As a subject, women have often found themselves turned into objects in what art writer John Berger first referred to as the ‘male gaze’. But do women paint differently from their male counterparts? DAG presents works by female and male artists paralleling the modern art movement in India with 150 works in its exhibition titled ‘Ways of Seeing’. It explores the subtle distinctions in ways they create and experience art.
The exhibition is almost equally divided into two parts. The first, Women Artists, begins with the unheralded but important Sunayani Devi to Devayani Krishna and Amrita Sher-Gil, featuring 22 artists in all, including Mrinalini Mukherjee, B. Prabha, Madhvi Parekh, Anupam Sud, Gogi Saroj Pal, Navjot, Arpana Caur and Rekha Rodwittiya. While a number of them explore the nude body—including the male nude—the gaze is not avaricious but is intended to be part of a narrative that takes humanitarianism into account.
Women as Muse, the second part, featuring M. V. Dhurandhar, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, D. P. Roy Chowdhury, George Keyt, K. H. Ara, F. N. Souza, Krishen Khanna, M. F. Husain and Jogen Chowdhury among the 32 artists chosen, focuses only on these artists’ studies of women as a subject. The interesting layering and complexity of the exhibition opens up the space for conversations not just in art but in all popular culture.
The period covered in the exhibition parallels each other in both sections with artists born in the second half of the nineteenth century all the way to those born in the mid-twentieth century—India’s most exciting period in terms of art practice that saw the experimentation with subjects, genres and mediums making it ideal for understanding the differences between the male and the female gaze in both the artist and the viewer.
Featuring approximately 150 works as part of the selection, ‘Ways of Seeing’ opened for public viewing on 5 February 2021 in New Delhi at DAG, The Claridges and online on the gallery website.
Now through 07 March 2021
The Claridges 12, Dr. APJ, Abdul Kalam Road
11.00am – 7.00pm
DAG presents Artists (Un)Scripted – a freewheeling series on art and artists
Vasundhara Tewari Broota