The last time the legendary Bombay Progressive Artists Groups works were exhibited in Mumbai was in 1949 at the Bombay Art Society Salon in Kala Ghodas Rampart Row. This show featured works by the groups founder members FN Souza,SH Raza,MF Husain,KH Ara,SK Bakre and HA Gade. The group laid the foundation for a revolutionary,avant garde school of painting for years to come. However,their activities waned soon after this show. Now,more than six decades later,this landmark show comes a full circle of sorts as Delhi Art Gallery plans to put up the paintings showcased there at the inaugural show of its Mumbai branch.
The organisation has acquired a beautiful standalone house in Kala Ghoda,which is being converted into a three-level art space. The ground and first floors will exhibit the ongoing work,while the second floor will have our permanent gallery collection, says Kishore Singh,Head,Exhibitions and Publications,Delhi Art Gallery. While renovation is underway for an October opening,art aficionados are particularly enthusiastic about the inaugural exhibition Continuum,a retrospective of sorts of the Progressive Artist Groups work.
Delhi Art Gallerys foray into Mumbais art scene is driven by the desire to make its presence felt in the most important centre for Indian art,after the Capital. Mumbai has a matured environment and a huge collector base; the plan to venture into Mumbai has been there for more than a couple of years, says Singh.
The gallery takes its rich archive of modern and contemporary collections from the 20th century to the present to Mumbai with its opening. Without trying to sound arrogant about it,I wish to say that the other Mumbai galleries would not be able to provide this kind of work, Singh states,adding,We wont have competition,rather we would bring competition.