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Archive for the ‘Anupam Poddar’ Category

Bani Abidi on Indian video art, a medium on the rise – interview Tehelka Magazine

Posted by artradar on August 18, 2009


CONTEMPORARY INDIAN VIDEO ART

Who are the emerging Indian video artists and the collectors of this up-and-coming genre? How can collectors display the work and should they be concerned with authenticity? Where can video art be seen and bought? Read on to find out more:

Video art: it is new

Video has the capacity to move a viewer, express emotion, and provoke thought. It is no surprise, then, that contemporary artists who have grown up exposed to moving images and storytelling films are utilizing video to express their artworks, and the medium has been elevated to a fine art that is being embraced by museums and collectors alike.

However, video art has only existed for about the past 50 years, or since the equipment became easily available to creatives for use. It surprisingly took awhile to gain momentum in India, a country with a rich film-making history, and has only gained popularity in the past few years.

But it is here to stay

Now, however, video is a mainstay in the contemporary Indian art scene with galleries exclusively devoted to the medium such as the Apeejay Gallery which has solely shown video and film art for the past 5 years. Video art is a necessary part of the best well-rounded contemporary art collections too and can be found in important collections such as the Lekha and Anupam Poddar Collection with the Devi Art Foundation.

But, the question remains, what exactly is video art, and how is it different from ordinary film?

So what is it exactly?

Bani Abidi, an active Pakistani video artist with pieces on display at museums including the MoMA in New York and the Devi Art Foundation Delhi, sheds some light on the distinction of video art in an interview with Tehelka Magazine.

Mangoes, 1999, by Bani Abidi. Video, Single Channel, 3:24 sec. Two expatriate Pakistani and Indian women sit and eat mangoes together and reminisce about their childhood. An otherwise touching encounter turns sour when they start comparing the range of mangoes grown in either country, a comment on the heightened sense of nostalgia and nationalism that exists in the Indian and Pakistani Diaspora. Both the women are played by the artist, stressing the idea of a shared history.

Mangoes, 1999, by Bani Abidi. Video, Single Channel, 3:24 sec. "Two expatriate Pakistani and Indian women sit and eat mangoes together and reminisce about their childhood. An otherwise touching encounter turns sour when they start comparing the range of mangoes grown in either country, a comment on the heightened sense of nostalgia and nationalism that exists in the Indian and Pakistani Diaspora. Both the women are played by the artist, stressing the idea of a shared history."

“…A lot of artists work with abstract images. But then many don’t. The conventional idea of a plot, with a beginning, middle and end is only one way of storytelling. So if one wants to engage fully with the history and potential of the moving image, whether it is a feature film, a documentary, experimental cinema or an art work, the attachment to plot needs to loosen.

Defining video art is as difficult as trying to define painting as this or that type of image. Video art as a term makes more sense in historic terms. In the late 1960s, artists in Europe, Japan and North America had a grand time with the arrival of the first camcorder, the Sony Portapak…

Over the years, video art’s practitioners, influences and mediums have changed. The video medium is no longer of essence. Some artists use 16mm film and elaborate production methods to make short films, others fix their cameras on tripods and shoot performances in their studio. Some use broadcast quality video equipment to shoot an experimental documentary on the streets and yet another lot might just use archival television footage as material”

Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner, 2004, by Bani Adibi. Video, Double Channel, 7:30 sec. " Video, Double Channel, 7:30 sec  Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner, 2004  In November of 2003, the artist commissioned a brass pipe band in Lahore to learn how to play the American National Anthem, a piece that was not a part of their existing repertoire. Over an afternoon's sitting of listening to a recording of the music that had been provided them, and after much fumbling and practicing they were able to perform a version of it. The video is a recording of this process as well as a glimpse of their interaction and physical surroundings.  This piece is a metaphor for all forms of clumsy and forced cultural and political acquiescence that various individuals and governments have had to display towards the US in the past 3 years."

Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner, 2004, by Bani Adibi. Video, Double Channel, 7:30 sec. "In November of 2003, the artist commissioned a brass pipe band in Lahore to learn how to play the American National Anthem, a piece that was not a part of their existing repertoire. Over an afternoon's sitting of listening to a recording of the music that had been provided them, and after much fumbling and practicing they were able to perform a version of it. The video is a recording of this process as well as a glimpse of their interaction and physical surroundings. This piece is a metaphor for all forms of clumsy and forced cultural and political acquiescence that various individuals and governments have had to display towards the US in the past 3 years."

When asked where to go to experience video art in India, Abidi replied:

Big galleries in Indian metros frequently feature video art. Gallery Espace in New Delhi hosted a year-long program called Video Wednesdays, where guest curators were invited to present their selection of videos once a week. It culminated in a discussion and a final show which took place last week. At the India Art Summit in Delhi (August 19 to 21 2009) you can watch over 90 videos.

Regarding notable Indian video artists, Abidi commented:

Nalini Malini and Ranbir Kaleka are two of the most senior practitioners of this medium and both incorporate their experience of painting and art history in their projects. A filmmaker like Amar Kanwar comes from a documentary film tradition. Younger artists like Shilpa Gupta, Sonia Khurana and Kiran Subbaiah move between the roles of activist, performer and cinematographer.

'Bird', by Sonia Khurana. Performance video, 1999. Duration, 2 minutes. Videotape, black and white, silent. Performed, shot, edited and conceptualized by Sonia Khurana.

'Bird', by Sonia Khurana. Performance video, 1999. Duration, 2 minutes. Videotape, black and white, silent. Performed, shot, edited and conceptualized by Sonia Khurana.

DISPLAY

An important distinction of video art lies within its display, which is a deliberate and important element of the artwork, and distinguishes it as more of an installation art piece than a conventional film.  Some artists provide buyers with highly specific drawn instruction of their display design, while others only require works to be played in a loop on a wall-mounted flat screen. Custom plans for the display of video art in a buyer’s home can get extremely creative, and include projection on suspended screens or other unexpected surfaces.

BUYERS

The all important question among the commercially minded arts scene: Does it sell?!? Like all commercially available art, contemporary video artists are keen to find collectors. Bhavna Kakar is a curatur-turned-gallerist who is embarking on a project promoting Indian video artists, and during an interview with the Times of India he remarks, “Five years ago, there were no takers but now works are selling.”

Auction houses are also promoting Indian video art, with Sotheby’s selling Sonia Khurana’s video work Bird: Retake in the 2007 Southeast Asian art auction. Indian video artists have found support in both private collectors and museums, and an emerging group of contemporary art collectors, including the notable private collectors Anurag Khanna and Swapan Seth,  have collections that are mostly comprised of video artworks.

AUTHENTICITY

Video art may have a viable base of enthusiastic collectors, but a common problem now with the buying and selling of video is the issue of unauthorized replication that devalues the legitimate limited edition works produced by an artist. This problem has been addressed with authenticity certificates, which are official documents required for the buying and reselling of pieces. Artists are also including watermarks in their videos, which can indicate authenticity to curators.

Curators and gallerists believe that video art is a natural progression for the generation that grew up in front of the TV and surfing the internet [Times of India.] In addition, convenient platforms like Youtube  are making the display of video artworks to vast audiences very easy and cheap. The nature of video is also very tactile, as it can be easily edited and changed to create something new. Considering all these traits, more talented, tech-savvy youthful artists are sure to emerge. Arts-watchers should know, video art is officially a trend.

Read full interview with Tehelka Magazine here.

-contributed by Erin Wooters

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Posted in Anupam Poddar, Collectors, India, Indian, Interviews, Museum collectors, Nalini Malini, New Delhi, Shilpa Gupta, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Top 10 most influential contemporary art collectors – Apollo Magazine

Posted by artradar on April 13, 2009


CONTEMPORARY ART COLLECTORS

The collectors who really matter to the history of art are not necessarily the very richest or even the most acquisitive says Martin Bailey in Apollo Magazine:

They are those who by their example set standards for others, encourage interest in the art they collect and share their treasures with the public. In short, the collectors of greatest importance are those who wield the greatest influence.

