Lalit Kala adds new gallery space in Delhi, hosts ''bold'' shows

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Annie Samson

New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) Responding to the evolvingcontemporary art world where artists are experimenting withbold subjects and mediums, the Lalit Kala Akademi in thenational capital has opened a new gallery intended to providemore space for exhibitions.

Situated in the basement, the new exhibiton space isan addition to the existing nine galleries, at the one of thecountry''s oldest art spaces, that are availible for hire bylocal and international artists both established and upcomingin the art world.

"The basement was previously used as a storage areafor our collection and we have renovated it to create a moreefficient space that adds to the existing exhibitongalleries," Ashok Vajpayee, Chairman Lalit Kala Akademi toldPTI.

"Yeh Image Mahaan- India meets Bharat", an exhibitioncurated by Rakhi Sarkar and documenting the new vibrantlanguages of art emanating from India, put together byKolkata-based private art gallery CIMA, became the first showat the new Akademi gallery that was innagurated here onMonday evening. The exhibition is scheduled to go on tillJanuary 29.

"Right now the Akademi is one of the best spacespresent in the capital, we are centrally located and we alsohave our own collaborations with institutions abroad. We sendabroad our artists works and simialrly exhibit internationalartists as part of our cultural policy," says Vajpayee.

Presently a "bold" show comprising of works by 20 wellknown artists and commissioned by the Akademi is also beingexhibited at the venue.

"Against all odds: A contemporary response to thehistoriography of archiving collecting and musuems of India"displays how each artist would like their musuems to be aswell as critique or articulate the history of collecting allthe while reflecting on issues from a personal or socialviewpoint.

"People have commended us on this bold exhibiton thathas been curated by a young curator. We have to open up to thehappenings of the contemporary art world and the Lalit KalaAkademi is trying to respond to this," says Vajpaee.

The Chairman says the Akademi which has hostedretrospective shows on leading contemporary artists like RamKumar and Satish Gujral and is slated to put up soon a bigshow on Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh, is striving to encourageartists from all over the country especially younger ones.

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Apart from individual artists and galleries the Lalit Kala Akademi also plans to host a triennial by the endof 2011 where work from private galleries would be exhibited.

State-run Lalit Kala Akademis would also be chipping in withtheir artists.

Jawahar Sircar, Secretary, Ministry of Culture whoinagurated the tenth gallery of the Lalit Kala says, "The newgallery is an example of the neutral spaces that are beingmade available to artists especially younger ones who want toexhibit their art and not just commercial spaces for buyingand selling art. The Lalit Kala and the National Gallery ofModern Art are suitable examples."

Meanwhile, the Akademi is also supporting the upcomingIndia Art Summit in the city.

"The IAS is essentially a commercial venture, it is afair. While we are supporting them we are not playing a directrole. We are hoping to meet and interact with the number ofartists who will be visiting the city both at an institutionallevel as well as on a personal level," says Vajpayee who isalso a well-known poet and author.

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