The Lalit Kala Akademi holds pride of place in the hearts and minds of the art community of this country. This is due to the all-embracing nature of the workings of the Akademi. Unlike commercial galleries, the Akademi is welcoming of even the humblest member of this profession and thus both senior, and upcoming artists, consider it a privilege to hold exhibitions on its premises. Members of the public, too, are drawn to this inviting space where art of various categories and genres essay in the changes on the contemporary art scene.
In fact, it was this acceptance of the latest changes and innovations in the field of art that led to the need for defining the precincts of the LKA as an apt platform to exhibit these art creations to their best effect. The spaces within the LKA therefore were in for a facelift, not as a cosmetic touching-up but as a genuine platform for serious art initiatives. Added to this core principle was the integrating of aesthetic sensibilities so that the outer shell of the Akademi, which is a verdant spread of sculpture court overshadowed by elegant arboreal landmarks, could be engineered in a subtle blend with the interiors, in an indoor-outdoor flexibility. The answer lay in the expansive use of glass for slide-in walls, an outer panoramic shield that let in light and outer greenery, seamlessly into the interiors. Within the building too, the hemmed in look of solid walls melted away once the concept of take-off walls was introduced so that in a given moment spaces could be expanded or contracted simply by the lowering or uplifting of a single panel.
The glass framework, which outlines a complete side of the main gallery on the ground floor, was further enhanced by letting the high ceilings of the original structure remain in place. The eye thus lifts upwards, to the second floor premises without a single distraction and the steps running along the side are paneled with clear fiberglass protection, giving the illusion of floating forms.Utilitarian aspects too have received due concern in this project. The renovated wash rooms are immaculately spruce with Epsom printed wall paper spaced between glass sheets. Within the gallery precincts, lighting details take in art needs to perfection as the newly fitted Ecro lighting system has controllable light intensity, viewing angles, colour brilliance, and reflectors. In addition these lights come with lenses, filters, and glare control. Wooden floors in laminate reflect a woody lustre underfoot. Overall, the first look of the space is not that of a boxed in rectangle with art on the walls, but of a free-flowing, unrestricted space, where art is a statement written out in terms of richness, understated elegance, and thoughtful flux.
Artists too have welcomed the new address for art with open arms and major showings have marked the opening of this renovated art address. The new renovation projects have increased the exhibition ratings of the LKA. With a larger exhibition space at their disposal, the LKA is in a position to accommodate more artists’ works. Retrospectives of senior artists have been held in quick succession all through this quarter. Thus the newest art venture from LKA has not been just a provocative face lift of a given area but a vibrant interface between various elements of the art fraternity.