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Art attack

The works of art, put up at Dhoomimal Art Gallery in the Capital as part of an exhibition of France-based artist S.H Raza’s early works, were reportedly received from his nephew, Z.H Zafari, by the gallery, reports Damini Purkayastha.

delhi Updated: Jan 20, 2009 00:30 IST
Damini Purkayastha

The works of art, put up at Dhoomimal Art Gallery in the Capital as part of an exhibition of France-based artist S.H. Raza’s early works, were reportedly received from his nephew, Z.H. Zafari, by the gallery.

Uma Jain, the director of the gallery, said the exhibition was called off immediately after the artist doubted their originality.

On Saturday evening, senior artist S.H. Raza had arrived at Dhoomimal Art Gallery for ‘Raza — The Beginning’ only to find that the works put up were not his, but fakes.

“The moment he expressed his doubts over the works, we cancelled the show,” said Jain. She clarified that the works did not belong to Dhoomimal Art Gallery “but were on consignment from Raza saab’s family member”. “I don't know what went wrong, the matter is now between them,” she said.

Raza, who told HT on Sunday, that though he did not believe the gallery was involved, the organisers did not send him images of the works for his approval. “I do not wish to get into legal hassles at this stage in my life but my friends have advised me that I must do so to ensure that this is not repeated,” said Raza.

On the matter of approval, Jain said: “We always work directly with the artist and when Zafari came to us with the works, we made it clear that we run the exhibition only if Raza saab gave his approval. We spoke to him in Paris and he agreed to have the show. In fact, on January 15, I personally went to India International Centre, where he is staying, and invited him to the show.”

Raza, in his interview on Sunday, said he felt the gallery believed the works were his because they came from a family member and added that he would never talk to Zafari again.

Sunaina Anand, owner of Art Alive Gallery, said a small piece of work by Raza could be for about Rs 15 lakhs and a medium sized work could go up to Rs 40 to 45 lakhs.