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Showcase of Indian artworks from 20th century

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 - 3:57pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

A selection of works by 75 of the most significant Indian artists from the 20th century is up for show at the Delhi Art Gallery.

A selection of works by 75 of the most significant Indian artists from the 20th century is up for show at the Delhi Art Gallery.

The eighth edition of Manifestations at the Gallery brings together important and unusual works of art that span a wide range of genres, forms, periods and styles.

They are grouped by genre of abstract art, figurative art, landscape art, portraiture and still-life. Each thematic arrangement features a select collection of artworks from the artist's mature period and several of substantial art historical significance.

The Progressive Artists' Group, their associates and fellow modernists finds representation here in the form of an unusual group portrait (of the Keehn family) by MF Husain, a significant abstract work from his early landscape works by SH Raza, a large haunting urban landscape by FN Souza, a still-life by KH Ara, and a unique abstract landscape rendered in his unique style and technique by SK Bakre.

Among the associate members of the group, Tyeb Mehta features with a strong work showing a haunted figure, Akbar Padamsee with a glowing landscape from his well-known Metascape series, Krishen Khanna with an Indian adaptation of the Last Supper in a large oil, and master abstractionist VS Gaitonde in a signature subtle work.

"The exhibition also brings together significant works by Bombay-based modernists such as Jehangir Sabavala, KS Kulkarni and AA Raiba, and from the next generation, artists such as Gieve Patel and Navjot," says the gallery.

Delhi-based Satish Gujral is featured with a powerful work in response to the trauma of Partition, while Ram Kumar's extremely rare figurative work is evocative of his abiding passion for Banaras.

Artists such as Avinash Chandra, PT Reddy, Laxma Goud and J.Swaminathan are featured with important explorations of their favoured themes.

A host of significant modernists from Kolkata form the core of the exhibition – artists such as Bikash Bhattacharjee, Nikhil Biswas, Bijan Choudhary, Chittaprosad, Prodosh Das Gupta, Dharamnarayan Dasgupta, Shyamal Dutta Ray, Biren De, Ganesh Pyne, Sunil Das, Prokash Karmakar, Jogen Chowdhury and Paritosh Sen.

Jamini Roy and Sakti Burman feature with large and significant works in their signature styles and pre-modern Bengal is represented by a Kalighat pat and a beautiful Early Bengal oil work on the theme of Krishna and the gopis.

Academic realism finds substantial representation this time with a book of 175 sketches of his wife by artist MV Dhurandhar, a still-life by SG Thakur Singh, a Saraswati portrait by the Ravi Varma School, and portraits by MF Pithawalla, Olinto Ghilardi, and one of a Tanjore king by an anonymous artist in a style reminiscent of Raja Ravi Varma.

Kolkata-based modernist artist Rabin Mondal's eight work set comprising his King series from the 1970s is a special highlight of the exhibition, as is a large, haunting portrait by Rabindranath Tagore.

The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial colour catalogue featuring art scholarship on the featured works, with special, additional material on several of the most significant works on display.

The display segregated into categories like abstract art, figurative art, landscape art, portraiture and still life is on display till December 3. The Gallery is also screening films on some featured artists from its archives.

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