The New Delhi-based Nature Morte Gallery announced a new outpost in Mumbai as a major expansion move.
Nature Morte is one of the premier art galleries in New Delhi, the capital of India. It was founded by Peter Nagy in 1998 and has, since then, exhibited eminent Indian artists like Bharti Kher, Subodh Gupta, and Ayesha Singh. However, Nagy confesses that over the years, he noticed that his artists were not frequently represented in Mumbai – famously known as the financial capital of India. On the other hand, a significant number of buyers for the gallery were based in Mumbai. The expansion move was to go where “the current appetite” of the market is.
The new space, located in Colaba, would be headlined by artist Subodh Gupta at its inaugural opening on January 18th. The gallery is also in talks to bring Polish sculptor Alicja Kwade for the inaugural exhibition. Part of the reason behind the expansion was to bring more international clientele and international artists to the country – and Mumbai offers a more appealing location than New Delhi.
Nature Morte first opened in New York in 1982 and operated until 1988. While the gallery still plans to open a new outpost in the US, it is not without its challenges. For one, the prospect would be expensive and complicated, as confessed by gallery co-director Aparajita Jain. She also points out the misinformation surrounding South Asian art in the West, which further blocks the market.
The launch of the Mumbai location for Nature Morte is a major move not just for the gallery, but Indian art space in general. Barring a few exceptions, Indian galleries tend to limit themselves just to a single city. This leads to artists having to be represented by multiple galleries if they want to be exhibited pan-India. However, if Nature Morte’s new branch sees equal success as its Delhi counterpart, more galleries might follow suit.