As one of the fastest growing economies in the world it became only a matter of time before India would develop a vibrant modern and contemporary art scene. In addition to the annual Indian Art Fair, various new museums and exhibitions are emerging: the Museum of Art and Photography will open in Bangalore; the Gujral Foundation is commissioning a public pavilion series in Delhi; and the Kochi Biennale will have its fifth edition this December. On the commercial side, one of the most interesting galleries is DAG (originally Delhi Art Gallery). Founded by the formidable Ashish Anand in 1996, DAG is known for its fabulous collection. For 25 years Anand sourced India, buying collections from old patrons, raiding ateliers and artist’s studios, and, next to artworks, acquiring archives, certificates, invitations and press clippings, to establish the importance of forgotten masters like Rabin Mondal and Jamini Roy. In this sense he is a market maker in the tradition of Axel Vervoordt, who did the same for several Japanese artists.
Jaminin Roy, Bride and two companions (1952)
DAG is now the leading gallery in India, with offices in Delhi, Mumbai and New York, while also establishing a public-private museum initiative at the Red Fort, called Drishyakala. In London, DAG partnered with the Wallace Collection for its landmark exhibition “Forgotten Masters – Indian Painting for the East India Company”.
For those who love contemporary art and are not adverse to a little market upswing in time, India is the place to watch.
Contributing author: Hélène van der Ven
Hélène van der Ven Fine Art Consultancy is a leading art advisory firm, specializing in buying & selling fine art, collection management and arts & culture strategies. www: helenevanderven.com