In pictures: An art soirée and a private viewing of Drishyakala at the Red Fort, New Delhi
The city's artists, architects, art institutions, scholars, publishers were joined by Secretaries of State, Ambassadors, University Pro Vice Chancellors along with the creative minds from the fashion industry at DAG’s private viewing celebrating the collaboration with ASI, Drishyakala at the Red Fort.
Spanning across three centuries of art practices in India, the evening saw over 300 esteemed guests embark on an exquisite journey at the historic three-storeyed colonial Barrack No. 4.
Through four iconic exhibitions with over 415 artworks spread over 27,000 square feet, DAG maps the complex trajectory of Indian art.
The guests were in for an extraordinary visual art showcasing, one that not only highlights a part of India’s historical trajectory but also provides a valuable glimpse of the diverse panoply of Indian art.
Under the aegis of this first of its kind, public private collaboration, and in presence of Joint Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Mrs Nirupama Kotru, the evening was attended by eminent names in the city that included Mrs. Kiran Nadar, Vivek & Mohit Burman, artists Madhvi & Manu Parekh, Sakti Burman, Maite Delteil, Maya Burman, Sonia Khurana, NGMA Delhi Director Ritu Sharma, theatre leader Sanjana Kapoor, fashion designer Ritu Kumar, Aman Nath, Ratish Nanda, CEO of the Aga Khan Trust for Art and Culture, Prof. Sanjay Gupta, Vice Chancellor of World University of Design, Architect Sonali Rastogi, eminent foreign representations were present like the Ambassadors of Portugal, Brazil, Egypt, Switzerland, Australia, and the Consul general of France, Philippe Ducornet.
A traditional Delhi Gharana music ensemble concluded the evening with compositions of the Mughal period, proposed by SPIC MACAY foundation. The France-based publication, Beaux Arts Magazine dedicated an entire edition to Drishyakala with interviews of Usha Sharma, DG of ASI, Ashish Anand, CEO of DAG and a special contribution by Pritzker Prize Laureate BV Doshi. Its Chief Editor, Fabrice Bousteau was present at the evening during which the magazine was distributed to every guest.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashish Anand, MD & CEO of DAG said, "We recognise that art is and has been a part of India’s civilisational values. With this understanding, DAG has been committed to taking art to wider audiences as it recognises the value of art in understanding our past as well as our present. Drishyakala is one such initiative and I am deeply grateful to the Archaeological Survey of India for their vision in situating an Art museum at the historic Red Fort, and for allowing us to collaborate. We are humbled by the fact that the Prime Minister commended Drishyakala while inaugurating the exhibition.’
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Drishyakala at the historic Red Fort on 23 January 2019, and was accompanied by the Minister of Culture, Shri Mahesh Sharma. Drishyakala opened to the public on February 01, 2019. Since then, Drishyakala attracts more than 2,000 visitors per day. DAG was established as a private art gallery in 1993 in New Delhi and, over the past 25 years, has built a reputation for the quality of its collection that represents the expanse of Indian art practice.
This extensive collection charts a historic continuum, from the early works of academic artists trained in Bengal and Bombay, to modernists from Baroda, Delhi and beyond, and includes artworks by some of India’s most celebrated artists, including Raja Ravi Varma, Amrita Sher-Gil, Jamini Roy, SH Raza, MF Husain, Tyeb Mehta, FN Souza, GR Santosh, Avinash Chandra and Chittaprosad.
With the aim of taking Indian modernism to a wider audience, DAG now has gallery spaces in the historic Kala Ghoda in Mumbai, and the iconic Fuller Building in Manhattan, New York, in addition to its gallery in Delhi.
The mandate of taking art to the people has led to museum quality exhibition collaborations with stellar art institutions such as the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, New Delhi, the Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh and the Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur. DAG also participates in international fairs such as Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Dubai, Armory New York, India Art Fair and Masterpiece London.
With the democratisation of Indian art as its core aim, DAG consistently hosts outreach programmes for students of schools and colleges and also runs a pioneering programme for the visually impaired by allowing them to experience art through tactile aids.
Recognising its obligations to society, DAG has been consistent in raising funds for charities, through associations with organisations such as Khushi, CARE and Magic Bus with the most recent being a contribution of 20 artworks to raise funds for the Taj Public Welfare Service Fund.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organisation for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
Besides it regulate all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972. For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, the entire country is divided into 24 Circles.
The organisation has a large workforce of trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphist, architects and scientists for conducting archaeological research projects through its Circles, Museums, Excavation Branches, Prehistory Branch, Epigraphy Branches, Science Branch, Horticulture Branch, Building Survey Project, Temple Survey Projects and Underwater Archaeology Wing.