‘Vita Nova 2022’, the touring two-city exhibition was inaugurated by Minister of Art & Culture, Government of Rajasthan, Dr B.D. Kalla at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Alankar) in Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK). The exhibition project is produced by the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre and curated & conceived by Myna Mukherjee and Davide Quadrio. In Jaipur, the exhibition arrived as a collateral event to the Jaipur Literature Festival 2022 and is spread across two sites. It is being presented in collaboration with JKK, Rajasthan Department of Art and Culture and Gyan Museum. It is a part of India’s 75 years celebration ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The exhibition will remain in Jaipur till 22 March. During this Principal Secretary, Art, and Culture, Government of Rajasthan and Director General of JKK Ms. Gayatri Rathore and Additional Director General (Admin) of JKK Ms. Anuradha Gogiya were also present.
On this occasion, Minister Dr. BD Kalla said that “3 artists are from India and 3 are from Italy in this exhibition. This exhibition is a realization of the vision of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Artists from both countries have created artworks together. Our art is not limited to one place and artists are exhibiting their art from all over the world. This event has been organized with the spirit of bringing the whole world together.”
Inspired by Dante’s Literature, ‘Vita Nova’ is a two-site exhibition exploring transformations, connections and departures in contemporary craft and art between Italy and India. ‘Vita Nova’ is the title of the poems by Dante, composed in honor of his lover and muse, that shapes the history of poetry in Italy and worldwide. The curation called six artists from India and Italy to be challenged by this literary hero’s extraordinary body of work and explored the territory of ‘new life (vita nova)’ or the transformative life that Dante wrote about. The resulting exhibition let us enter a realm of mystery and metaphor; the arcane and the magical; nature and humanity; mythology and memory; transformation and preservation; and ultimately the manifestation of something new.
All six artists, Andrea Anastasio, Francesco Simeti, Marta Roberti, Puneet Kaushik, Raghava KK, and Shilo Shiv Suleman blurred several distinctions as they worked with a range of handmade techniques from woodcuts, block prints, embroidery, tapestry, metal forging, blue pottery, miniatures, ‘Bidri’, ceramics, clay and cardboard making. Together they created a hothouse of new works that exposed the conjunctions and disjunctions inherent in these contemporary hybridized artworks. They generated questions about the role of craft in their evolutionary shift to the ‘dematerialized’ and conceptual while retaining their historical and cultural significance.