Fresh Coat of Paint
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It might be some time before there is respite from the scorching heat in the Capital, but in the art circuit, the dormant summer will come to an end sooner. The artists who were travelling to escape the soaring temperatures will be back home in a few weeks and the galleries are already preparing for packed openings. While the city's newest art fair, United Art Fair, makes its debut in September, a series of grand exhibitions are lined up at galleries for the opening of the new season next month.
"There is an overall slowdown in the economy and it is important for the gallerists to come up with exciting projects," says Renu Modi, director of Gallery Espace. The gallery collection on her walls will be replaced with the work of J Swaminathan in one of the more looked-forward-to solos of the coming season. This will span over a decade of the modernist's work, from 1952 onwards. "This is the period when he was staying with his father in Karol Bagh," says the gallerist, who plans to organise a book reading of Swaminathan's unpublished autobiography before the exhibition.
Celebrating the work of another modernist will be Delhi Art Gallery (DAG), where a retrospective of Avinash Chandra is being planned. An alumna of Delhi Polytechnic Art School, Chandra moved to the UK in the '50s. "He is well-recognised in the west, but this would be his first major retrospective in India," says Kishore Singh, publication and exhibition head at DAG, adding that the show will also travel to London. While Chandra's exhibition will take place in September, the new art season will open at DAG with a show on landscapes, in August-September. Accompanied by a tome on the subject, this will feature over 250 works by over a hundred artists, from the colonial painters to JP Ganguly, Bireswar Sen and Ram Kumar. "It will trace landscape art in India over a span of 300 years," notes Singh, adding that in the new season, masters will get recognition. "Akbar Padamsee and Jehangir Sabavala recently created records. We'll see more artists now joining the ranks of the senior grades," notes Singh.
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