Jaipur's Nahargarh Fort is the site of India's first Sculpture Park; to display leading artists' works

The city of Jaipur will be the first in India to get a Sculpture Park. Located within the premises of the Madhavendra Palace in the city’s iconic Nahargarh Fort, the park is a first-of-its-kind endeavour where an Indian state has collaborated with a non-profit to support contemporary art. The partnership between the Government of Rajasthan and Saat Saath Arts aims to boost cultural tourism to the site.

Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, had earlier announced, “The sculpture park at Nahargarh fort will be the first permanent international art space in Rajasthan drawing people from far flung parts of our state and the Indian subcontinent as well as from across the world, bringing them together to share and celebrate diverse international creative expressions.”

For a nominal fee of Rs 20 (for Indians) and Rs 50 (for foreigners), people will be able to view cutting-edge contemporary sculptures by top-notch Indian and international artists. Displayed both indoors and outdoors, the exhibition is planned to be an annual fixture. This year’s edition will have artworks by 16 Indian and 8 international artists, including Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, LN Tallur, Huma Bhabha, Aastha Butail, Anita Dube, Vibha Galhotra, Reena Kallat, Bharti Kher, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Manish Nai, Gyan Panchal, Prashant Pandey, Thukral and Tagra, Ravinder Reddy, Asim Waqif, Benitha Perciyal, James Brown, Stephen Cox, Evan Holloway, Matthew Day Jackson, Hans Josephsohn, Arlene Schechet and Arman.

Works by Bharti Kher, Evan Holloway and Jitish Kallat will be part of the Sculpture Park

Works by Bharti Kher, Evan Holloway and Jitish Kallat will be part of the Sculpture Park

Some of the notable works on display include Jitish Kallat's "Annexation" (2009), LN Tallur's "Chromatophobia" (2012) and Arman's "Fried Chicken" (1984). Another highlight is the seven sculptures in Hydrocal plaster by Arlene Schechet. For the artists, the park is a great medium to showcase their work. Thukral and Tagra, who are displaying some of their work in iron, granite, terracotta, marble, wood, nylon and mica, said they were glad to be a part of the project. The duo works collaboratively in a wide variety of media including painting, sculpture, installation, game theory and design. "It's a great initiative. We need more authorities to support the arts," they said.

The Saat Saath Arts Foundation works towards international exchange between India and the rest of the world through the visual arts and education initiatives. Apart from working with museums and galleries across the world, the foundation also raises additional funds for exhibitions which include Indian artists in international institutions. Aparajita Jain, founder and director of the Foundation said that the initiative aims to promote India's growing interest in contemporary art and culture while bolstering its significant legacy. “The sculpture park at Madhavendra Palace is a true amalgamation of the best of India's past and present, made possible through a unique collaboration between the public and private sector,” she said.

The park has been curated and designed by Peter Nagy, director of Nature Morte Art Ltd. Nagy envisaged the exposition as a means to bring together modern and traditional arts and to explore diverse perspectives. He essentially selected artists who worked with everyday domestic objects. “For most of my career as a gallerist and curator I have been trying to break away from the white-box exhibition space. With this project, I am able to indulge my passions for art, architecture and décor into a marvellous synthesis of the past and the present,” he said.

Future plans for the project include several outreach and education programmes with fashion shows and music performances.

Updated Date: Nov 12, 2017 21:31 PM

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