RECENT


NOTICEBOARD

Silent Seasons: A Review
by Gayatri Sinha
Building on her previous engagements with environmental change and the age of the anthropocene, Vibha Galhotra's latest work foregrounds an apocalyptic vision of the plight of the last man standing.

25 Jan 2023

A Review of Postcards from Home
by Bharati Chaturvedi
Through her on project, Manisha Gera Baswani documents stories of Partition from artists who trace their roots to India and Pakistan.

25 Jan 2023

On Nature and Abstraction: An Interview with Ganesh Haloi
by Namrata Ghosh
The artist talks about how his early life and experiences greatly influenced his practice.

25 Jan 2023

Media / Materiality / Comics: Conversations with Three Graphic Artists
by Arunava Banerjee
The author interviews three artists on the potential of comics to generate different trajectories for art, media and reportage.

25 Jan 2023

Kochi Biennale.. a decade later, a work in progress?
by Gayatri Sinha
The recent storm within the Kochi Muziris Biennale raises the question, is the event too big to fail?

20 Dec 2022

Kochi Student Biennale, 2022
by Sohorpem Kazingmei
The 2022 Kochi Students’ Biennale finds itself in the throes of ‘process’. Where does it lead?

20 Dec 2022

The Opening of the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP): Interview with L N
by Gayatri Sinha
Altering the museum skyline in Bengaluru, MAP draws on a rich personal collection to stage new narratives in art history.

20 Dec 2022

how many songs from a single note?
by Shaunak Mahbubani
Shaunak Mahbubani interviews artist, Rah Naqvi about her recently closed exhibition, how many songs from a single note?

20 Dec 2022


art history


CINEMA/OTT

Lesbian Begums and Maja Ma Mothers: An Older Madhuri Dixit in Newer Media Ecologies
by Usha Iyer
On a rethinking of the careers of older female actresses through the comeback of Madhuri Dixit. (2023)

Erasure and Appropriation of the Ageing Body: Older Women and Desire in Hindi Cinema
by Aakriti Kohli
Depsite it's predominant eraure, some films signal new possibilities for the mature female body. (2023)

Not So Vampiric: Aging, Masculinity, and Stardom in Bombay
by Silpa Mukherjee
On the continual presence of male stars who dominate Bollywood from the 1970-90s, even as their female counterparts get younger.(2023)

The Real Film Crisis
by V. Shantaram
An old article by V Shantaram uncannily resembles the present stasis in the Hindi film industry. (1952)

Cinematic Delhi: Multiple Histories of the Capital in Hindi Films
by Avijit Mukul Kishore
The article explores the depiction of Delhi with reference to themes and characters in mainstream Hindi cinema from the 1960s to the present.(2022)

Decrypting Dilli
by Sayandeb Chowdhury
With reference to Do Dooni Char and Piku, the article examines the way in which neighbourhoods are emerging as potent cinematic spaces in a neoliberal megapolis.(2022)

Monumental City: Cartographies of Working-Class Delhi
by Sachin Sharma
Two recent films provide alternate cartographies of navigating the city, based on lives on the margins.(2022)

The Eye, “I” and a City in Flux: Deadpan Aesthetics in Maine Dilli Nahin Dekha
by Shreya Bhowmik
Humaira Bilkis’ documentary on Delhi highlights the composite nature of the city and its relationship to time.(2022)


Lens Based Practices

The Second Creature - The Creation of an Epic Visual Document of a New Nation
by Malavika Karlekar
Reflections on Sunil Janah’s photographs of tribal women. (2011)

Present-ing Past-ness through Family Photographs: A Walkthrough of My Grandfather’s Collection
by Meera Menon Pattaruveettil
The author examines her family photographs. (2022)

The Suburban Fortress and Images of Migration Workers against the Suburban Landscape in Covid-19
by Tanya Maheshwari
Covid-19 and the idealist imagery of the suburbs. (2022)

Protest on the Grid
by Jahnabi Mitra
On Abul Kalam’s use of Instagram to document and share images of the Rohingya refugee crisis (2022)

‘Capturing’ the Qudsia Bagh: Decoding the Colonial Lens
by Yakin Kinger
The essay unpacks the place of photography as a tool of colonial propaganda. (2022)

Museum of Making Memory: Conjuring the Ghosts of the Photo Studio
by Anuja Mukherjee
The Photo Studio documents its own history, to become a site of haunting. (2022)

Between the Named and the Unnamed: A Photographic Lens for Bharatanatyam
by Kuzhali Jaganathan
Underlying the photographic archive of Bharatanatyam lies the erasure of its practitioners. (2022)


CC ARCHIVES

Past and Future Lives of an Institution:The Hindu/Presidency College Archive
by Sandipan Mitra
On the processes of maintaining, curating and preserving institutional histories. (2023)

Indian Art and Ideology
by Asit Kumar Haldar
The article explores the close relationship between the study of Indian philosophy, the use of symbolism and the development of Indian art. (1951)

Correspondence between Gulammohammed Sheikh and Robert Skelton (1966-1994)

In the rich exchange of letters between Sheikh and Skelton, we are given insights into Skelton’s travels and research in Indian painting.

