The New York Times gives the Indian art scene the once over. Somini Sengupta zeros in on the birth of public/private institutions that will form the backbone of an Indian Contemporary art establishment:
India is bursting with commercial art galleries, but Devi is poised to be what the Poddars’ home has been for many years: a 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.”
In a way, Devi (online at www.deviartfoundation.org) is the natural next step for a country awash in new wealth, soaring art prices and a prolific crop of artists and collectors. Think of it as India’s turn to do what the United States did in the early 20th century, when wealthy patrons came together to give birth to some of the most important American cultural institutions. India is not there yet, cautions Vishakha N. Desai, the India-born president of Asia Society in New York, but perhaps heading in that direction.
“I would very much hope that like-minded people will come together to build larger civic institutions that go beyond any individual collector or founder,” Ms. Desai said in an e-mail message.
A modern art museum is also under way in the eastern city of Calcutta. Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architecture firm that built the Tate Modern in London, is designing it. Construction is to start next year, and the museum is to open in late 2013, said Rakhi Sarkar, a collector there and one of the driving forces behind the museum.
Where Tradition Has Ruled, A Home for Contemporary Art (The New York Times)