The Story Of Desire - showing 20 paintings by renowned masters like M.F. Husain and F.N. Souza - opened in N.Delhi to complement a similar theme to be etched out at Sunday's grand finale of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week.
"There are different kinds of desire in a human being. Some have a desire that is fulfilled, some only dream about it. But it's something we can't do without," explained exhibition curator Arun Ghose of Kolkata's Galarie 88.
"There is fulfilled desire and there is unfilled desire. These paintings celebrate both forms," added Ghose, who was given just a month to put together the exhibition from private collections.
There's Husain's "Lust For Life" juxtaposing a horse and a woman, "The Nautch" depicting a British officer, his wife and an Indian princess watching a dancing girl perform and the one simply titled "Man and Woman" portraying a farmer couple and their child.
Then, there's Souza's "Primitive Instinct" - a surrealistic man/monkey form reclining on a rather bored looking woman.
Bikash Bhattacharjee's "Complex Humanity" has an almost photographic quality while depicting a woman bare from the waist up, looking over her shoulder at a middle-aged man sitting on a stool and sipping a glass of tea. The interpretation is totally open to one's imagination.
Lalu Prasad Shaw's "Marriage Proposal" is a modernistic profile of a woman's face as she gazes at a fluttering butterfly, as she perhaps wonders whether wedlock is worth the effort.
"This is a fantastic effort and greatly adds value to our event. I feel very humbled to be in the presence of these great masters," said Rathi Vinay Jha, director general of the Fashion Design Council of India that organised the India Fashion Week.
Saying that "when you are talking about fashion, you are talking about the entire spectrum of lifestyle, including art", she added: "There is a complementary and supplementary relationship between fashion and art."