Friday, September 5, 2008

Indian Focus

On view through September 30 at the Espace Claude Berri, is a small exhibition of five contemporary artists from India. The work comes from Berri's (French film producer/director/art collector), vast private collection. Subodh Gupta and Rina Banjeree are two of the better known artists in the show, both represented by interesting wall sculpture and paintings; but the highlight of the show is Hema Upadhyay, a young artist who lives in Bombay (otherwise known as Mumbai). She has created a vast floor sculpture titled, "Dream a wish, wish a dream," which looks like a replica of the "suburbs" or really, slums that are scattered around many large cities in India and other developing countries. A Brazilian favela could also be referenced. Undulating hills of tiny houses fashioned out of painted corrugated metal are placed one next to the other in a horror vacui of modern day urban decay. But the piece is also beautiful--the colors and details are incredible and it elicits that fascination-shock value that one can perhaps feel upon viewing images of these neighborhoods. It's certainly also a reminder of the failure of urban planning for the poor and the unhealthy conditions where far too many of the world's population are still living.

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