EXHIBITION Sakshi returns to the city, showcasing works of old masters, contemporary artists and new talent

When Sakshi Gallery comes visiting, you can be sure it has something special to share with the city's art lovers. After all, the gallery called Chennai home for nearly two decades before shifting to Mumbai.

A connect with the city

“I grew up in Chennai, and started Sakshi here in 1984, so there's always been a connect with the city,” says Geetha Mehra, director of the gallery. “There's a growing group of collectors here, and I'd like to keep in touch.”

Accordingly, from March 9 to 11, Sakshi presents “Contemporary”, an exhibition of some of the best modern and contemporary Indian art at The Park Hotel.

It will feature the works of the country's most famous modern artists, including M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, Jamini Roy, F.N. Souza, and Ram Kumar, alongside those of important contemporary artists such as Ravinder Reddy, Surendran Nair, Sunil Gawde, N.S. Harsha, and Rekha Rodwittiya, and noteworthy emerging artists such as Sachin Tekade, Sabir Ali and Remen Chopra.

“What we wanted to do was to bring a mix of different art forms — paintings, sculpture, video and installation — and a mix of artists — the old masters whom everybody is familiar with, some well-known mid-career artists, and some really new talent,” says Geetha.

Book launch

The event will also feature the launch of Chennai-based V. Sanjay Kumar's novel “Artist, Undone”, at 6 p.m. on March 9, coinciding with the preview of the show. Saloni Doshi, curator and collector, will be in conversation with the author.

“Sanjay is my colleague at Sakshi, and the book is woven in and around the art world,” she says. “Insiders might recognise some of the characters, but others are completely fictional. It's part reality and autobiography, and part fiction.”

Sakshi Gallery last conducted an exhibition in Chennai in 2010, as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, and intends to keep returning to the city of its origin.

“There are a lot of possibilities to stay connected today via the Internet, but nothing can replace the power of the tangible, for people to be able to see what artworks we handle,” says Geetha.