Of APOLLO’S list of the 20 most influential collectors today, 10 collect contemporary work. Here is a list with some brief ntoes. For more information see the full article go to Apollo Top 20 most influential art collectors.

ELI BROAD

Post-war and contemporary Nationality: American Age: 75 Source of wealth: Property and insurance

Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, began to collect modern and contemporary art in the 1970s, and have amassed one of America’s greatest private collections. They have nearly 2,000 pieces.

Broad was also the founding chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He has given $26m to help build a Zaha Hadid-designed art museum at Michigan State University; building work is due for completion in 2010.

EUGENIO LOPEZ ALONSO

Latin American and international contemporary Nationality: Mexican Age: 40 Source of wealth: Food processing

Eugenio Lopez inherited the Jumex fruit juice business. Although relatively young, he has amassed one of the largest private collections of modern Latin American art. Lopez’s collection comprises 1,500 works, half Latin American and half international.

FRANCOIS PINAULT

Contemporary Art Nationality: French Age: 71 Source of wealth: Luxury goods

Starting by collecting early modernism, Francois Pinault quickly moved into post-war American painting and finally into contemporary art. In 1998 he purchased a controlling share in Christie’s, which puts him in the centre of the art world. Pinault has long wanted to display his collection, now comprising 2,500 works. After scrapping plans for a museum in a former Renault factory on Ile Seguin, in the Seine in western Paris, he took over Palazzo Grassi in Venice, which reopened in 2006. Even more ambitiously, the Francois Pinault Foundation is transforming Venice’s Punta della Dogana (customs building) into a contemporary art centre, which is due to open in June 2009 for the Biennale.

VIKTOR PINCHUK

Contemporary Art Nationality: Ukrainian Age: 47 Source of wealth: Steel

Viktor Pinchuk’s collecting began in the early 1990s with Russian impressionism. He subsequently developed the idea of opening a public display, and turned towards contemporary art, feeling that this would be more popular. In September 2006 the Victor Pinchuk Foundation opened the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev, which is one of the largest public galleries for contemporary art in eastern Europe. Owning 300 works, it comprises both Ukrainian and international art. In January Peter Doroshenko became its artistic director (he is an American of Ukrainian background and formerly director of the Baltic in Gateshead, northern England). Among Pinchuk’s recent purchases is Koons’s Hanging Heart, for which he paid $24m.

LEKHA & ANUPAM PODDAR

Indian Art Nationality: Indian Age: unknown; 34 Source of wealth: Paper industry and hotels

Lekha Poddar, from Delhi, began collecting in the late 1970s and her son Anupam in 2000. Together they recently set up the Devi Art Foundation. They now have 7,000 works of Indian art, ranging from tribal to contemporary (with some from neighbouring countries).

DON & MERA RUBELL

Contemporary Art Nationality: American Age: 66; unknown Source of wealth: Inheritance and hotels

Based in Miami Beach, the Rubells began to collect in the 1960s, and after receiving an inheritance in 1989 were able to expand their ambitions, both to build the collection and open it to the public. Their daughter and son, Jennifer and Jason (and Jason’s wife, Michelle), are closely involved, which explains why it is known as the Rubell Family Collection. In 1996 their Contemporary Arts Foundation opened a public space in a former Drug Enforcement Agency warehouse in Wynwood, north Miami, to show a changing selection of works in 27 rooms. The collection now comprises over 5,000 pieces. The Rubells particularly enjoy discovering up-and-coming artists.

CHARLES SAATCHI

Contemporary Art Nationality: British Age: 65 Source of wealth: Advertising

Charles Saatchi is probably Europe’s most powerful collector of contemporary art. With his first wife, Doris Lockhart, he began with American abstraction in the 1970s. In 1985 he opened his first public gallery, in Boundary Road, north London. By the end of the decade he had turned to British artists, later commissioning Hirst’s ‘Shark’ and buying Emin’s ‘Bed’ and the Chapman Brothers’ Hell Having become the leading patron of the Young British Artists (YBAS), he shot to fame with his controversial ‘Sensation’ exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1997, which then toured to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. In 2003 his gallery moved from Boundary Road to County Hall, where it remained for two years. His current space is  in the King’s Road, Chelsea, in a converted army barracks.

