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PROFILE: DELHI: STAINLESS
KATHLEEN MCCAUL

THE Indian art market is booming and new galleries are opening all over
Delhi, which in the last ten years have risen from 25 to over 430. One new
gallery, Stainless, stands out.

‘Stainless is an artist’s dream. It’s huge, 500,000 sq ft, ridiculously high
ceilings and all methodologies of display. Artists from all over India are jumping at
the chance to exhibit in the gallery,’ said Dr Alka Pande, art historian and curator
of Delhi’s long-established Visual Arts Gallery. Located in the leafy New Friends
colony in the heart of Delhi, Stainless opens on 25 August and will be devoted to
developing international and Indian artworks in stainless steel.





Stainless steel does not stain, corrode or rust and is a popular material for art
displayed outdoors, such as Anish Kapoor’s cloud gate in the US. Other artists use
steel for its modern connotations. Jeff Koons recently displayed his steel rabbit in
an exhibition on how technology has changed the way we look and see. In India
Subohd Gupta’s sculptures of steel homeware have attracted international acclaim;
he has been dubbed the ‘Damien Hirst of Delhi’. It is through Gupta that the owner
of Stainless, Deepika Jindal, fi rst began helping artists work with steel.

Jindal is a designer and the wife of steel magnate Ratan Jindal. She runs a successful business designing and manufacturing interior steel products. ‘Subohd uses my factory to create his work. Steel is a hard material to work in; you need special equipment, cutting and treatment. But I’m passionate about it and wanted to create a space especially for it,’ she said. Stainless will feature artists who already use steel, and those new to the medium. ‘The gallery gives artists the opportunity to work with engineers in my factory and workshop to create original pieces. We’ve started working with painters using steel as pigment, photographers creating steel patinas, ceramicists and fi lmmakers,’ added Deepika.





Dr Pande is consultant curator and has lined up some of India’s most
sought-after artists to work with the gallery, including Vivek Vilasini, Shiv Kumar
Verma, and N. N. Rimson. She believes their new work will attract serious
collectors as well as corporations and public institutions. ‘We’re creating a
brand using big-name artists and we’re happy to explore extremes. It’s not
going to be driven by markets but innovation. At the same time it’s a real
commercial space. There’s nothing on this scale in Delhi.’

KATHLEEN MCCAUL IS A FREELANCE JOURNALIST LIVING IN DELHI

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