This exhibition is significant as it marks one of the largest-ever shows of the Progressives and their associate members. It also celebrates the genesis of the Progressive Artists’ Group in Bombay in 1947 and its continued link with the city.
The Progressives are among the most significant artists in India, and their work commands the highest prices at auctions in the country and overseas. The group was founded by F. N. Souza and had as its founding members S. H. Raza, M. F. Husain, K. H. Ara, H. A. Gade and S. K. Bakre, later joined by V. S. Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Krishen Khanna, Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar, Bal Chhabda and Mohan Samant. While the group had lost momentum by the mid-1950s, the artists have remained the most vigorous force on the Indian art horizon, commanding the highest respect for modern art in the country.
The exhibition has been especially curated to coincide with the opening of DAG Mumbai and comes from DAG’s internal collection built over the years. All thirteen artists are represented, and all works are on sale.
The exhibition consists of 200 works, of which approximately 130 are on view. It is accompanied by a 500-page book with extensive research that will add value to the group’s as well as the country’s documentation of art history.
‘[The Progressives] were of very varied backgrounds, of different religions also, but Raza put it very well when he said what bonded them was a search for a common language, which was significant at the same time’