DAG Modern is pleased to announce the opening Memory and Identity – Indian Artists Abroad on December 19, 2016 in New Delhi. The gallery is bringing together a range of artistic expressions by putting up for a coveted line-up of close to seventy artworks of fourteen prominent modernist masters of the 20th century, who left India in their youth and did most of their work abroad.
Several Indian artists have now made their home in the world, but for the purpose of this exhibition, only those have been selected who represent the widest swathe of twentieth century art, whose independent journeys were courageous, who were successful in carving careers for themselves in the new homes, and whose identities as artists took on different manifestations.
Most artists came from small towns and carried their cultural baggage with them, one which gave them their unique identity; which they could dip into and use as a resource for their practice. But did it clash with their Western reality? With only their identity to fall back on and the memory of home with all its cultural and social attributes residing in their consciousness, how did they fare – not in terms of a changed environment and its local culture but as Indian artists painting in a land where their impress has lived on far beyond their lifetimes and as a marker of their Indian identity as well as nationality irrespective of the colour of their passports.
The exhibition examines how the simultaneous stay abroad and the draw of the land they left behind found manifestation in their works. It explores whether an ‘Indian’ character or influence can be traced in the work of these artists, some of whom are known for their avowedly India-inspired work, such as S. H. Raza, while others negotiate a complex engagement with nostalgia and their native land.
Artists featured: F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza, Krishna Reddy, S. K. Bakre, Sakti Burman, Avinash Chandra, Mohan Samant, NatvarBhavsar, V. Viswanathan, SohanQadri, RajendraDhawan, Eric Bowen, Ambadas, Zarina Hashmi.
The exhibition will open in DAG Modern, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi on December 19, 2016 and will remain on view till mid-March 2017.
DAG Modern: A Profile
Established in 1993, DAG Modern is India’s largest repository of modern masters representing the gamut of Indian art practice in the 20th century. It has established its presence by building the largest, most distinctive collection of Indian modern art which parallels or closely follows contemporary movements in the West, placing it in the same context as Pablo Picasso, Matisse, the German Expressionists, the Paris or New York School. Showcasing such significant names of Indian modern art as F. N. Souza, M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, Ram Kumar, K. K. Hebbar, V. S. Gaitonde, Ganesh Pyne, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Rabin Mondal and Avinash Chandra, the extensive collection provides a critical link for everyone from art-lovers, academicians and researchers, to collectors and investors.
The gallery has traced, compiled, restored and archived entire collections, resulting in some landmark exhibitions lauded for their curation. These consist of several artist retrospectives, those tracing art movements, such as Mumbai Modern and Continuum on the Bombay Progressives, and The Art of Bengal, numerous thematic exhibitions like Indian Landscapes, Indian Abstracts, Indian Divine or The Naked and the Nude, and historical overviews such as A Visual History of Indian Modern Art, besides its signature Manifestations series. The exhibitions and their accompanying high quality catalogues and art publications, noted for the depth of their research, form part of the gallery’s ongoing efforts to shed new light on the extraordinary and unique Indian modernism journey. In addition, it has presented curated exhibitions noted for its pavilion designs at national and international art fairs of repute, such as Art14 and Art15 London, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Stage Singapore and India Art Fair, New Delhi.
DAG Modern has a flagship gallery in the heart of picturesque HauzKhas Village in New Delhi, and a second gallery in the exclusive DLF Emporio mall in the city. 2013 marked its Mumbai debut in a standalone, sensitively restored historic building in the city’s art precinct of Kala Ghoda. In 2015, DAG Modern expanded its presence with its first international gallery space in New York, in the historic Fuller Building in the heart of Manhattan’s art and business district, and intends to increase its reach to significant and exciting new art centres worldwide.
Memory and Identity: Indian Artists Abroad
19th December 2016 to till mid-March 2017
Timings: 11am to 7pm
DAG Modern, 11 Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi