RECENT


NOTICEBOARD

When Bodies Leak | On Sohrab Hura’s ‘Spill’
by Najrin Islam
The review covers Sohrab Hura's practice spanning the last 15 years, of looking through a retrospective lens, and the contextual entanglement that his image-making reveals.

21 Dec 2020

Composing a photograph like a painting: Interview with Pushpamala N.
by Critical Collective
The artist on the underlying themes in her works across different media, ongoing projects and what the future holds for exhibitions and the circulation of art.

16 Dec 2020

The Art of the Painted Postcard: Nandalal Bose and his Contemporaries
by Bhavya Sah
Nandalal Bose’s drawings to Ramesh Charan Basu Majumdar are juxtaposed with those of his contemporaries granting intimate access to exchanges within the community of artists, their friends and family.

16 Dec 2020

B.N. Goswamy’s The Great Mysore Bhagavata
by Sama Haq
The author comments on codicology and patronage in the Bhagavata manuscript from the royal atelier of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III of Mysore.

16 Dec 2020

Remembering Anjum Singh (1967-2020)
by Ella Datta and Gayatri Sinha
With tributes by Ella Datta and Gayatri Sinha.

19 Nov 2020

Positionings
by Salima Hashmi
With Bani Abidi's nomination for the Böttcherstraße prize, Salima Hashmi writes on a generation of Pakistani women artists' work "as a site for mutinous content and personal empowerment.”

19 Nov 2020

TANTRA: Enlightenment to Revolution
by Virginia Whiles
The author reviews the ongoing exhibition at the British Museum through a ‘socially distanced’ critique, following online talks and exchanges with colleagues.

19 Nov 2020

Kapila Vatsyayan (1928-2020): A Personal Tribute
by Ashok Vajpeyi
Celebrated Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi writes on the illustrious work and life of Kapila Vatsyayan.

21 Sep 2020


art history


CINEMA

Chronicles of Courage and Sadness
by Salima Hashmi
Salima Hashmi writes on Hira Nabi, recipient of the 2020 Next Generation Prince Claus award, and her filmic practice of drawing on place and memory, in scattered political histories. (2021)

India’s Year at the Oscars? A look into Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu
by Gopika Gurudas
Gurudas explores Jallikattu as a landmark film in India’s cinematic discourse. (2021)

Talking ‘lady-oriented’ films with Alankrita Shrivastava
by Kanika Katyal
On the work of Alankrita Shrivastava, as a strong, contemporary feminist voice in Hindi cinema. (2021)

Bollywood Spectaculars
by Priya Jaikumar
On Bollywood’s cinematic transformation through the decades in light of Lagaan’s 2001 Oscar nomination. (2003)

The Enigmatic Tormentor
by Vibhushan Subba
The essay looks at the figure of the chudail and its various transformations in Hindi cinema. (2020)

Of Havelis, Nagins and Zombies: The Passage of Allegorical Horror in Hindi Cinema
by Najrin Islam
A look at postcolonial Hindi cinema which reflects in a mutually haunted category of the feudal/modern using allegorical horror. (2020)

Of Ghouls and Bulbbuls: The Rise of the Horror Genre on Netflix India
by Rajlakshmi Bhagawati
On the arrival of OTT platforms like Netflix and its role in reconfiguring the idea of genre. (2020)

Pregnant subjectivity, monstrous return and scrambled temporalities in Lapachhapi (2017)
by Malavika Madgulkar
The author analyses the film's themes around tradition and modernity. (2020)


Lens Based Practices

Staging the Modern Ruin: Beato’s “Sikander Bagh, Lucknow
by Ateya Khorakiwala
On the socio-political and archiectural aspects within the photograph by Felice Beato. (2013)

"Photojournalism defined in the ways that we know it does not exist anymore"
by Critical Collective
Prashant Panjiar on the changing landscape of photojournalism in India. (2020)

Shared Solitude
by Gayatri Sinha
Gayatri Sinha speaks to Anita Khemka and Imran Kokiloo on their lockdown suite of photographs, Shared Solitude. (2020)

Coro-Equalizer: My Phone Project
by Suryanandini Narain and Sumiko Murgai Nanda
Presenting Nanda's latest photo essay along with Narain's thoughts on the project. (2020)

Photo Synthesis: The Expatriate Family Album as Historiography
by Kamayani Sharma
"Family snapshots are examples of the way in which the material traces of intimate lives behave as sites of collective remembrance and archives of shared history" (2017)

Jyoti Bhatt: Portraits, Archer Gallery Ahmedabad
by Uma Nair
Artist Jyoti Bhatt’s parallel photographic practice reveals an abiding interest in portraiture, writes Uma Nair. (2020)

Architecture as Metaphor
by Mila Samdub
A recent photography exhibition in the capital cast a critical look at the legacy of modernist architecture. (2020)

The Camaraderie Between the Military and the Photographer
by Rishi Kochhar
An account of Bombay Studio in Akhnoor, Jammu. (2017)


CC ARCHIVES

Intellectuals, the Society and the State
by Mulk Raj Anand
The author argues for the freedom of expression of intellectuals from authoritarian state agencies. (1974)

Kala Bhavan - A Brief Note
by Arundhati Chauhan
A short introduction on the history and legacy of the institution.

Art History and Its Discontents in Global Times
by Parul Dave Mukherji
On the disciplinary crisis in global and Indian art history with the advent of cultural studies.

Ebrahim Alkazi : An Anachronistic Cosmopolitan Nationalist
by Parul Dave Mukherji
Remembering the ambitious visionary, a Renaissance figure whose passion refused to be defined by a single field. (2020)

New Delhi
by Robert Byron
On the architecture and buildings of New Delhi, ahead of its inauguration as the capital of India in February, 1931. (1931)

Jyotsna Bhatt (1940-2020) : A Personal Tribute
by Sandhya Bordewekar
Remembering the famed ceramicist whose noted work in clay bestowed importance on a humble medium. (2020)

The Religion of an Artist
by Rabindranath Tagore
In this essay, Rabindranath Tagore reflects on the role of the poet and the artist in explicating the ultimate reality through their works. (1936)

Invisible Natures - Art and Covid-19
by Ravi Agarwal
The artist and environmentalist contemplates the imbrication of both the novel coronavirus and contemporary art in capitalistic structures. (2020)

MUSEUMS

Jane Lombard Prize 2020-22 for Avni Sethi and The Conflictorium Museum
by Sandhya Bordewekar
The writer makes the case for spaces that open up histories of individual and collective trauma. (2020)

"We need to find new ways of engaging the public imagination"
by Critical Collective
Tasneem Mehta speaks to CC about museum and conservation practices in the face of a global lockdown. (2020)

Framing the Grand Historical Narrative of Indian Cinema
by Damini Kulkarni
The NMIC frames cinema less as an art form and more as a national legacy, writes Kulkarni. (2020)

A Tryst with History
by Arundhati Chauhan
A survey of cultural projects and initiatives announced in the last few months that suggest a move afoot to overhaul India’s museums sector. (2020)

The Supreme Court Museum
by Ketaki Varma
"The museum traces the history of jurisprudence alongside a history of India itself," writes Ketaki Varma. (2020)

Demystifying Black Magic

"The museum serves as an important institution to legitimise the overlap of magic, ritualistic traditions and healing practices that form the core of Mayong's cultural history."- Kaustuv Saikia (2020)

Goa Chitra Museum: Preserving an Endangered Way of Life

Supriya Vohra examines a triad of museums preserving Goa's social and cultural history through a collection of everyday objects. (2020)

On Museology: VS Agrawala

"The highest ideal of a modern museum should be that of a cultural centre" - V.S. Agrawala (1966)


Curators and Exhibitions

Manisha Parekh: A River Inside (2020)
by Zeenat Nagree
Zeenat Nagree on Manisha Parekh's solo exhibition held at Jhaveri Contemporary earlier this year. (2020)

