On June 29th, 2019 GAG Moderne Art Gallery in New Delhi held its monthly event titled “Underground Talks with Manish Pushkale” hosted by the renowned artist Manish Pushkale and this time the event was graced with the inspiring presence of the prominent poet, art critic and translator Prayag Shukla, who with his works and contribution in the art field has established a name to command authority in the arena of literature as well as visual arts.
The vastness of the knowledge of the speaker couldn’t be contained within the time restrictions of the scheduled event, but the vivacious host Mr. Pushkale was good enough to bring memories back for Mr. Prayag Shukla and the engaging talks was no less than enabling and enlightening. The seventh series of the “Underground Talks” held on every last Saturday of the month was a similar success to its preceding series.
The session lived to its commitment of bringing prominent and renowned personalities from the art canvas under the same roof to facilitate the free flow of emotions and creative energy so as to substantiate the importance of art at large and reiterate its importance in the modern era dealing with its complexities. Manish Pushkale opened the conversation by reminding the audience and speaker of the death anniversary of K. G. Subramanyan fondly known as “Mani Dada” in the art circle and dedicated the event to him.
Mr. Pushkale with an intention to start a fruitful conversation asked Prayag Shukla of matters occupying his present-day thinking process to which the humble speaker stressed on the distancing factor occurring in modern times. He expressed his concern about the present generation not engaging with nature with the same passion the earlier generation used to do, but at the same time he also praised the process of evolution leading to civilizational attainments.
Prayag Shukla in the event hailed the celebratory space of the art gallery that in his view facilitated community gathering fostering memories to hover around. During his talk he presented the keen and creative minded audience with a feast of his personal memories that showcased the vast arena of influence commanded by Mr. Shukla. Eminent connoisseurs of art from diverse fields were remembered and their personal relationship with Prayag Shukla gave the audience an oversight of the art scenario spanned by Mr. Shukla in his more than five decades of career. Artists like Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Subodh Gupta, Ram Kumar and his brother Nirmal Verma, M. F. Hussain, Jagdish Swaminathan and Jeram Patel were some of the names that came to the forefront when Prayag Shukla took a ride back to his memory lane drenched in nostalgia.
A prolonged discussion followed between Mr. Pushkale and Mr. Shukla on the issue of “silence” to with both the speaker and the host gave requisite examples to showcase the enabling presence of silence and how it has nurtured art and artists since ages. Prayag Shukla even hinted on the perils of getting old and how with passing time the urge for conversation and communication gets heightened to which events like the “Underground Talks” provide an organic platform for free flow of information and experience as well as a space to connect. Manish Pushkale second him on it and described art to always have been a medium of connect that in all actuality speaks about itself.
When asked about the survival of art in changing socio-political scenario of India, Prayag Shukla in all modesty said that India’s art diversity is impossible to be contained and this very diversity is empowering and celebratory.
The event was attended by well-known creative minds from the art and literary circuit. Many prominent art critics also attended the event and appreciated the concept behind it.
About GAG Moderne
GAG Moderne, rechristened from Gita Art Gallery has a history dated back in 1964 opened by Mr. Kuljeet Singh Bhutalia and presently being Delhi’s oldest art gallery. The gallery boasts of reviving and instigating the flourishment of art in India. When art becomes passion, it finds its own way for its manifestation and flourishment and with the reopening a promise of new commissions, old Masters and Grand Masters featuring with their unparalleled works and new displays of designated collections is being fulfilled. The gallery has never shielded from hosting committed works of art and the empowering space is now operated by NEANGO Studio, a creative space co-owned by artists Neha Talwar and Anirudh Tripathi.