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Australia's national gallery to feature Indian art

The National Gallery of Australia will open a new section devoted to Indian art on August 31.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2006 14:11 IST

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra will open a new section exclusively devoted to art from the Indian subcontinent on August 31.

Apart from the various works that have been on display at different times over the last 30 years, the new gallery will include a large number of sculptures and textiles that have been acquired in the last 18 months and have never been seen before.

NGA will be the first public gallery in Australia to have a section exclusively devoted to Indian art.

"I am very excited by the opening of this Indian Gallery," said NGA director Ron Radford told the Art Hub Australia website.

"It will provide opportunities for broadening access to the vibrant and inspiring world of the art of the Indian subcontinent, with works from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal and to generate public interest in the gallery's collection in a way we have not been able to before."

According to an NGA press release, recent acquisitions will join old favourites, in a new central location off the main entrance foyer of the gallery.

"In juxtaposing sculptures of different media - stone, wood, bronze with paintings and textiles - visitors will be introduced to the art of South Asia through fine examples of key images from the major strands of Indian culture and religion," the release stated.

On display in the new gallery will be a huge 12th-century Pala dynasty stone slab depicting a majestic Vishnu flanked by two diminutive images of his consorts, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

It will be kept beside the newly acquired panel showing Vishnu and Lakshmi in a dynamic embrace of more earthly proportions.