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  Dainik Jagran
Dainik Jagran

17th June
 
  Desh Patrika
Desh Patrika

2nd January 2015
 
  The Times of India
Review of the show 'War or Peace'remembering 100 years of first world war ,curated by Mrinal Ghosh

ART MUSIC THEATRE DANCE

What's Hot

Dated :Saturday | 29th November |2014
 
  Anandabazar Patrica
 
  Dainik Jagron
Dainik Jagron

Kolkata,16 November,2014
 
  The Statesman
The Statesman

Kolkata,Monday,17 November 2014

Notebook

COLOURS OF WAR
 
  Dainik Vishwamitra
Dainik Vishwamitra
Rabibari Vishwamitra
Kolkata,Sunday,16 th November,2014
 
  HINDUSTAN TIMES
HT WOMENS WORLD

Art for Hearts Sake
 
  The Telegraph
THE TELEGRAPH

CALCUTTA SATURDAY 11 OCTOBER 2014

REVIEW ARTS

Resisting convenient labels

Like Mansata,Tapas Ghoshal also groups his arts , on show at Kolkata Gallery till October 20 , into different categories. Like Mansata , again , Expressionism anchors a number of his paintings which heave with a mass of sweeping , often horizontal acrylic strokes and jostling conical structures , heavily outlined in black. As though predicting tectonic shifts. But are these a barometer of his being? His Antahkaran (inner Being), as the show is titled? Or is it his gouache landscapes that mirror an inwardly absorbed mind? Could it be that he’s actually as inscrutable as the sight less masks he’s painted? Or does his core still retain the child’s intuitive vision as a suite of small, delightfully gauche images indicates? If anything, the range of his works only confirms how complex the creative impulse is and how it resists convenient labels.

The Varanasi that inspired several of these fair-sized acrylic canvases is a brooding kaleidoscope in flux. Objects are breaking down into battered geometric clusters, form is disintegrating into unstable shapes that seem to collide, erode and tumble, swathes of paint rush in to devour bits of imagery : this is a land of verge of collapse.

Ghoshal’s palatte is as catholic as it’s persuasive, but his real strength lies in treating space as a dynamic counterpoint to images , so that it both induces illusions of depth somewhere and then destroys them with flat colours somewhere else. In his round monochrome canvases the idea remains the same, but the moods turns playful at times.

The paintings of heads /masks aren’t memorable, but his abstract works in oil throb with a rich physicality that’s teased into menacing landscapes of impasto ridges, serrations and blisters with a cleverly wielded spatula. But with gouache he drops the decibel to a meditative poise. Obviously, Ghoshal’s feel for his medium is his forte.
 
  Rabibari Bishamitra
 
  The Telegraph

Entertainment

The GoodLife

| Monday, June 8, 2009 |


Funk in furniture

A chair shaped like a pair of hands, a dustbin that has a metal cat holding a bucket, a platter with a pair of cranes drinking from it… works of art no longer just hang on our walls, they are increasingly finding place in our homes in the form of furniture and utility objects as well.

Furniture as art installation is a strong trend in the city and Meghna Agarwala of Gallery Kolkata, who dabbles in it, feels that it stems from Calcutta’s love for art. “It has been a trend for the past few years, but now a lot of people are opening up to the idea,” says Meghna, director of the art address on 41 Shakespeare Sarani.

Meghna’s collection of “eco-friendly art furniture” is made of weathered wood and the pieces range from small objects like headboards, bed legs and platters to benches, tables, consoles, bar stools, bar tables and chairs. Weathered wood is combined with iron, bronze chips and pigments. Benches and dividers that defy conventional forms are the highlight of her line. “This concept will appeal to anyone with an eye for art,” smiles Meghna.

Interior designer Ajay Arya feels that these pieces appeal to “art lovers” and “the elite” who want some “value-addition” in their interiors. The t2 columnist is planning to introduce a line of tattoo upholstery fabric in his own home.

Young couples setting up house are usually the ones who think beyond basics and go for arty stuff, feels Rahila Irshad from Verandah, a new decor store at 75A Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road.

“Previously when people used to live in joint families there was less scope of experimenting with furniture because maybe the elder members of the family wouldn’t approve of the funky stuff. But now with joint families breaking down, a lot of newly-married couples are experimenting with their home decor,” she explains. At Verandah you get to see funky furniture pieces in the shape of animals. There are cranes, giraffes and cats on waste-paper baskets and platters.

