Art kind

Feroze Gujral. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar  

Art and philanthropy often come together on different platforms that pledge support to various causes through the sale of art works. But, Outset is a different ballgame altogether. It is a contemporary art fund that buys art pieces and donates them to public museums, galleries and art projects.

The fund set up by two women, Candida Gertler and Yana Peel, in 2003 in the U.K. has been described as revolutionary, for it helps public museums fund acquisitions and encourages artists to create inspiring work. Significantly, at Tate the charitable foundation has filled in a crucial void that exists owing to the freezing of its annual government funding for acquisitions since 1982 and has donated more than 900,000 pounds, enabling 78 works by 50 international artists to be acquired.

Taken in by the concept, Feroze Gujral, ex-supermodel and daughter-in-law of Satish Gujral, one of the senior-most artists on the landscape of Indian art, has started the Indian chapter of the philanthropic organisation. The formal announcement will be made at the upcoming India Art Summit, 2011, where Yana Peel will make a presentation on Outset and will be in conversation with artist Subodh Gupta and Feroze at the speakers' forum. While the model of accumulating the corpus will remain the same — money comes in the form of patron fee that private patrons need to pay as joining charges — things will differ with regard to which public space to donate the acquired works.

The absence of public museums and spaces devoted to the cause of art in the country will prod them to look elsewhere. “I would want to give a work to the Metro (DMRC) or other museums across India. Outset U.K. has a formidable list of patrons, like politicians and senior curators. It is almost like a club of powerful, wealthy people. It would be a challenge to have people like these on board and trigger the idea of sharing the art. Here, we could create two to three slabs of patrons,” reveals Feroze, who will head Outset India, an affiliate of Outset U.K., as its director.

Though there is time before Outset sets out in action in full swing, it has begun moving in the direction. In keeping with the philosophy of its parent organisation, that of supporting contemporary art and new art, Outset India will be supporting a couple of installations — done by Vishal K. Dar and Asim and guided by Peter Nagy — which will be displayed at an abandoned house in Jor Bagh during the upcoming India Art Summit. Outset India, Feroze informs, is also involved in another project, which is a collaboration between Subodh Gupta and Ballet Preljocaj, a French ballet company, and Bolshoi Theatre, Russia's premier ballet company.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 12:46:16 AM |

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