CopalThe Leading Authority on Indian Art Weekly Collector Issue: I March 2011 Newsletter for Art Collectors & Aficionados
Thought for the week:“There is neither this world nor the world beyond nor happiness for the one who doubts”~Bhagwat GitaUNION BUDGET OF INDIA 2011: ART UPBEAT– Bolstering the morale of the countrys institutional arts promoters, objects of arts andantiquities of foreign origin brought to the country by government art institutions (for exhibition)will be kept out of import duties to enrich the countrys arts education and awareness scenario.– Works of art and antiquities are exempt from customs duties when imported for exhibition in apublic museum or national institutions.– In recent years, many organisations have joined the cause of promoting and popularising bothtraditional and contemporary art. Some of them have been active in locating heritage works ofIndian origin in foreign countries and bringing them back home. The exemption from customduties will give confidence to promoters of such initiatives henceforth.– In the central allocation plan for culture, the government has earmarked USD 33,815, 576 (INR152 crore) for the Archaeological Survey of India and USD 15,572,962 (INR 70 crore) for thebirth anniversary celebrations of Tagore (INR 50 crore) and seer Vivekananda (INR 20 crore).– The government has allocated USD 174, 639, 652(INR 785 crore) under the plan head and USD123, 026, 405 (INR 553 crore) under non-plan head for art and culture, taking the total outlay toUSD 297, 666, 057 (INR 1,338 crore).* Copal Comments on the Budget have featured in a story done by IANS dated March 1 excerptsof which are highlighted in the Copal in News section of the newsletter.
LARGEST KNOWN MUGHAL PAINTING TO BE AUCTIONEDEmperor JehangirA life- size portrait of Mughal emperor Jehangir will go under the hammer at the Bonhams auctionhouse of London on April 5, 2011 and the lowest bid will start from USD 1,624,037 (INR 7.3crore).The Mughal Empire was a dominant power in the Indian sub continent between the mid-16thcentury and the early 18th century. Founded in 1526, it officially survived until 1858, when it wassupplanted by the British rule. Jehangir who ruled India from 1605 to 1627 was a very artisticmonarch and a great appreciator and critic of art.The work painted in the style of a European portrait of the early 1600s, is attributed to thecontemporary artist, Abul Hasan, who belonged to Delhi(India) and was better known as Nadir al-Zaman, or Wonder of the Age. It was the emperor who had bestowed this grandiose title on hisfavourite painter. Abul Hasans main task was to document events at the imperial court and thisresulted in many striking portraits, like the one being auctioned.The painting shows Jehangir seated on a gilded throne holding a globe, and wearing elaboraterobes and jewellery.Copal Comments: This is the largest and one of the rarest 17th- century paintings ever to come toan auction. Many such old Indian artefacts have been auctioned before like Tipu Sultans swordthat fetched USD 814,402 in April 2010 and Maharaja Duleep Singhs bust that went for USD2,892, 121in April 2007. It is not only stimulating to see great works by artists belonging to Indiafeature in prominent auction houses but such instances are a beginning of what shall be a definingmoment in the history of art and heritage: Resurgence of Indian art.Source: Copal, Mail Today
SJMA PRESENTS LANDMARK EXHIBITION OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARYART FROM INDIAThe San Jose Museum of Art presents a landmark exhibition of modern and contemporary art fromIndia that started on February 25 and will be on display till September 4, 2011. It has been tiled“Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern and Contemporary Art from India” and is drawnentirely from eleven private collections in the San Francisco Bay Area. The exhibition showcasesimportant works of modern and contemporary South Asian art that are rarely seen on the WestCoast.Untitled by Tyeb Mehta“Indian art is a dynamic and fast-growing presence on the international art scene, yet it is stillrarely explored in museums in this country”~Susan Krane, Oshman Executive Director at SJMA.“The dramatic economic and social transformation of India since 1947, when it gainedindependence from British rule, has bred a similar explosion of activity in the visual arts. Theseartists embrace both the international art world (with its penchant for artistic innovation) and thespiritual roots of Indian art. They draw on a multifaceted artistic heritage of political engagement,popular culture, classical mythology, and folk traditions.”~Kristen Evangelista, curator at SJMAThe exhibition includes more than thirty paintings, as well as approximately ten drawings andwatercolours and seven sculptures.Modern artists whose works are included in the exhibition are one of Copal Recommended M FHusain, Tyeb Mehta, S H Raza(who are renowned modernists belonging to the Indian progressiveartists group), , Ganesh Pyne, Jamini Roy, Krishen Khanna, Manjit Bawa, Ram Kumar and V SGaitonde. Other moderns featuring are F N Souza, Jagdish Swaminathan, Jehangir Sabavala,K.G. Subramanyan and Madhvi Parekh.
