A home for art
Delhi Art Gallery is documenting and preserving Indian's most important artists' works.
DOING THE NEEDFUL Delhi Art Gallery's Director Ashish Anand is geared up to save authentic art.
For all these years many have been questioning and criticising Delhi's interest in art.
Some questioned the art lovers, others art buyers. A decade and half old Delhi Art Gallery seems to have made an attempt to address few such issues.
It is not only housing the collections of India's most important artists of pre and post Independence era but also has a separate section for their documentation in their special in house research and documentation centre. When they say art, they mean primarily paintings.
The gallery boasts of having important artists of last 100 years documented and preserved through textual material (information through old books, newspapers, catalogues, views of art historians and artists' own writings, etc) and artworks sourced from "authentic collectors, museums, surviving members of the artists' families, etc," informs Ashish Anand, the young owner of the gallery.
Lack of material
Hence from Raja Ravi Verma to Souza to Chittopadaa, the gallery has the collection which is being supervised by eminent art historians, art critics and from time to time art collectors are exposed to these art works for their opinion.
"Unfortunately art in India was not documented and preserved even by the artists themselves in olden days. Art wasn't given its due importance in the society nor was it commercially viable. No one cared to write about them and artists themselves also didn't photograph their works chronologically. Nor did they remember whom they sold their art works to and where. That way documentation became a very tough task for us. When I go to veteran artists now they tell me that they don't have a proof of their earlier works," moans Aand.
He also says that earlier only oil paintings were considered art and not prints though the prints are as important, so old prints are usually unavailable or lay in tatters.
Now to bring "widely scattered" artists from across India, Anand has been travelling and documenting them. Some of them are as important as Gobhardhan Ash and Chittopadda who painted Bengal famine which has become an important contribution to the history of painters and paintings.
In its effort to "make genuine art available to the genuine art lovers," the gallery is soon coming up with a retrospective of important Bengal artists, Sunil Das and Robin Mondal.
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