Art frees mind of prejudice: Sonia Gandhi
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Last Updated: Saturday, November 27, 2010, 21:52
New Delhi: National Advisory Council (NAC) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said art opened new windows in the mind, freeing it from prejudice and narrowness and hoped that truly valuable works of art like that of Anish Kapoor will adorn important spaces in Indian cities.

Inaugurating an exhibition of world renowned artist Anish Kapoor's work at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here, Gandhi recalled Indira Gandhi's words that development must be about whole individual, addressing as much aesthetic and spiritual uplift, as material needs.

"Art, and particularly, public art, plays a vital role in this process. It improves taste and sensibility. It helps open new windows in our mind, freeing it from prejudice and narrowness," she said at the event.

"It is therefore a matter of regret that our cities and public spaces have so little public art of any real distinction. I hope we may one day see an Anish Kapoor installation in one of our cities - as well as others of true quality by some of our leading artists," she added.

Pointing out that Kapoor had left India for London when he was 18, she said he had made a triumphant return to his homeland that has continued to nourish his artistic imagination.

"We take pride in this son of India, acclaimed the world over as one of the most important sculptors of our time, who has brilliantly fused the timeless and the contemporary and dramatically extended the frontiers of art," she said.

Referring to the Cloud Gate sculpture of Anish Kapoor in Chicago, US, Gandhi said she was told that it was one of the most visited artwork in a public space in the world.

"This is testimony to the magnetism and interactive nature of his art, but also to his commitment to taking it beyond the rarefied art world to the public at large.

"I am sure his exhibitions in Delhi and Mumbai will evoke an enthusiastic response. Viewers will engage with Anish Kapoor's artistic vision, and, will no doubt, be challenged in some way by the experience," she added.

Noting that Kapoor's works have broke new ground, she said it has won acclaim for the inspired, even daring, manner in which architecture and sculpture, space and form, earth and sky, engineering and technology, are brought together.

"Beyond the technical virtuosity, however, is the singularity of his artistic vision. His forms convey intriguing dualities: the earthy and the ethereal, permanence and impermanence, stillness and movement, darkness and light, illusion and reality," she added.

Born in Mumbai in 1954, Kapoor moved to London in 1973 to train as an artist and has been based there since. This exhibition is his first in India. Apart from the NGMA in Delhi, his exhibition will be held at the Mehboob Studios in Mumbai too.


First Published: Saturday, November 27, 2010, 21:52

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