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Shows Detail

Shows organized by Dot Line Space


  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 26th February to 10th April 2022 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
'The Nagas' are a select series of photographs from Pablo Bartholomew's monumental visual records of the Naga people. His documentation of these various tribes spreading across the Northeast of India reveals anthropological narratives of traditions entrenched and in flux.

Intrigued by his father's personal accounts about the generosity of these ferocious head hunting tribes who helped him and other Burmese refugees to escape the advancing Japanese during World War II, Bartholomew repeatedly visited these harsh terrains to capture the changing lives of these unique people and deeply question the idea of the savage animist. These visual chronicles reveal Bartholomew both as a witness and participant.

The beauty of the people, their myths, traditions, their exquisite ornamentation of both their own bodies and their homes are all eminently manifested in these photographs. With their mastery of wood carving and metalwork, the Nagas have created some of the most potent ritualistic art, for everyday life and for ceremony. The sculpted doors, carved poles and panels are dense with symbolism – the carved mithun horns, tigers, pythons, human-heads, monkeys all refer to parts of their lived experiences. The feathered headgear, beadwork necklaces, body tattoos, vivid colours and designs of textiles woven on back-strap looms too are not just functional or arbitrary decoration but codes embedded in the life stages of individuals and tribes.

The show is complemented by original pieces of Naga furniture, carved doors, jewellery and artefacts from The Great Eastern Home's, Byculla, Mumbai's collection. The presentation of the material objects of the Naga peoples alongside the photographs brings home the nuanced sophistication of these distinctive tribes.

Bartholomew, an independent photographer based in New Delhi, India, first learnt photography from watching his father, Richard Bartholomew, an art critic and photographer, work. He has won three World Press Photo awards, has received the Padma Shree award and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Since 1979 he has held over 30 solo exhibitions at galleries, museums, biennales, and photo festivals. His work is part of prominent collections worldwide.

Body Terrains

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 4th January to 24th January 2022 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
The artist Sunaina Bhalla presents a poignant and powerful exhibition to support all those going through breast cancer and fighting disease. She works internationally and collaboratively with Tapan Mittal-Deshpande, the Founder of Thotpot, a not-for-profit organisation which supports and works with communities and the arts, based in Mumbai and Uthra Rajgopal, a Curator, based in the UK. Collectively, Sunaina, Tapan and Uthra, along with the generous support of Nine Fish Gallery, have come together to present the inaugural exhibition of the initiative R.I.S.E, Resilient and Inspiring Stories of Empowerment which champions the holistic power of art to heal and bring us together.

The human body is in a constant cycle of repairing and regenerating. Our existence depends on it. When our bodies are attacked with a disease this cycle rapidly repeats. Yet simultaneously we are also slowly decaying. Although we know our physical presence is finite, we all have the instinct to survive.

This exhibition brings to the forefront the importance of these paradoxes. By reflecting on her own physical and emotional journey through breast cancer, Sunaina Bhalla draws on her autobiographical power of healing and the colours of Ayurvedic remedies. Handmade paper with golden turmeric hues creates a tensile strength, resembling taught skin, stretched over the surface of a light box. Like an x-ray image, we see fibrous thread-like structures and nerve endings pierced with needles, stitched in red and gold to signify the trauma and hope the body holds. Fragile, delicate lines hold their position like lightning bolts across the layers: the scars of time.

The process of suturing and piecing together our lives is captured in the collaborative quilt, hand-made by the women workforce of Thotpot Designed by Tapan Mittal-Deshpande and Sunaina Bhalla, this artwork, through its composition of colours, fabrics and stitches conveys the processes of protection, borne from resilient and inspiring stories of empowerment.

Known-Unknown & Unknown-Known

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 4th October to 17th October 2021 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
The conscious awareness of the presence and play of the material on created surfaces and yet an ambiguity regarding its identity and its value, is what this show explores. The final attempt of the entire act/practice is even more mysterious: the artist plays with the "Known" but the "Unknown" plays with the artist. The result is a process of visual language with added layers of depth, always moving towards a greater completion, and yet, still revelling in the unresolved.

