Review by Sarmistha Maiti
January 15, 2014


Transition: 20th Anniversary Exhibition
December 13, 2013 – January 25, 2014
CIMA, Kolkata

CIMA Gallery, Kolkata celebrates its 20th anniversary. On December 2013, it has completed its twenty years of phenomenal journey in the art world setting up exemplary exhibitions, featuring the best of the art works and artists in the country, gearing up the momentum of new discourses in the field of art and becoming a role model in the gallery culture of the nation who takes a leading position in patronizing the finest forms of art in the global panorama. On the completion of two decades of its venture and experience in the art world, CIMA takes a round-up of its different steps in the art world and presents a show amalgamating its diverse features of achieving the stature of a maestro in all these years.

CIMA has been pivotal in patronising and promoting new generation artists along with the contemporary pioneers of the last century. When it started its journey in 1993, globalisation was taking an entry in the Indian context and the City of Joy had started sharing such reflection in its various facets of growth and development. The art world too needed a balanced platform to cope up with this change and project contextual discourses in terms of content, theme, form, medium and technique. CIMA was one of the initiators of this platform which has patronised almost all celebrated artists in India at one point of time and for Bengal, through CIMA’s endeavour and effort, the kind of refinement and language that could be developed in art is one and unique of its kind. The anniversary show ‘Transition’ signifies and features all such artists whose works epitomise the genealogy of Indian art at the transitory juncture of where local meets the global, thus forming the ‘glocal’. Rabindranath Tagore, Ganesh Pyne, Ram Kumar, Manjit Bawa, S.H.Raza, V.S. Gaitonde, Paresh Maity, Samir Aich, Reshm iBagchi Sarkar, Debashis Barui, Sumitro Basak, Tapas Biswas, JayasriBurman, SreyashiChatterjee, Rudranil Das, SukumarDutta, Jaya Ganguly, Sushen Ghosh, Somenath Hore, Farhad Hussain, Abir Karmakar, Chittrovanu Mazumdar, Meera Mukherjee, Janak Jhankar Narzary, R.M. Palaniappan, Pankaj Panwar, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Kinkshuk Sarkar, Arpita Singh, Anjum Singh, Paramjit Singh, K.G.Subramanyan, Chintan Upadhyay, Ramesh Tekam, T Vaikuntam, Shilpaguru Ananta Maharana, Jogen Chowdhury were the artists whose works have been showcased in the exhibition ‘Transition’. 

 From a very traditional temperament to a completely non-conformist approach, from the recollection of Bengal School of Art to a the latest tenets of conceptual art – the 20th anniversary exhibition became an all-encompassing ground to portray the embodiment of the 20th century Indian art leading its way into the 21st century Indian art at one go. All the artists whose works have been showcased are noted painters and sculptors. They already have an established foothold in the field of art; many of them are not only internationally acclaimed but also legendry figures to mark Indian art in the global art context. And what is most important to be mentioned over here is that in many ways CIMA Gallery has been instrumental in shaping their careers and the position they have made for themselves in the art world. Thus particularly writing and critically looking at their works in this particular show I feel is not required because it goes without saying that CIMA has been able to configure the quintessence of some of the best works of these artists for its anniversary show to reflect its journey over a period of two decades and not making it just another exhibition for the sake of an exhibition in a random way. Among several important exhibitions which CIMA Gallery has been hosting from time to time and which have been both subjectively and objectively representations of Bengal Art and Indian Art to the world audience, very unique of its kind taking the shape of a historical event, this particular exhibition ‘Transition’ too qualifies a similar kind of significance to be recorded in the chapters of history and re-visited and re-interpreted in the years to come – may be after 20 years or may be after 200 years!!!