Friday, August 28, 2009

India Art Summit 2009--II

This was the second edition of Art Summit. Certain strains were visible in this Summit. There was overwhelming desire to execute installations and sculptures among artists. The celebration of gay and lesbian in art was more remarked even among artists who claim no knowledge of minority sexuality. I think it is done to be fashionable. The experiences that create art with alternate sexuality can not be Xeroxed by the 'Straight'.
Certain artists used material as their USP rather than the expression/imagination. I hold Damian Hirst responsible for creating the craze for the material at the expense of creativity. Otherwise how his $100 million precious stone studded skull will hold ground. there are quite a few in India who are trying to just do that.
The opening session on day first was reserved for VIPs, whatever it means in terms of art and aesthetics i do not know. But I know for sure a large number of very serious/good artists were kept out by Special Invitations Syndrome. A Van Gogh if their is any in India will not get invited to the opening which included presentations/talks by Collectors/artists/ curators/art writers and critics.
The VIP invitations make such events more exclusive than inclusive.
coming to International art one must appreciate the organizers that they could get more foreign art and galleries. It was also good to see foreign galleries showcasing Indian artists and Indian galleries exhibiting foreign artists. Though in recent past Arun Vadhera had in collaboration with Grosvener gallery U.K. had brought works of Picasso, Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud to Indian art lovers, the Summit also had works of Picasso, Dali, Andy Warhol and a number of others. I must appreciate the growing interest at home in big names especially in artists of Indian orgin. Anish Kapur had a very successful sale run of the works exhibited. Matter of fact if I understand correctly a substantial amount of money out of total sales was generated by Picasso, Dali, Anish Kapur and other greats. This is a welcome addition to the visual vocabulary of art aficionados.
About contemporary or Modernist senior artists there seemed an amnesia. It was not that the M.F. Hussain's work were not exhibited other greats like Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee, Jogen Choudhry,Raza and many many more had small or no representation in the Summit. But then the galleries have to go by fashion also. I must here mention Ashish Anand of DAG whose affable mother(who started the Gallery) I knew decades back and who must have learnt to spot sterling art early in life. He had put up considerable and very good art spanning a long period of time. His exceptional collection included a very lyrical abstract landscape by Raza apart from Souza, Robin Mandal, Sunil Das, Amitava, Himmat shah and a galaxy of other greats.
There are shortcoming in any new venture and present Summit being no exception. But one appreciates that it has created a meeting ground for those associated with fine art in any capacity. The greatest joy was to run into inquisitive children shepherded by parents, large posse of art students and ofcorse artists from all over the country and abroad.
For the first time in India one can view at one place and critically examine the kind of art that is being created. The Art summit definitely despite shortcoming is bulding the necessary infrastructure for seeing and appreciating art.

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