Thursday, May 2, 2013

A gallery that vigorously promotes Indian art in Dubai

Dubai-based 1x1 Art Gallery, established almost seven years ago by art lover Malini Gulrajani, has managed to carve a niche for itself. Since its inception, the venue has established itself as the hub for hosting the best of contemporary Indian art, a segment still relatively under-explored in the Middle East.

Importantly, the gallery owner has brought several top names on Indian art scene to Dubai, including Riyas Komu, Bose Krishnamachari, Vivek Vilasini, Chittrovanu Mazumdar and NN Rimzon, among others. The venue hosts thematic and unconventional shows. For example, its group exhibition, entitled ‘Fragile’, demonstrated a marked offshoot of interest in its quest to expand its market for contemporary Indian art. The show witnessed a curious mingling of both Indian and Iranian artists at certain key stages in their respective careers.

The decision to spread and diversify its core activity was taken after a rather prolonged hiatus. The gallery, shut late in 2010, was reopened more than a year later. Malini Gulrajani has been quoted as saying: “I wish to push contemporary Indian art internationally, targeting Hong Kong and Singapore. We are looking at around three to four shows in locations outside Dubai in the near future.”

New and modern art from India is witnessing a significant resurgence of collector interest despite a prevailing sluggishness in the marketplace. And the determined art connoisseur-entrepreneur emphasizes that she is keen to show the works of more and more talented artist from across the subcontinent in the UAE. Her plan is to make the activity broad-based carry it on a wider scale, in a phased manner.

Meanwhile, the seventh edition of Art Dubai took place from March 20 until March 23, 2013, at Madinat Jumeirah. Besides the gallery halls, the fair's extensive program included commissioned projects and performances, artists' and curators' residencies, educational workshops, the unveiling of works by the winners of the annual The Abraaj Group Art Prize and the critically acclaimed Global Art Forum.

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