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Listen to the art beat

Delhi is renewing its an old bond with art, emerging as the art capital of the country with, says Rewati Rau

india Updated: Jan 23, 2007 14:39 IST

It'snomore about hyped discussions in the elite circles of society. Be it theatre, photography or the good old canvas, art is keeping the cultural calendar of the city bustling with activity. With numerous art and photography exhibitions, record-breaking auctions of paintings, foreign artists show casing their works, theatre workshops, film stars attending the cultural dos, the art boom in the city has become a household talk.

Delhi has clearly emerged as the art capital of the country. The city boasts some of the best artists of the country who have placedIndian art on the international canvas. Be it Satish Gujral, Anjolie Ela Menon or M FHussain, Delhi has been the flowering ground for several celebrated artists.

Says veteran artist Satish Gujral: “I had my first show in Delhi before going to Mexico. That show built the foundation of my career, so when I was thinking of returning to India, I did not think about any other city.”

It’s easy to lose count of the number of art galleries opening in the city almost every month. And there seems to be no stopping this trend. Delhi is also the proud owner of the oldest art gallery in the country. Dhoomimal Art Gallery in Connaught Place has seen the golden days of the city and has been witness to revolutions in the art world. “Delhi has always been a classic city, though it has evolved tremendously over the years. We have visitors from all over the world and this city is friendly and hospitable,” says Uma Ravi Jain of the gallery.

According to Sunaina Anand of Art Alive Gallery, “The focus of art has now shifted from Mumbai to Delhi. There is more space available here and also a whole new set of art appreciators has added to the art boom in the city.”

Global canvas Borders are swiftly dissolving in the art circuit of Delhi. While many of its artists have exhibited their works abroad, it is now time for foreigners to look to Delhi for expanding their horizons. In the past year, the city has hosted shows of French, Italian and American artists. And now, we are gearing up to host the first ever show by Chinese artists.

 Arts galore in Delhi

Paintings are not the end of the world for art aficionados in Delhi. On the one hand, there is the National School of Drama churning out brilliant plays and actors. On the other hand, the Habitat Centre has slowly emerged as the hub of all art activity, including theatre, music and photography.

Mumbai’s famous Prithvi Theatre recently enthralled Delhiites. The occasion was the centenary celebrations of Prithviraj Kapoor at Kamani auditorium. Sanjana Kapoor, who runs the theatre, seemed pleased with the venue. “This is such a wonderful place to perform,” she had said during the festival’s inauguration.

So, when it comes to art, Delhi is unquestionably where the action is.

First Published: Jan 23, 2007 19:00 IST