From the beginnings of human history, the group, or the collective, has been the basic unit of much creativity. As opposed to the individual artist working out his/her own aesthetics, the coming together of a group with its shared commonality and pooling of minds, creates differently. This has led this group to slowly drop all individual forms and converge their practice within the pure world of the "Abstract". The formlessness, the meditative and the eternal aspect of abstraction, led to the name of the group – "TURYA".

The final attempt of the group, keeping true to its essence of inclusion and coming together, is to try and involve the viewer within the aesthetic vision of its art. Thus, the artists collectively explore the essence of an aesthetic with viewers in mind - in some sense trying to articulate a shared sensibility. This in itself is the 'Turya' process of creation.

The space of the canvas is slowly covered with lines, forms, and colours, individually by each artist, but drawing from, and adding to the collective energy while working in the same studio spaces, as well as in their own individual spaces too. What thus lies hovering in the abstract, becomes Absolute, and that in turn layers the artists' "exploration into unknown territory" can best be transcribed as the "Known-Unknown & Unknown-Known".

The Nail House

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 30th March to 15th April 2021 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
A nail house is a term that refers to homes where residents refuse to vacate and abandon their premises despite the pressure from builder sharks, thugs and corrupt officials. The guise of re-development, and the lure of a new square foot area, couples with coercion and intimidation. A loner, a family might dig their heels into their stand-alone and crumbling habitats. Eventually, time swallows the grit and determination to hold on….

Manohar Mhatre

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 7th Feb to 26th Feb 2020 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
The heavy presence of The Progressive Movement continues to live in and colour the minds of each of us in the art world in India. And it is usually presumed that while the legacy lives on, the artists have all gone. Thus it is all the more interesting that the one remaining artist of that set, Manohar Mhatre, now 89, is still living and practising. Chosen to have long self-marginalised himself, he is finally showing his works in a retrospective solo after decades!

A living chronicler of the times that formulated much of Indian contemporary art, a student of Gaitonde, and himself the professor of later abstractionists such as Prabhakar Kolte, Mhatre has been gently persuaded to bring forth and display 50 years of his works. To view his works at this show is to sense the links that have remained and continue to guide the history of Indian abstract painting. The intertextuality that his canvases exhibit - the deep influences of Gaitonde and the seeming arguments that Mhatre's paintings have with the earlier master's works, as well as the many different technical and philosophical paths that Mhatre takes them down - is a history in colour that no interested mind can afford to miss.

Some years younger that the heavy weights such as Gaitonde and Souza, Mhatre it seems was almost destined to carry the legacy of The Progressives on his lean, albeit talented, shoulders. He brings alive the world of Gaitonde and the sadly diffused world of legends like the great Ambadas and others, and his works clearly link them to the contemporary abstractionists. Coming to the show is like viewing the history of Indian abstract art.
  • Curated by Gourmoni Das

Not Allowed

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 14th Jan to 30th Jan 2020 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
Like sacred and secular spaces, areas on our globe are also divided between the those where we are 'allowed' and those we are 'not allowed'. More often than not we are 'prohibited' from entering certain spaces, specially the ones that are more interesting, that need to be recorded or photographed. Whenever you see the sing "Photography is Prohibited", do not click!

As a young visual artist taking on the task of curating Salamat's show - a show loaded heavily with his family's legacy and position in Indian art - I prefer to simply take the role of one viewing the pictures as visual works, each as an independent work of visual art, much as I would look at the works of any young painter or sculptor. Each photograph here is first seen by me as a visual entity in itself -devoid of the artist's legacy, and devoid of any political positioning within the world of photography, its history and its complex role in India - complete and speaking for itself. As a trained and practising painter, I stand before the works and try and view them as such, finally true to the long continuum of two dimensional art works, much as most of the world continues to see photographs - albeit naively - as extensions of paintings, continuing to fulfil the same roles to some extent at least. With the overlapping needs and promises to fulfil what art is expected to, the two mediums start off from and come together in at least these basics (notwithstanding many other pretensions) of form, aesthetics, pleasure . . . thus marking a point to start off the tangled world of curating a photography show!

