In the art business since 1993 when it was established, DAG Modern is today India’s largest and best known repository of Indian modern art. Our definitive collection represents the expanse of Indian art practice over the 20th century, covering periods, styles, themes and artistic concerns. The collection showcases artists from early twentieth century, the range of significant modern practice from all significant art centers of the country, whether Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Baroda and the many centers of the south. While the focus is on the modern period, the DAG Modern art collection also showcases the work of some of the most celebrated travelling European artists from the seventeenth century onward.
The gallery’s Indian modern collection closely follows contemporary Western art movements, tracing thematic parallels. The DAG Modern collection charts a historic continuum: from artists such as Raja Ravi Varma, early century academic artists trained in Bengal and Bombay, those as J. P. Gangooly, N. R. Sardesai and others. The modern period is led by those such as Amrita Sher-Gil, the Bombay Progressives, those as F. N. Souza, M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, K. H. Ara, associates as Krishen Khanna, Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee, V. S. Gaitonde or Tyeb Mehta; modernists from Bengal such as Ganesh Pyne, Chittaprosad, Ganesh Haloi, Bikash Bhattacharjee; significant modernists from Baroda, such as Gulammohammed Sheikh or Jyoti Bhatt; those from the south such as K. C. S. Paniker, Laxma Goud, P. T. Reddy or T. Vaikuntham, or names such as J. Swaminathan and Avinash Chandra. Our extensive collection provides a critical link for art lovers, academicians and researchers, to collectors and investors.
DAG Modern has utilized this extensive collection to mount acclaimed artist retrospectives and thematic exhibitions noted for their historicity and rigor of research. These include first-ever retrospectives of artists such as Chittaprosad, Avinash Chandra, Rabin Mondal and G. R. Santosh; thematic exhibitions on art from Bengal and Santiniketan, those on the genres of landscapes, abstracts and mythological art, and those tracing the legacy of significant artist collectives such as the Progressive Artists’ Group and Group 1890. DAG Modern participates in national and international art fairs of repute such as Art Dubai, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Stage Singapore, Masterpiece London and India Art Fair, New Delhi. Our presence at these venues has brought attention and awards for its innovative pavilion designs and curated presentation of select artworks. At the fairs, DAG Modern has run a consistent programme of art outreach to school and college students and corporates, which includes the pioneering use of tactile aids that create access to art for the visually disabled.
DAG Modern has its flagship gallery in Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi and gallery spaces in Mumbai, in the historic Kala Ghoda area. It opened its first international location in New York in 2015, in the historic Fuller Building in Manhattan where it continues to hold exhibitions to great success. Expanding its global and national presence, DAG Modern is committed to take Indian modernism to new audiences and present significant, historical world class exhibitions.
Globally recognised as the largest collector of Indian modern art, Ashish Anand joined the company in 1996 to assist his mother with the task of running the gallery. Instead, he found himself drawn most to investigating collections and studying artists’ studios. This included extensive travelling in India, often to places that were barely a pinprick on the map. Here, to his dismay, he found the works of master artists abandoned and ignored and in various stages of neglect. It was this spurred that the thought of acquiring these collections extensively, as much in recognition of the talent of these artists as of generating research and finding a place of eminence for them in the nation’s documentation of art history.
Towards this aim, he has extended the gallery in New Delhi, established newer ones in Mumbai and New York, participated in art fairs around the world, and promoted programming that includes curated exhibitions at its galleries, a rigorous research and publishing schedule that supports it, and various activities aimed at creating and disseminating knowledge and information about Indian modern art across different fora.
Based in New Delhi, Ashish Anand continues to support an active acquisitions programme for the gallery which, in turn, helps make its important and historic retrospectives and thematic exhibitions possible. Honoured recently by the India Today Group as ‘Collector of the Year’, he hopes to continue to establish the métier of Indian art at outposts around the world, and is single-handedly responsible for many senior artists to have found a place of significance in the narrative history of Indian art.
A professional writer for most of his career, Kishore Singh has had a varied career in media companies that have ranged from travel and current affairs to feature writing and editing magazines and newspaper supplements. As Special Projects Editor with Business Standard, he created a number of magazines and products for the financial daily, before which he was Founding Editor of design magazine Design Digest and men’s magazine Mantra. He has worked in publishing as Chief Editor, Roli Books, and was responsible for launching a number of titles and series that have stood the test of time.
As a writer, he has authored or contributed to a large number of books on business, travel, history, art, as well as biographies, within India and internationally. He has worked with several iconic writers and personalities, and has also written scripts for award-winning documentaries.
Art, a personal passion and pursuit, became a professional goal when he joined DAG Modern in 2010, to lead its research team. He has been responsible for a number of the gallery’s iconic exhibitions since, and has also been responsible for their curation as well as the making of short films on important artists and works of art. Having authored a number of books on art at DAG Modern as well as independently, he is closely associated with its plans to take Indian modern art mainstream, so every Indian can identify in its journey and aesthetic practice with a degree of pride.