Kala Ghoda, 20 November 2017 – 31 March 2018
It is strange that Natvar Bhavsar, one of Indian art’s leading names, should never have been shown in India before. Having lived and worked in USA from 1962 onwards, it remains a mystery why his work has been seen in America but almost not at all in India. In spite of a few eminent collectors who have his work, Bhavsar has remained inexplicably ignored—an anomaly DAG is happy to correct with this seminal exhibition.
Natvar Bhavsar spent the early years of his life in India, and was a practicing artist in Ahmedabad, when he travelled to Philadelphia to study further, and then to New York on a John D. Rockefeller III Fund grant, choosing to make the city his home for its vibrant art scene. He achieved success fairly early in his career there, and has been richly feted, but no attention seemed to have been paid to him back home—not by the Lalit Kala Akademi, not by the galleries, and not by art historians.
Getting Natvar Bhavsar to India, therefore, has been a labour of love and an article of faith. We had included his work in group shows earlier, but this solo—a retrospective of sorts, spanning as it does five decades of his practice—was something we had hoped to do almost from the start of this relationship. Bhavsar had expressed his keenness about being exhibited in India in a manner in which it did his body of work credit, and it took us this long to rally our forces and make it happen.
We at DAG are extremely enthused about his work. That he pursued his career in the West while retaining the purity of his vision as an artist with a strongly Indian sensibility is evidence of his conviction in his roots.
‘Bhavsar has a personal vision that both continues American colour-field painting and embodies his Indian heritage’