Art galleries in the Capital are experimenting with a new business model these days. A number of established galleries are now opening multiple outlets to cater to new audiences. One such example is the Panchsheel-based Gallery Art Alive, which launches its Gurgaon branch today. “A new space gives a lot of room for experimentation. Now, we can think of running two shows simultaneously and give a completely different treatment to both of them. This also adds to your audience,” says Sunaina Anand, the owner of Gallery Art Alive.
This gallery joins others such as Vadehra Art Gallery and Kumar Art Gallery, which have many outlets in the Capital. Not only do these galleries host exhibitions, they also offer a unique art experience with in-house cafés, libraries, gift shops and a dedicated space for the gallery’s private collection. Gallerists say having many spaces allows them to be more experimental, but it also means a lot more coordination. We tell you about some such art spaces.
One of the oldest players in the Capital’s art circuit, Kumar Art Gallery has three art spaces. The oldest one is at 11, Sunder Nagar market, which opened in 1959. While the second one was opened at Sainik Farms (1991), the third gallery is at 56, Sunder Nagar, which they opened in 2003. “From 1958 till early 80s, we had a gallery space at Ashoka Hotel, but the need to have more wall space made us open our first gallery,” says Sunit Kumar Jain, Director, Kumar Gallery. At 11, Sunder Nagar, the gallery holds some solo shows. But the bigger group shows are hosted at the other two galleries. “When we have a new show, we prefer the 56, Sunder Nagar branch, or the one at Sainik Farms,” says Jain.
Celebrating art for almost 10 years in Delhi, the gallery has now opened another spacious outlet in Gurgaon. Spread across an area of 8,000 square feet, the new space has a wider exhibit area, an art library, café and some special features such as a wall of fame and an entrance that is convenient for disabled people. “Our gallery in Panchsheel has a comparatively smaller space, so we used to struggle with certain shows sometimes. Opening of a bigger space was on the cards,” says Sunaina Anand, the owner of Gallery Art Alive. The gallery, which will be formally launched today, will see a curatorial show, Form and Formlessness. “The Panchsheel gallery will now see more of solo shows, while the one at Gurgaon will exhibit multimedia works and installations. Also, a novel space will lead to new audience and better prospects,” adds Anand.
This gallery has two art spaces in Delhi - one at Gallery Mall, Mehrauli Gurgaon (MG) Road and the other one at Okhla. While the Okhla branch was established in 2001, the one at MG Road opened in 2010. “We opened the MG Road outlet to become accessible to people from both the sides of the city,” says Payal Kapoor of Aarushi Arts. The Okhla establishment hosts more of group shows, while the one at MG Road has solo shows and is used for sculpture exhibitions. “By opening a gallery at an upbeat place like this, we knew we will get more footfall. We have used a hi-tech system for lights and art storage,” says Kapoor. “Two art spaces gives a lot of space to experiment,” she adds.
It has establishments that offer not just art shows but much more, like art memorabilia, art books and fellowships. Currently, they have four spaces in Delhi. The Defence Colony gallery, opened in 1987, is their oldest space. While the Okhla gallery opened in 2005, the Vadehra Art Gallery Bookstore started in 2008. In 2009, they opened another space in DLF Emporio. They are now planning to open another gallery space in Defence Colony, most likely in October this year. “The appearance and size of our galleries is very different, which gives us a lot of space to experiment while planning a show. It also allows us to hold more than one exhibition at the same time,” says Parul Vadehra from the gallery. In Defence Colony, they usually showcase senior artists and smaller exhibitions. In Okhla, they hold larger exhibitions. The Emporio space mostly has works from the gallery collection.
Watch out for
Gallery Art Alive
Name of show: Form and Formlessness, a group show
On till: November 5
Where: 120, Institutional Area, Sector 44, Gurgaon
Name of show: Through the Kaleidoscope, a solo show by artist Akkitham Narayanan
On till: September 10
Where: S-221, Kumar Gallery Panchsheel Park, Delhi
Name of show: The gallery has a year round show that features works of 15 artists
Where: 11, Sunder Nagar Market
Vadehra Art Gallery
Name of show: Let’s Paint the Sky Red, artworks by Manjit Bawa
When: September 1 - 30
Where: D-40, Defence Colony, Delhi
Name of show: On the Edge, a solo show by Atul Bhalla
When: September 3
Where: D-178, Okhla Phase 1 Arushi Arts
Name of show: Harvest 2011
When: August 30
Where: Second Floor, The Gallery Mall, 13 MG Road.