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DAG Presents Women Artists from 20th Century India

Madhvi Parekh (born 1942), Sea God, 1971, oil and pastel on canvas, 48 x 72 in. (121.9 x 182.9 cm.)

A Place in the Sun: Women Artists from 20th Century India, DAG
March 15-May 28

DAG presents A Place in The Sun: Women Artists from 20th Century India, an exhibition exploring the remarkable contribution of women artists in the context of Indian modernism, representing a selection of trailblazers, each of whom crafted a unique identity and practice. This exhibition surveys their artistic journeys while fighting prejudice and patriarchy at a time when women were discouraged from pursuing art, and uncovers the wide breadth of their interests, including early abstract painting, the arduous regimen of making sculptures, and printmaking. Curated by Kishore Singh, Senior VP-Exhibitions and Publications at DAG, the exhibition, which will be exhibited at DAG New York, is planned to coincide with Women's History Month.

The history covered in the exhibition spans the twentieth century–from India’s first art school-trained woman artist, Ambika Dhurandhar, who earned her diploma in Bombay, through later women artists who joined art schools in greater numbers, a time when their visual language stopped being contextualized to their gender only–until the end of the twentieth century when they were equal partners in fashioning a modern and contemporary discourse for Indian art. As some sought to explicitly highlight feminist concerns in their work, addressing questions of gender, class, marginalization, and environments; others responded to folk, abstract, tantra or other aspects of art making. The exhibition’s curation begins with the incredible Devyani Krishna, born five years after Sunayani Devi began painting in 1905 at the age of thirty, and Zarina Hashmi, born a decade before independence in 1947. It features 10 artists, including Madhvi Parekh, Shobha Broota, Anupam Sud, Gogi Saroj Pal, Latika Katt, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Navjot and Rekha Rodwittiya.

Gogi Saroj Pal (born 1945), Untitled

Announcing the exhibition, Ashish Anand, CEO and Managing Director, DAG, said: “I have noticed that viewers and critics at our New York gallery always make it a point to ask about the representation of women artists in our exhibitions. I am, therefore, delighted to share a complete exhibition on women artists with them. Their contribution to Indian modern art has been seminal and their recognition needs to be acknowledged.”

Added Kishore Singh, “The exhibition looks at a handful of trailblazers who, each in her own way, has crafted a unique identity and practice, thereby contributing to the rich dialogue around the diversity in style, medium, material and context of India’s twentieth century art. Each of these women artists has come up the difficult way to find a well deserved place in the sun.”

A Place in The Sun features a selection of exceptional works, including Untitled compositions by Zarina Hashmi and Gogi Saroj Pal, Sea God by Madhvi Parekh, Persona by Anupam Sud, Surveyor and the Surveyed by Navjot, and Florescence by Mrinalini Mukherjee. Mukherjee was recently chosen as one of the 213 artists to be shown at the 2022 edition of the Venice Biennale, the world’s largest and most prestigious art exhibition that has a representation from 58 countries.

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