India’s Rockefeller Artists: An Indo-U.S. Cultural Sag, on view now at DAG Modern in New York, highlights a wide selection of Indian painters and sculptors who received grants from John D Rockefeller III’s art fund to work in the US. The initial grant was followed by further support from the Asian Cultural Council.
The fund was launched in the 1960s and 70s, benefitting artists such as V.S. Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar, Bal Chhabda, Krishen Khanna, Natvar Bhavsar, Jyoti Bhatt, K.G. Subramanyan, A.M. Davierwala, Avinash Chandra, Arun Bose, Paritosh Sen, K.S. Kulkarni, Vinod Dave, Bhupen Khakhar and Rekha Rodwittiya. Intended to provide international artists firsthand experience and knowledge of the American art scene, the grant also aimed to create a cross-cultural artistic dialogue and create an in-depth cultural exchange.
DAG Modern has specialised in Indian art for the last two decades and has spaces in Mumbai and New Delhi outside of its New York outlet. Promoting educational outreach alongside its curated programming, India’s Rockefeller Artists reinforces the seminal figures of the 20th-century Indian art scene while simultaneously providing a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the selection process, the creative exchanges between the Indian artists, their impact and interactions with their American counterparts, and ultimately, the creation of the Rockefeller artist community.