x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

City's first modern Indian art show

One of the largest exhibitions of modern Indian art ever to take place in the UAE opens at the Emirates Palace hotel next week.

ABU DHABI // One of the largest exhibitions of modern Indian art ever to take place in the UAE opens at the Emirates Palace hotel next week. More than 100 paintings, sculptures and installations created by 81 Indian artists will be on view. Entry is free. Works by prominent Indian artists such as Satish Gujral, MF Husain and Anjali Ela Menon will be shown alongside younger ones such as Subodh Gupta. All the art featured was created after India gained independence from Britain in 1947.

"Popular culture such as Bollywood is well known as pervasive," said Talmiz Ahmad, the Indian ambassador. "Without embarrassment, my focus here is high culture. We are seeking to engage the minds and hearts of people." Mr Ahmad and Nazneen Shafi, the artistic director of the show, which is entitled Spectrum, first approached the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage about the exhibition two years ago. Mr Ahmed said it had been hard to find a suitable venue after the Cultural Foundation closed last year.

"The scale of this exhibition was such that we couldn't get a venue. The older Cultural Foundation would've been ideal." All the works arrived by ship from India, because some are so large they could not fit on a cargo plane. Although most of them arrived intact, some, like an installation by Vinay Shinde made entirely out of small clocks will have to be assembled before going on display. Spectrum runs from November 12 to 28.

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae