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    Group 1890

    Map Academy

    Articles are written collaboratively by the EIA editors. More information on our team, their individual bios, and our approach to writing can be found on our About pages. We also welcome feedback and all articles include a bibliography (see below).

    Formed in 1962 when twelve Indian artists gathered in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, Group 1890 was a short-lived collective that derived its name from the house number of Jyoti Bhatt and Jayant Pandya, where its manifesto was drafted. The objective of the Group’s art, according to their manifesto, was to envisage a new world of experience with greater freedom, challenging the notion of art needing to represent or challenge reality. Its twelve member artists include J Swaminathan, Jeram Patel, Ambadas, Himmat Shah, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Jyoti Bhatt, Rajesh Mehra, Balkrishna Patel, Raghav Kaneria, M Reddappa Naidu, Eric Bowen and SG Nikam.

    The Group held its first and only exhibition — featuring over 200 artworks — at Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, in October 1963. It was inaugurated by then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Octavio Paz, a Surrealist poet who was then Mexican Ambassador to India, wrote the introduction to the exhibition. The exhibition received critical acclaim, but none of the works that comprised it were sold during its ten-day run. Soon after the exhibition, the collective disbanded, with many of its members continuing to have individual careers thereafter.


    Bhuyan, Avantika. ‘Alternative Modernism’ Mint Lounge, September 24, 2016

    Dasgupta, Shougat. ‘Group 1890: A one-show band with 50 years of legacy’. India Today, 2016.

    D’Mello, Rosalyn. 2016. ‘Being Modern’ Open Magazine, September 14, 2016.

    Being Modern

    Mago, Pran Nath.‘Contemporary Art in India – A Perspective.’ Critical Collective, 2001.

    ‘Outline Draft for the Art Centre of the Group 1890’. Asia Art Archive

    Sheikh, Gulammohammed. Contemporary Art in Baroda. New Delhi: Tulika Books, 1997.

    Sundaram, Vivan. Journal of Arts & Ideas, no. 27-28 (March 1995) p. 147

    Swaminathan, J. ‘Manifesto.’ Critical Collective, 1963.


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