The Daily Gamecock

'Visions from India' offers look into Indian artwork

Hand-carved teakwood, large-scale sculptures and even a moving sushi conveyor belt are just a few of many pieces that will be on display at Columbia Museum of Art’s upcoming exhibition.

"Visions from India" will be on display from Oct. 17 to Jan. 10 and will feature a variety of 21st century Indian artwork, including international artists such as Sudarshan Shetty, Jitish Kallat and many more. 

In the exhibition, visitors can expect to see multimedia works, a sculpture, a painting and even "televisions that watch you walk around the gallery and project what the sculptures are seeing on these screens," curator Catherine Walworth said.

“This is a whole new, unexpected form of global art to show that you just don't encounter every day,” Walworth said.  

Walworth said there are all kinds of unexpected material and techniques being used in these pieces, a kind of compilation that most likely very few people in the Columbia community have seen. 

The artwork in this exhibition is a part of a private collection from Ron and Ann Pizzuti, owners of the nonprofit Pizzuti Collection. The only other showing of this collection as a whole was in its original 2017 presentation in Columbus, Ohio.

“Sharing art and being able to share it with people all over the world is important,” Ron Pizzuti said. 

Pizzuti said he and his wife make an effort to meet the artists of the artwork that they have collected, often by visiting artists' studios to watch them make art.

“There may be an exception, but I think we’ve met every artist, every Indian artist from the collection,” Pizzuti said. 

He said one of the fun parts of being an art collector is getting to meet and interact with artists and see them working in their own environment.

The artists from this collection are a mix of well known Indian artists and younger rising stars, according to the museum's website. "Visions of India" encourages cultural thought and, possibly, change.

“For me, exhibitions are life changing, and when you see a great one, it’s like a benchmark in your life,” Walworth said.

Walworth said this exhibition does just so, and attendees should "let it wash over" them. 

Columbia Museum of Art public and media relations specialist Milena Engh said she sees image previews of every exhibition before they’re put on display at the museum, but they're not the same through a screen. She said that holds even more true with this exhibition because the large scale sculptures that have moving parts are “something you have to experience.”

The exhibition will also offer affiliated programs such as “Plaza Rhythms: Garba Dance,” which is an event in honor of the Indian festival Navratri. Local dancer and educator Panna Chauhan will teach event attendees a Gujarati folk dance known as Garba.

“We’re obviously a visual arts museum, that’s our focus, but we take a really holistic approach to art, so anytime we can connect visual art to music or dance or film or any other kind of art, we’re going to take that opportunity,” Engh said.

This event is open to all ages and is free with admission or membership, but capacity is limited and registration is required.  

“[The art collection] won't travel elsewhere, at least for a while,” Pizzuti said. 

After the exhibition ends, the collection will go back to a warehouse for storage, and one or two pieces will be put on display in the Pizzutis' home.

The first chance the public will have to experience "Visions from India" will be on its preview day, Friday, Oct.16 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission will be free on this day, but guests are encouraged to sign up for a specific time.

Correction (Oct. 12, 2020): A previous version of this article stated the exhibition features paint collages and attributed the photo as being courtesy of Milena Engh. There is only one work that “technically” fits the description of a paint collage, according to Walworth, and the photo is courtesy of Kanishka Raja and Tilton Gallery, New York, and the Pizzuti Collection. 


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