INDIA CONTEMPORARY ART DISTRICTS GALLERIES
AFP released an article in December 2011 on Lado Sarai, an art district that has sprung up in the southwest of New Delhi. Art Radar takes a closer look at the proliferating galleries and art spaces in the area and examines the reasons behind this sudden growth.
Click here to read the original article, titled “Wealth brings art to Delhi’s new gallery district”, as published by AFP in December 2011.
As suggested in a recent Art Radar post on the India Art Fair, held at the end of January 2012, members of India’s growing middle class, especially those of the younger generation, are beginning to diversify their investment portfolios by acquiring artwork. These collectors are often new to the art scene, welcome exposure to different art forms and are keen to increase their knowledge in art. As such, the country is at the top of the list for international gallerists and art professionals who are focusing on emerging art markets. Local dealers, too, are looking for larger and more flexible exhibition spaces to show contemporary art.
In 2009, the owner of Anant Art Gallery, Mamta Singhania, was the first person to open a gallery in Lado Sarai. Located in the southwest of New Delhi, it is a district full of small retail stores selling mostly clothes and food, and is close to Hauz Khas, a hip locale for art and culture. Given that the area also enjoys relatively low rent on large spaces, it is no surprise that other galleries soon followed Singhania’s example and moved in to the area. The AFP article notes,
The attraction of Lado Sarai is its status as an autonomous village, which means it is not subject to the restrictive planning policies of the municipal authorities, and rents are far lower than in central Delhi.
Since Anant Art opened its doors less than three years ago, more than fifteen galleries have followed suit, each with a different focus and level of quality: Exhibit 320, opened by Rasika Kajaria, a young collector turned gallerist, supports younger artists and experimental art, Anant Art Gallery promotes cutting edge contemporary Indian art and Art.Motif shows contemporary abstract and non-figurative paintings by both emerging and established artists. Established by the Bajaj Capital Art House, Art Positive is both a gallery and a café. While the gallery offers artworks in various media and provides art advisory services, the café, called “Book CaféArteria”, holds regular events and serves as a hot spot for art professionals and collectors looking to exchange ideas. Other galleries in the area include Gallery Threshold, Art Eterne, Latitude 28, Krishna’s Collection, Must Art Gallery and Artoholic’s.
Lado Serai is now a busy, popular art district where collectors can find a variety of galleries and artwork in one spot. And since the galleries are all roughly located on the same street, visitors can hop from one to the other easily. In fact, rather than competing with each other, the galleries often benefit from their close proximity by scheduling exhibition openings and public events on the same night, such as ‘Art Nite at Lado Sarai‘, which took place in October 2011.
- What is ahead for contemporary Asian art, 2012 and beyond? Part III – February 2012 – take a look at trends that have a vital influence on the contemporary art world
- Words in Art: How Indian-born painter Sujata Bajaj uses Sanskrit on canvas – December 2011 – Indian painter Sujata Bajaj talks about her practice in her Paris studio
- Yoko Ono to exhibit solo in India for first time – Times of India – December 2011 – Yoko Ono’s first Indian solo at Vadehra Gallery in New Delhi
- Buying Indian art for the new collector – Business Today – November 2011 – valuable advice from knowledgeable professionals about purchasing or investing in Indian art
- “The Empire Strikes Back – Indian art Today” at Saatchi Gallery: critics’ review round-up – February 2011 – cultural implications of contemporary Indian art in British society and the exhibition’s impact on the art market
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