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Anglo-Indian Express - Grosvenor Gallery

Exhibition preview

GROSVENOR Gallery is presenting Anglo-Indian Express, an exhibition showcasing both gallery artists and invited U.K. based artists with works relating to the Indian sub-contintent – from December 10 to December 22, 2009.

Anglo-Indian is the term used to represent those who have mixed Indian and British ancestry, and Express means to show, manifest, or reveal or represent oneself. It can also be used for travel, or a direct journey. Many of the chosen artists in this show find themselves a part of this, making them a part of both countries, which is evident in their work.

Dilip Sur, for example, a trained painter and sculptor born in West Bengal, India now teaches at the Royal College of Art, London. His paintings capture a psychological state of human beings and the constant flux they undergo or the reverie the human mind is absorbed in.

Sensual, spectral figures haunt Nicola Durvasula’s drawings. Working in gouache and pencil on paper, Durvasula brings together a range of references, from 18th-century engraving to contemporary fashion to the Kama Sutra. Her works share a dream-like quality, the empty spaces within them forming a potent ether out of which arise sharply defined details.

Often listed as an Indian/U.K. artist, Angeli Sowani was born in 1959 in New Delhi into a multicultural family. With an English mother and an Indian father she was raised in Agra before moving to live in Nepal, Thailand, Hong Kong and England, each move presenting her with new forms of inspiration. More recently, her works have been influenced by her move to the U.K. and a change in tone and colour are visibly noticeable in her works and the vibrancy and heat of the orient have been softened.

Balraj Khanna completed his MA at Punjab University before moving to England in 1960. Khanna’s work was featured in numerous exhibitions including How to Improve the World – 60 Years of British Art, at the Hayward Gallery, in 2006.

Paul Gopal-Chowdhury was born in India in 1949 but has made London his home and has been painting and exhibiting here since 1971.

Sculptor Dhruva Mistry now lives in Baroda but spent his formative years in the U.K. as is apparent by the number of public commissions he has done, notably the one outside Birmingham’s City Hall.

Timothy Hyman taught at Baroda and has exhibited in India. He is also recognized as a leading expert on Indian painting especially with his close ties to the late Bhupen Khakkhar.

Shanti is an Indian painter who has exhibited widely in the U.K. and abroad. His work is held in private collections as well as the British Museum and the Arts Council. His watercolours glow in the most vibrant colours and the themes of Shanti’s paintings are close to the traditions of his native India, yet he has a modern approach.

Also included within this exhibition will be some works by the late Francis Newton Souza whose work professed the universal over the national, crossed borders as he lived in self-imposed exile in London and then New York, and yet eventually moved back and died in his native land; and Avinash Chandra, who was born shortly after Souza and followed a similar path.

Chandra was born and studied in India, but feeling dissatisfied and limited by the artistic scope in Delhi, left and moved to the U.K. His initial trapped feelings brought on by colonialism, soon vanished as he became the first Indian British artist to exhibit at the Tate Gallery.

These artists are often caught between two worlds and in some form begin to slowly make clarity of it through their work, as they choose to voice it through a medium of their choice.

Other artists exhibiting include Shibu Natesan.

Times: Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5:30pm.

Grosvenor Gallery, 21 Ryder Street, London, SW1Y 6PX

Tel: 020 7484 7979