Saatchi not only buys, but also sells, so his collection is constantly evolving. He owns around 3,000 works. Although wanting the public to enjoy his art, he remains a rather private figure.

SAUD AL-THANI–Eclectic, but particularly Islamic and natural history Nationality: Qatari Age 41 Source of wealth: Family wealth

Sheikh Saud al-Thani is a cousin of the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. As chairman of the country’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage, he was responsible for buying for a group of new museums that are being set up in the capital, Doha. However, it has often been unclear whether his purchases were for the national museums or his personal collection. The scope of his purchases is enormous, ranging from antiquities to 20th-century furniture. Money is no problem. Saud al-Thani’s current personal role in collecting is unclear, but other members of the family are voracious buyers.

DAVID THOMSON

19th-century English to contemporary art Nationality: Canadian Age: 51 Source of wealth: Media

David Thomson, the 3rd Lord Thomson, is the son of the media owner Kenneth Thomson, who died in 2006. Kenneth Thomson was a very major donor to the Art Gallery of Ontario, to which he gave 2,000 works in 2002.

GUY ULLENS

Chinese contemporary art Nationality: Belgian Age: 73 Source of wealth: Food processing

Baron Guy Ullens is of Belgian origin, but resident in Switzerland. He began to collect classical Chinese painting while on business trips to China, but in the 1980s, together with his wife, Myriam, he branched out into Chinese contemporary art-famously selling his paintings by Turner to finance his purchases. Today he owns one of the world’s finest collections, with 2,000 works.

In November 2007 Ullens opened a permanent space in a restored military factory in Beijing, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. It has changing displays, with works from the Ullens collection and outside loans (including international art).

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Posted in Anupam Poddar, Francois Pinault, Saatchi, Ullens, Viktor Pinchuk | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

India’s first art museum Devi employs student curators for its second show – review Livemint

Posted by artradar on January 11, 2009


Shilpa Gupta Blame

Shilpa Gupta Blame

 

INDIAN ART MUSEUM SHOW

Where in The World to 3 May 2009 Devi Art Foundation

Renowned Indian art collector Anupam Poddar opened India’s first art museum, the Devi Art Foundation in 2008. ‘Where in the World’ is its second exhibition and contains works from the Lekha and Anupam Poddar collection of contemporary Indian art. According to Devi’s website

This collection will be the future’s memory of this phase in Indian art. In the absence of other such collections, it may be our only memory of these years.

”Where in the World’ was curated by the students from the first class on art curating at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the result is  ‘adolescent’ says Livemint which at the same time lauds collector Anupam Poddar’s ‘noble’ efforts to promote art education.

while the curating of the show may be weak, it speaks volumes for the foundation that it chose to work with students rather than experienced curators for its second show. It shows that the foundation’s mission is to encourage education just as much as it is to display and promote art.

Happily the  ‘shaky’ execution of the display in which artworks overlap and descriptions are taped to the wall, is more than compensated for by the quality of the works

the artwork is without question some of the best contemporary art in the country.

Poddars before Jaguar in love

Poddars before Jaguar in love

In particular Livemint likes

Atul Dodiya’s mixed media painting B for Bapu, which traps Gandhi behind a rolling grill shutter and Sudarshan Shetty’s giant T-Rex fornicating with a Jaguar (the car) in Love (both of which) have rarely been displayed in the public sphere before.

And overall the show can be enjoyed for its

  sense of playfulness: Rooms hum with the clattering of typewriters and odd machines blow bubbles. Viewers must walk into Shilpa Gupta’s strange apothecary shop, Blame, where the word “Blame” pulsates off flourescent-lit glass bottles.

