19 September, 2020

Masters Of The Grotesque

For the first time, Indian and European greats exhibit together

Masters Of The Grotesque
If globalisation has reaped rich benefits for contemporary Indian art, it has also started bringing top international artists to our doorstep. It began with nothing less than the Picasso prints and ceramics exhibition in Delhi early last year, followed by a show of leading American modern artist Kiki Smith in Bombay. The trend now gathers steam with an important exhibition currently on in Delhi (till September 20), jointly organised by London's Grosvenor Gallery and Delhi's Vadehra Art Gallery, in which two of Britain's greatest modern artists, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, rub canvases with Francis Newton Souza and Tyeb Mehta. While the works of the four masters bring out striking affinities between them, their grouping together in this exhibition also signals international recognition that Indian artists too have helped shape and influence modern art movements worldwide.

All four artists had lived in the London of the late '40s and '50s, a city still sunk in post-war angst, in which ravaged buildings and food shortages cast their...


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