Launched in 2007, Tejas is a small but very popular gallery in Kolkata. Situated on Mayfair Road, in the posh Ballygunge area, it has made a name for itself as a one-stop space for art that is fresh, meaningful and affordable. Today, the physical space has been converted into Zee’s Coffee Shop, and Tejas has an even stronger online presence.
The gallery began with an exhibition of small artworks by a senior but relatively unknown artist, Dhiren Sasmal. His outstanding collection done in mixed media on board and canvas caught the fancy of both buyers and the press. The entire collection sold out within a week, and till today Dhirenda remains the favourite with our clientele. His solo exhibitions in other cities have widened the circle of his fans.
In the series of shows that followed, we built up a gallery-group of very talented and versatile artists working in acrylics, mixed media, metal and terra-cotta. By organizing shows which break the boundaries of what is expected and predictable, Tejas is giving these young talents an opportunity to create freely. Our aim will always be to promote new talent and to create an interest in art that is different and affordable.
We do not believe in fixing boundaries for the term ‘art.’ We encourage young mavericks who challenge established idioms, experiment with media and technology, and use art as their interface between conflicting beliefs and versions of reality. Tejas Gallery also aims to nurture and promote new media art, in the form of moving images, video art, photography and 3D installation.
The Indian art scene is on a roll – liberalization of the economy and exposure to global trends has hugely expanded the emotional range of Indian art. We hope that as international interest in Indian art keeps growing India will continue to develop an infrastructure of support and exposure for its very talented artists.
Pre-Covid, Tejas had already begun curating new-media shows in collaboration with like-minding galleries. We will continue to do so, reaching further into rural, abandoned and outdoor spaces as venues for art that knows no boundaries.
Etymology of name
“tejas” : from root tij : ‘sharpen’ Expresses notion of ‘substance power’ with distinctive fiery connotations (Puranas). Carries Vedic connotations of a kind of energy wielded by the supreme Lord for the accomplishment of his cosmic tasks."
Aban Desai - Proprietor
Aban Desai is owner and gallerist for both Tejas affordable art gallery and Range contemporary art. As a curator, she believes in crossing borders and building bridges between art practices, art communities, and art genres. She curates shows both in gallery spaces and in public spaces, and believes in opening the art world to all, in terms of affordability and access. Aban works with several organizations which help the rural and craft sector. She believes that they are an important segment of the contemporary art scene and are the future of collaborative art.
The pandemic has forced us all to rethink our ‘modus operandi’. Galleries and art fairs are going online, creating a new art world that speaks louder than ever of hope, inclusion and tolerance. Tejas and Range galleries are a proud part of this change.
Viraag Desai - Curator / Consultant
Viraag Desai graduated in 2009 with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has widely shown in USA & India.
He has participated in artist residencies throughout India but more notably in Neilson Gallery, Grazalema, and Cadiz, Spain and most recently the Uronto residency, in Bangladesh. Group exhibits include ‘Wanderlust’ . J&K Gallery. Arcadia , California (2010; ‘Trip Tash ‘ at AakarPrakar Galley; ‘Screenshots of Utopia’ and 'Mapping Detours' at Chitrakoot Art Gallery (2013); 'The Tube Without Paint, A Fungal Lattice & The Bird That Never Flew Away, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. He took part in the Cima Awards show in Kolkata followed by ‘Uday’ at AakarPrakar Art Advisory, New Delhi in 2016, followed by the ‘Affordable Art Fair’ in Hampstead. He has completed several large scale commissions for commercial spaces, both in India and abroad, expanding his practice from painting to sculpture to technology-based installations, such as ‘Emissions’ at Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa. This hasallowed him to further meld his experience in digital and set design with his artistic practice. In the last year he participated in the Piramal residency, followed by a commission to paint a 15 x 75 foot mural for Piramal Aranya, Mumbai. He veers towards the technical in his new-media art, when designing for films concerts and plays (Rakshas,2019), drawing his inspiration from physics, math and emerging online cultures. At present, he works between his studios in Mumbai and Kolkata.