TATE COMES CALLING
The English spring will have an Indian element. Up on the walls of Tate Modern in April will be the works of India-born American artist Zarina Hashmi. The relief sculptures titled Clarity and Form will comprise a group show at the museum. "These are some of our recent acquisitions," says Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art at Tate Modern. The works are among the first set of purchases made by the institution on the recommendation of South Asian Acquisitions Committee (SAAC) that was established in November 2012.
Chaired by Lekha Poddar, founder and president of Devi Art Foundation, the committee comprising 20 members was formed with the sole objective of recommending purchases of modern and contemporary artwork from India and its neighbouring countries. It will be distinct from the Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee, launched in 2007. "There is a lot happening in the subcontinent and we will be collecting much more from here in the near future," says Morgan. On Thursday evening, she was at the fifth edition of the India Art Fair in Delhi, scanning through works and shortlisting talent that might be of interest to Tate. This is her first visit to India after the establishment of SAAC.
Meanwhile, since the inception of SAAC, a couple of works from the subcontinent have already been added to the Tate collection. This includes prints by Indian sculptor and political activist Somnath Hore and Bani Abidi's double channel video, Reserved. The last major exhibition of an Indian artist at Tate was in 2007, when works by Amrita Sher-Gil were on display. "We hope to have more such exhibitions," says Morgan.