Explosion of woman power (Weekly Art Column, Rainbow Palette, With Images)

March 13th, 2009 - 11:25 am ICT by IANS  

By Madhusree Chatterjee
New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) It was an explosion of art for women and mostly by women at the Art Mall, one of the country’s biggest display spaces in the capital.

Art Mall unveiled an exhibition “Liberation”, showcasing nearly 500 works by over 300 senior artists from across the country on International Women’s Day last Sunday.

The exhibition will end March 17. The mall is also organising a 10-day workshop of art, graphic, sculpture and drawing.

The exhibition, one of the biggest in the capital, was inaugurated by senior artist Anjolie Ela Menon.

The works, a combination of bronze and wood sculptures and canvases, were diverse, with prices ranging from Rs.15,000 to Rs.250,000.

Most were in bright colours and themes that were easy to relate. The canvases were a big draw because of the price band and the fact that they carried a discount of 30 percent.

A few works - especially the soot paintings by Tripti Agarwal Gupta, who features in the Limca Book of Records, and those by Indupal Caur, a reality artist - stood out for their originality of technique, style and details.

Naren Bhiku Ram Jain, founder of the Bhiku Ram Jain Foundation which manages the mall, said the Art Mall was committed to promoting unexplored talent from across the country.

However, several of those present at the exhibition felt that the prices were slightly inflated, given the current bleak financial scenario.

The recession, was a welcome hiatus for Indian art, Anjolie Ela Menon told IANS. “It had boomed too soon and too suddenly. And it needs correction,” she said.

“I am one of the few artists who is glad of the downturn. Many artists now have time to contemplate what it is going to be like. There will be a huge shake-out and only the best will survive and the hype will die down,” Menon predicted.

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Prints for posterity

“Wanderlust To The Horizon”, an exhibition of digital prints of photographs on archival canvas in archival ink, presented by the Apparao Gallery at the Triveni Garden theatre, is a traveller’s narrative of the seascapes of Chennai, colourful diversity of Ladakh and stray images from across the country.

The exhibition that opened March 9 will close March 20.

Lensman Varun Gupta, who describes landscape photography as a meditative trance, was born to a travellers’ family in Kolkata.

As a natural extension of his travels, he took to the camera at the age of eight, to document what he saw. He studied communication in Ohio, worked as an animator in New York and learnt photography in Ooty.

His photographs usually occurs in series. A set of two digital canvas prints, “Beyond Life”, portraying a crab and a fish on the sea shore and “Dawn-to-Dusk”, the profile of a leg of chicken on the shore, spoke of the continuity of life even after death.

A series of photographs on monastic life and culture at the Karsha Monastery in Ladakh was vibrant.

“This is my first solo show in Delhi,” Gupta told IANS. Explaining the reason for the use of archival canavs and ink, he said: “They last for at least 100 years.”

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Collectors’ diary

Elite Collectors of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art is a unique collection of the profiles of 27 collectors across the globe.

The 336-page hardback coffee table book was released in the capital March 7.

Priced at Rs.15,000, it documents the lives and collections of art lovers like Basant Kumar Birla, Sarla Birla, Suresh Neotia, Harsh Neotia, Parmeshwar Godrej, Rakesh Agarwal, Tina Ambani, Sangita Jindal, Prashant Tulsayan and several others.

It has been compiled by industrialist and art collector Purrshottam Bhaggeria and entrepreneur and author Pawan Malhotra.

The book is a blend of anecdotes and lavish illustrations which make for a page-turner.

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