Galleries take on Sept lean season with affordable art

Galleries take on Sept lean season with affordable art
Every year, the sweltering heat tends to lead to a rather lean period for art exhibitions in India. This is the season when large group exhibitions with affordable prices make the rounds.

First off the mark, Aakriti Art Gallery has announced its 4th edition of the Affordable September Art Mela, at its two galleries in Kolkata and Delhi. The mela, which opens on September 5, will be on till the month end with more than 1,000 artworks by over 100 artists, within the price range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 lakh — thus living up to its aim of making art more accessible to everyone.

Featuring will be paintings, sculptures, art prints and vintage photographs by senior and junior artists. Here you can also pick up prints of works by big names such as Jamini Roy, Akbar Padamsee, Jogen Chowdhury, Gopal Ghosh, Manu Parekh, Paritosh Sen, Rabin Mandal and Somnath Hore. The wide collection showcases multiple art techniques such as gouache, tempera, acrylic on canvas, drawings in pencil and charcoal, etching and digital prints as well as sculptures in bonze, ceramic and other mediums.

Emami Chisel Art launched the 5th edition of its Art Fair in Kolkata, on September 1, in the presence of H E Craig Hall, US consul general, and Prosenjit Chatterjee. Thereafter, Art Fair 2016 was thrown open to the public, between September 2 and September 4. A very impressive show, it featured the works of more than 200 participating artists, where many established names rubbed shoulders with younger artists.

Among the more famous names at the fair were, Ganesh Haloi, Rabin Mondal, Manu Parekh, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Seema Kohli, Suhas Roy, Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharya, Sanat Kar, Eleena Banik, Aditya Basak, Bratin Khan and Jaya Ganguly. Among the works that caught the eye were the works of Subrata Saha, Asim Pal, Munindra Rajbongshi, Ranadip Das, Gopal Prasad Mandal, Subrata Saha and Arup Ratan Chudhury. Since the fair was only on for three days, a sizable number of art lovers have mentioned that they were unable to see the show.

Another exhibition at Kolkata which needs to be mentioned is Mirage Gallery’s Masterstroke, which opened on September 4 and will be on till September 25. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures and photographs by a number of eminent artists, including Sanatan Dinda, Dhiraj Choudhury, Wasim Kapoor, Samir Aich, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Pradeep Maitra, Prokash Karmakar, Rabin Mondal and Sunil Das.

DAG Modern launched a first-ever commemorative exhibition on Group 1890 on September 4, with a lively discussion on the history and importance of this group. Participants were the former artist members, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Himmat Shah, Jyoti Bhatt and Rajesh Mehra, together with art ctitic Prayag Shukla — moderated by artist Vivan Sundaram.

While examining the story of the rise and disbanding of members through the decades, the gallery’s focus has been on what it terms India’s indigenous modernism and seeks to trace “the importance of these artists through their individual art practice and the position they advocated as a group in 1963 when they issued the group’s manifesto.”

The works of 10 of the remaining 12 member artists dating back from 1960s and onwards, will be on show. These include J Swaminathan, Jeram Patel, Himmat Shah, Ambadas, Eric Bowen, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Rajesh Mehra and others. The exhibition will be on at DAG Modern in Delhi, from September 5 till mid-December 2016.

(The writer is an author and a former art gallery owner)

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