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Black Boys Look Blue | Amol K. Patil | Curated by Sumesh Sharma


Opening reception: Wednesday, June 28th, 6 - 8:30pm Philadelphia, PA

Sumesh Sharma brings to 12G this series of photographs from Mumbai-based artist Amol K. Patil. Patil is a performance and visual artist who graduated from Rachana Sansad Academy of Fine Art in 2009. The series of 13 photographs holds references to Dalit (”untouchable” caste) social justice movements and also Black Liberation movements, which partly inspired the Dalit movement. “Traditionally, the Dalits had practiced trades, working as leather tanners, cobblers, blacksmiths, funeral attendants, and musicians and folk performers. Patil’s family came from a long history of folk performers called ‘Powada.’” (from “Where Does That Put You?”: Artists’ Stories in Global Curatorial Practice, Sharma, March 2017)

Some of Patil’s performance pieces include adaptions of his father’s avant-garde unpublished plays, which deal with “issues like migrant labor and the city's textile industry...If [Amol’s] works are reminiscent of postwar European and American performance—Bruce Nauman's studio-bound walks of the late '60s and Samuel Beckett's movement piece Quad (1981) come to mind—it is not due to direct knowledge, [he] claims, but rather to the mediating influence of his father.” (Ryan Holmberg, Art in America, February 2014)

Sharma is an independent curator who co-founded the Clark House Initiative in Mumbai. His curatorial practice seeks to “help choreograph” a “role of scripting history” by showcasing the work of artists who have otherwise been excluded from traditional art history, which remains “quintessentially European and North American” as well as a contemporary art scene that operates through “infrastructures of privilege.” (Sharma, March 2017)

Amol K Patil (b. 1987, in) has shown atPune Biennale Habit-co Habit 2017, New Galerie in Paris 2016, Dakar Biennale,2016, Myymälä2, Helsinki, 2015; Japan Foundation, Delhi, 2015; Stedelijk Museum Bureauin Amsterdam 2014, International Artists Initiated, Glasgow, 2014; Video Art Festival, Lagos, 2014; Para Site, Hong Kong, 2014; Art Dubai Projects, 2014; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2013; and the Transnational Pavillion at the 55th Venice Biennale, 2013. His work is in the collections of Stedjlik Museum, Amsterdam,  Angelo Zegna, Kadist Art Foundation, Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Mauritius. His debut solo exhibition ‘Social Theatre’, 2013, was incredibly reviewed by Art Forum, Frieze, Art in America, Art  India, and Manifesta Journal (online residency). He has been resident at ‘Below Another Sky’, Highland Printmaking Studio, Scotland, 2014; and at ‘Sandarbh’, Silvasa, 2010. He graduated from Rachna Sansad Academy of Fine Art, Bombay in 2009. The artist lives and works in Bombay.

Sumesh Sharma is a curator based in Mumbai who co-founded the Clark House Initiative in 2010, a curatorial collaborative project located in an old office of the Thakur Shipping Company, which seeks to address the freedom that “you don’t yet know you don’t have.” His interests include alternate art histories and projects informed by socio-economics and politics that often include cultural perspectives, immigrant culture in the Francophone, vernacular equalities, and movements of black consciousness in culture.

Black Boys Look Blue will be on view from June 28 - July 22, 2017. Gallery hours are Wed - Sat: 11-5 and by appointment. For additional information please contact Aisha Zia Khan at (215)253-8578 or by email: info@twelvegatesarts.org