Art News & Views

In the News

May 2011

Indian art fair and film fest return to Balboa Park

SAN DIEGO: One of the largest events of its kind in the Southwest, the Museum of Man's 28th annual American Indian Art Market and Film Festival returns to Balboa Park next weekend from May 13 with three days of art exhibits, dancing, foods and handicrafts on display, as well as the museum's second annual Indian film festival.

This year's festival begins May 13 with an artists' reception and dinner from 6 to 8 pm. in the museum rotunda. Events include a silent auction of donated Indian artwork and a dinner catered by Viejas Casino.

One of the fair's most popular elements is its Indian Market, which features all-day art demonstrations and collector-quality jewelry, pottery, Kachina carvings, basketry, beadwork, clothing, quilts, textiles, sculptures, masks, fetishes and paintings – contemporary and traditional. Dozens of American Indian artists are expected to exhibit.

Iran rejects Louvre Museum claims

Iran's National Museum has rejected claims made by France's Louvre Museum about the lack of an agreement on holding exhibitions in Tehran and Paris.

TEHRAN: The National Museum of Iran said that a cultural agreement was signed between Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) and the Louvre Museum on October 31, 2004, under which the two museums were supposed to hold exhibitions in the Iranian and French capitals. The agreement, which is in English, Persian and French, has clearly stated that the two museums can exchange experts and cooperate in research and educational activities, IRNA reported. According to the third article of the agreement, the Iranian and French museums agreed to hold exhibitions in Tehran and Paris. Iran kept its promise and held two exhibitions at the Louvre, one showcasing objects from the Safavid era and the other introducing the ancient Persian Civilization. The French side, however, has not shown any commitment to the promises it made.

The statement also says that the agreement between the two museums expires at the end of June this year and that the Iranian side will no longer cooperate with the Louvre Museum.

Iran announced earlier in April that it had severed all ties with the Louvre Museum because the French art center had not shown any commitment to the promises it made.

This is not the first time for Iran to face such problem. Earlier also they encountered such problems with international museums like the British Museum in February, 2010.

Anish Kapoor unveils “Leviathan” at Monumenta

PARIS: Indian-born, Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor has lived and worked in London for the past four decades. Since his England arrival in the early 1970s, Kapoor has created internationally acclaimed works of art, exhibited at prestigious venues across the globe.

He is renowned for his monumental idiosyncratic sculpture forms of grandiose proportions, which leaves viewers in a state of astonishment, and his current exhibition should be no exception.

Kapoor's 'Leviathan' will be shown in Paris, at Monumenta 2011 from May 11 - June 23 On May 11, Kapoor and Jean de Loisy, exhibition curator, will launch the event with a public discussion

"Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world . . . and I have a particular history with in, in that my first ever exhibition as a very young artist . . . was made here. So it's a particular connection for me. In the intervening 30 years, I've done very few things in Paris. So in a curious way, this is a kind of return," states Kapoor.


PARIS: The sprawling, ambitious exhibition “Paris-Delhi-Bombay” at the Pompidou Centre in Paris starting from 25 May-19 September, 2011 is different from the numerous other surveys of contemporary Indian art that have opened worldwide in the past five years.

There have been shows devoted to the contemporary Indian art scene, both in France and abroad. But to really take the measure of the phenomenon of artistic globalisation, something new was needed,” says Alain Seban, the president of the Pompidou Centre.

With globalisation, we are seeing not only the proliferation of centres of artistic production, but also the possibility of real inter-cultural dialogue. More than 45 high-profile artists, 30 of whom are based or born in India with 18 active in France, give their views of the subcontinent, focusing on national identity, politics, religion, urbanism and issues such as the caste system.

Sophie Duplaix and Fabrice Bousteau, the show's curators, say they want to change entrenched ideas of India: “There is a gap between how the French see India, which remains an outdated view linked to colonialism or the hippy country of the 1970s, and what India is today.” “The show is important because many artists will express how they feel about India, a country we think we know, but our perception is, in fact, based on clichés and prejudices.

Pundole's inaugural auction

MUMBAI: Pundole's inaugural auction for the National Centre for the Performing Arts held at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre in Mumbai last night was very successful, with strong prices achieved for all thirteen artists represented in the sale.

All twenty lots on offer sold above their pre-sale estimates, with the proceeds for the evening totaling Rs. 11, 44, 00,000. The top lot of the evening was Vasudev Gaitonde's canvas from 1970 which sold for Rs. 2,97,00,000 against a presale estimate of Rs. 1,80,00,000  2,20,00,000.

A new world record was set for N.S. Bendre, whose tender work of a mother and child done in his trademark Pointillist style sold for Rs. 99,00,000. V.S. Gaitonde's paper work from 1962 also exceeded presale estimates when it sold for Rs. 66, 00,000. Other strong prices were realized for Badri Narayan's Kukuta Jataka which sold for Rs. 22, 00,000 and a wonderful early example of a still life by K.H. Ara which sold for Rs. 41, 80,000.

Homi Bhabha's charming landscape from 1945 befittingly sold for Rs. 15, 40,000, shattering its pre-sale estimate of Rs. 50,000  70,000.

Despite no Support from Indian Govt, the UK Tagore Fest was successful

TOTNES: A week-long event held in the UK to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore has attracted hundreds of supporters but sparked criticism of the Indian government for not supporting it and not doing enough to promote the literary legend. About 2,000 people, mainly non-Asian, travelled to the new-age town of Totnes, in rural Devon last week, for The Tagore Festival as auto rickshaws plied festival-goers up and down.

Apart from listening to speakers such as Mark Tully and Lord Desai talk about the Bengali poet, festival-goers watched performances by Sonal Mansingh and Satyajit Ray films. One of the most bizarre attractions was a display of a real lock of the poet's beard, which had been sent to Dartington upon Tagore's death in 1941. There was also contemporary art from Shantiniketan.

But Satish Kumar, the artistic director of the festival, said, “The Indian Government did not support the festival. I asked them to pay for Indian artists to come here and they would not.”

Participant Deepak Chopra revealed he was 12 when he started reading Tagore: “India does not promote him at all. Very few people have read his works.”Amit Chaudhuri, author of five novels and a professor at the University of East Anglia blamed the general lack of awareness of Tagore on poor translations.



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