That Bangalore is fast gaining recognition (long overdue, some may argue) as a hub for art related activities was further reinforced when ‘Art Etc’, a magazine of contemporary art and culture, published by Emami Chisel Art, Kolkata, was released at Chitrakala Parishat on November 4th 2009.
Dr Annapurna Garimella, art historian specialising in India, released the magazine. While addressing the gathering, she spoke about the importance of art journalism. She also spoke about the history of art journalism in India and mentioned about the trends in it during the colonial period and post independence (which saw the rewriting of Indian history in a nationalistic way).
Amit Mukhopadyaya, from Emami Chisel (an auction house which publishes the magazine), mentioned, among other things, that it was not an easy job to publish an art magazine. He talked about how it was often a challenge for such a magazine to cover a wide range of art related topics while also not appearing biased.
Talking about Art Etc, he mentioned that the magazine was first released in June this year in Kolkata and New Delhi. The current issue is being released in Mumbai and Baroda in addition to Bangalore with the third issue’s release being planned for Feb 2010 in Guwahati and Bangladesh. He added that this magazine would be currently available through India Book House (IBH) and would soon be available at galleries, book shops and art centers across India.
The book release was followed by a panel discussion, “Does an art magazine help art practice to grow and develop?”. Moderated by Dr R K Kulkarni, Art Historian, the panel members included Suresh Jayaram (visual artist and art historian), Frank Barthalemy (art collector), M Shanthamani (artist) and H A Anil Kumar (art historian). The points brought up included the opportunities an art magazine provides to a writer, content of a regional (versus national) magazine, the boon and bane that advertisements are, the space available to feature newly discovered and upcoming artists along with established ones, the possible shaping of the art market based on what is written in an art magazine, pressures of the market, the near-nonexistent articles in art magazines on sensitive issues like fraud and misappropriation, interactions (rather the lack of it) between artistes that would help them (further) grow and develop, etc.
It was heartening to note that the function, which was well attended, not only started on time, it also made an effort to present some of the issues that are faced by art magazines (and artists) in India today.
For the uninitiated, a brief clarification on Contemporary Art. While Modern Art could be considered art from the time of Impressionists (say, around 1880) up until the 1960’s or 70’s, contemporary art could be considered art from the 1960’s or 70’s up until this very minute. Some say that the contemporary art period commenced post World War II.
Definitions and descriptions aside, what matters most, is that we Bangaloreans sure do enjoy art, in all its various shapes, sizes and descriptions. ⊕