- Interact With Art
It weighs 26 tons, it measures 36x36 feet, and it took three cranes to lift it and seven days to install it. We are talking about contemporary artist (and the art market favourite) Subodh Gupta's installation Line of Control, a mushroom-shaped cloud made with his signature style - shiny utensils, which has come home to the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art after being displayed at the Tate Modern Triennale earlier this year. 'Today, after the Agni-V missile launch, my mushroom cloud has a clear message - we do not want another Hiroshima,' Gupta said, looking very fit in a pair of body hugging jeans and checked shirt. For art collector Kiran Nadar, it's a labour of love to install the work that involved knocking down a wall. 'When I saw it at the Tate I was overwhelmed by its monumental structure and I knew then that I had to have it in my museum,' Nadar said, describing the work that appears to defy gravity with over 1,000 vessels suspended in the air. MUSHROOMING' ART 26 tons is the weight of Subodh Gupta’scritique of India’s nuclear ambitions. 36x36 feet are the dimensions of the sculpture made with stainless steel vessels. Three cranes were used to lift the mammoth work that’s just back from Tate London. 2006was when Gupta conceived the work with the multi-city Arario Gallery’s backing. ‘Several crores’ is what art collector Kiran Nadar says she paid for the sculpture. The work has been described as heroic, experimental and theatrical by art critic and curator Rubina Karode and viewers at the Tate were stunned by its proportions. In Delhi, however, a few curious bystanders were inquiring if it was an advertisement for a Big Bazaar utensil sale! Nadar, wife of HCL founder-chairman Shiv Nadar, now has one of the most enviable and expensive collections of modern and contemporary art housed in her museum at South Mall, Saket, behind the popular Select City Walk. The museum contains Amount has not been disclosed works such as the `18-crore canvas by Syed Haider Raza titled Saurashtra and the iconic 'elephant sculpture' by Bharti Kher (Gupta's wife) titled The Skin Speaks Its Language Not Its Own, priced at `6.8 crore. When we asked Nadar what it cost her, she was tightlipped. 'I don't want to talk about the price because then that becomes the only thing people concentrate on. Let's just say it cost me several crores,' she said. 'I'd like to talk instead of what inspired me to do this work,' Gupta said. 'In 1999 I made the first drawing of a mushroom cloud when India and Pakistan were on the brink of a nuclear war. They were having conversations like how many people were going to die if India used its nuclear power. It chilled my heart.' It touched a personal chord, Gupta added, saying he faced the scary possibility that Bharti, a British citizen, would have to return to the UK if a war broke out.