New Delhi's Can't Miss Summer 2014 Art Exhibitions

New Delhi's Can't Miss Summer 2014 Art Exhibitions
India’s vibrant capital of New Delhi is slowly becoming one of the major platforms for modern and contemporary art in the Asian region. An astonishing variety of exhibition spaces and art fairs have blossomed in the city over the past few years, attracting global interest in the Indian art market. We profile ten must-see shows in New Delhi in the summer of 2014.

Between the Sky and Earth at Talwar Gallery

Founded in New York in 2001, Talwar Gallery is a contemporary art gallery with a particular focus on artists from Indian subcontinent and its diaspora abroad. The gallery promotes its vision of art as a force able to traverse and transcend geographical, cultural, religious or racial borders. The current solo exhibition showcases the latest non-traditional sculptural works by well-established contemporary Indian artist Ranjani Shettar. The unique multi-component sculptures, carved from various solid woods such as antique rosewood, walnut and teak, aim to show each wood’s distinctive grain, knots and fissures.

Indian Divine: Gods and Goddesses in 19th and 20th Century at Delhi Art Gallery

Situated at the entry of Hauz Khas village, Delhi Art Gallery hosts a wonderful exhibition on the representation of gods and goddesses in Indian art in 19th and 20th centuries. Founded in 1993, the gallery is said to own one of the most exhaustive collections of modern Indian art and, in order to showcase its vast collection, regularly hosts exhibitions on a variety of different subjects. In the current exhibition, the gallery aims to explore the religious and mythological themes in modern and contemporary Indian art by displaying 300 art works, created by close to 80 artists, working in different styles and mediums. The artists represented from over two centuries include such acclaimed artists as F.N. Souza, Jamini Roy, Nandalal Bose and others.

Raj Rewal: Memory, Metaphor and Meaning in his Constructed Landscape at the National Gallery of Modern Art

The exhibition of Raj Rewal works at the National Gallery of Modern Art is one of the leading summer cultural events in Delhi, as it is the first ever architectural exhibition in India, showcasing over five decades of work by one of the leading Indian architects. The exhibition presents the highlights of architect’s diverse work, ranging from the college campuses and embassy buildings to the office buildings an housing projects for the poor. Deeply influenced by traditional Indian architecture, Raj Rewal is the architect behind many landmark buildings in India and beyond, including Pragati Maidain, a well-known exhibition and convention centre in New Delhi, and the spectacular Parliament Library building.

Inside National Gallery of Modern Art Courtesy National Gallery of Modern Art

New Paintings at Nature Morte

A staple of contemporary Indian art scene, Nature Morte showcases the latest painting of critically acclaimed contemporary Indian artist and fellow of the Pollock/Krasner Foundation, Pradeep Puthoor. Established in 1997, the gallery aims to support both emerging and well established contemporary Indian artists, as well as to promote contemporary Indian art, with particular focus on conceptual art installations. The current exhibition is a solo show of the Kerala-born artist, featuring colourful and luminous mural-size paintings. The artist explores the interaction between art, computer science and biological engineering by using bright neon colours and creating myriad vibrating creatures and evocative forms, ranging from robot insects to hothouse flowers.

Within Reach V at Gallerie NVYA

Located in Square One mall in Saket district, the lovely Gallerie NVYA has a twofold objective: to support emerging artists by providing a platform to display their artwork, and to showcase the large variety of styles, existing in Indian art, ranging from modern and contemporary to the new age and experimental. The ongoing exhibition Within Reach V certainly achieves both aims, as it presents an eclectic mix of affordable artwork by India’s contemporary artists, both well-acclaimed and newcomers. The artworks represent different mediums used, and vary from paintings, drawings and serigraphs to sculptures and installations. The annual summer exhibition is particularly targeted at art lovers and collectors, who want to buy art pieces at ‘reachable prices.

An Unfinished Portrait: Vignettes from the KNMA Collection at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

The exhibition An Unfinished Portrait: Vignettes from the KNMA Collection at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, depicting and exploring the contextual history of modernism in India, offers a unique opportunity to explore the vast collection of the museum. The exhibition showcases splendid selection of artworks, representing different styles and mediums by the leading Indian contemporary and modern artists, ranging from drawings and sketches to sculptures, watercolours and paintings. The artists represented include truly iconic figures of Indian modern art as F.N.Souza and M.F. Hussain from the Progressive Artists’ Group, as well as lesser-known yet brilliant Bengali artists such as sculptor and print-maker Somnath Hore, and painter Nandalal Bose. The exhibition also displays various photographs, portraying artists whilst working in their studios or at the openings of exhibitions.

Subba Ghosh at Art Alive Gallery

Founded in 2001 by Sunaina Anand, Art Alive Gallery aims to showcase the best of modern and contemporary Indian art. This vibrant and active gallery holds up to five solo and group exhibitions per year, regularly publishes an exceptional range of art publications such as art portfolios and monographs, and hosts a variety of art workshops, lectures and panel discussions on Indian art. The upcoming exhibition of Delhi-based painter, animator, installation and video artist, Subba Ghosh is much awaited and must-see event, not lessened by the consistent refusal of the artist to participate in the group shows. In his works, the artist aims to explore the use of coercion and violence by the state and its institutions to define identity of individual and control its population.

Tibet House

Founded in 1965 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet House is not just an exhibition space showing a unique collection of Tibetan art and artifacts, but rather a multidisciplinary centre for Tibetan and Buddhist studies. Located on Lodhi road, nearby India HABITAT centre, Tibet House hosts a variety of lectures, conferences, exhibitions, art shows, film screenings and festivals, with the aim of promoting Indian and Tibetan Buddhist history, philosophy and culture. Situated on five floors, the permanent exhibition is a true gem, showcasing unique Tibetan and Buddhist artefacts such as Thangka paintings, religious statues in copper, gilded bronze, sandalwood and stone, as well as priceless ritual objects, jewelry, costumes and ancient weapons.

National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum

The lesser-known National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum turns out to be an unexpected, yet pleasant surprise. The museum consists of two main areas – a museum building, showcasing the traditional Indian paintings, embroidery, textiles and crafts, and an open-air, 5-acre large Indian village complex, displaying a real life traditional village houses from different regions of India. The museum also houses a small crafts market, where the guests can watch artisans at work and purchase some of their crafts, and a well-priced and popular cafe, which serves a variety of regional Indian dishes, ranging from Goan fish curry to Kashmiri lamb stew. The highlights of the museum include wonderfully preserved 19th century haveli, a beautifully carved pigeon house and an ancient wooden chariot used in religious rituals.

…in the seeds of time at the National Gallery of Modern Art

The permanent exhibition …in the seeds of time at the National Gallery of Modern Art provides its guests with an interesting overview of the evolution of modern and contemporary art in India and introduces them to the most celebrated Indian artists. The exhibition effortlessly leads its guests through different stages of Indian modern art history, starting with colonial art in 18th century, throughout rediscovery of Indian cultural and visual heritage and the impact of raising nationalism on fine art in 19th century to post-independence paintings, responding to the socio-political and economic issues in the society, and current trends in contemporary Indian art. The exhibition is a great starting point for those new to Indian art history and the contemporary art scene.

National Gallery of Modern Art Courtesy National Gallery of Modern Art