Spring is here. Flowers bloom in effervescent colours all over the capital. Nothing inspires art like nature. The last few months witnessed several major art fairs/festivals. The upcoming Venice Biennale VIVA ARTE VIVA will open in May this year. La Biennale di Venezia began as early as 1895 by the Italian King and Queen, Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia. The first Biennale, “I Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia (1st International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice)” saw about 2, 24,000 visitors, setting the trend for contemporary visual art exhibitions at such scales early
on. Today the art world stays abuzz with numerous fairs/ biennales/ triennials all throughout the year. With new fairs and festivals springing up in dissimilar parts of the world, these events are truly global and if communities come together so amicably from all over the planet it is here. Art has a way of uniting and invoking peace, surviving controversy and altercation.
Dr. Seema Bhalla takes us on a discourse through her observations of various Art Fairs. Next, Dr. Seema Bawa informs us of how fairs were usually tied to Christian religious occasions early on such as the Saint’s day of the local church. Stagshaw in England, is documented to have held annual fairs as early as 1293 consisting of the sales of animals as is the much vaunted photo op cattle fair at Pushkar Mela. Lina Vincent Sunish analyses festivals and Biennales to consider the problems faced such as viewer generation, overloaded infrastructure, display and storage of works.
Rajesh Punj learns of artist Alex Katz’s experiences in a candid interview. They discuss unequivocally of his thought process over decades and gradual transcendence to a unique painterly method, and his struggles to be placed on a common platform with his inspirations: Rembrandt Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Willem De Kooning and Jackson Pollack among them. Tanya Abraham talks to Lina Vincent about the “The Arts Outreach Society” her initiative providing a platform for interaction with students/children as a means of expression and learning.
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