Getting to know Salamat, long afternoons spent over coffee and viewing his works, understanding his take on this own travel and work, it finally emerged that he sees himself more as an Expressionist than a card carrying activist for the the medium of photography. Salamat spent most of his early years in the States and competed his education there in the visual arts. At the age of 16 Salamat entered the film industry by assisting his grandfather on the sets of Gajgamiini. Growing up surrounded by chaotic - and therefore instructive - art, Salamat learnt from and experimented with a variety of art forms: clay modelling, sketching, set making, painting . . . He mastered the art of lighting and light management, as well as compositions, in his various mediums. The trajectory of this show the evolvement of his art from his sketchbooks through the transformations of his travels to the final pictures. His realisation of the spaces of the self and the invasion of spaces, mainly the personal spaces that one creates around oneself as one moves and travels, in queues and seating configurations on flights, the sharing of temporary living spaces etc., are all explored in his art - the allowed and the not allowed. Which also leads to his choices of which spaces he allows and does not allow into the frames of his works, which of these spaces he chooses to share with us, and which keep out of the shared realm. How close does he want us as viewers to get to his spaces, how distanced he wishes his personal spaces to be.

Salamat's double exposure images are very interesting. Essentially as he says, "I try to capture as much as I can in a frame", the quest to entrap space is always on. But single exposure images are limiting finally to an artist like Salamat. The body he feels is often confined by its positioning in space, whereas the mind can wander into other spaces both real and imaginative. Thus he uses the double exposure trope often, capturing more than one space frames within the visual result - co-mingling of thought and matter so to say. Having done this, he insists that he leaves to rest to the audience to make of it what they will.
  • Curated by Gourmoni Das

Mutant Spaces

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 5th July to 21st July 2019 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
The myriad ways of image making entangles and weaves complex layers of the conscious, the unconscious, the real and the fictional. Artists-Ananda Krishnan, Midhun and Shahanshah each work with such layered concepts of space - albeit each in his own way. Through their artistic practices they try to articulate the vague, the constantly transmuting, the non-articulated emotions that lie deep and layered within the self

Ananda Krishnan uses the trope of mapping and cartography to formulate art works, which while appearing as maps - interestingly non-functional - actually come out as paintings. This very process of turning a map into a painting itself 'maps' the process of the creating of art. Thus the final work transforms the noun 'map' into its own verb: an articulated process needed to express the emotions that he wants to bring on to the canvas. It is this two dimensional medium which suggests the constant emotional changes and transformations that he wishes to explore and display.

Midhun diverges from this technique - he actually layers the works with a physicality whose immediacy cannot be denied. The surface of his work itself becomes the ground for expressions and contestations. One sees layers and layers of paper stuck onto the surface- the surface of struggle and interchanging depths. The individual layers bring in the parts and components of existence to represent social existence, existential angst, fragmentation and the complex ways in which we unify all these to create a life. Midhun thus explores the unity that is required to be created, so that both nature and art, consciousness and life can exist.

Shahanshah essentially sees the world as layers of disturbed, as well as, disturbing, spaces. To him collage is what best represents such a world. On the face of it, we are confronted by disturbed chaotic pictorial spaces when we stand before his works. Slowly Shahanshah's intervention into such a world emerges through his monochromatic palette, the sense of freedom he allows objects to move in and out of the spaces, subtly hiding what does not fit in, accentuating what does and is affirming and beautiful, and finally allowing the viewers freedom to interpret each aspect with his or her own experiences. His works thus move towards harmonising the found and existent chaos of this world.
  • Sincere Thanks - Dr. Anurag Kanoria
  • Curated by Gourmoni Das

  • Text By - Midhun Gopi


  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 15th June to 23rd June 2019 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
Down the centuries has come to us one of the most exquisite and beautiful traditions in art: the expressions of the presence of the Divine. Artists have grappled with this across the world in various ages and places bringing into artistic materiality the ephemeral nuances of such a sublime belief. Various religions have tried in their own ways to bring into color and sound what was missing in physicality.

