E301014. First Day in New York, Bhupen Khakhar, Oil on canvas, 44 x 44 (framed)




Kiran Nadar is a woman of many passions: international competitive bridge, of which she is one of the top players in India, sports such as cricket, golf and tennis, philanthropy, education, and, most of all, modern and contemporary Indian and sub-continental art. She began collecting art simply to adorn the walls of her new home following her marriage to billionaire Shiv Nadar, co-founder of HCL Technologies, whom she met while working at an advertising firm that promoted his brand and products.


As often happens to enthusiastic collectors, she ran out of walls to fill in her home and turned her attention to establishing the first private museum in India that highlights decades of the works of generations of post-Independence artists as well as younger, contemporary ones. “Though the idea of opening a private art museum occurred with the intention of sharing my collection with the larger public, I was also acutely aware of the existing dearth of institutional spaces that could bring visibility to modern and contemporary art from India and the sub-continent. I wanted to enhance the museum-going culture in India” she says.


The 18,000-square-foot museum encompasses a cornucopia of fine paintings, drawings, and sculpture from as far back as 1690 to the present. The earlier works focus mainly on Hinduism’s many gods and their never-ending battles with demons. The later pieces are dazzling examples of the wide variety of styles and the great scope of talent inherent in the Indian and sub-continental arts.


Among the stand-outs in the collection are works by F. N. Souza, the first Indian post-Independence artist whose expressionistic style achieved high recognition in the West.


He was a founding member of the Progressive Artists’ Group of Bombay, formed to encourage fellow artists to participate in the international avant-garde. Tyeb Mehta, whose works are displayed, was also a member. The nephews of India’s beloved poet Rabindranath Tagore, the country’s 1913 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, painter and cartoonist Gaganendranath and painter Abanindranath Tagore were among India’s earliest modern artists. Other stand-outs are works by Anju Dodiya, Jamini Roy and Nasreen Mohamedi who is best known for her line-based drawings similar to and often compared with those of Piet Mondrian. Anish Kapoor’s piece is stunning.


This is truly an excellent venue in which to be introduced to and to view a first-class collection of the works of the great modern and contemporary artists of India and the sub-continent.


Location: 145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket, New Delhi, DL 110017, India

Telephone: 91 11 4916-0000     www.knma.in

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:30AM – 6:30PM   Closed Mondays

Admission: Free




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