India’s most important art collector and her mission to bring culture to the public

Art collector Kiran Nadar now owns over 5,000 works of art and is the owner of two of Delhi-RCN’s largest private museums. She talks to Bhumika Popli about her collection and her plan to create a new museum in Noida.

It looks like Delhi-RCN will soon have an entire township dedicated to the arts. Indian art collector Kiran Nadar has just finalized plans for her new museum, which will be set on three and a half acres of land next to the Delhi-Noida-Direct flyway.

The central structure of the museum will span some 150,000 square feet, meaning there will be enough space here to house the many masterpieces Nadar has assembled over a span of three decades.

Construction on the free-standing building will begin soon, and the full museum is expected to be ready in about two to three years.

Talk to Goalkeeper 20 Commenting on this project, Nadar said: “The new space will include a permanent gallery showcasing our personal collection, as well as four to five different galleries where a number of exhibitions will be scheduled throughout the year. We will also build other cultural centers, such as auditoriums for various artistic events inside the museum. Once the space is fully functional, it is highly likely that we will collaborate with foreign museums to bring their shows to this city. Overall, the museum will incorporate a holistic approach, aimed at attracting a number of people to the arts. “

According to her, there is very little public participation in the arts in Delhi, a city that still has a museum infrastructure below global standards. “The intelligentsia doesn’t really care about the museums in this city, so getting people to the shows is quite a battle. We really have to find ways to get people more involved in art. And this is really important. If you look at the heritage that we have in the country, art is such an important aspect of our lives and we shouldn’t lose it, ”she said.

For years Nadar has worked to make the best of Indian and international art accessible to the general public. Besides creating museums, his team also got involved in public art projects: they decorated an underpass and 10 metro stations in Noida a few months ago.

Today, she also plans to take her art projects to smaller towns. According to her, more people in Level 2 cities, unlike major subways, are drawn to the arts. She said, “If you go to an art exhibition in Jaipur, you will easily have around 300 to 400 people attending the launch. In these cities, where the emphasis is not really on shopping malls and movies, promoting the arts is not as difficult as it is here.

But at the same time, she believes small towns lack a viable support system for struggling artists. It is imperative that state authorities begin to pay serious attention to the arts. Ministries of Culture should also take adequate measures to ensure support for local artists. “The authorities must be pro art and the Ministry of Culture should do more. We don’t have center focus, which is very necessary. Watch NGMA [National Gallery of Modern Art]. It is close to the Gateway of India which makes it a fantastic place for tourists. They also have a huge collection. And it’s just about promoting the place in the right way, because nowadays when tourists visit the place, they don’t come out too enriched, ”she said.

Nadar is a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. She therefore brings her global vision to the Indian artistic scene. “You get different points of view. You understand that he [MOMA] is much broader in its vision and when that vision is transferred to you you learn a lot from seasoned collectors. So when a small Indian museum is part of such a big conglomerate, it gives you a lot of visibility, which you don’t normally get. ”

According to her, Western museums offer visitors a very broad view of the arts. “When you look at an exhibition in a western gallery, you can understand how a curator focused on different aspects of an artist. You see aspects that are missing here.

His own taste for art has matured considerably over the years. She says, “There were certain artists in the 70s and 80s who were doing very beautiful and beautiful works. But today, while I still have these works, I feel that I will not seek to acquire such works. If I like a painting, I don’t necessarily leave by the choice of the public. I look at the paintings quite personally. I also buy works that I think could fill a gap in my collection. There was a time when the Bengal school was not properly represented but I put together a collection and now I have a very good collection of Bengal schools. It happened because I felt the collection was not well represented.

Over the years Nadar has built up a fairly good collection of over 5,000 works of art and counts. The first paintings she bought in 1989 were by Rameshwar Broota, MF Husain and Manjit Bawa. She said, “I had never studied art. So I would say whatever I bought early in my collector career, I think it has stood the test of time. Like Husain, he painted a lot of fantastic and less brilliant works. I think I was drawn to the most important of Husain’s works.

Today she focuses on collecting tribal art, sculptures and miniatures which she says have been largely ignored by the general public: “Tribal and miniature arts need our
Warning.”

For Nadar, collecting art serves an important purpose, that of preserving fragments of the past. And to be successful as an art collector, you have to trust your vision, as Nadar always has.

Norma D. Ross