Manifestations V, an exhibition of 75 works by significant Indian artists of the 20th century, is part of Delhi Art Gallery
s biannual series introduced to fulfill the need to present an edited slice from its collection. Its format consists of a single work of each chosen artist which is carefully examined within the unique experiences of his artistic journey. What is exciting is the freedom to select artworks without constraints of chronology, style or subject.
Such a vast survey of artists and time spans has been possible because of the artworks collected over the years which, by intent, are not restricted to the few who have been well documented in Indian art history. These selected works exude both tremendous energy and strife as well as communicate the temper of the time. At the same time they are a representation of the vast firmament of art that was created in the last century, some of it celebrated and some, at least till recently, unsung but no less important for it.
Manifestations V includes works that cut across histories and geographies, mediums and materials, to represent a slice of the best in Indian modern art. It contains some massive-sized canvases (and others that can best be described as minuscule) as well as sculptures. Scholars and art-historians have documented these works at some length, describing each work for its uniqueness. The result is a range of artistic interpretations that examine conflicting ideologies and purposes, experiments in materials and mediums: all making us aware of the constant shifts and changes that art undergoes as artists take on fresh challenges and risks.
Delhi Art Gallery was established in 1993, and has since grown to become a premier institution for art. It boasts of a distinctive 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.