Here's a treat for art lovers. Delhi Art Gallery presents the ninth edition of its signature, biannual exhibition Manifestations this summer, with a select collection of seventy-five of the most significant names in modern Indian art, representative of its wide diversity.
The exhibition brings together important works of art spanning a wide range of genres, forms, periods and styles. They are grouped by genre: abstract art, figurative art, mythology, narrative, portraiture, still-life and landscapes. Each thematic arrangement features a select collection of artworks that are milestones in Indian modernism, as well as in the development of the artistic language of several of the participating artists.
The exhibition presents a selection of works from the Indian modernist stable, especially the artists of the influential and erstwhile Progressive Artists’ Group, Bombay. It features a figurative work by MF Husain, an early abstract work from 1959 by SH Raza painted in France years before he arrived at the Bindu series he came to be known for and a portrait by FN Souza from his celebrated ‘Heads’ series that capture his unique response to a well-known Christian theme in art, the martyr St. Sebastian. KH Ara features with a rural landscape, SK Bakre with an abstract cityscape and HA Gade participates with a naturescape of a winding river dominated by glowing shades of indigo.
An important highlight of the exhibition is Nandalal Bose’s well-known and luminous watercolour wash work from the 1930s, Untitled (Siva Drinking Poison) and an early representative landscape of Banaras by Ram Kumar.
In the portrait section, the exhibition presents an alluring collection of portraits, several from the luminaries of academic painting in India – MV Dhurandhar, Abalall Rahiman, MF Pithawalla and NR Sardesai; a watercolour portrait by Rabindranath Tagore of Kadambari Devi and a wonderful 2003 portrait of a man by Akbar Padamsee in shades of auburn and red-orange that recalls the portraits and colour palette of his earlier decades. The landscape section features a wide range of artworks that represent the ‘typical’ realistic natural landscape, those that are abstract in style and content, as well as those that seem not directly related, such as Gogi Saroj Pal’s ‘human landscape’ of faces.
A host of works feature from the ‘mature periods of premier modernists; and the exhibition also showcases works that were landmark in the development of the artist’s individual style. These feature neo-tantra artists such as Sohan Qadri, Biren De and GR Santosh. Manu Parekh and Shanti Dave participate with works in their distinctive artistic styles and techniques, Gieve Patel and Vivan Sundaram feature with large works on contemporary urban life and Dharamnarayan Dasgupta and Sunil Das are showcased through works featuring the Calcutta biwis and babus, and a vivid charcoal sketch of a rampaging bull, respectively.
Featured in Manifestations for the first time are artists PS Chander Sheker and Shiavax Chavda. The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial, printed volume featuring colour plates of artworks by the seventy-five participating artists and contributions by some of the well-known art scholars and writers practicing in India today.
Where: Delhi Art Gallery, Hauz Khas Village
When: On till 25 June