Aicon New York is pleased to present Rockefeller + India, an exhibition of artworks by Indian artists who received grants from the Asian Cultural Council, colloquially known as the Rockefeller Grant. Among the list of careers nurtured by the fund are Natvar Bhavsar, Vinod Dave, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, M. F. Husain, K. S. Kulkarni, Ram Kumar, S. H. Raza, and Rekha Rodwittiya, whose artworks are on display until the end of July. In addition, Aicon is excited to share video work by grantee Utsa Hazarika who recently participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s famed Independent Study Program.
The John D. Rockefeller III Fund was established in 1963 with a mission to strengthen cultural and academic ties between the United States and India. Over the years, the fund has supported several Indian artists, from the inaugural recipient K. S. Kulkarni to artists such as S. H. Raza and M. F. Husain, who played pivotal roles as members of the Progressive Art Group in shaping Indian modernism. Touring parts of the United States as fund recipients facilitated cross-cultural exchange, granting Indian artists the opportunity to interact with their American contemporaries at various times when travel and communication outside of India were particularly challenging. The visual impact of Fund-supported sojourns to the US was highlighted in Aicon's Spring 2023 exhibition, Raza + America, which tracked the famed artist's shift from landscape to abstraction after his time in the United States in 1962. Fellow Progressive Ram Kumar's embrace of abstraction can also be traced to his year abroad.