Established in 1993, DAG is an art company that spans a gamut of verticals that includes museums, art galleries, exhibitions, publishing, archives, as well as programmes for the specially-abled and sight-impaired. With India’s largest inventory of art and archival material and a brisk acquisitions platform, it offers curators and writers a vast choice for the planning and execution of important, historic retrospectives and expositions that have taken place at its galleries in New Delhi, Mumbai and New York, as well as through collaborations with stellar institutions such as The Wallace Collection, London, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, New Delhi, Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh, and Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur.
DAG’s exhibitions and books have helped establish Indian art around the world, its repertoire spanning pre-modern art as well as modern masters. The collection includes works by India’s most celebrated artists, including Raja Ravi Varma, Amrita Sher-Gil, Jamini Roy, Nandalal Bose, Rabindranath Tagore as well as his nephews Abanindranath and Gaganendranath, the Progressives F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza, M. F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta, and modernists Avinash Chandra, Ram Kumar, G. R. Santosh, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Chittaprosad, Altaf—an extensive list including over a thousand painters and sculptors.
Curated by Dr. Giles Tillotson, New Found Lands explores landscape painting in India over a period of two hundred years, from 1780 to 1980. It unfolds a visual story that moves from an imposed colonial gaze, through Indian accommodation and adjustment, to rejection, and the profusion of new forms of imagery, rooted in the land. Starting with English artists who travelled in India from the late 18th century onwards to the introduction of new materials and teaching methods in the art schools from the middle of the 19th century, to the adoption of similar approaches by Indian artists as a result of the introduction of new materials and teaching methods in the art schools during the mid-19th century, until the 20th century when Indian artists sought new modes of expression and invented a glorious array of new landscape styles.
The visual narrative of this exhibition moves from an imposed colonial gaze, through Indian accommodation and adjustment, to rejection, and the profusion of new forms of imagery, rooted in the land. The parallel with the course of the freedom movement is no coincidence, as artists react to the conditions and events of their times. Landscape artists are acutely alert not only to time but to space, finding ever new ways to depict the land on which they stand, even as the control of it is reclaimed.
Featuring 108 works divided into three sections, the exhibition investigates the development of landscape painting from the perspective of the Picturesque, the Naturalistic and the Free.