DAG Modern Aims to Bring Indian Art Further Into the International Discourse

The gallery is hosting a panel this weekend in New York dedicated to the “future of Indian art.”

Installation view of "Natvar Bhavsar: Homecoming" at DAG Modern's Mumbai location. Courtesy of DAG Modern.

Though the conversation about the explosive growth of the Asian art world is often centered around Hong Kong, Shangai, Toyko, and other cities in the eastern part of the continent, the art scene in India has experienced an equally notable evolution in recent years. The future trajectory of India’s art landscape, however, is far less certain.

This weekend, the Indian art gallery DAG Modern will explore the topic of where the art scene goes from here by hosting a panel discussion titled “The International Growth & Future of Indian Art: A Commentary within India’s Rockefeller Artists” at its New York location on Sunday, December 3rd. Internationally recognized Indian artist Natvar Bhavsar will provide the event’s keynote speech, while Akaash Mehta, a Senior Relationship Manager at DAG Modern, will lead a discussion with critics Carter Ratcliff and Robert C. Morgan.

The panel is an extension of the gallery’s current exhibition in New York, “India’s Rockerfeller Artists,” which brings together the work of artists who traveled to the U.S. after receiving grants from the John D. Rockefeller III Fund, or through the Asian Cultural Council (which was founded after the dissolution of the JDR 3rd Fund in 1979). Among those who benefited from the grant program are such notable Indian artists as V.S. Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar, Bal Chhabda, Jyoti Bhatt, K.G. Subramanyan, A.M. Davierwala, Avinash Chandra, Arun Bose, Paritosh Sen, K.S. Kulkarni, Vinod Dave, Bhupen Khakhar and Rekha Rodwittiya, among many others.

Natvar Bhavsar. Courtesy of DAG Modern.

Bhavsar, the keynote speaker for Sunday’s panel, was also a beneficiary of the JDR 3rd Fund. His work is included “India’s Rockerfeller Artists” and is currently the subject of a retrospective at DAG Modern’s Mumbai gallery, on view through January 25.

DAG Modern was first established in 1993 in the Hauz Khas Village of New Delhi. Now, going into its 25th year of business, the gallery operates in three locations worldwide—New Delhi, Mumbai, and, most recently, New York, where it opened its first branch in 2015.

In February, the gallery will also launch a month-long “pop-up museum” in New Delhi, timed with the 11th annual India Art Fair. Titled Art.In.DiAloGue, the project will kick off on with a two-day conference, bringing together important collectors, curators, and museum directors from around the world.

With its upcoming events, including this weekend’s panel and the exhibition and conference in February, DAG Modern hopes to “bring attention to the importance, richness, and scope of Indian art across the globe,” according to a statement.

“The idea is to draw attention to Indian art within an international matrix,” says Anand.

“The International Growth & Future of Indian Art” panel will take place at 12 pm on Sunday, December 3rd at DAG Modern’s branch at 41 East 57th Street, Suite 708, New York, NY 10022. “India’s Rockefeller Artists: An Indo-U.S. Cultural Saga” is on view at the same location through March 3.

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