Nine Fish brings into its gallery the Christian strains of Divine Art through the works of two outstanding contemporary artists, Milburn Cherian and Paul B. Both have distinct styles and forms and their works speak volumes for themselves. Cherian is well known in the international circuits for the sheer complexity and skill of her canvases. To first encounter them is to be transported into a fantastical world of possibilities wherein "we are simulated simultaneously to exercise our own emotional, visual, structuring functions" as Carmel Berkson so insightfully points out.

Paul B on the other hand, draws deeply and sensitively from the tremendous Byzantine tradition and makes his art all of his own. Nuanced with a sense of contemporariness without losing the sense of the longer tradition, they dazzle and engage viewers with their colors and delicate lines, entranced with the use of gold leafing, archival paper, wood, glass .Paul's works are part of the permanent collections of many private collectors world wide as well as that of "The Museum of Sacred Art" in Brussels.
  • Curated by Gourmoni Das

Re-Unveiling Kolte

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 9th March to 9th May 2018 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
In the aggressively marketed world of contemporary art today perhaps one of the greatest living legends and most reclusive of artists has finally been cajoled into coming out with a grand solo show. After years of shying away from the market space and the media, Prabhakar Kolte is ready to present his tremendous show - Re-Unveiling Kolte - at the Nine Fish gallery in association with Dot Line Space.

His reclusive and silent life, his deep abstract works delve into the silences of space and non-space, of attempts at closing the distances between being and non-being, existence and non-existence, the complex relationships between sound and form, space and representation. His works explore the very meaning of art and its materiality, and begin to close the distance between his own life and his canvases.To look at the recent works of this master is to be exposed to the unending questions of the purpose and expression of art itself and the paths it has traversed in the last few decades and perhaps the trajectories down which it will take us as viewers and more importantly as humans. To stand with a required reverence before his canvases is to be exposed to the delicate, perhaps elusive, spaces where art and life meet in silent profundity.

Kolte personifies this both through his life and his art. His privately lived, varied complex life, has been layered like his canvases, that of the personal, the academic, the social worker, and the role which is most important for him - that of the teacher. And so are his canvases, spaces - covered and hidden - then created again, then covered again, turned into other spaces, into non-spaces, eradicated or forgotten, and then created again, or older spaces struggling through the attempts to dissolve them . . . each with an existence of its own.

"Re-Unveiling Kolte" chronicles the last decades of Kolte's deep evolution and that of art. The show starts on the 9th of March in an equally and historically layered space, the Nine Fish gallery. Over the period of the show are related events, like talks, discussions, etc. relating to Dr Kolte's art and evolution and the history of abstraction in India.
  • Text by Dr. Anurag Kanoria

Contemporary Trajectories

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 17th Feb to 4th March 2018 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
Chapter 2.0
After the "Retro Realism in Post Modern World" this chapter examines contemporary trajectories in the contemporary world of the visual arts in India, mainly in painting and sculpture. This is explored through the works of four mid-career contemporary artists in India. Herein we explore the ways in which these artists venture forth in their individual trajectories, at once emboldened and hemmed in by the forces of the market, religion, the current turbulent political scenario, as well as the more immediate and confused paths that contemporary art in India is following. We have used the word 'trajectories' to show the individualism of each artist's career, while also exploring whether such individualism is at all possible in the current situation, or if they are all shades of the same.

Brajmohan Arya
The history of art in our times can be viewed as a pendulum swinging between the urge to copy and the urge to invent - both being valid traditions. It is obvious that we are now far removed from the former, with our following the Enlightenment moment of European history. Instead of relating to external facts, visible for all to see, artists today prefer to retreat inwards and conduct a specialized dialogue within limited circles of their own, commenting not on their attitudes to reality, but on their relation to art itself. Hence the somewhat reclusive nature of present day works, which err by chasing the swing of the pendulum with zeal – total abstraction. So the painter reconciles the dual attractions of art and reality with skill. He or she cannot therefore be accused of replacing the poetry of invention with the prose of fact. In this way the work is a bridge between worlds. But every mind and every culture has a more or less tendency in these directions. Arya so far as one can see, works his way from an idea downwards, proceeds deductively, starting from some ideal conceptions, and seeking in realities visible illustrations of time-tested existences. Well, this is one way of approaching his work.

