For Old Timesí Sake

He was one of the earliest collectors of Indian art who bought some of the most significant works of the modernists, particularly from the '50s to the '70s. So when works from Thomas Keehn's collection are put on display, it does cause some stir. After grabbing attention at the Christie's New York auction in March this year, a 1959 portrait of the Keehn family painted by MF Husain will be part of "Manifestations VIII", the bi-annual exhibition of the Delhi Art Gallery.

To begin on November 21, the show will comprise 75 works by 75 artists. The highlights include a significant early abstract work by SH Raza, an urban landscape by FN Souza, a landscape from Akbar Padamsee's well-known "Metascape" series, Krishen Khanna's adaptation of The Last Supper and Satish Gujral's Mourning En-Masse that reflects the trauma of the Partition. "This is one of the biggest shows by a private gallery in terms of the quality of work. It is representative of every region and features some of the most important works of each artist," notes Ashish Anand, director of the gallery.

Catgorised according to the genre ó from abstract to figurative, landscape, portraiture and still life ó the collection will also comprise works of the modernists from Bengal. Among others is Rabin Mondal's eight-work set from his famous "King" series from the '70s, and a large portrait of Kadambari Devi by Rabindranath Tagore that belonged to the Victor Banerji collection. Another highlight is colonial era painter MV Dhurandhar's book of 175 sketches of his wife that were painted in a span of over 50 years. "We got this from the family many years ago," shares Anand.

The exhibition is on at Delhi Art Gallery, Hauz Khas Village, till December 29. Contact: 46005300

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