Gallery 1 & 2, The Taj Mahal Palace Apollo Bunder Road, Colaba 20 March – 31 July 2022
'Iconic Masterpieces of Indian Modern Art' is an exhibition specially curated to commemorate the opening of DAG’s new galleries at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. The pathbreaking exhibition of some of the finest nineteenth and twentieth century art related to India consists of fifty outstanding works, each of them exceptional for their historicity, rarity, and quality. Established in 1993, DAG has created an enviable reputation over the decades for its collection and exhibitions of twentieth century art. But with 'Iconic Masterpieces of Indian Modern Art', it draws attention to its growing strength in nineteenth century art, a new area that it has now committed itself to with a growing inventory of Western artists who travelled to India to paint, as well as Indian artists whose identities have remained unknown for lack of adequate documentation. The earliest work in this exhibition, dated 1805-10, is of one of the largest recorded Company Paintings, and concludes with a rare sculpture cast as recently as 2021 in Indonesia.
The two centuries of art practice in between are represented by European artists Edwin Lord Weeks, Marius Bauer, Frank Brooks, unknown artists of pre-modern Indian art, as well as masters from the Indian modern pantheon representing the Bengal School, the Progressives, and other movements and collectives. A painting by Nicholas Roerich, Banner of Peace, was created by the Russian artist after moving to the Himalayas in India to illustrate the historic Roerich Peace Pact signed by America and twenty Latin American countries to safeguard cultural and artistic treasures around the world.
The genres range from the landscape to portraiture, history paintings, abstracts as well as tantra-based art, the styles including the academic, impressionistic, expressionistic to the cubist as well as mythological and sacred. Besides paintings on canvas and paper, there are a number of sculptures that range from the very small to arguably the largest modern sculpture in a private collection. This display of definitive iconic masterpieces stands out as the most ambitious exhibition of art curated in India by DAG.