Recalling Ramkinkar - artist and man
by K G Subramanyan
Recollecting personal experiences of engaging with Ramkinkar, Subramanyan traces the artist’s life, career and the spaces and people who influenced him. (1991)

Picture Showmen
by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
Tracking the figure of Picture Showmen, Coomaraswamy uses historical evidence to contextualise this performance-based practice in the subcontinent. (1929)

Modern Indian Painting
by B C Sanyal
Renowned painter B.C. Sanyal’s reflections on the way in which modern art in India has been shaped and has changed in the country over time. (1968)

Renaissance of Art in Gujarat
by Ratan Parimoo
The essay contextualises the early modern art scene of Gujarat while describing the individual practices and approaches adapted by certain key artists. (2004)

The Life and Times of India in the Nineteenth Century
by Aradhana Thakur
An exhibition on company paintings at the National Museum, Delhi, brings together works that explore themes of life in the everyday, portraits of kings, princes, and the natural world.

MUSEUMS

'Renovations' at Jallianwala Bagh

Gurmeet Rai speaks to Gayatri Sinha about the changing attitude to monuments and memorials, Jallianwala Bagh and issues facing the revamping of Sabarmati ashram.

Objects and Their Journeys: In Pursuit of the Provenance of Things
by Jyotindra Jain
The author explores the rising debate around the restitution of cultural heritage, the ethics behind collecting practices in museums and the evolving definition of “provenance” in this context. (2021)

Interview with the curatorial team of the SCO Virtual Exhibition in National Museum, Delhi
by Critical Collective
On the pioneering virtual exhibition showcasing the shared Buddhist heritage of the SCO countries. (2021)

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)


Curators and Exhibitions

Divergent Horizons: An Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art from the Regional Centre’s Collection since 1990
by Suresh Jayaram
On the commonalities of genres employed by contemporary artists in the production of their artworks.

Astonishment of Being
by Deeksha Nath
The author explains how the aim of the exhibition is not to be a passive experience but "an active engagement with the world as we see it and as we’d like to see it change". (2010)

Under the Aegis of Poetry: Art Beyond Language
by Arushi Vats
Curated by Zeenat Nagri, the exhibition What Cannot Otherwise Be Said welds poetic imagination with resistance.

Drawing as Practice: On Modes of Inhabiting Line and Surface
by Najrin Islam
In the exhibition Drawn from Practice II, held at Experimenter Gallery, Kolkata, the act of drawing is addressed as a performative medium unto itself.

A Philatelic Journey through Babasaheb’s Life
by Sukanya Baskar
A variety of ephemera from the postal world such as stamps, first day covers and information brochures enrich the visual representation of Dr. BR. Ambedkar and his public persona.

A Century of the Artist’s Studio: 1920-2020
by Virginia Whiles
On the theme of artist studios, the author reviews the “ambitious global exhibition” consisting of more than 100 works by over 80 artists and collectives at Whitechapel Gallery.

The Rough Draft of History: Printmaking through Crises
by Arushi Vats
Review of 'Living a Dark Night'. (Gallery Espace, February 12-March 23, 2022), which enlists the tradition of reportage in art-making to reflect on experiences of the global pandemic.

Ai Weiwei: The Liberty of Doubt
by Virginia Whiles
A review of Ai Weiwei’s exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, which focuses on “small pieces that raise the issues of authenticity and value through his own versions of traditional forms.”


artists

Balkrishna Doshi’s Experiments in Art
by Vasudevan Akkitham
Vasudevan Akkitham gives us an intimate view of his early years, his affinity to artists and his studio, Sangath, as a productive space. (2023)

Tribute to Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi
by Aashish Karode
The author lauds Doshi's ability to "actionise ideas", even as his passing marks "the end of an era in Indian architecture." (2023)

Abstracting | Constructing: Sheila Makhijani and Pooja Iranna
by Roobina Karode
Sheila Makhijani and Pooja Iranna’s artworks reflect their experiences of living in the metropolitan city of Delhi. (2016)

Contextualizing Madhvi Subrahmanian's Sculptures in Clay in a "Global Cultural Economy"
by Priya Maholay-Jaradi
On the artist's work in the context of cross-cultural exchanges within a global economy. (2010)

In Conversation with Sumantra Mukherjee (Sunnydewall)
by Brishti Modak
Working with street and studio art, graffiti artist Sumantra Mukherjee speaks about his recent exhibition Mass-Q-Line, in which he questions forms of toxic masculinity.