Newer work, such as the installation Untitled by Susanta Mandal that plays with bubbles; and the video installation piece Pan(i) City by Gigi Scaria, are also given space alongside more monumental pieces from the recent past.

In sum

While there are still some kinks to work out, the exhibit proves Poddar’s genius. The foundation is a force to be reckoned with: It is not about consumerism or the marketability of Indian art, but the simple pursuit of celebrating contemporary art in India.

Livemint

The exhibition includes works by A Balasubramaniam, Atul Bhalla, C. Nannaiah, Sheba Chhachhi, Krishnaraj Chonat, Nikhil Chopra, Atul Dodiya, Anita Dube, Nicola Durvasula, Sheela Gowda, Probir Gupta, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, Sonia Jabbar, Bharti Kher, Sonia Khurana, Susanta Mandal, N. Pushpamala, Jeetander Ojha, Jagannath Panda, Srinivasa Prasad, Ashim Purkayastha, Gigi Scaria, Mithu Sen, Tejal Shah, Sudarshan Shetty, T.V.Santhosh, and Navin Thomas.

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Posted in Anupam Poddar, Atul Dodiya, Bharti Kher, Collectors, Curators, Emerging artists, Gigi Scaria, India, Individual, Mithu Sen, Museum shows, Museums, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, Surveys, Susanta Mandel, TV Santosh | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New nonprofit museum of Indian art groundbreaking first for India – Christies, New York Times

Posted by artradar on September 20, 2008


Anupam Poddar and his mother Lekha

Anupam Poddar and his mother Lekha

MUSEUM INDIAN ART NEW MEDIA EXHIBITION to 30 September 2008

Spread over two floors and 7,500 square feet in an office tower in the Gurgaon suburb of New Delhi , the Devi Art Foundation, as it is called opened in August 2008 with an inaugural show of photography and video called “Still Moving Image.” It features the work of 25 artists, a fraction of the roughly 2,000 contemporary pieces that make up the collection of 34 year old hotel magnate and leading art collector Anupam Poddar, along with an estimated 5,000 folk and tribal pieces, which are his mother’s passion.Devi is India’s first noncommercial, nonprofit exhibition space for contemporary art from India and the subcontinent. Yamini Mehta, director of modern and contemporary Indian art at Christie’s auction house in London, described it as “a truly groundbreaking first for India.”

The New York Times says “the birth of the Devi Art Foundation signals a sort of turning point in the Indian art scene, in that it opens up a private family trove to the public and is devoted entirely to contemporary art.””The Poddars are known in the art world here for their daring eye, for seeking out artists before they start fetching high prices or become recognizable names at fashionable Delhi dinner parties. Mr. Poddar scouts art college graduations for new talent, though it must be said that many of the artists he sought out years ago, like Subodh Gupta and Sudarshan Shetty, are now among the most recognizable names at those fashionable parties.”

The post-Indian-independence generation of artists known as the Progressives collected by his mother did not resonate with the son. He gravitated toward artists of his own generation. “Their vision of India was similar to mine,” he said. “It was being part of this – I hate this word – global world. It wasn’t just India. It wasn’t so isolated. They were working with sculpture, installation, with new media.”His first acquisition, in 1999, was a life-size pink fiberglass cow by Mr. Gupta. “It was quintessentially Indian but modern in its essence,” he said. “That’s what spoke to me.”

The inaugural exhibition of contemporary photography and video brings together the works of Aastha Chauhan, Baptist Coelho, Atul Bhalla, Avinash Veeraghavan, Bharti Kher, Kiran Subbaiah, Mithu Sen, Nalini Malani, Navin Thomas, Pushpamala N., Ram Rahman, Rameshwar Broota, Ranbir Kaleka, Ravi Agarwal, Sheba Chhachhi, Shilpa Gupta, Sonia Khurana, Sudarshan Shetty, Surekha, Susanta Mandal, Tejal Shah, Tushar Joag, Valay Shende, Varsha Nair and Vivan Sundaram.

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Posted in Anupam Poddar, Art spaces, Collectors, India, Indian, New Media, Nonprofit, Photography, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »