Contemporary Art Exhibition
Innovative Vibes - II (2020)
(Curated by NAUSHAD H GAYOOR & JEETIN RANGHER)
By: Dr. Wasim Mushtaq
“The current spiritual crisis has globally been recognized. There is an air of dissatisfaction and unrest. I believe only artists can truly spread the message of love and universal brotherhood, as it has been universally accepted that the libido derived out of looking at an object of art is no less than spiritual experience. I am sure this kind of an effort will go a long way in bringing about an atmosphere of love and tranquility which is so badly needed in present day society.” Gayoor Hassan (1939-2013)
Kashmir has been a favorite destination for artists across India. In the mid twentieth century S. H. Raza’s frequent sojourns in Kashmir and later Ghulam Rasool Santosh’s idea to host Art Camps brought some of the reputed modern artists in direct contact with the aspiring local artists. These early interactions shaped the course of modern art practices of local Kashmiri artists.
Post 1989, the deadliest years in the history of Kashmir, had a drastic impact on the social and cultural sphere of life. The local artists either hibernated or maintained a somewhat solitary engagement with their works. The Institute of music and Fine Arts, which served as the only available pretext for local artists to meet and exchange ideas, was rarely seen busy with students. Unlike other institutions of learning it is more difficult to recall the existence of an art college aimed at training students in the spirit of modernist experimentation and innovation. During the first decade of militancy the Valley experienced the greatest human loss, displacement of Kashmiri Hindus and a near-absolute disconnection with the rest of the world.
Innovative Vibes – II 2020 is dedicated to the memory and sixth anniversary of Gayoor Hassan. Hassan’s contribution to the development of modern art in Kashmir, both as an artist and academician, is insurmountable. He took the charge as principal of Institute of Music and Fine Art when the Valley was witnessing the worst period of violence. It is difficult to imagine a functional art institute in the midst of insurgency. His contribution lies in his unflinching and unwavering determination to run the art institute and the ability to maintain a prolific artistic engagement.
As an artist Hassan’s major preoccupation has been to develop a visual imagery evoking universal expressions of peace, meditation and tranquility. The aesthetic concerns that was so crucial in the wake of the turmoil then as it is relevant to the present troubledtimes.
The Innovative Vibes – II 2020 being organized at Artspace, Ajitgarh, Mohali is a follow up of the Innovative Vibes – I that was a great success. The exhibition boosts a myriad collection of artists from across the country. The participation of 141 artists will make it a mega show displaying a great variety of aesthetic paradigms.
The writer is Associate Professor, Department of Fine Arts, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, UP.