Millennium Post

Aakriti Gallery's art day for artists

It will be ensured that each lot coming up for bid finds a new home at the best possible price, while the sale proceeds of the auction are being equally shared by the Royal Calcutta Turf Club and Naktala Shilpi Astha, writes Uma Nair.

Collector and gallery impresario Vikram Bhachawat's Aakriti Gallery will bring together artists of reputation and identity and class in a rare confluence of Art Day at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club on December 9. "This day of exhibition and auction is aimed at supporting the cause of artists," says Bachawat as the Gallery is looking at using all the income for the Naktala Shilpi Astha.

In this jugalbandi we will see a day of art blending with horse racing as Aakriti Art Gallery and the Royal Calcutta Turf Club come together to jointly host a day dedicated to Art alongside the speed, the grace and the power of horses thundering hooves at the historic Turf Club.
The activities and programs are seven horse races which would also include two major races for the day, being the second of the five Classics The Aakriti Art Gallery Calcutta 2000 Guineas for 3-year-old colts and geldings to be run over a distance of 1600 metres. The second major being The Chisel Crafts Juvenile Stakes which is exclusively for 2-year-olds and run over a distance of 1200 metres. Each of the seven races for that day is a trophy event and the winning owner of each race will take home a fabulous bronze sculpture done by leading sculptor and that would be presented by eminent art collectors.
The grounds of RCTC will play host to an exhibition of artworks by the leading art luminaries. The bronze sculpture would also hold a pride of place in the exhibition by eminent sculptors namely Akhil Chandra Das, Bhabatosh Sutar, Bimal Kundu, Sunil Kumar Das, Tapas Biswas and Debanjan Roy. This would be a feast of artworks hanging one beside each other and amongst the sculptures around for not only the art connoisseurs but for all to appreciate and buy as well.
A look at the artworks spells something for everyone. For those of us who didn't know, there is a brilliant landscape by Jogen Chowdhury. Then there is Sudip Roy's oil on canvas a brilliant amalgam of realism and impressionism with a monument and the balustrade from the days of colonial British Raj aura. Chandra Bhattacharjee's acrylic on canvas is a powerful portrait of human despair, Chandra revels in the textured tones of deeper expressionism in his works. There is the mustard rendition of artist Akhilesh from Bhopal. There is also a limpid rice paper drawing of veteran Satish Gujral and the two abstract masters Ganesh Haloi and Prabhakar Kolte. While Ganesh Haloi's minimalist rendition embraces the fertile green flavour Kolte's rhapsody in a greyish blue is a catalyst for kinetic thoughts as it speaks to us about robust and resonant journeys in time and space. Aditya Basak's juxtaposition of faces on a royal's robe is a masterpiece in creation.
Among sculptures, the piece de resistance is the master sculptor Himmat Shah's bronze. An archetypal creation that at once hinges on a cobbler's tools for repairing shoes as well as a juxtaposition of a bottle and a red flag it is a work that speaks across cross-cultural traces in beliefs and the politics of human existence. Indeed the work is a talisman of human livelihood it is also a relic of sorts in a country that has been invaded by the tentacles of technology. In many ways a commentary of the modern millennium in a land where there are very few cobblers. The work also stands as an epithet for the larger questions that face and frame humanity of today. Tapas Biswas' Three Girls is at once a poignant reflection of poise and gesture and tensile tactility.
To culminate the Art Day at 5 pm will be what everyone has been eagerly waiting for, the Art Auction which would be conducted by none other than Cyrus Madan. He will ensure that each lot that comes up for bid finds a new home and that too at the best possible price. The sale proceeds of the auction are being equally shared by the Royal Calcutta Turf Club and Naktala Shilpi Astha which is an artist benevolent fund formed by the artist community for the welfare of the artist community in times of need. Indeed in a country where art creativity must be supported and nurtured and encouraged, this venture Aakriti Art Gallery is bound to bring cheer and celebration in the lives of many artists who are struggling to make ends meet and even find ways to get an entry into the art world that is ultimately an edifice of races within races – whether it belongs to the market or individuals or galleries across the world.

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