Delhi Art Gallery: A Profile

Delhi Art Gallery was established in 1993, and has since grown to become a premier institution for art. It boasts of a distinctive and extensive collection of early-modern as well as modern and contemporary art, ranging from names such as Rabindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose to F. N. Souza, M. F. Husain and S. H. Raza, from Avinash Chandra and G. R. Santhosh to Sohan Qadri and Gogi Saroj Pal, from Chittaprosad to Haren Das, among the over 400 artists in its inventory.

Delhi Art Gallery employs a very large number of professionals to manage the affairs of the company. It consists of a Research and Documentation division that creates superior publications and provides support for its exhibitions. A Sales and Marketing team takes art to homes and offices through an interface programme and manages and maintains art resources for companies and collectors whom it also advises on art purchases.

In the under two decades since it was established and as one of the largest repositories of Indian modern art anywhere in the world, Delhi Art Gallery has become distinguished for its focus on 20th century Indian art. Its collections provide a critical link for everyone from art-lovers, collectors and investors to academicians, scholars and researchers. It has traced, compiled, restored and archived entire collections. Documentation processes across various genres have resulted in some iconic exhibitions, known for their breadth of scale and depth of research. Extensive exhibition catalogues and books – part of its ongoing efforts on shedding new light on, of course, the well-established artists and their genres, but also on the lesser-known but equally talented painters and sculptors – is a measure of the seriousness of Delhi Art Gallery’s effort of concentrating not just on the names of Indian artists familiar to all art-lovers, but also those artists who deserve their space on the same firmament.

Director’s Profile

Ashish Anand, the 40-year-old director of Delhi Art Gallery, has one of the finest collections of 20th century modern and contemporary Indian art. Though the gallery was started by his mother, Rama Anand, it is Ashish who is responsible for the amazing repository he has created, first by travelling around the country to understand the extent and historicity of Indian pre-modern and modern art, and then to ensure that it was documented and archived for writing the art history of this country. This meant forsaking safety to pioneer a strategy that included a focus on the relatively lesser-known artistic talents of the country. Over the years, Ashish Anand’s vision for the gallery has gone beyond its conventional role. His handsome collection of art has in due course triggered the need for a deeper understanding of the context and circumstances in which various genres of art were created. This became a full-fledged pursuit that culminated into the Delhi Art Gallery Documentation, Research & Archiving cell, an extension of the art gallery with an integrated team of dedicated art historians and curators. Delhi Art Gallery works hard to enrich its archive by documenting every textual and visual material on art and artists and facilitates students, art critics and writers with an extensive information database.

In setting new professional standards in art dealership as well as in showcasing Indian art globally, Ashish Anand is committed to well-documented high quality production of art books/ catalogues and meaningful exhibitions that expand the horizon of mainstream Indian art.

N.S. Bendre
Oil on canvas, 1974
40.0 x 36.0 in. / 101.6 x 91.4 cm.
Signed and dated in Hindi (lower right) ‘Bendre / 74’
Biren De
April ’74
Oil on canvas, 1974
55 x 40 in. / 139.7 x 101.6 cm.
Signed and dated in English (lower left) 'Biren De / 74',
Verso: Signed, dated and titled in English 'Biren De / 74' / APRIL '74 (b) / Biren De' 64
Sohan Qadri
Untitled - 2005, Ink & dye on paper,  39.7" x 27.7"   (100.8 x 70.4cm)
Signed: English/Lower Left
Sohan Qadri
Untitled - 2006, Ink & dye on paper, 39" x 27.2" (99.1 x 69.1cm)
Signed: English/Lower Right
G.R. Santosh
Untitled, Oil on canvas, c. 1975
80.0 x 60.0 in. / 203.2 x 152.4 cm.
V.S. Gaitonde
Drawing II
Brush and ink on paper, 1959
24 x 21.7 in. / 60.9 x 55.1 cm.
Signed and dated in Marathi (lower right) ‘Gaitonde / 59’
Verso: Titled in English ‘Drawing II’
Syed Haider Raza
Acrylic on canvas, 1979.
12 x 12 in./30.5 x 30.5 cm.
Verso: Signed and dated in English ‘RAZA / 1979’
H.A. Gade
Gossip - 1957, Watercolour and gouache on choksi paper,
18.5" x 24.2" (47 x 61.5cm)
Signed: English/Lower Right
Jamini Roy
Untitled (Santhal Dancers)
Tempera on cardboard, early 1960s
15.0 x 28.5 in. / 38.1 x 72.4 cm.
Signed in Bengali (lower right) ‘Jamini Roy’
Published: Singh, Kishore, ed., Manifestations VI
(New Delhi: DAG, 2011), p. 159 National Art Treasure (non-exportable work)



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December | November | October | September | August | July : Archive 2011