Monday, May 8, 2017

NGMA Show - Itihaas

Show Itihaas at NGMA Delhi

National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA New Delhi) celebrates its 63rd foundation day with a sculpture show. The show is already a month old. Twenty two artists are dusted out of the NGMA Collection and are exhibited in a very innovative way. From D.P.Roy Chowdhury to Sankho Chowdhury, from Ram Kinker Baij to Kanai Kunhiraman you have known and less known artists spread out inside and outside of the old building. The exhibition also reiterates that before 'Gupta' period in Indian art there was a mixed period of modernism here.The invisible curatorial intervention is palpable in the display where the packing crates are used both as pedestals and backdrop. This warehouse look of the show makes an oblique connection between the two existences of a work of art; one, before the people, two, far away from their eyes, in the stores. The experimental display, however at times clutters the view. Deliberate dimming of lights also fails at some places. The title of the show 'Itihaas' is apt for the word connotes not only 'history' but also 'the way it happened'. The wall texts tell us that the catalogue writer should not write poem on the show and display there; very naive indeed. NGMA has now a functional cafe. The blasting air-conditioner is a welcoming respite. But the cafe-man tells me that I am the only visitor since morning. Why don't you make the cafe your meeting place, artists? Now the visiting time too has been raised to 7 pm. Itihaas is a must watch exhibition.

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