Annual events that bring back art in a new way
Oct 06 2013
Launched in 1992 after Jain’s untimely death, the event is held on an all-India basis and attracts talent from all over the country. Art colleges all over India receive information at least two months before the event and all art students are aware of the potential of being launched through Delhi’s very first commercial art gallery. Over the years, it has developed into a splendid platform for launching talent. The awardees have gone on to join the ranks of the better-known group of contemporary artists.
The number of entries has increased every year and according to director Uday Jain: “It is heartening to see such overwhelming response, which reinforces the memory and aspirations of Ravi Jain. The exhibiting artists are fresh from Indian art colleges and not scared to experiment with new subjects and mediums. Also, the prices of their artworks are more reasonable and one can easily own the work of some of the most talented upcoming artists (read future crowd-pullers) at unbelievably low prices.” The exhibition is on till the end of October at the gallery in Connaught Place.
The other ‘annual art event’ is at Kolkata’s Aakriti Art Gallery titled ‘GenNext’, which was launched in October 2006 by the ‘Bachawat Foundation’. This was conceptualised as an initiative to give a fresh focus on contemporary art. Unlike the Ravi Jain Annual, it does not seek to promote freshly graduated art students, but taps the ‘creative potential of talent under the age of 40 years’.
The event is usually announced through different media across the globe and the selection of artists is made by a panel of judges that includes art historians, critics, artists and connoisseurs. Initially, GenNext I concentrated on eastern Indian talent. But GenNext II went a step further and opened the event to artists from all over India, assuming a national perspective.
Vikram Bachawat, director of Aakriti is on record as having said: “GenNext is not just the hunt for fresh talents but it is a conscientious attempt to instigate that stimulus where talents can rejuvenate and enlighten the whole world with their creative revelation”.
(The writer is an author and a former art gallery owner)