Rahul Mukherjee
Rahul Mukherjee is a visual artist works at Baroda. His works range from painting to installations to sculpture. He did his Bachelors in Fine Arts with specialisation in Painting from College of Art, Delhi and Masters in painting from Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. His art works deal with the space, the imagined limitations of paintings, the construction of his installations and the interpretations that he consciously lets his works manifest, all telling the story about existence or human presence today can only be suggested in abstractionism.

Shilpa Nikam
A line embodies a lot more than what it implies. A line which runs between two countries defines their territorial boundaries, while the unreachable yet visible horizon line represents a union of intangible entities. For her this very line helps to divide the space into several units, and is a key element of her works. There are certain other invisible lines drawn on unmapped territories of the human psyche- emotional once, of love, hate, ego, avarice etc. An imbalance of any of these lines could result in disharmony, in the miss-functioning of the very ecosystem of humanity. Be it a family unit, society, a nation or the entire world, lines of control are employed for the balance to be maintained.

Whether a social, political, or personal identity, one is subjected to a constant battle of dominance and subjugation based merely on the employment or defiance of these mental or physical lines of control. While these rules and regulations help to harmonize the difference in humanity, ironically, at some point these same rules and regulations restrict humanity. Her works address these conflicts zones that all of humanity carries within, expressed and unexpressed. The very lines that divide are the ones that unite and connect

Shardul Kadam
The socio-political conditions of the days have always fascinated Shardul Kadam, as art is not devoid of what happens in the society he feels. While he might not take on too literally individual events in his works, the social and political flavour of the times certainly informs his penetrating works.

Kadam's work is not just decorative. All these experience formulate the imagery, if not the subject itself. Layers of meanings may unfold as the viewer tries to search beyond the basic aesthetics of the works. Kadam wants to make the viewer neither happy nor sad. His works are like our lives, fine and ideal on the surface, but broken and worn out within. His works reveal the hidden shadows that are less apparent.

Retro Realism in a Postmodern World

  • At Nine Fish Art Gallery, Byculla,
  • 11th Aug to 14th Oct 2017 (All Days),
  • 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
Currently, the world of contemporary art is sadly facing two major issues. The times for the art scene look at best a bit grim in the near future. The sad implosive effects that the art world is currently facing because of the upheavals in the larger world are not being debated enough, nor can solutions be found easily.

The first and more practical crisis, as we all are only too well aware, is the financial one, wherein markets/investors and collectors have been continuously losing monetary confidence in the acquisition of art. Its repercussions run deep. The world of art has always shied from debating larger economic issues, artists, and art academics especially. The onus of this to whatever extent has fallen on the shoulders of galleries, dealers, and auctioneers. And they have their own trajectories to follow. One only hopes for larger involvements.

The second issue is the path that art and its manifestations are taking. With the end of the postmodern world, or that is what one presumes it to be, art is floundering in its own representations, and the more obtuse they get, the more the 'actual' buyer gapes at it with less and less understanding. No wonder then that the highest prices are still being enjoyed by the Moderns and the Masters.

This show, as the title "Retro Realism in a Postmodern World" suggests, attempts at bridging this widening gap. Each of the three artists tries in her or his way to do so.

They bring forth a past and posit it in today's troubled times.

Helen Brahma is very conscious of this and carries in her work a deep interest in religious iconography and the myths/realities of the Hindu deities, and various life forms that are familiar to us. Her work, though contemporary and cutting edge, is grounded to the land that she comes from - Odisha. And in that, she manifests a postmodernism that becomes relevant and identifiable.

Diptish Ghosh Dastider too presents on his canvases images which we are all familiar with but through his challenging compositions and almost graphic-like representations creates a bridge between the received imagery of India and the movements in contemporary art.

Retro Realism in a Postmodern World is curated by Gourmoni Das. Graduated from Sir JJ School of Art. He has been actively involved in a number of exhibitions and art events.