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

19 Nov 2020

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

100 Years of Kala Bhavan: Interview with A. Ramachandran
by Critical Collective
A. Ramachandran on Kala Bhavan’s approach to public art and interactions with Chinese and Japanese art during his studies.

22 Oct 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.

22 Oct 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.

22 Oct 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.

22 Oct 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.

22 Oct 2020

art history


Six Decades and Counting: Soumitra Chatterjee a Rare Gem
by Priyadarshini Bhattacharyya
An overview of the illustrious career of the iconic Soumitra Chatterjee. (2020)

Kaala Jaadu, Dayan and the Bengalin: Reading cultural stereotypes as feminist tropes
by Sreya Mitra
The author on reading the predominant cultural stereotypes surrounding Bengali women in the public eye. (2020)

Manikarnika’ or ‘Thalaivi’: Insights into the star text of Kangana Ranaut
by Gopika Gurudas
This essay scrutinizes the star text of Kangana Ranaut, locating her at a transnational space. (2020)

Bollywood Backlash
by Critical Collective
In filing a suit in the Delhi High Court, film production houses make a plea for civility in media coverage. (2020)

Film Review: C U Soon
by Amrita Chakravarty
A review of the film addressing the proliferation of digital devices as representing a transformed reality. (2020)

In Conversation with Ronny Sen: Cat Sticks and the Landscape of Contemporary Image-Making
by Jigisha Bhattacharya
Ronny Sen speaks on challenging conventions of visuality and the politics of cinema, (2020)

Between a Popular Star and a Keeper of Everyday Conscience
by Sayandeb Chowdhury
Though a textbook case of marquee stardom, it is his screen embodiment on which Uttam Kumar’s colossal influence and legacy rests. (2020)

The Vibrant Street of 70s Calcutta: A Study of Select Popular Songs from 1970s Bengali Cinema
by Priyadarshini Bhattacharyya
Popular cinema presented the streets of Calcutta as a site of vibrant urban encounters. (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)


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)

A Fragile Inheritance: Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art
by Saloni Mathur
A link to the e-book, out now.

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)

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 Letter to Judy Watson
by Rekha Rodwittiya
"The setting apart of myself to pronounce my individual self was a water-shed moment in my journey as a painter." (1995)


"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)

Prof. Ratan Parimoo: “Just by engaging with museum objects, one can learn a lot about Indian history.”

Director of the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum in Ahmedabad speaks to Sama Haq about the history and collection of the museum. (2019)

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.


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)

“We do not want to create a monument of their misery” - Chandan Gomes
by Amrita Chakravarty
The photographer on his latest collaborative project, “A Good Riot”, and using Instagram as a site of documentation, activism and art. (2020)

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?
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

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

Singular Moments, Multiplying Meanings
by Urvi Vora
In conversation with theatre director and lights designer Zuleikha Chaudhuri. (2020)

“Art has never come under one kind of worldview”: Gigi Scaria
by Critical Collective
The artist on his visual grammar and fluidity in his art practice. (2020)

"Sometimes one stumbles upon an unexpected visual wonder": Prajakta Potnis
by Critical Collective
The artist on her fascination with domestic technology and radiology in her recent works. (2020)

In Conversation with Vasudevan Akkitham
by Vaidehi Gohil, Bhakti Hattarki and Sasha Kalrani
The artist on his practices and art pedagogy during the ‘Studio Practice’ session of the Fine Arts Fair 2020 for M.S. University, Baroda. (2020)

In Conversation with Vicky Roy
by Amrita Chakravarty
The photographer on challenging conventions, adapting to the changing nature of photography, and future projects. (2020)

Interview with Thukral and Tagra
by Critical Collective
A conversation about art practice in the times of coronavirus and the digital medium as site. (2020)

All that’s Solid Becomes Virtual
by Kaushik Bhaumik
A conversation on media, art history and what the "digital" means in art and cinema today. (2019)


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)


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.

The Aesthetic Concept of Rasa
by K S Ramaswamy Shastri
The writer provides an account of the rasa theory of aesthetic emotion. (1928)


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.

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)