Fashion and furniture designer Abhishek Dutta feels that the exposure to global trends has made Calcuttans open up to alternative designs. “Also, people now have personalised space like a den in the house, which lends itself to experimentation,” points out Abhishek. He describes his own designs as “quirky” — you would find tables and chairs resembling body parts at his Ballygunge studio. He usually shapes them from wooden logs and metal.

The best thing about the art furniture that you find around town is that it is quite reasonably priced. At Gallery Kolkata, prices start at Rs 5,000 for a chair and bigger items like consoles start at Rs 15,000. Abhishek’s collection, too, starts at Rs 5,000, while the range at Verandah starts at Rs 4,000.

SAIONEE CHAKRABORTY
 
  Art news & views
Artetc.
news & views

Art Events-KolkataDecember 2011- January 2012

Indian Impressions in Modern & Contemporary Art
Gallery Kolkata
21 December, 2011 to 21 January, 2012

The exhibition, Indian Impressions , had tried to trace the from two aspects, first from the view point of form and then from the aspect of content. The show displayed the works of senior artists like KG Subramanyan, Prokash Karmakar, Jogen Chowdhury, Manu Parekh, Bijan Chowdhury, Suhas Roy and a few others..Therewere also artists like Ramananda Bandyopadhyay, Dipak Banerjee, Rini Dhumal and T. Vaikuntham who develop their form entirely from the traditional root and elevate them towards modernity. From the next generation Atin Basak and Bratin Khan follow the philosophy of exerting tradition. Ashok Mallick, in spite of his proficiency in western idioms very often amalgamates traditional form with it. The young artists Pampa Panwar, and Sanatan Saha through their art education at Kala-Bhawana, Visva-Bharati have deep feeling for proper synthesis of local and global. The other artists participating in the show were: Vivek Sharma and Abhishek Dasgupta. There were three sculptors also: Niranjan Pradhan, KS Radhakrishnan and Debabrata Dey.
 
  The Times of India
Calcutta Times

Whats Hot

Saturday 28 January 2012

Indian Impressions
Gallery Kolkata,41 Shakespeare Sarani,11am-7pm

till 31 Jan

Featured artists in this show include KG Subhramanyan, Jogen Chowdhury, Manu Parekh , T. Vaikuntam, KS Radhakrishnan, Niranjan Pradhan, Suhas Roy, Prakash Karmakar, Ramananda Bandopadhayay, Bijan Choudhury, Dipak Banarjee, Rini Dhumal, Ashoke Mullick, Atin Basak, Bratin Khan, Pampa Panwar, Debabrata De, Sanatan Saha, Viveek Sharma & Abhishek Dasgupta.
 
  The Times of India
Calcutta Times

Friday, February 3, 2012

happenings

Passionate about Art

An eye for beauty and sheer love for the aesthetics inspired Meghna Agarwala to set up Gallery Kolkata

You are most likely to be surprised when you see a young women , with sparkling eyes, listening to the sweet sonata of Chopin and discussing the likes of Klee, Kandinsky, Cezanne, and Monet while the walls around her are decorated with paintings highlighted in soft lights. Well, she is not an artist; she is an entrepreneur with an eye of asthetics. Meet Meghna Agarwala, the director of Gallery Kolkata, who resides at Ballygunge. Her tryst with beauty started in her formative years at Wynberg Allen school set amidst the picturesque ambience in Mussorie. "I’d go to art galleries, observe artworks minutely, make short notes & later on compare those with that of critics. It’d give me a high whenever my observation matched with that of a big name," recalls Meghna. But her love for art and her aesthetic sense did not culminate in the opening of the art gallery overnight. Her father’s business gave her extensive international exposure as she would frequently travel to countries like France, US, Belgium, Japan, Czech Republic, and Korea. “Working with my father honed my entrepreneurship skills," adds Meghna. Her first brush with art business happened in 2004 when she organized her first-ever exhibition at her home with artists like Paritosh Sen, Suhas Roy, Prakash Karmakar, Prosenjit Sengupta, Sanatan Dinda et al. “I decided to start a gallery to put eminent artists in a small accessible place. I requested them to give me their small art works with affordable price tags. This gave me a first-hand experience,” smiles Meghna. This exhibition was aptly named First Show. This home gallery was named ‘names-AN.art’ to bring art works of celebrated artists within the reach of the masses and more importantly to bring art and its aficionados closer.

