Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saatchi Auctions Works After Divorce, Art Diesel, The Guild and more


Untold Histories of the Venice Biennale

(Venice Biennale India Pavilion 1954)
The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) New Delhi, presents 'Untold histories: India at the Venice Biennale since 1954,' a talk by Manuela Ciotti, Assistant Professor in Global Studies at Aarhus University and ‘Framing the Global’ Fellow (2011–14) at Indiana University Bloomington.

Manuela Ciotti's talk is part of a larger project on global presences of contemporary art from India, and analyzes the insights emerging from research on India's participation at the Venice Biennale since 1954.

Madanjeet Singh, was the cultural attaché at the Indian Embassy in Rome and the Commissioner of the Indian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1954. This iconic year for art in India, displayed a retrospective of 59 paintings by 32 artists (including M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gill and Francis Newton Souza) was exhibited at the Biennale - making it India’s largest presence in Venice to date.

Ciotti's paper offers a corrective to prevailing accounts of the 2011 Indian pavilion which, among other things, was portrayed as the country’s first ever presence in Venice. If these accounts can be read as a sign of the ‘hegemony of the present’, not only does this paper show that the need of historicizing art world events is stronger than ever but also that emerging histories can help to recast some of the questions which are being asked of the present itself.

The talk will be held on Thursday, the 8th of August 2013 at 6:00 pm at FICA Reading Room, New Delhi.

Touched by Art

Project 88 gallery, Mumbai announces the opening exhibition of Artists’ Film International. Titled ‘Touched’ is annually organized by the Whitechapel Gallery, London and showcases the film, video and animation works of various artists from around the world. The selection is made by 14 partner organizations from the world presented over a course of a year.

Project 88 has participated represented by Neha Choksi’s work, ‘Minds to Lose’ 2008-2011, a series of 8 collaged drawings based on the performance of ‘Petting Zoo’ and related video ‘Minds to Lose’ will also be screened. Neha looks for a mix of pleasure, anxiety and comedy in her works and in the works she prefers to see. Touching and being touched encompasses all the three components forming an all together engaging experience for the viewer.

The other artists displaying their works are Ana Gallardo from Argentina, Kala Hugin from Norway, Katarina Zdjelar from Rotterdam. The show will preview on the 8th of August 2013 between  6:30- 9:30pm and is on view till the 4th of September 2013.

Talab - Addicted to Art

(Amitabh Kumar with his mural)
The Guild gallery, Mumbai, presents a show in collaboration with Diesel + Art Diesel, at their Diesel Store at Santacruz, Mumbai. The Delhi based upcoming artist Amitabh Kumar. The artist is very well known for his recently concluded show Message to Zero at the Guild art gallery. 

The mural titled, ‘Talab’ refers to an addiction or a desire and the artist tries to bring this concept through his intricately designed animalistic forms and figures. He has names for them as they resemble dinosaurs but not completely. They metamorphose into objects odd and unrecognizable. Most of his works are rendered in monochromatic patterns and are on a very large scale.

Amitabh has worked as part of the Sarai Media Lab (2006 -2010) where researched and made comics, programmed events, designed books and co-curated an experimental art space. He is also an initiating member of the comics ensemble, The Pao Collective.

The mural is on view till the 3rd of September 2013.

Female Body and a Sexualised Space

(A work by Anita Dube)
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art ( KNMA), New Delhi, presents ‘The Female Body and a Sexualised Space’. This is the seventh panel discussion of the series ‘ KNMA Museum Document Symposia in Art and Criticism’. The sessions are divided over two separate days.

The two sessions will focus on the artist’s changing view of the female body, over the last two decades, from an interpretation as an aesthetic body and Feminism to the domesticated, volatile and multifaceted unadorned form, maybe a child-woman-mythic performer. The sessions will engage is these specific notions of image making that may present a varied perspective of women and their personal histories.

The first session begins on 16th of August 2013 between 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The moderators for this session are Gayatri Sinha and Roobina Karode, and the speakers are, Anita Dube, Bharti Kher, Sonia Khurana, Mithu Sen and Tejal Shah.

