Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Indian art comes closer to global audiences

- London based Haunch of Venison is showing Forever Foreign by Rina Banerjee (9 April till 15 May, 2010).

- The world renowned Saatchi Gallery, runs ‘The Empire Strikes Back: Contemporary - Indian Art’, a show extensively covered by The Art Expo blog, till May7, 2010.

- A show of Indian Portraits is on till June 20 at National Portrait Gallery, London.

- Bharti Kher’s ‘inevitable undeniable necessary’ is on view at Hauser & Wirth.

Above are among the several major shows of Indian art at the prestigious galleries in the UK, underlining a trend. Qualifying it as ‘the affair (that) continues’, a timely essay by The Business Standard notes:

“London hasn’t quite had the sunny beginnings of an Indian summer, yet things are a little warmer on the art front. Several excellent exhibitions around the city feature artists from the subcontinent and subjects ranging from ancient Mughal portraits to explorations of contemporary Indian art.”
Last year too, there was ‘Indian Highway’, a display that explored the vitality of road travel in India, arranged at the Serpentine Gallery, ‘Indian Summer’ show at the British Museum, which also included a rare exhibit of paintings from the Jodhpur’s Royal Court; plus the Victoria & Albert’s ‘Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts’ show

The contemporaries also have been getting good exposure internationally. Initial Access art venue organized ‘Passage to India Part II’, comprising works by leading artists like Reena Saini Kallat, Thukral and Tagra etc. The Mori Art Museum in Japan held ‘Chalo! India’. This landmark show (December 2008-March 2009) had over 100 works by 27 artists. Making mention of other shows, the BS notes:

“‘India Xianzai’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Shanghai was only slightly smaller with 21 artists. India again was in focus at the ARCO fair in Madrid. Next year, the Pompidou Centre will host a huge show on India, with works specially created for it.”
The impressive showcase flags just some of the more ambitious and more concerted efforts to present Indian art to global audiences.

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