- Celebrating 25 years of Art Our New Identity
- Hosting Conversations on Art India Habitat Centre, New Delhi | Feb 7 – Feb 11, 2018
- Paying homage to France IHC - Visual Art Gallery | Feb 1 – Feb 12, 2018
- Navratna offering at India Art Fair 2018 India Art Fair - New Delhi | Feb 9 – Feb 12, 2018
Established in 1993, in what was New Delhi’s hip and happening cultural urban ‘village’, and christened Delhi Art Gallery - who would have thought that simple desire to promote art in the capital would go on to become a powerhouse for Indian modern art? Ashish Anand’s keen sense led him to a primary study of what was a laggard art scene with no acknowledgement of the masters who had gone into decline. As befitting that responsibility, and its expansion with galleries in Mumbai and New York, a decision was taken in December 2017 to rename the establishment DAG, a mantle that extended to encompass a diverse range of programming options that have included research, archiving, publications, education, and the loan of works for important international exhibitions and biennales. Our participation in international art fairs and production of historic exhibitions have transcended geographical locations to create conversations around modern art from the region, thus stepping up our presence in curatorial practices in museums and in cultural and art discourses. DAG’s new branding commemorates its 25 years with a range of programmes spread through the year. Watch this space for details.
To launch its 25th anniversary, DAG has kick-started the celebrations with an important, and interesting, programme of conversations that hope to enrich the dialogue around art in India. This is in keeping with its attempt to ensure Indian modern art remains a topic of conversation in important fora around the world. A calendar of talks and a conference featuring international and Indian speakers is planned for the month of February to coincide with its exhibitions and participation at India Art Fair. The confirmed speakers include: Bernard Picasso (President of the Museo Picasso, Spain, and grandson of Pablo Picasso) Catherine Chevillot (Director, Rodin Museum, Paris) Jean-Marc Bustamante (Director, Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris) Eric de Chassey (Director, French National Institute of Art History) Manuel Rabate (Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi) and Fabrice Bousteau (Editor Beaux Arts Magazine) to name a few. The talks and conference are scheduled to be held at various venues at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, from February 7-11. Please contact email@example.com for details and participation.
Indian artists have been taught by British artists and art teachers, travelled to the US on fellowships to study art, but the influence that France – and French artists and art movements – have had on Indian artists, though vastly greater, has gone almost unacknowledged. Any documentation of artists who have studied in Paris, or practiced there, has remained poor. India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France, an exhibition from DAG’s stable, aims to correct this anomaly. For almost a century now, Indian artists have been drawn to Paris to study the masters, to mix with the modernists, to sip coffee and engage with its intellectuals in its cafes, to study the Impressionists and Cubists who were responsible, in great part, for the spread of modernism that cut across histories and geographies. Starting with Amrita Sher-Gil, India’s first acknowledged woman artist who studied and practiced there before returning to India, to S. H. Raza who became the first non-European to win its prestigious Prix de la critique, from printmaker Krishna Reddy who created the viscosity technique of printmaking at Paris’s Atelier 17 to a spate of Indian modernists that included Jehangir Sabavala, Ram Kumar, K. K. Hebbar, Rajendra Dhawan, Anjolie Ela Menon, Sakti Burman, Nirode Mazumdar, Prodosh Dasgupta, Nasreen Mohamedi and Zarina Hashmi, India’s finest artists have carried a bit of France in their work. Now, for the first time, a major exhibition lays claim to this heritage with a sweeping view of the artists who have been part of this incredible journey. The exhibition, on view to the public at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi from February 1-12, 2018, traces this history with a curation of important works and creates a segue between two cultures that found a way to overcome the obstacles of history and culture to create an artistic representation that combines the best that India and France have to offer.
Every year, DAG creates a ‘museum’ at the India Art Fair, to help art-lovers discover Indian modern art in an experiential manner. In its 25th year, DAG has decided to honour India’s nine National Treasure Artists with an exhibition themed around their works. In the early to mid-1970s, the Indian government decided to honour nine artists with the title of ‘National Treasure Artists’. All the artists differed in their practice and style, and were varied in their choice of mediums. Interestingly, six of them had their roots in Bengal (Kolkata), and the mantle of ‘nationalism’ can to an extent be extended to all of them. They represent the finest practitioners of modernism from the early 20th century (though Ravi Varma practiced mostly in the 19th century). Each of them brings a unique perspective to the platform of Indian art. Highlights of the exhibition include canvases by Raja Ravi Varma and Amrita Sher-Gil, an extremely rare sculpture by Amrita Sher-Gil, paintings of the Himalayas by Nicholas Roerich, postcards by both Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose, and portraits by Rabindranath Tagore. The scenography for the exhibition has been created by Paris-based Adrien Gardere.
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