In Conversation with Raqs Media Collective
by Amrita Chakravarty
The curators of the latest edition of the Yokohama Triennale on thinking art and the exhibitionary through the lens of the spectrum. (2020)

Kochi Biennale in the Time of Covid-19
by Critical Collective
With the 5th edition slated to be held later this year, Rao and Krishnamachari on the challenges of curating in the midst of a pandemic. (2020)

CC Special: An interview with Ravi Agarwal
by Critical Collective
"I believe the world I live in is largely a matter of my own interpretation and perception" - Agarwal on his latest curation for the Serendipity Arts Festival. (2019)

Incubating Practice: Five Million Incidents
by Amrita Chakravarty
A year-long series of art projects at the Max Mueller Bhavan poses questions about the programming of art. (2019)

Back to the Future
by Amrita Chakravarty
An exhibition at the Shrine Empire Gallery engaged the idea of utopia in art practice.

“No Laughing Matter”: The Politics of Satire
by Ketaki Varma
Ketaki Varma reviews Common Course, an exhibition on political cartooning, curated by Roobina Karode.


artists

Archives of Compressed Time
by Amanda Sroka
“Goel's planes are scores of the artist's movements and metaphorical blueprints of the city's architecture,” Sroka on Tanya Goel's inspirations and processes of creation.

Timeless Motifs: A Study in Natural Grandeur
by Gulammohammed Sheikh
Sheikh examines the creation and motifs of the stone sculpture ‘Banyan Tree’ by Nagji Patel. (1991)

Haku Shah: Faith and Passion
by K G Subramanyan
“…Haku’s collections and documentations of singular aesthetic and educational valuedelight the eye and enrich the mind, at the same time.” writes the author. (1981)

‘Bhav, Bhaav, Bhavya’: Frames of Eternity: Manjit Bawa
by Madan Gopal Singh
On the aesthetics of Manjit Bawa's artworks reflecting the confluence of bhaav (phenomenology of being) and bhavya (that which unfolds). (1999)

I’m interested in perception and with how definitions get stretched or trespassed: Shilpa Gupta
by Vandana Kalra
The artist on the Venice Biennale, and issues of gender, identity and nationhood. (2016)

The Utopia/Dystopia of Prabhakar Pachpute
by Nadia Nooreyezdan
In conversation with the artist about his evolving trajectory of work and plans for the future. (2020)

Vivan Sundaram
by Akansha Rastogi
The author writes on the artistic legacy of Vivan Sundaram and on the pivotal role he played in consolidating the art fraternity, infrastructure and development of the arts in India. (2010)

A. Ramachandran
by Ella Datta
"Both as a painter and a sculptor, Ramachandran has established a new idiom in which man and nature share a symbiotic relationship that is unshakable and unbroken.” (2010)


Artists Groups and Collectives

Drifting Threads: Cholamandal Artists’ Village over fifty years
by Ashrafi S Bhagat
Ashrafi Bhagat traces the past, present and future of the Cholamandal Artists' Village in Chennai.

How to Feel a Leak?
by CAMP
CAMP elaborates on their work, THE RADIA TAP(E)S as part of The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York Triennial (2012).

CONA: Points of Reflection
by Hemali Bhuta
Hemali Bhuta on the founding of CONA as a pedagogical structure for artists.

New Group: In conversation with Amitava Das and Mona Rai at New Delhi, April 23, 2014

Amitava Das and Mona talk about the formation of the New Group in 1974.

The Calcutta Group - Its Aims and Achievements
by Prodosh Das Gupta
Prodosh Das Gupta highlights the premise of founding the Calcutta Group in 1940.

