Curated cornucopia

ByProma Chakraborty

Aug 30, 2019

The third edition of Delhi Contemporary Art Week will showcase works of 50 artists from across South Asia

Fifty artists, seven galleries, seven days. Showcasing the cusp of the contemporary — all in one space — the third edition of Delhi Contemporary Art Week is back.

DCAW is conceptualised to be the ultimate destination for established and emerging collectors, and art enthusiasts who are eager to be part of the contemporary art conversation.

Spearheading a new wave of artists, seven noted galleries are participating in this edition  — Blueprint 12, Gallery Espace, Exhibit 320, Latitude 28, Nature Morte, Shrine Empire and Vadehra Art Gallery.

“DCAW is a wonderful opportunity for galleries and collectors to engage on a cohesive platform, different from a gallery exhibition and an art fair. Collectors are exposed to contemporary art in an informal manner, and it is an opportunity to get introduced to various artists and mediums at a reasonable price point,” says Roshni Vadehra, director of Vadehra Art Gallery.

Putting together engaging works from across South Asia, the collection in this group show encompasses a vast variety of content. From socio-cultural, geographical, political and environmental issues of Barbil iron ore mines area in Odisha to exploring man-made dystopia and investigating it through ecological, economic and cultural landscapes – DCAW features diverse ideas in equally diverse art forms.

Led by women gallerists, DCAW germinated in a conversation between Bhavna Kakar and Anahita Taneja and later with Roshini Vadehra. Kakkar took lead and has been instrumental in seeing this through to its third edition; the trio form the core committee.

It is the need to have a curated platform for contemporary art that led to start DCAW. “I feel that there are platforms where we do promote contemporary art such as art fairs or large shows in public spaces, however contemporary art tends to get sidelined at times, when pitted against the modern masters. Auction house and bigger collectors also try to acquire works of renowned artists rather than the young artists who try to experiment with medium, material and concept,” says Kakkar, founder of Latitude 28.

The art week was initiated as an attempt to generate discourse that befits the shifting lens of the contemporary. It puts together works of a fresh bunch of artists who are creating compelling work that engage with the rapidly fluctuating infrastructure, economy, ecology, landscape and identity politics of our times, and are pushing the limits of aesthetics in ways that would have been unprecedented even a decade ago.

The group show also has brilliant programming with curated walks with India’s most renowned patrons, talks and workshops.

DCAW will be on display at India Habitat Centre from September 1 to 7