On Cruising : 1960s Delhi and Communities of Belonging
by Katyayani Sinha and Gayatri Sinha
In conversation with Sunil Gupta. The acclaimed photographer speaks about his practice that has consistently explored questions of sexuality and identity.

Concrete Ciphers: Pratap Morey
by Meera Menezes
On the interplay of puzzle games and architectural elements, as they reveal subtle shifts in our urban landscape over time and point to possible futures. (2019)

The Shadow in the Mirror: Anju Dodiya and the Reflective Gaze
by Gayatri Sinha
On the reflective nature of Anju Dodiya's work, and how it necessitates an expansion of the notion of the self. (2015)


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

Today is Better than Yesterday: In Conversation with Surekha
by Mallika Visvanathan
Surekha speaks about her recent works displayed at 1Shanthiroad, Bengaluru, made in response to the feelings of stagnation and loss which characterized the first waves of Covid-19.

Pieces of Home: In conversation with Tanmoy Samanta

The artist discusses his latest series of works created in the midst of the pandemic, which reconsider the ideas of home and earthly existence, using pigment, rice paper and shape-shifting collages.

In conversation with Ravi Agarwal

CC speaks to artist Ravi Agarwal about the relationship between art and ecological activism in informing the curatorial vision of his recent exhibition 'New Natures: A Terrible Beauty is Born'.

In Conversation with Randhir Singh

On photographing buildings across Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, as part of “The Project of Independence: Architectures of Decolonization in South Asia, 1947-1985,” at the MoMA.

Breathing Life into Dust: Interview with Artist Amol K. Patil

A Prince Claus awardee, and selected for documenta 15 in 2022, Amol K Patil on the significance of ‘dust’, the politics of touch and making the invisible, visible through his practice.

“Loneliness of the Great”
by Ella Datta
Ella Datta speaks to A. Ramachandran on his latest suite of drawings on Gandhi.

The Afterlife of a Photograph: Devashish Gaur speaks to Critical Collective

Recipient of the Sharjah Art Foundation’s inaugural prize for Vantage Point Sharjah 9 (VPS9), Devashish Gaur on the “intergenerational exploration of identity” in his practice.

In Conversation with Jitish Kallat
by Critical Collective
I draw therefore I think with artists from 29 countries is launched by South South projects. Curator Jitish Kallat speaks to speaks to CC about Charles Darwin's 1837 Tree of Life sketch as an inspira


ON GENDER

Women and the Nation in Pushpamala N
by Mallika Visvanathan
Pushapamala speaks about symbols like Mother India as well as the play with the tableau and the archive in her work.

Woman in Didactic Fable and Popular Tale in Sanskrit
by Leela Arjunwadkar
The portrayal of women in Sanskrit literature varies from idealised images to prejudiced depictions, as well as realistic representations of the expectations placed upon them by society. (1984)

Indian Women and Public Life
by Sarwari Jahan Abdul Karim
The essay advocates for the rights of women to participate in all forms of public life: nationally and internationally. (1935)

Woman in the Sculpture of the Deccan, An Artistic Study
by G. Yazdani
Drawing examples from the caves of Bhaja, Karle, Ellora and Palampet, Yazdani enumerates the aesthetic merits of sculptures depicting the female form. (1942)

Sati in Vijayanagara
by K. Sarojini Devi
On the act of Sati performed by the women of Vijayanagara in the medieval period gathered from epigraphic materials and witness accounts of foreign travellers.

Shilpakalar Panch Nayika - Five Leading Women in Fine Arts
by Atanu Basu
A translation of Atanu Basu’s essay on the lives and works of the first all-female artists collective in Bengal called ‘The Group’, which consisted of Meera Mukherjee, Karuna Saha, Shanu Lahiri, Santosh Rohatgi and Shyamasree Basu. (1983)

Global queens, national celebrities: tales of feminine triumph in post-liberalization India
by Radhika Parameswaran
A critical analysis of the cultural impact of Indian pageant queens on India's consuming classes as interwoven with the new liberalization of the economy and the popularizing print culture in the 1990s and early 2000s. (2004)

Haya Nari: A Charger of Damsels
by O.C. Gangoly
On the unique imagery of the Haya Nari, a composite figure of milk maidens twisted into the shape of a horse in Odiya Vaishnavism and the influence of tribal and folkaesthetic sensibilities in its composition.


