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Mall-titude of artworks

Canvases in the Capital have jumped out of studios and into art galleries in malls.

art and culture Updated: Dec 14, 2010 01:01 IST
Aakriti Sawhney
Aakriti Sawhney
Hindustan Times

Next time you’re on ashopping spree, expect it to be an art expedition, too. Delhi’s malls have turned into a haven for art lovers, with galleries cropping up at some of the most popular shopping hubs.

Some of the prominent ones include Chawla Art Gallery in Square One mall, Saket, Vadehra Art Gallery in DLF Emporio and Mocha Art house in DLF Promenade, both in Vasant Kunj.


Here’s why they’re there, and what makes them click.

Gallery Joie, MGF Metropolitan Mall

Spread over 600 square feet, Gallery Joie is the latest on the list. Located at a prime location on the second floor of the mall, the gallery looks right into the atrium area. From affordable art to collectors’ pieces, this space has something to appeal to every art lover.

“There is no mind block when you go to a mall, but there are inhibitions when you visit an art gallery. This is one of the main reasons why we opened our gallery in a mall. Our idea was to get art right into peoples lives,” says Priya Khanna, owner of the gallery. The gallery is opening an exhibition, titled Cusp, on December 16.

Vadehra Art Gallery, DLF Emporio

A year and a half since its inception in the mall, and the gallery has already made a mark. From prints to books and collectibles, the visitors to this space have many things to choose from.

“Our Emporio space works well for us, since it is a compliment to our formal galleries in Okhla and Defence Colony. We have visitors who know very little about Indian art, but want to learn more, and they find this space easy to access,” says Parul of the gallery. “It’s about making art more accessible. People may hesitate to go into a formal gallery, but they are happy to visit our space while just browsing through the mall,” she adds.

Mocha ArtHouse, DLF Promenade

This experimental space fuses the experience of art and food under one roof. The gallery is known for its abstract displays. In the past, it has exhibited artworks like digital prints, sculptures and photographs.

“Art should not be restricted to a gallery and we wanted to provide a casual environment to our customers to appreciate art. That’s how we have this setting, where art pieces are displayed right across the tables,” says Deepali Gupta, Brand Manager, Mocha. “We try changing our exhibitions every 45 days, so that we provide our customers with something new and exciting every time they visit.” Mocha ArtHouse is currently displaying the works of German graffiti artist, Jonas Ihlenfeldt.

What experts think of the idea

While curator Alka Pande believes that the move to malls is wise for a good art establishment, especially from the market point of view, gallerist Bhavna Kakar seems a little critical about the concept. Pande says, “As the trend of affordable art is picking up, this kind of space really caters to a lot of people. Market plays a big role for an art establishment. It’s alright to have a gallery in a mall space, but then, we should be very careful and sensitive in terms of what are we putting on display.”

Kakar, owner of gallery Latitude 28, says,”I’m not all for the idea of an art gallery at a shopping mall. Public art shows or a site-specific installation at a mall works better. Such displays are very popular abroad, and well accepted, too.”

First Published: Dec 13, 2010 17:50 IST