Showcasing European and Indian art, Karine Pelade’s new gallery is yet another addition to your itinerary in Pondy
LAWYER-turned-art connoisseur, Karine Pelade’s passion for the visual form took root when she was just a little girl. Growing up in Paris with a mother who was a painter and an art teacher, her childhood was filled with art exhibit visits and afternoons of painting with her mum. After 12 years of law at the Paris Bar, Pelade switched to art when she began writing short stories on paintings and teaching art at the Ateliers Beaux Arts de la ville Paris, feeling the call “for a richer, creative life”.
She fell in love with Pondicherry six years ago, while on a tour of Tamil Nadu, and decided to settle here. And Kalinka Art Gallery (Kalinka, a Russian word, was a pen-name she gave herself as a child) was conceptualised in April after she met local artists like Kirti Chandak. Open to setting up art installations and on the look-out for new talent, the 44-year-old says, “I love to discover new artists, their universe, the tools and materials they use, and be surrounded by creative people.”
The gallery saw the light of day in May and her first exhibition, 4 Ways, has been the talk of the town since. It showcases the works of four women artists—Chandak of Tasmai gallery, and three French artists, Nadée, Catherine Lescure and Céleste Bollack. “I have been following them for years and I’m very close to them. I grew up seeing Lescure’s paintings as she was my mother’s friend. Kirti was someone I met in Pondicherry, and connected with. I chose the title because it showcases four different ways of painting and four different characters, each with a strong personality and singularity,” says the woman who favours the works of Lucian Freud and Frida Kahlo. She wanted this to be her first show because she considers the four artists to be her lucky charm. Pelade goes on to add that she wants to help artists from India and Europe, and to link different cultures,besides creating a residency for artists. A quick tour finds us stopping by large-format oils by Chandak, while downstairs there are lithographs and etchings by Bollack, oil on fine Japanese paper and ink drawings by Nadée, and oil on newspapers by Lescure.
Just back from a brief trip to Paris, Pelade is already busy putting together her second show, India – Land of Light, a solo exhibition of over 48 photographs by Olivier Barot, an Aurovilian who plays predominantly with light. As for showing her own paintings, mostly oils and mixed media, she concludes, “I am cautious about my art at the moment. Right now setting up my gallery is priority.”
Till July 30 Tuesdays to Sundays.