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India Art Summit 2011 publicity poster

Exoticism and the Power of a Positive Thrill: India Art Summit 2011 0

Interiew by Elīna Ruka

An interview with the Latvian gallery Galerija 21 about their participation in the Indian modern and contemporary art fair India Art Summit.

The Indian art fair India Art Summit took place this year for the third time in New Dehli, from January 20–23. The fair mostly featured the participation of local galleries, though it also included the well-known international galleries Lisson Gallery (UK), Galerie Baudoin Lebon (France), and Die Galerie (Germany). Overall, twenty-one countries were represented, including Japan, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Portugal, and Latvia. The organizers view the fair as having lots of promise—in India, the number of art connoisseurs and collectors is growing at incredible speed. The fair’s popularity and influence is confirmed by a doubling in the number of participants and visitors. The biggest event at the fair was a presentation of works by world-famous Indian-born sculptor Anish Kapoor, whose works were on view in India for the first time, thanks to the efforts of the Lisson Gallery.

Besides the fair, visitors also had the chance to view exhibits and performances specially organized for the event, as well as listen to seminars and panel discussions about the work of curators today and the role of museums and the media. These seminars and discussion feature the participation of Anish Kapoor; the Tate Modern’s chief curator, Sheena Wagstaff; Switzerland’s Winterthur Photography Museum curator Urs Stahel; and the San Francisco Art Institute exhibition and public program director, Hou Honru.

In the exhibits organized by Galerija 21, one can definitely feel a support for young and talented professionals, not only from Latvia but also from Lithuania and Estonia. In order to find out more about the fair, I spoke with Galerija 21 employees Elīna Zuzāne, Līva Veiherte, and Zane Reķe, who traveled to India to exhibit works by artist Anita Arbidāne (1983). They describe the artist as  “one of the best and brightest young representatives of figural painting. The artist’s work blends the style of classical painting and historical periods with contemporary details, which are woven into the works so subtly and self-evidently that the barrier between eras is imperceptibly dismantled.”