Indian Society of Oriental Art
by James H. Cousins


Artists Conversations

The Staging of “Staging Selves”
by Waswo X. Waswo
Confronting issues of photographic representation, Maya Kóvskaya includes artists practicing in India, China and Iran, constructing a visual and conceptual dialogue between image makers. (2012)

Interview with Gagan Singh
by Critical Collective
The artist on his creative processes and inspirations in the midst of a changing world. (2020)

100 Years of Kala Bhavan: Interview with A. Ramachandran
by Critical Collective
The artist on Kala Bhavan’s approach to public art and interactions with Chinese and Japanese art. (2020)

100 Years of Kala Bhavan: Interview with Anjum Singh
by Critical Collective
Anjum Singh on her early years in Kala Bhavan and the subsequent development of her artistic practices. (2020)

100 Years of Kala Bhavan: Interview with Mithu Sen
by Critical Collective
Mithu Sen on the eclectic atmosphere of Kala Bhavan and its profound influence on her practice. (2020)

100 Years of Kala Bhavan: Interview with Sanchayan Ghosh
by Critical Collective
Sanchayan Ghosh on the collaborative engagements and visual culture in Kala Bhavan. (2020)

100 Years of Kala Bhavan: Interview with Anshuman Dasgupta
by Critical Collective
Anshuman Dasgupta on Kala Bhavan’s rich archive and his work on the site and histories of the campus. (2020)

100 Years of Kala Bhavan: Interview with Tanmoy Samanta
by Critical Collective
Tanmoy Samanta on the influence of Kala Bhavan’s unique approach to art practice and the campus on his practice. (2020)


ON GENDER

“Sober encounters”: the neoliberal logics of human rights documentary and Indian feminist documentary filmmakers

On modes of production and distribution of feminist documentary films in India. (2016)

Telling Tales: Five contemporary women artists from India
by Jorella Andrews
A review of the exhibition by Ayisha Abraham, Rummana Hussain, Anita Dube, Sheela Gowda, and Pushpamala N. to commemorate fifty years of Indian Independence. (1988)

Feminine Identity and National Ethos in Indian Calendar Art
by Patricia Uberoi
The author examines the representation of women in Indian popular art. (1990)

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography
by Katyayani Sinha
A landmark exhibition at the Barbican attempts an expansive survey of a much-contested terrain. (2020)

Women Artists at the KNMA
by Amrita Chakravarty
A recent group of exhibitions explored an alternative tradition of abstract art in South Asia, as practiced by women. (2020)

Eunuchs in Mughal Household and Court
by Shadab Bano
A critique on the political hierarchies of the eunuchs serving the Mughal Emperors. (2008)

The Pavayas or Hijdas

A selection from the Gazetter of the Bombay Presidency. The essay documents social rituals and customs of the Pavayas, a community of eunuchs, in Gujarat. (1901)

A Year of Me Too in India: A Report
by Critical Collective
A recent meeting held in the capital took stock of developments and planned the way forward in the fight for gender justice. (2019)


AESTHETICS THEORY

Some Modern Critics and Ancient Texts on the Aesthetic Value of Hindu Images
by N.V. Mallavya
On the aesthetic and iconographical aspects of ancient Indian sculpture as outlined in the Agamas and Shastras. (1942)

Anandavardhana’s Treatment of Pratibha in Relation to Dhvani
by K. Krishnamoorthy
On the concept of Pratibha or creative imagination brought about by the agency of Dhvani. (1950)

Peculiarities in the Alamkara-Section of the Agni-Purana
by Suresh Mohan Bhattacharya
On the unique modes of treatment accorded to Alamkara and its constituent elements in the Agni Purana. (1960)

Studies in Dhvanyaloka, the Adivakya in Dhvanyaloka
by V.A. Ramaswami Sastri
On the importance of dhvani in communicating the essence of emotion inherent in poetry and drama. (1955)

Paintings and Allied Arts as Revealed in Bana’s Works
by C Sivaramamurti
The essay examines the aesthetics of painting and sculpting in the cannons of Classical Indian Art. (1933)

The Concept of Beauty in Fine Arts and Literature
by Prabhakar Machwe
In this essay, the writer unpacks the meaning of 'beauty' within the framework of aesthetic criticism. (1958)

Natya Dharmi and Lok Dharmi
by V. Raghavan
On the concept of 'dharmi' in Bharata's Natya Sastra. (1933)

Transcendence for the Siri-ocene
by 64/1
The authors outline a philosophy to recuperate Art for the future.


CURATING SOUTH ASIA

Contesting and coalescing voices from Dhaka Art Summit
by Mustafa Zaman
In its 5th edition, DAS invited the voices of different communities, giving them a chance to articulate in their own terms, the legacies of colonial/postcolonial modernity. (2020)

Lahore Biennale: ‘between the sun and the moon’
by Virginia Whiles
The second Lahore Biennale stages a polyphony of artistic voices weighing in on the shared cultural and political history of South Asia and the Middle East. (2020)

Bani Abidi: Funland

Curators Hoor Al Qasimi and Natasha Ginwala on a major survery of Bani Abidi's works exhibited at Sharjah Art Foundation. (2019)

Sharjah Diaries | In Conversation with Nidhi Mahajan
by Gayatri Sinha
The curator on her installation-performance "Silences and Spectres of the Indian Ocean." (2019)

Sharjah Diaries | In Conversation with Adrian Lahoud
by Gayatri Sinha
The curator of the first edition of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial on initiating a critical dialogue from "south to south." (2019)

Sharjah Diaries | In Conversation with Marina Tabassum
by Gayatri Sinha
Tabassum on her latest presentation, "Inheriting Wetness", at the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial. (2019)

"in the absence of writing”: Oral Traditions and Historical Memory
by Najrin Islam
On the role of oral histories and embodied knowledge as chronicled by Astha Butail during her year-long journey across India, Iran and Jerusalem through sonic interpretations.

WHERE THERE's a WILL...
by Virginia Whiles
The Lahore Biennale 01: Shehr-O-Funn reviewed by Virginia Whiles.


CC Books

Aadi Anant: Creative Continuum and Unsung Masters by Sushma Bahl
by Sohini Singh
A ready-reckoner showcasing the myriad facets of the indigenous arts of India. (2020)

Interview with Indira Chandrasekhar
by Critical Collective
Indira Chandrasekhar on setting up Tulika Books, the relationship between contemporary art and publishing, and the future of books as a form. (2020)

Along the Indian Highway: An Ethnography of an International Travelling Exhibition by Catherine Bublatzky
by Simone Wille
An ethnographic reading of the decade old exhibition. (2020)

Books Received | May 2020
by Amrita Chakravarty and Ketaki Varma
A compilation of short book reviews.

Vision and Landscape- Aquatints of India by Thomas Daniell and William Daniell, edited by Giles Tillotson
by Sama Haq
On the denotative and connotative functions of the prints by the Daniells in the DAG collection. (2020)

The Art of Naina Dalal - Contemporary Indian Printmaker edited by Ratan Parimoo and Gauri Parimoo-Krishnan
by Sama Haq
An aesthetic analysis of the works of printmaker Naina Dalal. (2019)

In the Service of Krishna by Emilia Bachrach
by Sama Haq
A visual narration of the devotional aesthetics of the Pushtimarg tradition. (2019)

Books Received | October 2019
by Amrita Chakravarty, Sama Haq and Saloni Mathur
A compilation of short book reviews and excerpts. (2019)


CC REFERENCE

A Fragile Inheritance: Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art
by Saloni Mathur
On culture and politics of decolonization and the role of non-Western aesthetic avant-gardes within the discourses of contemporary art. (2020)

Why Statues Matter: The Changing Landscape of Calcutta’s Colonial and Postcolonial Statuary
by Tapati Guha-Thakurta
On the shifting casts and sites of Kolkata’s public statues. (2020)

A Critique of Ananda Coomaraswamy’s Presuppositions for a Philosophy of Indian Art
by Ratan Parimoo
On Coomaraswamy’s work on art and aesthetics in light of Indian philosophy. (2020)