Meghna sailed through the ebbs and flows of the market as back then buyers in Kolkata were not that willing to buy a painting. Amidst this was born Gallery Kolkata at Duckback House. The name was actually rechristening of ‘names-AN. art.’ It was 2006 and since then the gallery has been adorned with exhibitions of art luminaries like Akbar Padamsee, Anjolie Ela Menon, Sunil Das, Jogen Chowdhury, Shuvaprasanna to name a few. “I have learnt a lot from this artists. Anjolie and Padamsee have been such good teachers,” says Meghna.

But she laments that art teaching isn’t a part of the curriculum here. "That’s why many find it taxing to even mention art !” she says. She is keen on opening a branch overseas. Her confident smile dispels the gloom looming over art market due to depression. “Despite the economic meltdown, there will always be art connoisseurs. Art works do sell,” she feels. One cannot miss the FICCI FLO Excellence Award for 2010-2011, Kolkata chapter, at her desk. She signs off, “Struggle is very important to chisel your skills. I learnt it all at ‘Dad’s Business school.”

Saima Afreen
 
  India Today

Home Events

Arty Facts

January, 2012

Kolkata

Gallery Kolkata presents Indian Impressions, an exhibition of paintings,sculptures and photographs by several eminent modern and contemporary Indian artists. On till January 21.At: Duckback House, Second Floor, 41 Shakespeare Sarani. Tel: 033-22873377
 
  Bartaman
Chatursparni

21 January 2012

Chitra Pradarshani Sanbad
 
  Hindustan Times
HT City

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Global and the Indian

Anything global originates from local roots, and even as it tours the globe, garnering acclaim and appreciation, it remains rooted in the base of tradition.Gallery Kolkata’s ongoing exhibition, Indian Impressions in modern & contemporary Art, comprising paintings, sculptures and photographs by well-known modern and contemporary artists, is trying to put across this message in a comprehensive way.

According to gallery director Meghna Agarwal this simple truth is often over looked as one refers to works by artists like Jogen Chowdhury, Prakash Karmakar, K.G.Subramanyan and Suhas Roy only as works of modern and contemporary artists. Their Indian Impressions is often disregarded. This exhibition has creations on display that are Indian from the perspective of their form, content, or both. For example, Prakash Karmakar’s Landscape is a slice of life from Digha, making it Indian in content, but done in a western primitive and expressionist form. On the other hand , Fest 22” x15” mixed media on paper by Ramananda Bandopadhay- is Indian in both form and content, showing a princess being attended to by her female assistants.

Also on display are sculptures by Debabrata De, Niranjan Pradhan and K.S Radhakrishnan. While Radhakrishnan’s Krishna and Buddha in bronze are rooted in tradition, both in terms of form and content. Debabrata De’s Khabar is a reflection of the naturalist form, showing a typical Bengal scene where people jostle to read the morning newspaper pinned up on roadside notice boards.

The exhibition is on till January 21, between 11am-7pm,except Sundays.
 
  Anandbazar Patrica
Anandbazar Patrica

Pustak Parichoy

Chitrakala o Vaskorjho

Saturday,2nd July,2011
 
  The Times of India
The Times of India

Calcutta Times

What’s Hot

Metamorphosis

Gallery Kolkata, 11am-7pm, On till June 18

This is an exhibition of photography by Mohan L. Mazumder. In his first-ever solo exhibition, mohan mingles his passion and work. Through Mohan’s lens, we get to visualize the playfulness, joy, serenity and tranquil calmness in life, nature and environment in the 63 photographs showcased in this exhibition.
 
