AI 100, the exhibition of books and traveling art highlights the landscape of contemporary art

Organized by Art Houz, the show is currently on display at Hyderabad State Art Gallery

Organized by Art Houz, the show is currently on display at Hyderabad State Art Gallery

Double visual delight awaits contemporary art lovers in the form of a new book and a traveling art exhibition at the State Art Gallery in Hyderabad. AI 100, a coffee table book (launched recently in Chennai) contains a collection of contemporary artworks by 100 artists across India. The exhibition (of the same name) featuring the works of 10 to 15 artists from the book was organized by Art Houz – a gallery present in both Chennai and Bengaluru – and a contemporary art magazine Illustrated Arts. The exhibition continues until April 9.

Curator Poonima Shivram says work began after April 2021 during the second wave of COVID-19. “The book is an attempt to record the current contemporary art landscape, the kind of work artists have done, the way they connect with each other and present their ideas reflect the community around them and the land to which they belong.”

To support artists

By Uttam Manna

By Uttam Manna | Photo credit: special arrangement

With uncertainty looming and the artist community hit hard during the pandemic, the idea was to do something for them. Calling it a “dual responsibility,” Poornima says, “We support the artist community by recording their work and helping art reach audiences, raising awareness of different art practices and which artists to watch out for.”

The limited edition book (not for sale) will be made available gradually. Poornima clarifies: “In the first phase, our priority is to focus on art collectors, because when they connect to the works, it indirectly helps the artists. We also hope to reach museums and libraries.

By Sarang Waghmare

By Sarang Waghmare | Photo credit: special arrangement

The colossal task of shortlisting 100 practicing artists proved difficult. Poornima and his team of seven at Art Houz contacted Lalit Kala Akademi in Delhi for a list of practicing artists and galleries across India and also used their decade-long experience in the art field to shortlist artists at different stages of their career.

The show, an offshoot of the book, is a traveling show that came to Hyderabad after its launch in Chennai. While the book features one work from each artist, the exhibition features more works in their respective cities. “There is a bit of everyone in the book, whether they are engravers or artists. In addition, we plan to do several events and organize workshops or camps based on their art.

While the works of Hyderabad artists PJ Stalin and Dhan Prasad are featured in the show, other artists from the city who are not part of the show but featured in the book include Laxman Aelay, Bhaskar Rao Botcha , Chandra Morkonda and Vishveshwar Rao. “After this appointment with painting in this edition, our next edition will focus on sculptures”, explains Poornima.

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