Indian painting exhibit to open at Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University


Image: Dodiya"Indian Paintings of the New Millennium: Sunanda and Umesh Gaur Collection," a rare peek at some of the most intriguing artwork being produced in India, will be on exhibit from Saturday, Sept. 17, through Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University. An opening reception will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery, located in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

In the last few decades, India has experienced a remarkable blossoming of modern art, which has adapted traditional imagery as well as modern artistic practices. Indian artists reflect the globalization of India and its changing contemporary society and put a new face on a country which in the past has been often known for Bollywood, spicy food, yoga and outsourcing. This spring, the Asia Society and the Queens Museum of Art presented Edge of Desire, the first-ever major exhibition of contemporary Indian art in the United States.

Image: KolteIn an attempt to bring arts of the world to the Connecticut community, the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at the Fairfield University is pleased to present this exhibition which consists of 27 works of internationally recognized contemporary Indian artists (such as K. G. Subramanayan, Atul Dodiya and Arpana Caur) as well as India's most innovative emerging artists: Reena Kallat, T. V. Santosh, Subodh Gupta and others). Reflecting a time of socio-political globalization of India, the exhibition artworks address cultural values and ethnic identities as well as contemporary, political, social, and environmental issues. Many of the artists included in this exhibition were also featured in the Asia Society exhibition.

Works by Subodh Gupta and Atul Dodiya were also included in Venice Biennale 2005, undoubtedly, one of the world's most prestigious exhibitions of contemporary art.

Image: Sheikh"Indian Paintings of the New Millennium," addresses ways that selected contemporary Indian artists portray the themes of the triumph of hope and the potential for violence-the poles between which postmodern lives are strung," said Helen Asquine Fazio, Ph.D., the exhibition curator.

This exhibition will also be traveling to the Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, N.J. next spring as a part of programming associated with the visit of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue with essays and descriptive entries by Dr. Fazio and Gayatri Sinha, who has written several books on modern Indian art.

The lenders to the exhibition, Sunanda and Umesh Gaur are New Jersey residents and passionate collectors, who have been collecting modern art of their native country for the past fifteen years. Their collection was listed among the "Top 100 collectors in America" in the annual listing of Art and Antiques Magazine in 2003.

The Gaurs hope to educate the general public about this field by helping university museums in the United States to organize exhibits. In 2002 they helped Rutgers University's Zimmerli Art Museum to organize the exhibition "INDIA: Contemporary Art from Private Northeastern Collections," one of the largest exhibitions on the subject, which was reviewed by Holland Carter of the New York Times. The Zimmerli Art Museum is now organizing a comprehensive traveling exhibition from their collection, entitled "Modern Indian Works on Paper: Post-Independence Art from a Private Collection," which will open at Georgia Museum of Art next year and travel through 2008.

"Although the art is booming in India and the art market is rushing to recognize Indian art, American audiences have had a limited opportunity to enjoy and learn about this movement in contemporary India," said Diana Mille, Ph.D., director of the Walsh Gallery.

The exhibit will be on display Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (203) 254-4010, ext. 2969.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 10, 2005

Vol. 38, No. 13

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