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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
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Art Under Question

Nomenclature lands an otherwise laudable exhibition in trouble

Art Under Question
Art Under Question
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

CONTROVERSY has a strange way of popping up at the most unlikely of places. As it did at the National Gallery of Modern Art which opened in Mumbai recently. Curated by Yashodara Dalmia, the inaugural exhibition, The Moderns—The Progressive Artists' Group (PAG) and Associates, was displaying works of a group of artists who initiated a significant art movement in India in 1947. Two hundred paintings by the six core members of the PAG, F.N. Souza, M.F. Hus-ain, S.H. Raza. K.H. Ara, S.K. Bakre and H.A. Gade and as many associates—Krishen Khanna, V.S. Gaitonde, Ram Kumar, Bal Chhabda, Akbar Padam-see and Tyeb Mehta—promised to be an eyeful for Mumbai art lovers.

Till the hitch was vociferously pointed out by Prafulla Dahanukar, president, Mumbai Art Society. Dahanukar proclaimed that the title of the exhibition was erroneous. Says he: "The word 'associates' describing the latter six names was factually wrong." Associates, he notes, mean people who interacted with the core group. The PAG was initiated in '47—a period of...

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