AWARD IN MEMORY OF RABINDRANATH TAGOREThe government of India will institute a new international award in memory of Nobel laureateRabindranath Tagore, whose 150th Birth Anniversary is on May 7, 2011.The award carrying a purse of USD 222,470 (INR 1 crore) will be awarded for exemplarycontribution to promotion of world peace, brotherhood, amity and cultural harmony. Such initiativesproposed to perpetuate the legacy of the literary icon, will be a joint exercise between India andBangladesh under the aegis of the India-Bangladesh Celebrations Committee. In the centralallocation plan for culture in 2011-2012, the government has earmarked USD 15,572,962 (INR 70crore) for the birth anniversary celebrations of Tagore.Source: Copal, Economic TimesOGLETHORPE WELCOMES INDIAN ARTOglethorpe University Museum of Arts in Atlanta has unveiled an original exhibit from India onMarch 1, 2011. Donald Rubin, an alumnus of Oglethorpe, presents the full collection named“Goddess, Lion, Peasant, Priest: Modern and Contemporary Indian Art,” which debuts with morethan 50 works from 28 of Indias artists. Francis Newton Souza, Sakti Burman and Seema Kohli,along with many others, will be featured.Donald and Shelley Rubin are avid collectors of Himalayan art and wanted to display the diversestyles and concepts of Indian life. This collection consists of modern art that is meant to focus on thefigural in modern Indian art. Modern artists in India painted abstract works, landscapes, cityscapesand other subjects, but the Rubins see in the figural work from the last 60 years something that speaksto the common humanity while showing the particular struggles and joys found in India.This exhibit strives to open observers eyes to the fact that modern art exists not only in Europe andNorth America but around the globe.Oglethorpes museum is open Tuesday to Sunday noon to 5 p.m. and general admission is USD 5. Tokick off the exhibitions premiere, the Taste of India Gala, will be held March 12 at 7 p.m. inOglethorpes Museum of Art.Source: Elise Colcord, Neighbour Newspapers Atlanta
RAZA IN NEWSA full page story on SH Raza as appeared in Times of India dated February 26, 2011 by YashodharaDalmia.After six long decades in France, SH Raza, one of Indias oldest and most celebrated painters, hasreturned to the country of his birth. Raza and Husain are the only two surviving members of theProgressive Artists Group that was set up in a newly independent India by a group of young artists toexplore and encourage a modern Indian artistic style. The Progressives continue to be Indiasbestselling artists, none more so than the 88-year-old Raza whos Saurashtra, a magnificent seven-foot painting in terracotta hues, holds the record for the most expensive modern Indian artwork atUSD 3,559, 534 (INR 16 crore) in a Christies auction in 2010.Source: Excerpts from the articleCOLLECTING BEYOND ARTA recent article by Kishore Singh as appeared in Business Standard dated February 23, 2011highlights the untapped market of Antiquities.If there is one area where Indians would indulge in for something that is old, it would be Antiquities,but this is also an area that is currently fraught with uncertainties. Clarity in the field of antiques isdifficult to come by and in the absence of proper paperwork, the segment is hugely undervalued.There is a strong reason to monitor such trade as it deals with our heritage. But mostly people remainwary of government legislation, suspicious of the need to register their treasures, unsure of how to goabout it, unclear about what makes an antique, and prefer status-quo to the apprehension of gettingwedged in bureaucratic red-tape.
