In keeping with its role as the country’s National Academy of Art, the Lalit Kala Akademi is hosting the first-ever International Print Biennale in the country with a record number of 17 countries taking part in it. The first-ever International Exhibition of Graphic Prints ‘Print Biennale India 2018’ opened today, at the Rabindra Bhavan Galleries of the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi. The eminent Artist-Printmaker, Shri Shakti Barman was the Chief Guest. The inaugural ceremony was graced with the presence of the Biennale Commissioner, Ms. Anupam Sud and its steering committee members Shri Ananda Moy Banerji, Shri Dattatraya Apte, Shri R.S. Sham Sunder, Ms. Paila Sen Gupta and Shri Vijay Bagodi.
The message of the Minister of State Culture (Independent Charge) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma was read out on the occasion. Dr Mahesh Sharma said “The 1st Print Biennale India, 2018 is an endeavor that is a quest for discovering new artistic trends in printmaking Nationally & Internationally. Printmaking is a means of fine expression. The direct consequence of this was the definition of the role Printmaking was to play in society and the broader and more indirect consequence were the ideological reaction this imposed.”
In his message, the Culture Minister further said, “The comprehensive vision laid out by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi builds on the heritage of India’s rich social and cultural diversity, its tradition, the strength of our human resource and the aspirations of the youth. I appreciate all the beautiful prints on display and the outstanding effort of the Academy to contribute towards and make us aware of the contemporary trends in art. I also extend my congratulations to Shri C S Krishna Setty, Administrator, Lalit Kala Akademi for supporting and encouraging contemporary artists through this exhibition and creating a unique legacy for the future.”
Addressing on the occasion, Shri Shakti Barman said, “It was around 1980s that I first happened to get introduced with the lithography medium of printmaking. All of a sudden lithography had become very popular. But with the time, it’s trend as well as practicing spaces and studios got demolished and are now we have very few of them. I believe that this grand endeavor by the Akademi will help it in gaining its popularity back.”
In his welcoming address on the biennale, the Administrator LKA, Shri C S Krishna Setty stated, “The aim behind conducting such an event is to endeavor a quest for discovering new artistic trends in printmaking nationally as well as globally, and to explore new ideas in the field The Lalit Kala Akademi is creating history once again today as in its 64 years of history, the Akademi is organizing for the first time this first ever Print Biennale of India.”
In an interaction with veteran printmaker Anupam Sud, Commissioner, First Print Biennale India, said, “This great initiative by the Lalit Kala Akademi is expected to provide a great phillip to this practice and patronage of printmaking in India.”
The event comprising a total of 200 original prints are created by Indian and international artists of impeccable competence and is a window view into the giant strides in printmaking that is taking place in India and the world.
An exhibition Eminent Printmakers of India showcasing master Indian printmakers, will be inaugurated on Monday, March 26th, at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) by the Chief Guest Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President, Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). Eminent printmaker Shri Devraj Dakoji will be the Guest of Honour at the ceremony. The Administrator of Lalit Kala Akademi Sh. C.S. Krishna Setty, and the Director General of NGMA Shri Adwaita Gadanayak will preside over the ceremony.
In accordance with the overall perspective for providing an inclusive and exclusive platform, the exhibits have been arranged accordingly. For the Eminent Printmakers of India show artists were invited to send two prints of their choice as the exhibits. In the open category, artists were asked to send upto three prints which were submitted for selection before a 2-tier International Jury.
In keeping with its international makeover the biennale has elicited interest globally. The participants are from countries such as USA, UK, Sri Lanka, Italy, Mexico, China, Israel, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, Argentina, Greece, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Mauritius. A total number of 988 entries at the national level were received of which 127 have been chosen for display. The number of entries at the international level was 137 of which 50 artists have been selected. A total of 73 artworks of international artists are on display. While, the ‘Eminent Printmakers of India’ show consists of 98 artists to be displayed at the NGMA galleries from Monday 26th March till April 22nd, 2018.