The second session begins on 29th of August 2013, between 4:00pm to 6:00 pm. The participants are, Nilima Sheikh, Sheba Chhachhi in conversation with Kumkum Sangari. the guest curator is Gayatri Sinha and Critical Collective.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)
Charles Saatchi set to auction off 50 of his largest sculptures and installations
(Charles Saatchi had the idea of not putting reserve prices or estimates on any of the lots to go up for auction.)
 (Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters)

Shedding certain belongings can frequently follow a marital split. In the case of art collector Charles Saatchi, whose decree nisi in his divorce from food writer Nigella Lawson was granted this week, a clearout will be on a grand scale.
He is planning an auction of 50 of his largest sculptures and installations, including a full-size four-poster with embroidered hangings by Tracey Emin.
According to Philippa Adams, senior director of the Saatchi Gallery in London, the sale on 17 October, which will take place under the auspices of Christie's, has "absolutely nothing to do with the divorce. We have been working on this for a long time. I can categorically state that".
Instead, the auction of artworks will support the Saatchi Gallery's education programme and free access to its exhibitions, she said. Ideally, the works will be bought by public collections. "We think it's really important to open things up and give museums a chance to have a crack at acquiring these works – they need to be enjoyed and shown."
The works for sale – all so large that they will be exhibited in a disused London postal depot instead of Christie's HQ – will coincide with this year's Frieze art fair. They include sculptures by celebrated German artist Isa Genzken, the Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruyckere, Scot Karla Black and Canadian David Altmejd, all of whom have recently represented their countries at the Venice Biennale.
What makes the sale different from any Christie's auction since the 1970s is that no lot will have a reserve price or estimate – an idea that came from Saatchi himself, according to Francis Outred, head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie's.
Normally, if a work fails to realise its reserve price, it is removed from sale. Without a reserve (often the lower figure of the auction house's estimated price range) there could be some bargains for public institutions – and corresponding embarrassment for living artists. In practice, according to art-world expert Louisa Buck, the artists' own dealers will be "poised like cobras" to bid on the works, if necessary purchasing them if they show signs of selling for low prices. "Galleries won't want to see their artists' prices take a nosedive."
She said: "Nothing Saatchi does is without some kind of strategy or agenda. This looks like grandstanding to me, another game he is playing: trying perhaps to keep in the public eye in a more responsible way than he has done recently. It rings with the tenor of the times that they are talking about the proceeds going into access and education.
"If he was really serious about these works going into public collections he would be approaching institutions individually and offering them for a reasonable price, or indeed for no price at all."
Adams said: "It is absolutely not a grandstanding stunt. We have huge care and respect for the artists. [A stunt] would be hugely disrespectful to the artists." They had decided to auction them because "we don't have access to all the museums and galleries who might want to acquire works – and we want it to be an open platform".
The Saatchi collection had always been "fluid" and "never static" with works sold from time to time to allow funds to support up-and-coming artists.
Outred, of Christie's, said the living artists' reputations was of "very real concern" and "we have had a couple of discussions with artists. We will treat this as responsibly as we can." He added: "We want everything to go to a good home."
He conceded that "we can't control who will buy the works" and where they end up; many are likely to be bought overseas. But Christie's would be in close contact with public institutions and offer them "special payment terms"– in monthly instalments rather than in full after 30 days.
Stephen Deuchar, director of the art charity the Art Fund, which helps publicly funded British museums and galleries purchase contemporary art, expressed concern about the stated aims of the auction. He described it as a "market free-for-all", and said "very few museums have acquisition funds readily available" particularly in the economic climate.
"Of course we applaud the principle of free admission to museums and galleries whenever it can be realistically achieved, though selling off a collection to this end is an unusual strategy. Meanwhile I'm not sure exactly how this sale relates to the Saatchi Gallery's collecting policy – are these works simply the ones that are no longer wanted?"
(Report by Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian)

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