"The Sangha: A Creative Journey" an exhibition of bronze sculptures by Shakti Maira at Main Building, IIC, Lodhi Estate > 11am-7pm on 24th February-2nd March 2012

shakti maira sculptures

Time : 11:00 am - 7:00 pm0

Entry : Free (Seating on First-Come First-Served basis)
Note : Call 011-24619431 ( IIC ) to re-confirm any last minute change or cancellation of the event.

Place :   Main Art Gallery, Second Floor, New Conference Block, Main Building, India International Centre ( IIC ), 40 Max Muller Marg, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi-110003
Venue Info : Events | About | Map | Nearest Metro Stations - 'Khan Market(Vilolet Line)' & 'Jor Bagh(Yellow Line)'
Area : Lodhi Road Area Events

Event Details : ‘The Sangha: A Creative Journey’ an exhibition by Shakti Maira.
This exhibition is centered on the Sangha, a group of 12 life-sized bronze sculptures, and also brings together some of the work done by the artist and sculptor Shakti Maira over a period of 20 years. These include drawings, prints, paintings, screens, maquettes and sculptures, in stoneware, plaster and bronze, that were part of the creative journey that led to the creation of the Sangha.
At the new Main Art Gallery at the India International Centre, New Delhi, to show the Sangha in its full artistic context, a selection of work has been collated from some of the series Shakti Maira has made since 1989, the year to which can be traced the beginning of the form that would eventually become the Sangha. These works have been grouped, in a loose, chronological circle, radiating out like spokes of a wheel, around the Sangha, which forms the hub.
The Sangha group pivots around a pair of joint figures, and on a moment when a word spoken by one of them reaches the ear of the other. The other 10 figures are gathered around this central pair and seem oriented to that delicate moment, as they listen in, and respond to what has been said with a range of movements and expressions – of concentration, delight, contemplation, devotion, rapture, laughter – all stages and experiences that occur during a spiritual journey.
The Sangha sculptures and the associated body of work in this exhibition are an expression of a concept and a creative idea whose strands have been brought together to show the kind of journey artistic ideas and concepts can make, and to share with art lovers how these ideas form, how they might mutate and crystallize in a variety of materials, forms, lines and colours, leading to a garland of creative art.
The concept that led to the Sangha had to do with the purpose of art and of the artist’s intention: that art should uplift and transform both the artist and the viewer through an integrated engagement of the senses, the emotions, and the mind. The idea behind the Sangha was of giving a palpable artistic form to spiritual seeking – the quest, the journey, the signposts. Over the years, this idea has been expressed in a variety of art, which started in painting, then went into sculpture, printmaking, and a diversity of forms and materials that creatively explored the boundaries between painting and sculpture, and between two- and three-dimensionality in art making.
There are many spiritual paths, and each individual forges his or her own way into the deep terrain of spirituality. In Shakti Maira’s journey, Buddhism has been a strong inspiration, and indications of this manifest in the visual forms that appear in his work – monks, robes, caves, the stupa, the alms bowl, the path.
Shakti Maira’s work has often been categorized as ‘spiritual’. When he was living in the USA (from 1979 to 2000), his work was described by Sam Bercholz, the publisher of Shambhala Publications, as the “best dharma art (i.e. expressing the essence of Buddhist teachings)…by any contemporary artist”.
The philosopher Ken Wilber wrote, “To integrate spirit and matter in an aesthetic presentation that opens the viewer to an integral moment is remarkable enough. But what is truly astonishing about Shakti’s work is the depth to which that intention is realised. Shakti is the finest integral artist now working in the fields of painting and sculpture.”
When asked about this, Shakti clarifies, “I am not drawn to religious beliefs or prayer and my art has never been about religious subjects. I am wary of all forms of self-conscious spirituality, traditional or new age, and the art associated with them. My art is very simply about the concerns I have at that time, and it has always been ‘realistic’. I have made art about the real world as I experience it. A world that is filled with the tangible physical, what I can see with my eyes, and the tangible mental: feelings, thoughts and ideas. I have found it difficult to get excited about the materialistic concepts of Modern Art, where the art object is a reality unto itself – ‘art for art’s sake’. To me, art has always been a medium of communication. Though Abstract Art has sometimes powerfully communicated with the senses and the spirit, it has usually neglected emotions and cognitive thought. Nor have I been much enthused by Conceptual Art. It seems too cerebral, often ignores the senses, and minimises emotions.
“I also find it difficult to take too seriously the art practices these days that are so substantially swayed by the agendas of marketing, investment and conspicuous consumption. Many artists don’t make much themselves, and a whole generation of art school students never even had to learn to draw. For me, however, working with my hands is necessary. I think it imbues my art with a certain subtle quality that would not be possible otherwise. In any case making bronze sculptures using the lost wax process is a slow and tedious process, and the making of the Sangha took 18 months.”

About Shakti Maira : Shakti Maira is an artist, sculptor and printmaker. He has had 25 one-person shows, the first of which was in 1973 in Mumbai. Since then, his work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Boston, Paris, New York, Washington, D.C., Manchester, Concord, Henniker, Hollis, Acton, Portland, Newport, Portsmouth, Santa Fe, Cambridge, Rotterdam, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, and New Delhi.
Shakti Maira’s work is in the National Gallery of Modern Art in India, and in private collections around the world.
He has also been engaged in children’s education and development through art, and has conducted numerous workshops in schools in the US and India. In 2005 he helped organize the Learning through the Arts in Asia symposium in New Delhi, and was invited by UNESCO to formulate the Asian Vision of Arts in Education: Learning through the Arts.
He has written extensively on art, aesthetics, education and culture. In 2006, his book Towards Ananda: Rethinking Indian Art and Aesthetics was published by Penguin/Viking, which has developed a following around the world for pulling art out of its modern confusions and reconnecting it with everyday life and living.
He is a public speaker on contemporary issues in aesthetics, beauty, art and culture in India and abroad. He was invited to speak on art and aesthetics at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2011. He has recently been engaging in a series of dialogues on beauty with scientists, philosophers and environmentalists, and is co-organizer of an international conference, The End of Art, and The Promise of Beauty, in February 2012.
Website : www.shaktimaira.com

Related Events : Sculpture Exhibitions | Exhibitions
"The Sangha: A Creative Journey" an exhibition of bronze sculptures by Shakti Maira at Main Building, IIC, Lodhi Estate > 11am-7pm on 24th February-2nd March 2012 "The Sangha: A Creative Journey" an exhibition of bronze sculptures by Shakti Maira at Main Building, IIC, Lodhi Estate > 11am-7pm on 24th February-2nd March 2012 Reviewed by DelhiEvents on Friday, March 02, 2012 Rating: 5

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