AESTHETICS THEORY

Anandavardhana's Treatment of Aprastutaprasamsa
by P. K. Narayana Pillai
The essay discusses the degree of novelty in Anandavardhana’s theory of dhvani, and the rhetorician’s opinions regarding the contributions of his successors towards the theorization of dhvani. (1957)

A Critical Survey of the Ancient Indian Theatre Accordance with the Bharata Natyasastha and its Commentators
by Subba Rao
Construction of ancient Indian theatre, as propounded in Bharata's Natyashastra is interpreted in an objective manner by comparing the theoretical with the practical aspects. (1953)

An Outline of Indian Aesthetics
by Nagendra
On the various speculations pertaining to the nature of Beauty in the Indian context and the contribution of Indian poetics and philosophy in its formulation. (1934)

The Dynamism of the Indian Concept of Rasa
by K S Ramaswamy Shastri
On the concept and origin of Rasa in Indian aesthetics and the development of its elements. (1935)

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)



CURATING SOUTH ASIA

Parvez's performative gestures:The subversion of the capitalist art economy
by Deeksha Nath
The author writes on performance and lens based artist Parvez’s seven month long project in Switzerland questioning the presumptions around audience interaction and the sites of art presentation.

Restless Creations: Adeela Suleman's Art for Social Change
by Virginia Whiles
Virginia Whiles speaks with sculptor Adeela Suleman on her use of found objects and dark humour in her work, as a way of exploring social and ecological violence, tragedy and censorship in Pakistan. (2021)

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.” (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. (2020)

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)


CC Books

Modernism/Murderism: Remembering a ‘Forgotten Debate’ on Modern Art!
by Sandhya Bordewekar
The book looks at the debate on Modern Art between Pherozeshah Rustomji Mehta and Jyoti Bhatt, from the pages of Kumar.

Readings on the Temple: Review of Marg's 75th Anniversary Volume
by Pika Ghosh
This review focuses on a volume of Marg's archival essays on the evolution of temple-building, iconography and worship in India.

Moving Beyond Pain: Review of Vasudha Thozur’s Diaries, Projects, Pedagogy
by Meera Menezes
Conceptualised as “montaged text and image documents”, the book provides insights into Thozhur’s painterly concerns and thought processes.

Review of 20th Century Indian Art (2022)
by Sandhya Bordewekar
The book traces almost 150 years of art historical events that informed the evolution of Modern, Post-Independence and Contemporary Art across South Asia.

Review of Incredible Treasures: UNESCO World Heritage Sites of India
by Gautami Raju
The book gives an overview of 38 sites in India, ranging across man-made structures and natural wonders, that have been honoured with a UNESCO heritage tag.

Looking through the Portal: Photographs, Lives, Histories
by Ranu Roychoudhuri
Review of Portal: The Curious Case of Achintya Bose (2020)

Art and Trousers by David Elliott
by Parul Dave Mukherji
On Elliott’s sweeping look on “how contemporary art unfolds in different parts of the world,” through the liet motif of trousers.

Solvyns in Bengal
by Critical Collective
Solvyns' views of late 18th century Bengal delight in a comprehensive book and exhibition by DAG.


CC REFERENCE

Crafting Cultures at Good Earth: An Interview with Anita Lal

Anita Lal, the first Indian to collaborate with Christie’s on their design collection ‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds’, talks about the cusp of geography and culture that inspires her work.

Nila House - A Vision in Indigo
by Critical Collective
A generous studio-workshop-gallery space, Nila House is currently host to the Corona Quilt Project installation.

The future of India’s past

An overview of projects undertaken to create and recreate cultural and material heritage in India.

On Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience
by Roobina Karode
Roobina Karode in conversation with art historian and curator Siva Kumar, artist Ravi Kumar Kashi and Sumathi Ramaswamy on Gandhi, his image and its legacy in contemporary art. (2021)

DOUBLE ACT
by Shivani Kasumra
Two parallel group shows by four galleries folds in the stirrings of our present, where art steers one beyond the foreclosures of finitude--of space, time, and imagination. (2021)

Cinema and the “Art” of Archiving
by Amrita Chakravarty
A look at contemporary art projects that draw on the archive of cinema as a source of alternative histories. (2021)

Abanindranath Tagore and the creation of a Regional Avant-Garde
by Partha Mitter
In Abanindranath Tagore's sesquicentennial year, Partha Mitter makes "a bold claim that he created a regional Asian expression of avant-garde art whose implications are still unfolding”. (2021)

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)