  The Statesman

THE STATESMAN

K PLUS

NoteBook

Monday 28 March, 2011

Horse Power

It was almost half a century ago that Sunil Das was so thrilled by a man holding a red rag to a raging bull that he decided to make the animal the star of his canvases. Before he had spent days and nights in the stables of the horses used by kolkata’s mounted police to observe their way of life that could become equally exciting for the artist. He had just graduated from art college and had learnt the craft in the traditional methods taught in the institution. But the rebel in him drew him away from conventional subjects into an extraordinary world that still draws countless admirers. If his latest show at the Gallery Kolkata in Shakespeare Sarani is any indication, the 70-plus painter is still brimming with ideas on horses and bulls. The gallery has assembled an exciting collection of his works in charcoal, water colours and oils to confirm that the energy that was bursting in the early years that fetched him a national award while he was still in art college hasn’t receded at all. The opening of the show was impressive enough with an attendance that proved that artistic ideas still draw an animated response even in these days of superficial thrills. Whether they were horses or portraits of women in bondage, sunil das has a distinctive style which is unmistakable. The lines are strong as ever and his subjects exude a compelling power that matches his craftsmanship. This is a sprawling gallery with interesting nooks and corners where one can spend quiet moments with each of the horses or bulls that have a character of their own flowing spontaneously from his hands. The painter has now extended his medium to sculptures, many of which are also on display to confirm that there is a lot of creative energy left in the veteran.
 
  The Times of India

THE TIMES OF INDIA

WHAT’S HOT

Saturday 26th March, 2011

ART MUSIC THEATRE DANCE

SCREAMING ON NEWS CHANNELS WILL NOT BUY ANY RESPECT

Not one to mince words, artist Sunil Das says the hue and cry over GCAC’S exhibition of Tagore’s works was meant to digress attention from his show

In your exhibition, which opened end-February, you have displayed your original paintings along with the fake works. Also, it is learnt that more than 2,037 of your works have been copied. What is your take on fake art?

I would like to begin by saying that I have been allover the world with and for my paintings, but never have I come across any painter whose works have been copied as many times as mine! Over 2000 of my art works have been copied. Over the past seven-eight years, I have received photos and printouts of my paintings from India and allover the glob like Singapore, Spain, etc, which were sent to me for authentication purposes, but most of them are fakes. Previously, I did not care about fake art doing the rounds because I have seen works of some greatest masters, such as Jamini Roy and Hemen Majumdar, being copied sold. But over the years, this menace has spread like wildfire. It was then that I decided that as a painter, it is my duty to create awareness about this issue amongst art lovers and patrons.

What is your take on Government college of Art & Craft (GCAC) getting embroiled in a controversy over the 18 Tagore paintings, which have been deemed fake by experts?


I have an interesting take on this. It is a strange coincidence that this Tagore fake art issue was raised soon after I opened my show on February 26. GCAC’s exhibition started on February 27 and I was there at its opening as a guest. Soon after, some self professed intellectuals began alleging that some or all the Tagore paintings displayed at the show were fakes. To me, this comes across as an initiative by a certain media house, whose policies and outlook on art never matched mine. The idea was perhaps to digress the attention of art l0overs from my show to Tagore’s. I base my argument on the fact that, a few months ago, a similar show took place at Town Hall, where art lovers and intellectuals deliberated on Tagore’s works and pieces and also some of his works were displayed there- but nobody raised a hue and cry.

Have you seen the paintings?

Yes, I have seen the paintings, but then I don’t have the authority to comment on what my eyes have seen. If an artistic work is being alleged to be fake, it should be sent to research centres for verification. I have come across various museums and galleries abroad, which have there own research centers where art works are verified and analyzed with scientific precision. Such an infrastructure along with qualified people are required in our country and the Indian government will do good by bringing such facilities home. Most of the experts, who claim that the 18 paintings are fake, are founding their arguments on what they have seen- on many occasions seeing digital images of the paintings- which is wrong. By leveling such allegations, these so-called experts on Tagore art are not only tarnishing their own reputation but also damaging the works. Screaming on news Channels to gain publicity will not buy these experts respect. Besides, the painting at GCAC on display were not for sale. Give some respect to the person who has sent them. He is not even selling them. Then why this sudden fuss about these works being real or fake?

How do you feel when these people who copy your works are referred to as “academically trained artists”?

I don’t have anything to say. Sometimes they photocopy the originals and colour them, sometimes they do it with printouts. I cannot run after all of them, or even waste my creative energy on such people.

You had once said that “Kolkata has become one of the biggest fake factories of art in India”. Do you still stand by that?

