New series of ''affordable'' books on Indian art, artists

New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) For enthusiasts as well asthose just initiated into the world of art, a new series ofpublications seeks to take an analytical look at the evolutionof art and the careers of prominent artists in India.

Under the "Dialogue Series", publisher PopularPrakashan explores the careers of some of India''s acclaimedartists with emphasis on concerns and contexts they explore intheir works through extended conversations between the authorsRanjit Hoskote and Nancy Adajania.

The text of the books are based on interviews andconversations that Hoskote and Adjania - considered to be twoof the most authoritative critics in the country - had over aspan of several years.

The first of the books which are priced at Rs 175 eachis on Mumbai-based contemporary artist Atul Dodiya.

"Our books are not comparable to anything available inIndia. They are content rich giving analytical portraits ofthe artists. They provide a critical insight of the journey ofeach artist, their individual style of working and distinctivetransitions and breakthroughs in their work," says HarshaBhatkal, Chairman, Foundation B&G.

The series also situates the imagination and life ofthe artists within larger art-historical genealogies, bothIndian and global. It aims to create a discursive space inwhich both enthusiasts and scholars can reflect on argumentsthat art and criticism conduct with history.

"The books aim to fill a gap in the market where artbooks are available in the price range of Rs 3000 to Rs 5000and upwards. These are meant to cater to the general readerwho wants to read about art and artists and do not have accessto documentation," says Bhatkal.

With five published titles in English and 9 titlesunder compilation, the publisher says it has a long way to go.

The series are being translated into Hindi and Marathiand would be available in stores soon.

"Whatever is available on art in the public domain sayon the internet is dominated by information put out bygallerists etc and there is no comprehensive coverage of thelife of these artists. Our approach is to create knowledge,"says the publisher who has previously brought out coffee tablebooks on art.

The Foundation says it will work towards achieving aconvergence among artists, critics, curators, viewers andreaders. It has planned a publishing programme that includesentry-level, intermediate and specialist books.

"We have to concede that art is art and it may not beas popular as cricket or cinema. However, just like classicalmusic where you can buy a CD or DVD for Rs 99, art should alsohave a take away quality for the general reader. We aim toprovide that with our affordably priced series of books," saysBhatkal.

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