Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A homage to Kekoo Gandhy

A true mentor and patron
Guru, mentor, aficionado, patron, inspiration, critic  Kekoo Gandhy was diversely designated, defining the country's art scene through World War II, Independence, the Progressive Artists' Group and post-1960s civic struggles. Virtually all the talents of those years owe him their careers, from M F Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar and SH Raza to Bhupen Khakhar, Nalini Malani, Atul Dodiya and Jitish Kallat. Yet the benign, kurta-clad figure behind these prized discoveries modestly shrugged: "It's a matter of good fortune. I just happened to sow seeds and some fell on fertile ground."

Walking with a slight stoop, his six-foot frame would straighten as he excitedly relived his role as key witness to the birth of the Progressives. "They were lovely human beings, trusting, beautiful! I told myself, your mission is to promote them, be the link between the unknown and the rich."
-    Meher Marfatia, Mumbai Mirror

An art connoisseur who loved colorful works
Gandhy made it a point to attend every single art exhibition and event he was invited to. Unlike many other gallerists today, who prefer not to visit other galleries, Gandhy would go to other galleries to see new works and interact with artists. He loved to do that. Until last year, even weak and walking with difficulty, one would often see him at the Jehangir Art Gallery, pondering with equal interest the works of new and established artists. As an art connoisseur, he loved colorful works and told me that he liked my paintings. I was delighted. It was a big deal to be praised by Gandhy, one of the greatest art collectors and gallerists of his time.
-    Brinda Miller As told to Riddhi Doshi of The HT 

He shape the post-colonial Indian art
“Gandhy was a pioneer who helped shape the post-colonial Indian art world, both as a gallerist and as a committed builder and supporter of institutions in the domain of arts as well as in civil society,” said Mumbai-based art historian Ranjit Hoskote. When there were practically no venues in the city for showing modernist art, Gandhy would use his showroom window as an informal exhibiting space for artists such as Husain and also seek prospective clients for them.
-    Sankhayan Ghosh, The Indian Express

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