“Since 1989, the influential Delhi-based Sahmat has offered a platform for artists, writers, poets, musicians, actors, and activists to create and present works of art that promote artistic freedom and celebrate secular, egalitarian values.
The collective formed in the weeks after playwright, actor, and activist Safdar Hashmi was fatally attacked by political thugs while performing a street play. In the more than twenty years since, Sahmat has drawn on India’s secular heritageand an expansive group of collaborators to produce a series of projects that engage in important political and social debates through a mix of high art and street culture. This exhibition will introduce Sahmat’s work to the United States through a survey of art and ephemera while assessing the impact this unique—and sometimes controversial—collective has had on contemporary Indian society and artistic practice.
Curators: Jessica Moss, Smart Museum Associate Curator for Contemporary Art, and Ram Rahman, photographer and independent curator.
Support: This exhibition is made possible by The Smart Family Foundation; Helen Zell; the Efroymson Family Fund, a CICF Fund; The Joyce Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Larry & Marilyn Fields; Barbara Fosco, The Fosco Family Foundation; and Lisa and Michael Kornick.”
When I was standing in front of the Artworks I was literally standing on my toes. Simply because back in India I had little or no understanding of art and now, standing in front of the artworks of Jatin Das, Atul Dodiya, Rumana Shaikh, Subodh Gupta and other biggies of Indian Art world and knowing what they have done, there was a “WOW” feeling inside me. I cant write much about it or give a review of the works because…..
I really cant define the effect Indian Art has on me, there is something that I just cant express. I had my mouth wide open and eyes as big as tennis balls. (no wonder why the gallery assistant was smiling at me). I was like the Alice in wonderland. Just stunned, amazed, at the grandiose works.