Manifestations VI features an assortment of seventy-five significant artists curated from its collection. Not organised around theme or style, Manifestations features a single work or a related series of works by each chosen artist, which reflect an important facet of their unique artistic journeys. Usually dominated by 20th century modern Indian art, Manifestations VI features works spanning three centuries, from a ‘Company Painting’ set in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu, done by Thomas Daniell for the East India Company in the 1790s, to an Early Bengal work of a ferocious Kali astride a supine Shiva, to several 20th century modern works.
The exhibition features a strong selection of early Indian art, from several academic oil works by well-known Indian artists of the early 20th century such as Raja Ravi Varma, Pestonji Bomanji, M. V. Dhurandhar, M. F. Pithawalla, and J. P. Gangooly, to wash technique works by artists affiliated to the Bengal School such as Nandalal Bose, Badri Nath Arya, Asit Kumar Haldar, M. Abdur Rahman Chughtai, and Kshitindranath Majumdar. Also featured from this early period are artists Benode Behari Mukherjee, Jamini Roy, Gopal Deuskar, Gopal Ghose, Radha Charan Bagchi, Indra Dugar, D. P. Roy Chowdhury, and Bireswar Sen.
The selection goes on to feature Indian modernists who charted their own artistic trajectories, such as Somnath Hore, Chittaprosad, Ram Kumar, Prokash Karmakar, K. S. Kulkarni, V. S. Panicker, Gulammohammed Sheikh, M. F. Husain, and F. N. Souza. Alongside paintings, also on feature are sculptural works by India’s foremost modernists: Ramkinkar Baij, Chintamoni Kar, Prodosh Das Gupta, P. V. Janakiram, and Himmat Shah.
A noteworthy feature of the exhibition is the showcasing of early works of significant artists such as Biren De, V. S. Gaitonde and G. R. Santosh that are completely unlike what they painted later and the styles and concerns they came to be known by. These early works expand our understanding of the artists’ range and chart the journey of their artistic careers. This collection of artists help make this edition of Manifestations an important and exciting showcase of Indian art.