Copal Comments: It is a well observed vogue that antiquities are an opportune collectible and isaspired largely by sophisticated collectors. Its scope has been mounting with awareness and savour,but if the concerned authorities could effectively legislate and have a transparent set of guidelines,then the opportunity of seeing antiques as a major collectible through legalised platforms andstructure, will create more collectors for India and will eventually benefit the cultural prospects ofthe nation. Finally, Heritage is one thing that belongs entirely to a nation and it is the nationsobligation to never let it fade.Source: Copal, Excerpts from the articleINGRESS FOR THE VISUALLY-IMPAIREDThe National Museum in Delhi has put in place, a system to enable visually-impaired people to walkthrough and appreciate art becoming the first museum in India to provide such accessibility to thevisually challenged.– The Museum has installed monograms, signs and Braille inscriptions to make the objects blind-friendly. Though the visually-impaired visited the museum earlier, they had to take the help of theguides and could only listen to the narrations. Now they can feel and learn by touching the objects.– Besides, the main passages, ramps and galleries have been reworked to be made barrier-free.Likewise, the necessary modifications have also been made to accommodate mentally challengedpeople.– This highly focused system will be extended to other marginalised sections like spastics and streetchildren.– As part of the art education programme for marginalised children, the museum is organising atactile exhibition for the visually impaired next month.Copal Comments: It is truly an enriching and ennobling initiative taken up by the Museum and thiswill surely guide the fraternity and the physically and mentally frail towards an improved outlook offeeling art. We wish the best for such initiatives and hope to see more such endeavours to elevate thestandards of art display in India because to appreciate art, one must understand it, and tounderstand art, one must feel it.Source: Copal, National Museum
COPAL IN NEWSAjay Seths (Chief Mentor, Copal) views have been featured in a story done by IANS datedMarch 1, 2011 on the budget allocation for Art in India.Budget Fees Art From Customs ShacklesIndias art fraternity Monday gave a go ahead to the budget for 2011-12, saying it would freeimported art and antiquities from the shackles of customs duties and help bring more works fromabroad to the country. Culture Minister Kumari Selja also hailed the move.Excerpts from the story featuring Ajay Seths comments on the Budget:It is a very good move not only for the community of private promoters, but also for the countrysartistic heritage. We encountered several procedural and economic difficulties in importing nationalheritage art located abroad to India, Ajay Seth, of Copal Art, a leading art promotion platform, toldIANS.The move will help bring heritage back to the country and also encourage display of good foreignart in India, said Seth.Several of Tagores important art works are located abroad and the removal of customs duty fromimported art and antiquities for display will make it easy for us to buy some of his art and bring themback to India for a major exhibition, Seth said.However, Seth said he was disappointed over the outlay of Rs.785 crore (under the plan head) forculture in the budget, a marginal increase from Rs.735 crore in 2010-2011.
COPAL COLLECTORS COLUMNBeing the first issue of Copal Newsletter for the month of March, this features a column dedicated toacknowledge views of Copal Collectors & Associates. It aims to highlight the outlook of Collectorson Art, Indian Art, its valuation, aesthetics and other significant aspects pertaining to Art. Thisendeavour is to encourage exchange of ideas on Art and to promote familiarity and awareness on thesame.This week, an associate of Copal who has a personal collection of over 50 artworks from across theworld shares his journey with Art hitherto.I do not remember precisely, I think I was 12 when I first saw my mother bringing in a huge canvasby Manjit Bawa and hung it on the void wall in our living area. It was an amusing show for a onetimespectacle, but as we began living with the mythological scenes depicted in the painting, I observed atrace of Sufi spirituality, the tranquil scenes of peace, the flute-playing Krishna and the cattle, thenaive depiction of love and worship. I asked my mother “Why people fly in Bawas paintings”? Shelight-heartedly replied “Thats because it is only in art that they free themselves; that they fly”. Artto me thereafter became a covert feeling that is experienced by those who really (exaggeration onpurpose) believe in what they collect and live with.Few words from my mothers personal memoir:I have prayed all my life for the strength to unravel my soul and secede from within. God insteadgave me Art(Collector wishes not be named)To share your ideas for the column, write to us at email@example.com or call us at 011-40647046-52.
EVENTSCelebrating the Essence of MonochromeIn his musings on the worlds of black and white, Nandan Purkayastha weaves a theatrical play ofstrokes and elemental characters through deployment of his pen.National Gallery of Modern Arts, India Gate, DelhiDate: March 7 - April 2, 2011 Time: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PMSolo ShowChronicles of a Past Life (photographs of Bombay from 1976 -1983) by award winningphotographer Pablo Bartholomew.Sakshi Gallery, Colaba, MumbaiDate: On till March 07, 2011 Time: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PMJaya Utsav: Sacred Geography and Aesthetic ExpressionsThis exhibition is a must-watch!Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Janpath, DelhiDate: On till March 10, 2011 Time: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
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