The city state of Athens was home to the Olympic Games in ancient Greece. Since then international sporting events featuring competitions in different games have always been associated with the host city, rather than the host country. So it was the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and it will be the Guangzhou Asian Games in November. And it is XIX Commonwealth Games 2010, Delhi. Appropriately enough, curator Rupika Chawla’s brief to the artists for Art Celebrates! 2010, the big art show being organized at the Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) in conjunction with the Games, had three components—represent sports, the city of Delhi and city and urban life in general.
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The show will display a work each by 108 Indian artists and photographers—from the late Manjit Bawa, to Raghu Rai and younger artists such as Mithu Sen, Thukral and Tagra, and Ved Gupta. Twelve established private art galleries in Delhi were asked by LKA to send works by 10 artists each. Barring a few exceptions, the artworks, which include paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos, were commissioned for the show.
In keeping with the curatorial brief to stick to the celebratory mood, the artists have created works that largely steer clear of any ambivalence. But a reflective mood, perhaps inescapable, pervades works that have the city of Delhi as their subject. Here are images of five works that will go on display, accompanied by the artist’s comments in brief.
Art Celebrates! 2010 will be on view from 1-15 October at the Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhawan, 35, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi .