It’s no secret that I really like the James Cohan gallery. I was thrilled to hear they were opening a second location on Walker Street in Tribeca. I went to their opening night show Gauri Gill, because I wanted to see the new gallery space. The gallery is beautiful and it is no surprise that the show, A Time to Play: New Scenes from Acts of Appearance was wonderful as well. I did not know of Gill before the show, had seen some promotional images and truth be told wasn’t sure if it was my thing, but wow was I wrong. The pigment prints are gorgeous, and the subjects truly enticing. I’d totally hang one in my home if I could.
The second floor gallery space is large, and bright. I expect to be a regular.
“In Acts of Appearance, Gill is interested in generating work that vacillates between reality and otherworldliness. In 2014, she invited renowned mask-makers of the Kokna and Warli tribes of rural Maharashtra, to embark on a collaborative project. Gill drew initial inspiration from the annual Bohada mask festival in Jawhar, where Adivasi indigenous tribal communities enact scenes from Hindu epics and tribal myths, wearing masks personifying their own gods and goddesses. Gill invited two leading proponents of this art, the brothers Subhas and Bhagvan Dharma Kadu, to lead a team of more than thirty artists and volunteers to go beyond the confines of their traditional mask-making and develop a new set of forms. In his commissioned essay for this exhibition, writer Hemant Sareen describes Gill’s proposition as “an invitation to play” and it is precisely this; a chance for the community to push the bounds of their imaginations and create something altogether new. A Time to Play: New Scenes from Acts of Appearance showcases the results of their ongoing collaboration with forty new color photographs, many of them made in 2020.” (James Cohan)