On the occasion of India Art Fair, David Zwirner is pleased to present a Viewing Room of works by twelve artists, chosen by local New Delhi collector and Tate Committee member Tarana Sawhney. This year marks the gallery’s second attendance at the fair and the increasing involvement of its artists in the region, with current presentations by Harold Ancart in Jaipur and Marlene Dumas in Kochi.
Sawhney began her collection, which includes works by David Zwirner artists as well as those featured in this Viewing Room, fifteen years ago. Having initially acquired pieces that appealed to her visually, 'I am now drawn to works,' she explains, 'that have a sense of relationship to my life that are conceptual and that make me think—the deeper you engage, the more you can appreciate.' According to her, selecting works for this Viewing Room has given a fresh perspective on her collection.
Works by gallery artists Anni Albers, Suzan Frecon, Sherrie Levine, Thomas Ruff, and Wolfgang Tillmans are seen here with those by artists Rana Begum, Atul Dodiya, Shilpa Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Idris Khan, Raqs Media Collective, and Arpita Singh. The media range from sculptures in bronze, steel, and neon to prints, photographs, and works on paper, as well as paintings in oil and watercolour. 'For me, it’s not about the medium,' Sawhney reflects, 'but finding an engagement with the work that has the ability to grow.'
Sawhney is deeply engaged in the support and promotion of contemporary art in the region. She is a member of Tate Modern’s South Asian acquisitions committee and for the past decade has been on the advisory board of the Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art (FICA)—an experience she says has taught her humility and responsibility as a collector. In addition to awarding research grants and artists’ residencies, FICA supports the Kochi Biennale, where works are on view by Marlene Dumas, and the annual public art project at India Art Fair, which is now in its third edition.
For Sawhney, both her own collection and the wider Indian context embody a vivid combination of the historical and the new. 'Everything has a basis, a past. It’s just a contemporary interpretation,' she says. A strong advocate for art in public spaces, Sawhney is glad to see projects such as The Sculpture Park in Jaipur, which opened in 2017 and features works by Harold Ancart in its current show, drawing visitors who wouldn’t normally seek out contemporary art alongside the international curators, gallerists, and other practitioners who frequent the region.
Press release courtesy David Zwirner.