Art Dubai 2022: Ranbir Kaleka: Fear of a New Dawn

9 - 13 March 2022

Vadehra Art Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in the upcoming edition of Art Dubai 2022, with a presentation titled Fear of a New Dawn by artist Ranbir Kaleka from 9th to 13th March 2022 featuring a canvases created by a combination staged and accessed photographs, with passages painted in oil, along with an immersive video installation. 

 

Multi-media artist Ranbir Kaleka navigates psychosocial thresholds as non-binary possibilities, meaning he acknowledges, even inserts liminal experiences by way of movement across time and communities, histories and identities into his complexly layered compositions. He narrates the reactionary underbelly of choices and impact, both individual and collective, as seen through well-developed, representational characters investigating macro-factors like political unrest, climate change, economic inequality and other social realities. Bringing to bear his proto-cinematic practice, Kaleka often reflects on present times haunted by the stubborn after-images thrown up by fear and violence, blurring the borders between the conscious and the subconscious, and the self and the Other — the one that is excluded, jettisoned — which returns, in an act of resistance, to confront what it was othered from. 

 

Fear of a New Dawn is a sombre body of work that recalibrates narratives of intersectionality, reframing globalized pictures in the context of the average Asian Joe. Since Kaleka’s symbolic arrangements create an atmospheric, sensory overload catering to an overlap of all our disparate but inter-connected experiences, his politics infuses with the psychology of his abject but resolutely present, often solitary, figures, who strive to fully occupy their frames. Despite the fears and uncertainties concerning the future, Kaleka reveals hope as a mode of survival even in pockets of intense disharmony. 

 

To view the show virtually, please visit our website www.vadehraart.com. An e-catalogue is also available on request. For all inquiries, please write to art@vadehraart.com. 

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST 

Born in 1953, multi-media artist Ranbir Kaleka studied at the College of Art, Chandigarh, and the Royal College of Art, London. Initially trained as a painter, Kaleka’s integrative work has increasingly animated two-dimensional canvases within experimental film narrative sequences as well as explored immersive, large-scale video installations. 

 

Kaleka has participated in exhibitions across a range of major galleries and museums around the world. Some of his recent shows include Goethe Institut Max Mueller, Mumbai (2022); Palazzo Madama, Turin, Italy (2021–2022); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi (2021); Hong-gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2021); Gallery Ojas, Delhi (2021); Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2021); Vancouver Art Gallery (2020); India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (2020); the Fotofest 2018 Biennial, Houston, Texas (2018); and Asia Contemporary Art Week, Dubai (2018), among others. He has also exhibited at Volte Gallery, Mumbai (2012); Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2012); 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2011); Singapore Art Museum (2011); Prague Biennale 5 (2011); Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2011); MOCA Taipei, Taiwan (2010); SESC Pompeia, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2010); Bose Pacia Gallery, New York (2009, 2008, 2005); Mori Art Museum, Japan (2008); Sydney Biennale (2008); Museum of Fine Arts, Bern, Switzerland (2007); Spertus Museum, Chicago (2007); the 51st Venice Biennale (2005); and Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria (2002), to name a few. 

 

In 2007, Dr Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek, senior Judaica curator at the Spertus Museum in Chicago commissioned Kaleka to create a Holocaust memorial. The site-specific video installation is titled Consider, and consists of two projections – a painting and an audio narrative of oral testimony from Auschwitz. Kaleka was awarded the National Award by the President of India at the 22nd National Exhibition of Art organized by the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1979 in Delhi. His work is in several important collections, including the Singapore Museum; Asia Society New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Peabody Essex, MA; Burger Collection, Switzerland; and the National Museum of Montenegro. The artist lives and works in New Delhi. 

 

ABOUT THE GALLERY 

Representing a roster of artists across four generations, Vadehra Art Gallery was established in 1987 with a passion to pioneer Indian art as a conduit of cultural celebration, intellect and value in the public milieu. A confidante to art history and a paladin to contemporary art, the gallery supports a vibrant and flourishing ecosystem that at its center heroes the artist and their work. Modern masters like M.F. Husain, Ram Kumar, S.H. Raza and Tyeb Mehta find prime spot in the gallery’s calendar alongside the subsequent generation of modernists like Arpita Singh, A. Ramachandran, Nalini Malani, Gulammohammed Sheikh and Rameshwar Broota. The gallery’s expansive contemporary programme includes some of the most exciting names in Indian art such as Atul Dodiya, Shilpa Gupta, Anju Dodiya, N.S. Harsha and Sunil Gupta, as well as young emerging talent like Sachin George Sebastian, Shrimanti Saha and Shailesh B.R. Vadehra Art Gallery’s active and comprehensive programming takes the form of carefully curated and frequent exhibitions at two prominent locations in Delhi, alongside art events, engaging conversations and a growing digital platform, including virtual exhibitions and an online shop.

 

With a maturing global presence, the gallery continues to present curated projects at prestigious art fairs across the world, including the Frieze fairs in London and New York, and Art Basel in Basel and Hong Kong, among others. As a key artistic interlocutor to regional and international audiences, the gallery ventured into publishing in 1996, finding a crucial need for adequate documentation, critical writing, and quality reproduction of images in Indian art. Over the last two decades, the gallery has published several books and monographs in collaboration with major publishing houses like Penguin and Prestel, as well as hundreds of illustrated exhibition catalogues, in addition to contemporaneously producing literature on ongoing exhibitions and artist projects.