Placing contemporary art in history

#1 Dec 14th, 2017, 21:51
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Dec 2008
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‘Migrant’ by Ravinder Reddy, 2017. Painted fibreglass. Courtesy the Artist.

Peter Nagy is one of the most respected art curators in the country. The Sculpture Park in Jaipur, one of its kind in concept and grandeur in India, is his latest offering. The Park invites visitors to experience contemporary art on a mammoth scale, showcasing an ensemble of 55 sculptures, which will be on display for 11 months. Situated within the precincts of Nahargarh fort—a historical, undulating sculpture in its own right, made of 18th century stones chiselled into form—the Park offers a clever juxtaposition. Nagy, who is the co-director of the art gallery Nature Morte, has painstakingly handpicked the sculptures from the studios of 15 Indian and nine international artists who have a formidable repertoire.

Featuring works by artists such as Subodh Gupta, Thukral & Tagra, Bharti Kher, Stephen Cox and Evan Holloway, the Park boasts of larger-than-life bronzes, beautifully carved out wood pieces and stone works. Only three pieces have been made from scratch for this space, “everything else is borrowed and are older works”, says Nagy. Some even date back three decades, including a 1984 bronze creation by the late French artist Arman.

To pull off something on this scale is no small feat. There are many things to consider, including finance. Aparajita Jain, co-director of Nature Morte and founder of Saat Saath Arts, brought together 21 corporate houses to support this project, which took a year to come to fruition. Lounge spoke to both Nagy and Jain a few days ahead of the Park’s opening, slated for 10 December. Edited excerpts:

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