Dharwad: A month-long art exhibition on the theme "Karnataka Modern" organised at the National Gallery of Modern Arts (NGMA) in Bengaluru has attracted controversy for allegedly neglecting artists who have contributed to the growth of modern art.
At a joint press conference here, artists M G Banglewale, F E Chikkamath, S M Lohar, Madhu Desai, Gayatri Desai and others alleged that the works of legendary artists from Bombay and Karnataka regions who have contributed to the growth of modern art in the initial stages, have missed the exhibition due to the fault of the authorities concerned. Besides, many artists from here missed the opportunity, they claimed.
They alleged that Suresh Jayaram, who is the curator of the gallery, did not do proper field work and failed to take the senior artists into consideration while choosing them for the exhibition.
“A letter from NGMA on 5 September 2017 said that Jayaram will visit Dharwad. But instead of him, deputy curator Darshan came here. However, he neither had any knowledge of the artists here nor did he have a list of artists to be consulted," they said
They also added that after returning to Bengaluru he informed them that the works of some of the artists have been selected for the exhibition and they told to suggest the notional price of those works for insurance coverage. "Accordingly, we suggested the notional prices ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. However, he asked to lower the notional prices. It was ridiculous because those were rare works and the artists are not alive today,” said Desai.
Bunglewale said that due to the lackadaisical attitude of the NGMA, the works of legendary artists S G Dandavatimath, K B Kulkarni, B K Hubli, M V Minajigi and others are not part of the exhibition.
They said that the event was being funded by the Union Ministry of Culture and this issue would be brought to the attention of the Ministry, President Ramnath Kovind and MP Pralhad Joshi.
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