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Nicola Durvasula, Chitra Ganesh, Tejal Shah


Thomas Erben Gallery
526 West 26th Street, 4th Floor, 212-645-8701
January 26 - February 18, 2006
Reception: Thursday, January 26, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

The delicate, figurative line drawings of Nicola Durvasula draw inspiration from recognizable, eclectic sources such as miniature painting, Kama Sutra illustrations, Western art history, and popular culture, both East and West. Her work has been exhibited Gallery Chemould and Sakshi Gallery, both in Mumbai, and in Europe and the U.S. She was born 1960 in the U.K. and, after studies in France, taught for several years at the University of Hyderabad, India.

Chitra Ganesh’s wall drawings and installations have appeared in Fatal Love, Queens Museum of Art, 2005; Treasure Maps, curated by Janine Antoni, Apex Art, 2004; and in other venues. On view are several re-photographed collage drawings mining the exuberant campiness of Hindu comics. Although traditional in appearance, their subverted subject matter brims with sexual desire and uproots social expectations and female gender roles. Ganesh (b. 1975) was raised in Brooklyn and received an MFA from Columbia University.

Chingari Chumma/Stinging Kiss (2000, 8:30 min.), Tejal Shah’s video, is a “fairy tale” which transports us into a Bollywood climax. Typically, the abducted heroine is taken to the bandit’s den, where he ties her up or makes her dance; the hero comes in time to save his beloved, just before the villain can commit the ultimate atrocity. Here, the hero never arrives, and the sequence ends in a queerly consensual fantasy where nothing is fixed any longer. This work has been shown in Indian Summer, École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 2005; and Indian Video Art: History in Motion, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan. Shah (b. 1979) grew up in central India, eventually moving to Mumbai in 1995. She completed her BA in photography in Australia and went on to the Art Institute of Chicago as a Visiting Scholar. Since 2001 she has been working and living in Mumbai.
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