Well, there is a huge fake art industry that’s operating in the country. How much of it is in Kolkata I’m not sure, but it’s surely happening on a huge scale throughout the country and it needs to be stopped.>>Sreemita Bhattacharya>>
 
  Dainik Statesman

DAINIK STATESMAN

DAINIK STATESMAN BENODON

Saterday, 26th Feb,2011
 
  Aajkal

AAJKAL

RABIBASARIA

Sunday,27th Feb,2011
 
  The Economic Times
THE ECONOMIC TIMES

ET Casual

FRIDAY, 11 MARCH, 2011

ART IMPOSTERS WORKING DILIGENTLY HAVE MADE IT NECESSARY FOR ART LOVERS TO CHECK FOR AUTHENTICITY OF THE WORKS OF PAINTER SUNIL DAS

‘Art Watch’

”True form of flattery is imitation”

These words may have been said with harmless purpose but the malpractice of coping the art work of an artist for monetary benefits is tarnishing the legacy of Art Ghosts of copycats have not spared even Kazimir Malevich, Salvador Dali and Tagore. The eminent expressionist artist Sunil Das couldn’t escape being counterfeited either. In order to bring awareness among his art lovers about the fake works passed on as his originals, Das has put up an exhibition titled ‘Beware-Be-Aware’ of the art of Sunil .

Inaugurated on February 26 by Mustafizur Rahaman, deputy high commissioner of Bangladesh, the show is continue till March 26 at Gallery Kolkata. On exhibit are fake works alongside Das’s originals. Famous for his bull and horses series, Das is the first Indian to have won National Award while still an undergraduate at the Govt. art college of Art and Craft. Priced quite High, his works are admired for the exquisiteness that that his genius exudes. But many of time fake copies of his work have been sold to art collectors. So far there are 2,037 fake paintings of his works. He recalled an incident in early 2010 at ICCR where he had to inaugurate a group show and found his fake painting being hung. Das lamented that many galleries are devoid of the ethics and still exhibit fake works.

Das describes himself in a book published by the Delhi Art Gallery. “I am Shiva. I am poison. I hack my body to bits. Nail himself up on the cross. And I burn. I get hacked to bits in India, stone in Somalia. Burn in the fire over the Gulf. They are killing me-the Man.”

“I camouflage my identity and call up art galleries in Delhi to ask if they have my paintings and I am told yes. But these galleries do not have my originals. The idea behind this show is to create awareness among those who buy my works. Whenever they buy a painting they should ask for an authentication certificate. In fact, there should be a gallery forum to keep an eye on all this.” >>SAIMA AFREEN>>
 
  Times of India
Times of India

Calcutta Times
Whats Hot

Saturday 26th Feb 2011

Beware Be-aware
Gallery Kolkata
Second Floor ,Duckback House
41 Shakespeare Sarani
11am - 7 pm from Feb 28-26 March

This is an exhibition of drawings , paintings and sculptures by Sunil Das .The gallery has taken the initiative to show a body of original works of the artist in his popular styles alongside a few photographs and printouts of the fake works received by the artist to bring awareness. Sunil says, poor reproductions belittle his works, and art aficionados, who have collected his works over a period of time, would feel shortchanged . He feels offended and often explodes with rage when he sees fakes, where perhaps the neck is out of proportion, the body parts distorted and the face flawed
 
  Hindustan Times
HINDUSTAN TIMES

MONDAY ,MARCH 7,2011

Artist exhibits own fakes

WARNING Day before Tagore exhibition ,Sunil Das opened show to spread awareness about malpractice

HT Correspondent

KOLKATA : Just a day before the exhibition that allegedly had fake Tagore on display , painter and sculptor Sunil Das statrted an exhibiton to spread aareness about dubious paintings , displaying his own originals and fakes side by side at a city gallery.

After the controversy over the exhibition of ‘Tagore Art’ Das feels such mess was waiting to happen as the art market , especially those dealing in Bengal School , is flooded with fakes. “Just a day after our endeavour started, the Tagore exhibition burst with all its sinister implications.We wanted to make the public aware of precisely this danger,” Das told HT on Sunday.

The exhibition titled BEWARE,BEAWARE is on at Gallery Kolkata on Shakespeare Sarani and will continue till March 26 .It claims to be the first of its kind in Kolkata. About 50 original paintings and sculpures by Das are on display besides about 30 printout of fake works.

Das , 72 ,laughs while recalling a time when he was asked to authenticate a work of ‘his’ art , the original of which was still with him .”I was really surprised to see the piece of art that also carried my signature , as the original was still with me ! The trend gradually increased to such extent that nowadays I am approached with four-five fake paintings with requests to authenticate them,’’ said Das.

