. Rana Begum’s tonal works riff on a colourful vision of Bombay. Prem Sahib brings “orphaned urban artefacts” like neon signs into the gallery. Nalini Malani’s animation, Now I see it now I don’t, offers a fleeting glimpse of the Gateway of India. The show borrows its name from Yamini Nayar’s print What’s Essential. It features a diverse group of objects – both totemic and decorative, of value and otherwise – which nudge the viewer to think about incongruity and friction.
We couldn’t help but lean towards the works of Lionel Wendt and Vasantha Yoganathan, both of whom celebrate the sea in all its glory. The former captures its colonial avatar, while the latter offers a contemporary vision, wherein its sight and swells are in dialogue with its people – engaging with fishermen, ferrymen, dock workers and onlookers alike.
Visit Jhaveri Contemporary, What’s Essential is on till 29 September, 2018