Mrs. Lekha Poddar
(Anupam Poddar's mother) began collecting contemporary Indian art during
the 1980s, with works by the Progressive Artists' Group and others who
were active at the time. Anupam Poddar started to collect around the
year 2000, with works by younger artists around his own generation who
represented, to quote him, "a vision of India
to which I could relate".
He began with a
works by the Delhi-based artist like Bharti Kher
and Subodh Gupta. The Poddars had just moved into a large farmhouse
on the outskirts of Delhi, and the idea was to acquire art for their
new home. Over the last six years they have been following experimental/cutting
edge developments taking place across India. Slowly overcoming inhibitions
in terms of subject matter/content and the question of space for proper
display of installation and new media art, they have been expanding
their collection purposefully.
This is essentially
a family collection. Anupam Poddar looks after it and makes choices
and decisions in consultation with the family. The artists strongly
represented in the collection include Subodh Gupta,
Mithu Sen, Bharti Kher, Anita Dube, Sudarshan Shetty and A. Balasubramanium.
At the time of
writing the collection holds about 2100 works, including some commissions.
Ceramics has been largely excluded as a field, but about 800 works of
ethnic or folk art (tribal art) figure in the core collection.
The Poddar Collection
applies to Indian exponents of narrative, figurative
art, in many cases showing explicitly political commitment, though
it also convinced us with the breadth of its interest and an extraordinarily
active collecting policy that is not averse to risk.
grows weekly, with additions in the fields of contemporary art and folk
art. In future selections from the collection, presented thematically,
are also to be accessible to the public in an exhibition
venue specially created in New Delhi.