Throughout life , he came across 2,037 printouts and certificates of “his” paintings those he found to be fake, not only from India but also from buyers from European countries such as France and Spain.

Meghna Agarwala , director of the gallery , said she was frustrated with facing fakes during her one-decade experience of dealing with the art market. The problem is so much with Bengal School that the gallery keeps itself completely away from this school of art.

“It is very risky to deal with the secondary source of art work . The fake artists even fool gallery owners a number of times,” she said, adding that the fake works of Rabindranath Tagore , Abindranath Tagore , Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy and Ramkinker Baij have flooded the market.

Among contemporaries , fake works by Das , Jogen Chowdhury and Ganesh Pyne are also very common . “While the lowest price of an original piece by Das would be nearly Rs. 2 lakh , a fake piece would cost around Rs. 50,000 or even less ,” said Agarwala.

The reason behind Kolkata being one of the “biggest factories” of fake art , feels Agarwala,is that there are many young artists who fail to attain fame or get their works sold at a good price and it is they who concentrate on faking renowned artists. “Fake works made in Kolkata reach Delhi ,Mumbai , Singapore , Dubai and every place that dealt in Indian art,” Agarwala told HT.
 
  Hindustan Times
HINDUSTAN TIMES

HT CITY

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ARE YOU LOOKING CLOSELY?

Sunil Das has a count of the number of fake paintings created in his name so far – 2037. He vividly remembers an incident where he stumbled upon one of his own paintings at a collector’s exhibition, and to his horror, found it to be a fake. ‘I was furious. I took off the painting, wrote the word ‘fake’ in bold on it and put it back to display”, laughs the veteran painter.

Das is one of the giants on the country’s art scene, and the esteem he commands from art connoisseurs and collectors alike is something only a few can boast of. His years of domination have only increased his commercial viability. But the incessant attack by forgers ignites a sense of anger in the man who once steered the post modern expressionist movement in Bengal.

Which brings us to his upcoming exhibition, which takes on the issue in a unique way. On February 26, Das will put on display his originals and other copies, which makes it a one-of-its kind event in India.

However, Das insists that, far from being a gimmick, the exhibition is an artist’s quest to save art. Can’t art galleries do that? “Most of them are uneducated. They don’t have the expertise or education to run a gallery. I hope my exhibition brings awareness to art lovers and collectors, and gives them an idea of how to differentiate an original from its copy.”

But since a Sunil Das or a Jogen Chowdhury is way beyond the reach of ordinary art lovers, how do they own such creations? “In India, art is primarily is a luxury. I know businessmen who buy my paintings, not because they understand art, but because they want social status. It is through hard work and talent that an artist earns a position for himself,” he says.

On the question of reaching out to the less wealthy, he says, “Artists like us once organized an exhibition at Chaplin Park, where each original painting was priced at around Rs.100, for middleclass buyers. But in the end, we found that upper class art collectors had bought most of them.” However, reproductions or certified copies of originals, he agrees, are a good way of reaching the masses. “Art cannot develop without commerce”, he adds. “Today, a well- known artist’s painting is a bigger investment than gold.”

At 72, das’ energy comes from his penchant for the magnificent animal, the horse, which has fascinated him since his student days. And the force still runs through his blood.

The exhibition will be held at Kolkata Gallery, Duckback House, Feb 26- March 26.
 
  India Today
INDIA TODAY-SIMPLY KOLKATA
28th February 2008

NOVEL NOOKS
Not Just Run of the mill art exhibitions.These new galleries in the city are hosting unique ideas.

Gallery Kolkata

Today art is viewed for more then just art’s sake. Galleries are mushrooming in every nook and corner of Kolkata.They are giving a new meaning to art forms and extending beyond the boundaries of the subject,from framed investments to whatever appeals to the heart.

