Maximum city

‘Gateway Bombay’ at the Peabody Essex, 20th-century German sculpture at Harvard
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  July 3, 2007
Bose Krishnamachari, Ghost/Transmemoir

“Gateway Bombay” at Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem | July 14–December 7, 2008 | 866.745.1876 | “Making Myth Modern” at Busch-Reisinger Museum, 32 Quincy St, Cambridge | July 14–December 30 | 617.495.9400 | “Creative Fervor” at 119 Gallery, 119 Chelmsford St, Lowell | July 17–August 10 | 978.452.8138
“There will soon be more people living in the city of Bombay than on the continent of Australia,” writes Suketu Mehta in his prizewinning 2004 account of his return as an adult to the rapidly changing city of his childhood, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found. “With 14 million people, Bombay is the biggest city on the planet of a race of city dwellers. Bombay is the future of urban civilization on the planet. God help us.” This populous metropolis (renamed Mumbai in 1995) is the subject of “Gateway Bombay,” which opens at the Peabody Essex Museum July 14, with work by 13 contemporary artists with ties to the city. Gieve Patel is a physician, poet, and playwright whose paintings reveal close observation of urban figures at work. Chirodeep Chaudhuri’s black-and-white photographs focus on Mumbai’s harbor, where tourists and residents gather to sightsee and for recreation.

Summer visitors to the Peabody Essex will also be greeted by Mumbai-based artist Bose Krishnamachari’s 40-foot long Ghost/Transmemoir, which graces the museum’s ground-floor Atrium till the end of September. The multimedia installation makes use of 162 hanging metal cans of the type used in Mumbai’s dabbawalla lunch-delivery system (a dabba is a box containing a light meal; a walla is the person who delivers it), and it incorporates more than 100 LCD monitors projecting interviews of contemporary Mumbaikars, from street vendors to socialites, industrialists to intellectuals.

Seven sculptures by six German artists make up “Making Myth Modern: Primordial Themes In German 20th-Century Sculpture,” which opens at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum July 14. Solveig Koebernick, who’s been the Busch-Reisinger’s Michalke Curatorial Intern for the past two years, was inspired by 20th-century sculpture in the Busch-Reisinger collection that deals with mythology, and her sense that these works reflect the artists’ personal lives and the turbulent history of 20th-century Germany. The pieces she’s chosen include the 1936 bronze (cast circa 1959) Adam and Eve by Max Beckmann, who was much better known as a painter, and two works from the 1980s by Joseph Beuys that merge myth with social and environmental consciousness.

119 Gallery has been operating as a bastion of creativity in Lowell since July 2005, with previous incarnations dating back to Fort Point Channel and, in the 1990s, Indianapolis. On July 17, the gallery opens what it’s calling the 1st Annual 119 Gallery Members Exhibit, “Creative Fervor,” with a reception July 21 from 3 to 6 pm. The show coincides with the Lowell Folk Festival (July 27-29) and the Lowell Quilt Festival (August 2-5).

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Related: Tall stories, Fight the power, Our town, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Peabody Essex Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard's Busch-Reisinger Museum,  More more >
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