Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day two at AEI: Dr. Rashmi Poddar in conversation with Judith Greer

Collecting has been the journey of my life, quipped art expert Judith Greer in conversation with Dr. Rashmi Poddar on the second day of Art Expo India, The talk was aptly titled ‘Art in Life: the daily pleasure of collecting, because that’s what it really means to the avid art collector.

Revealing how she took to collecting art, Judith Greer turned the clock back to seventies when everything she did in her spare time was art related. Since then it has been a passion for her. She said: “For me, the key is to know the artist and his or her growth trajectory. The decision of buying an artwork should essentially be influenced by aesthetic concerns, something which all new collectors do not adhere to.”

Explaining the importance of developing a culture conducive to collecting, the art scholar pointed to the practice in the US wherein focused community groups actively support local museums, and even major museums are supported by individuals who often donate massive collections to them. “In contrast, the collaborative spirit is not quite there in India. Ideally, a broader and wider level of patronage is important to create conditions conducive for an artist to make good work of art.”

Summing up the essence of art collecting, Judith Greer said: “The key is working out how you are going to live with pieces of art you collect. You need to know the methods to preserve them. You’ve to harbor a strong sense of attachment to your collection. Art can be a very personal part of your life to be treasured forever.

In her concluding remarks, Priyanka Sethi said, “The conversation made us aware of the strong underlying link between philanthropy and art. The art expo, I hope, will play a role in this process, and believe, constructive individual as well as collective contribution will make a difference to the Indian art scene.”

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