This venture by Meghna Agarwal gives a contemporary whiff to the new picture. “Gallery Kolkata" opened with the objective of bringing the best contemporary Indian art to the cognoscenti of Kolkata,” says Agarwal. The inaugural show about nine months back was aptly titled ‘Modern to Contemporary’ and presented myriad works by names like Akbar Padamsee, Paritosh Sen , Jogen Chowdhury , Shaymal Dutta Roy, Suhas Roy , Sunil Das and Sunil Gawde. Since then , shows like ‘open windows’ featuring kolkata’s oldest contemporary group comprising Samir Aich, Probir Gupta, K. Muralidharan, Sunil Dey, Dipali Bhattacharya, and Gopinath Ray, and ‘Brush with Durga’ featuring veteran artists Jogen Chowdhury, Suhas Roy and Prakash Karmakar along with new age names Sanatan Dinda and Bratin Khan have created a stir in the local circuit. The show, ‘Flow Freeze Focus’, brought into limelight mid-career artists like Birendra Pani, Sajal Sarkar(sr.), Prasanta Sahu, Pratul Das and Pampa panawar. “Our present exhibition ‘Young Contemtorary India pays tribute to the contributions of young arists who are actually the torch bearers of our ancient tradition,” says Agarwal.The 5,000-sq ft gallery, in Shakespeare Sarani, is well-equipped to handle installation art, vedio shows, new media displays and landmark painting exhibitions.
 
  Indian Express
KOLKATA-FRIDAY-JANUARY 30-2009

SISTERS–IN ARMS ,LAY PRICEY ART IN LAYMAN'S HANDS

WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE

MEGHNA AND RASHI `AGARWALA
The deep and often abstract confluence of colours, lines and emotions that is art, Meghna and Rashi Agarwala had chalk and cheese to make a mouse out of them. But the sisters, then in their early 20s, have their mind set on it. And Gallery Kolkata happened in 2004.Meghna,who is the curator and the creative head of the gallery say, “I realized that great works of art would not survive and get their due unless the young start taking interest in them. And that’s how the concept of affordable art fell in place.”

Since its inception, Gallery Kolkata has showcased works by greats like Paritosh Sen and Jogen Chowdhury, several young,talented and relatively unknown artists.

The gallery, which shifted to its present Shakespeare Sarani address in 2007, sprawls over 5,000 square feet and includes an adda-lounge. “We wanted a healthy interaction between art curators, artists, poets, writers, theatre and film personalities to make art seem affordable and approachable,” says Rashi,the marketing head.

The sisters together commission and procure paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and murals and they also collect art for collection and investment purposes.

“We also do restoration of rare artworks, valuation, documentation, and cataloging, activities very important to the preservation of art,” says Meghna. Initially, the sisters started off with their family business OTC International, which deals in mining, manufacturing and export of minerals. “ Art has been a hobby since childhood. After we had a bit of work experience, we decided to pursue the same fulltime. But Gallery happened without much serious commercial planning. When we started off, we wanted more people to appreciate art like we did,” says Rashi, a commerce graduate and a Modern High school pass-out.

What the sisters like the most is that they get to interact with like minded people from different works of life. “We speak a global language through the medium of art,” says Meghna .Moreover they had an interesting endeavour at hand taking art to the masses. “ Around 4-5 years ago,art was still very niche in Kolkata.People were not buying much. At the same time there was a sort of subdued interest in the works of the popular names from people in general, not recognized art connoisseurs,” says Meghna.So in order to increase and sustain the interest, they acquired small format works of artists like Jogen Chowdhury, Paritosh Sen, Sunil Das, Suhas Roy, K.G Subramanyan, Prakash Karmakar and Shuvaprasanna. Secondly they requested prominent artists to create artworks that could sell for as little as Rs 5,000. “ However, it was not possible to get them do that. But most of them slashed their prices considerably for the purpose,” says Meghna.This endeavour went on simultaneously with promotion of high-end artworks in the gallery.

“This response has been encouraging .It not only inspires this generation to take interest in art, it also helps several new talented artists reach out,” adds Rashi. You have to take your work home, stay on your toes 24x7, but the sisters are not complaining. “Gallery Kolkata will continue working in close association with the best of Indian modern and contemporary artists. We will make sure that young talented artists achieve their rightful place and global audience,” says Meghna.

And their job at hand includes expanding to important art destinations like New York, London, Dubai and Hong Kong. They also have plans up their sleeves to showcase Indian artists in collaborative shows nationally and internationally. Though the city, being a hub of art and culture, is quite indulgent when it comes to field like the Agarwalas, the sisters agree there are miles to go. “People here still like taking directions from men. And there a little conservatism still around in the city compared to Delhi and Mumbai, we have seen, when we were working on the family business,” laugh the sisters.