By Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Kochi Muziris Biennale
Kochi Muziris Biennale (KMB) is one of India’s premier international art festival. Its quality, diversity, universality and strong local roots have given it a unique identity and position amongst the world’s most popular biennales.
Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation’s multi-level engagement with KMB began with the first edition in 2012-2013, extending from Gitanjali Maini’s role as promoter of gallery g, to working individually with many of the Biennale’s participating artists, including the co-founders themselves, Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu.
"Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation has been our staunch supporter since the inception of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. They have offered their constant and unwavering support over the years."
Bose Krishnamachari, Artist, Curator & Co-Founder of KMB.
"It is not just support that is extended towards the realisation of our exhibition, but SGMF has also helped us in various other ways, be it the publication of our catalogue, supporting several of our artists by way of exhibitions and solo shows, promoting our various verticals, and also providing us with a buggy service to ferry visitors from venue to venue for the duration of the Biennale." - Bose Krishnamachari
Stretched Bodies (2017) by Bose KrishnamachariSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Following an accident many years ago, Bose Krishnamachari says he had visions of these colours and forms during his comatose state. He has made it his USP and continued to paint in this style ever since.
Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation, in associating with gallery g, have patronised the artist for several years now and have successfully placed his works in many prestigious collections. In 2018 gallery g conducted a show of his work and sold more than 16 pieces to collectors.
"It’s been inspiring to be associated with SGMF. As an art patron, their support for young artists and their association with the legacy of Raja Ravi Varma has translated into many unique projects. More power to them." Riyas Komu, artist, curator & Co-Founder of KMB.
"I’m interested in finding new platforms for art to exist, which makes opportunities for artists to survive, because India is a very difficult place for artists to survive financially. They don’t get enough opportunities to exhibit their work or sell their work." - Riyas Komu.
Portrait of a Girl (2017) by Riyas KomuSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Considered one of India's most brilliant artistic minds, SGMF's Gitanjali Maini has collected a large number of Komu's work. She also commissioned him to curate the art for an extremely high-end luxury hotel property in Bangalore.
The artist's work is often complex, yet unseemingly simple. He paints in different styles; in this portrait of a young girl Komu has used realism. His portraits have a photographic nature to them, he captures the expression in his subject's eyes brilliantly.
The slight blur, intentionally created, is used to drive home the message that 'what you see is not always what you get.' He choses to speak his mind with his brush, his thoughts are deep and often political. He is considered one of the best political satirists in India.
Modern Maps (2020) by Saju KunhanSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Modern Maps by Saju Kunhan
His geographically-driven thought process was spotted by KMB co-founder Riyas Komu sometime in 2014. Since then he has attempted to showcase Saju Kunhan's 'Modern Maps' through several projects that he has been associated with.
A map is a representation of the physical geography of the earth. In this work he has attempted to capture Bangalore's modernity, showing hints of its glorious past through the fortress-like representation of its boundaries and hundreds of soldiers guarding it.
The artist works with reclaimed teak wood and uses a process called vinyl photo transfer onto a finished panel of wood. Here he has used a Google Map image of Bangalore city, and transferred it onto 12 wood panels, each a 3 foot square.
Artworks Project Video (2019-05) by SGMF/gallery gSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Saju Kunhan's Maps on Display
The artist's work on display at the lobby hotel of a luxury hotel in Bengaluru.
T R Upendranath: An artist known to both Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu, his work was exhibited at the 2012 edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale. He was later introduced to Gitanjali Maini who conducted shows of his work at her gallery and went on to include his work in several private commercial projects in Bangalore.
Dark Secrets (2020) by UpendranathSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
“There is a method in his madness”- Polonius (Hamlet Act II, scene II)
T R Upendranath's painting exemplify a methodical madness to his work. Perhaps stemming from the fact that he has no formal education in art, he tends to examine everything around him in fragments.
"There is an architecture worldwide of humans who have been pushed to the margins. This is experienced as a meta-narrative and invite us to consider the outstanding problems facing humankind today," explains the artist as he tries to deconstruct his abstract cityscapes for us.
Rising Towers (2020) by UpendranathSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
There are two worlds in Upendranath’s works; one, a world that is closed therefore claustrophobic, and another with flexible boundaries. Both are inhabited by the silhouettes of certain characters created by the artist.
Jagadeesh Tammineni: Known for his wood-cut work on Mahatma Gandhi titled "Birth of a Nation I', the artist's thoughts are deep and profound, translating clearly on his medium. He prefers creating art from wood cut prints on paper. Tammineni's work has been incorporated into a hotel property in Bangalore for which the art was curated by Gitanjali Maini's gallery g.
Light of Life
Jagadeesh Tammineni showcases his labour intensive and highly intricate process of making a wood cut print.
Chandelier in full glory (2020) by Jagadeesh TammineniSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
The finished print sized 24 inches by 36 inches. It takes the artist 6 to 7 days of constant work to finish one print of this size.
Lasting Impression (2020) by Jagadeesh TammineniSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
The finished print sized 30 inches by 42 inches. Tammineni takes more than 10 days to complete one work of this size and with this level of detailing.
P K Sadaanandan's 'live' mural was the star feature at the 2016 Kochi Muziris Biennale. The completed work now finds a place of pride at Cochin International Airport. The artist was introduced to SGMF by Bose Krishnamachari and is the recipient of a grant from the Foundation.
Taamara - Krishna Leela (2020) by P K SadanandanSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Kerala Murals by P K Sadaanandan
PK Sadaanandan's mural at the 2016 edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale featured icons and narratives inspired by mythology, encased within natural elements and organic world. This was a 'live' mural that the artist created across the 4 months of the Biennale.
A video explaining why P K Sadaanandan prefers to work with natural colours instead of synthetic paint.
Taamara - Nature & Purity (2020) by P K SadanandanSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
In 2020 he received a grant from the Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation to create a new series of work titled 'Taamara: The Genesis of Nature'. The artist created 11 works on different medium varying from canvas, paper to wooden board.
The artist took only 6 months to create this elaborate body of work, ranging in sizes from as small as 24 by 36 inches to as elaborate as 60 by 84 inches. This was the first time the artist had shown his work in Bangalore.
Sumedh Rajendran: A participant at the 2012-13 edition of Kochi Muziris Biennale, the artist was part of a project by gallery g that was curated by Riyas Komu. Four of Rajendran's works have been purchased by Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation and housed in this project.
Man vs Animal - Encroachment (2020) by Sumedh RajendranSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
The artist is known for exploring the possibilities of sculptural experiments with industrial materials such as tin sheets, cans, rubber, cement, concrete, steel and other materials, while giving them an aesthetic value.
A short video interview done by Art Live Magazine with artist Sumedh Rajendran where he explains his work on display - charcoal on wall.
Man vs Animal - Law of the Land (2020) by Sumedh RajendranSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Intruding On His Turf
Sumedh's ouvre has redefined and relocated sculptural practice and has brought back the attention on its contemporary relevance in Indian art. His works are characterised by composite bodies, rustic layers, and graphic postures evoking turbulent social and political situations.
Artworks Project Video (2019-05) by SGMF/gallery gSandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Sumedh Rajendran's Mixed Media Installations
The artist's work on display in the public spaces of a luxury hotel in Bengaluru.
Information: Sandeep & Gitanjali Maini Foundation
Images: gallery g archives
Acknowledgment: Bose Krishnamachari & Riyas Komu
Special thanks: www.kochimuzirisbiennale.org
Disclaimer: Copyright of works showcased in this exhibit belong to each individual artist and to a private collection