100 artists, 100 artworks: DAG’s Centum Series II exhibition showcases depth and diversity of Indian art

DAG Curatorial Director Kishore Singh joins us in this interview on the inspiring range of Indian art, along with exhibition highlights.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 540 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

Established in 1993, DAG (formerly called Delhi Art Gallery) exhibits and promotes Indian art through local and international museums, art galleries, and publications. See our earlier interview with Ashish Anand, DAG CEO and Managing Director (Part I, Part II).

This week, DAG is featuring a virtual show on the scope and variety of Indian modern art. The Centum Series – Edition 2 covers “The Greats and The Lesser-Known Greats,” including alternate modernists and the avant-garde.

The artworks span still-lifes, landscapes, watercolours, acrylic, and sculpture, from across the country and century. DAG has shared many of its artworks at forums like the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and India Art Fair.

Indian art has absorbed and blended a range of Western and local styles. “Indian art defies any easily-tailored silos to carve for itself a confident assertion of its own identity,” according to Ashish Anand, DAG CEO.

After the Rain by Haren Das

“DAG’s ongoing engagement is to broaden the horizons of Indian art beyond just the few names most people are familiar with,” explains Curatorial Director Kishore Singh, in a chat with YourStory.

There are many artists whose legacy has been neglected in the past, and are being promoted now. The exhibition’s selection criteria include historicity, rarity, diversity of genres, mediums and periods.

“Putting the exhibition together was exhausting, exciting, but challenging,” Kishore observes. The featured artworks are priced from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

“There is a lack of art appreciation that needs to change so that people are not intimidated by art,” Kishore suggests. A proliferation of galleries, art fairs and public art will go a long way in changing perceptions about the importance of art.

“Though the mediums change over the years, what artists are trying to say remains the same,” he observes.

“Art is a reflection of our times, but it can also centre us, make us question certain values, and certainly inspire us,” Kishore affirms. This is particularly relevant in the grim times of the pandemic era.

“We need to surround ourselves with things that make us think and reflect, and art does that,” he adds. “Enjoy what you see – love it, cherish it,” he urges audiences.

“Art tells the story of human civilisation since the cave paintings that have survived thousands of years. You are not the owner of art that you buy, but a custodian for the generations to follow,” he adds.

He also offers tips for aspiring artists. “See a lot – visit galleries, check art online. Train your eye – but most of all, enjoy art,” Kishore signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to harness your creative core?

Going Up by Paramjeet Singh

Raje Gaut, the Principal Road up to Rotas Ghur, Bahar by Thomas Daniell

b. Tarang II by Moti Zharotia

Untitled by Prokash Karmakar

Figures by K. S Radhakrishnan

Figures by K. S Radhakrishnan (2)

Figures by K. S Radhakrishnan (3)

Left - Untitled (Radha-Krishna) by Anonymous (Kalighat Pat) Right - Untitled (Canna) by Ajit Gupta

Mystery by Jai Zharotia

Panna Dai’s Mahal, Chittor by Indra Dugar

Persistent Images by Jyoti Bhatt

Still Life VIII by Dattatraya Apte

Stretched Bodies by Bose Krishnamachari

Untitled (Shiva Asking for Alms) by Early Bengal

Untitled by Avinash Chandra

Untitled by Chittaprosad

Untitled by Thota Vaikuntam

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.


Updates from around the world