Aicon Gallery's vision begins in the Indian Subcontinent but reaches outwards internationally from there. The two gallery spaces are located in New York and London, and each provides a unique platform for Indian and Pakistani artists to exhibit in the United States and Europe. Alongside in-depth, focused solo shows, the galleries present a programme of curated group exhibitions that are international in their scope and ambition. Following recent debates in institutional curating, the programme deliberately encompasses contemporary art and art made through the latter half of the 20th century. Through this we aim to produce unexpected congruencies, shed light on other modernities, make complex the designation 'contemporary' and signal a shift away from simple survey exhibitions. With critical exhibitions of work by emerging and contemporary South Asian artists, one of Aicon's primary goals is to create a space for dialog and cross-collaboration between the arts of India, Pakistan, and the west.
Aicon Gallery was developed from Gallery ArtsIndia, which was one of the first major outlets in the United State for art from India. Initially Gallery ArtsIndia connected collectors, critics and curators to artists in India via an on-line platform, and after the initial positive feedback, opened as a gallery space in New York in 2002. Aicon Gallery was launched when our second major space opened in London in 2007. The New York space shifted location to its new premises in the Lower East Side in 2008.
The gallery has presented significant solo exhibitions of a number of artists - many of which have been their first major exhibitions outside the subcontinent. Solo shows have included G.R.Iranna, Bose Krishnamachari, Anandajit Ray Talha Rathore, Muhammed Zeeshan, Adeela Suleman and Atul Bhalla . It has also re-examined the oeuvres of artists working from the 1950s onwards, including F.N. Souza, M.F. Husain, K. Laxma Goud, S.H. Raza and Shyamal Dutta Ray. More recently the gallery has started participating in international art fairs such as Arco, Art Dubai, India Art Summit and Art Hong Kong and will be developing further participations going forward. Aicon Editions, launched in 2008, is the first venture to enable artists from the Subcontinent to work with limited edition projects.
Projjal K. Dutta and Prajit K. Dutta are partners in the Aicon/Arts India group of companies that includes Aicon Gallery - New York, and Aicon Gallery - London, Arts India Fund One, Arts India Fund Two. Aicon Gallery – New York and Aicon Gallery - London are two of the largest galleries worldwide for contemporary Indian art. The galleries represent many of the major Indian artists.
Projjal K. Dutta holds a MS in Architecture and Urbanism from MIT and an undergraduate degree from the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi. His professional interest is in sustainable design and its merits. He has been a regular member of the visiting faculty at Columbia University and has also taught at New York University.
Prajit K. Dutta is a Manager of Arts India Fund One, LLC and Arts India Fund Two, LLC which are private equity funds that invest in Asian Art. Prajit K. Dutta is also a Professor of Economics at Columbia University where he has taught since 1987. He is the author of Strategies and Games: Theory and Practice (MIT Press, 1999) and numerous research articles. His research interests are in Game Theory and its Applications. He is currently doing research in the Economics of Global Warming. He holds a P.hD from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Delhi.
Museums and collections
In 2002 the gallery acquired a substantial part of the Herwitz collection, comprising of works collected over a 35 year period. This has enabled the gallery to curate in-depth solo presentations but also to contextualise a rich period in art production in India. This has been a particularly important task in light of the lack of a museum infrastructure within India. In part through this acquisition the gallery has been able to loan works to major exhibitions at Tate Britain, the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum. The gallery has supported major museum presentations of art from South Asia - recent support has included the Serpentine Gallery, London, Asia Society, New York and a major presentation at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Furthermore the gallery has been able to draw on its expertise in order to manage three art funds specifically focused on Indian art.