"India: Art Now" is the biggest exhibition in Danish art museum Arken's history

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"India: Art Now" is the biggest exhibition in Danish art museum Arken's history
Bharti Kher, The hot winds that blow from the West, 2011. 131 old radiators, 195 x 264 x 254 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

COPENHAGEN.- The Indian art scene has developed explosively since the beginning of the 1990s and today constitutes one of the most exciting powerhouses of contemporary art. INDIA : ART NOW is the biggest exhibition in the Danish art museum ARKEN’s history. It is showing 13 of the best artists and artist groups from India in a veritable cornucopia of Indian installation art, sculptures and giant paintings, and many of the works have been produced specifically for ARKEN - one of the biggest contemporary art museums in Denmark.

Local insight, global outlook
Saris and trash landscapes, the sounds of the Delhi street vendors and high-tech shadow plays. Several works have been created specifically for the exhibition, and they both encourage and defy all our preconceived notions of Indian art. For the subjects, materials and narratives the artists often take their point of departure in local Indian phenomena, but their works extend far beyond the idea of exotic India into global culture.

“The 13 artists have been chosen because they are outstanding. Their works revolve around among other things the city, the intimate sphere and the relations among culture, identity and living conditions in our global society. These artists are constantly interacting with the global community. India’s economic growth has spurred the development of Indian contemporary art and has helped to spread it far beyond the borders of the country in a dialogue between Indian and Western culture and artistic tradition,” says ARKEN’s director Christian Gether.

Sensually rich, thought-provoking exhibition
Indian art and culture are seeing rapid development at present and are leaving their traces not only in the mega-cities Mumbai and Delhi, where many of the artists live and work. They are also unfolding at the European academies of art, where several of the artists have studied, at galleries in Paris, New York or Berlin, in international publications and at exhibitions all over the world. Now ARKEN has invited some of the best Indian contemporary artists to Ishøj and is offering a sensually rich, experimental, thought-provoking exhibition that provides unique insight into the sparkling Indian art world as it is developing right now.

ARKEN is a globally oriented art museum whose constant concern is to challenge and expand the framework for what an art museum can contribute to society. Most recently with the large mist tunnel created by Olafur Eliasson, where the visiting public experienced contemporary art very directly and physically. With INDIA : ART NOW, ARKEN once more turns the focus on contemporary art that surrounds and affects the viewer.

INDIA : ART NOW is showing 13 artists and artist groups from India. The participating artists are Rina Banerjee, Hemali Bhuta, Atul Dodiya, Sheela Gowda, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Reena Kallat, Rashmi Kaleka, Bharti Kher, Ravinder Reddy, Vivan Sundaram and the artist duo Thukral & Tagra.

In collaboration with the Danish broadcasting corporation DR, ARKEN has produced a film that portrays four of the exhibition’s Indian artists; Bharti Kher, Vivan Sundaram and the artist duo Thukral & Tagra. The film is to be shown on the TV channel DR K and in the exhibition’s reading room, which has been furnished by the Indian/Scottish designer duo Doshi Levien.

India Today/Copenhagen Tomorrow
INDIA : ART NOW is part of the project India Today/Copenhagen Tomorrow, the ambition of which is to bring modern India to Denmark by promoting cultural, scientific and commercial exchanges between the two countries. ARKEN is the principal player in the project, which besides the museum’s exhibitions INDIA : ART NOW and INDIA : FASHION NOW also presents Indian films, modern Indian dance and music, research, cultural exchanges etc. The project is supported by the Holck-Larsen Foundation, established by the engineer and company director Henning HolckLarsen, who was a co-founder of one of India’s biggest companies, the international industrial conglomerate Larsen & Toubro.

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