Sakshi Gupta: “when time from time shall set us free”
by Gayatri Sinha
An emotionally charged, and original use of iron scrap in objects that are both vulnerable and delicate marks Sakshi Gupta’s debut show in Mumbai.

25 Sep 2023

How Does a Language Die? Debates Around Urdu with Javed Akhtar
by Umara Zainab
Through the lyricist’s reflections on Urdu, the writer charts the history of the language in modern India, interrogating the myths around it and the reasons for its supposed decline.

25 Sep 2023

Exhibition Reviews
by Critical Collective
Reviews of Abir Karmakar's Passage and the 6th edition of the Delhi Contemporary Art Week

25 Sep 2023

Interrogating India’s First Museum Biennale at the Bihar Museum
by Namrata Ghosh
A disconnected collection of various exhibitions, the article raises important questions about the use of the word ‘biennale’ while examining the impressive museum the event is located in.

25 Aug 2023

Review: Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, 2023
by Virginia Whiles
This year’s festival focuses on themes of loss, exile and conflict within families to create experimental works of political relevance.

25 Aug 2023

Representing a History of Violence: The Partition Museum in Delhi
by Umara Zainab
The recently inaugurated museum brings together oral histories, art works, media and personal records to highlight Delhi’s experience of violence and displacement in the wake of the 1947 Partition.

25 Aug 2023

Resurgence in the Gardens: Arshi Irshad Ahmadzai’s Bagh-e-Babur
by Arushi Vats
The artist paints an ode to the resilience of the gardens in Kabul through historical and contemporary political turmoil, tracing the stories of the past embedded in built heritage.

25 Aug 2023

Marking Time: Two exhibitions at Bikaner House
by Critical Collective
The exhibitions, Rumination on India and Reflecting the Self kick off the art season with a backward glance at early beginnings, and a recent efflorescence.

25 Aug 2023


On Birsa Munda: In Conversation with Rahul Ranjan
by Vasudha Chatterjee
On the commemoration of adivasi leader Birsa Munda, the politics of memory, and subaltern resistance through the act of making statues, samadhis and memorial sites.

25 Sep 2023

Interview with Ishan Tankha
by Critical Collective
Ishan Tankha addresses questions on the aesthetics of photojournalism, the challenges thrown up by social media circulation, and photography's current stakes in claims of truth.

20 Jul 2023

Review: How Secular is Art?
by Malvika Maheshwari
The author writes on the relationship between devotion, secularism, art and politics, as explored in a new book edited by Tapati Guha-Thakurta and Vazira Zamindar.

20 Jul 2023

Interview with Zishaan A Latif
by Critical Collective
The photographer/visual artist discusses his politics, sense of ethics and use of different strategies while reflecting on the role of the photographer in recording people's stories and struggles.

26 Jun 2023

The Trajectories of Change in Urdu Women’s Magazines Post-1947
by Saba Nehal
The article examines how Urdu women’s magazines reoriented themselves post-1947, keeping in mind the new social reality of independent India.

27 Feb 2023

The Sharif Bibi: Partition and Urdu Women’s Magazines
by Umara Zainab
The author studies the covers of the Urdu women’s magazine, Ismat, to highlight how the imagination of the ideal Muslim woman changed following the Partition of the subcontinent.

27 Feb 2023


Reflecting on Chinese Reverse Glass Paintings in India
by Zoya Kathawala
A study of the reverse glass paintings made by Chinese artists for export to the Indian and British markets.

25 Sep 2023

Craft Traditions in Flux: Bengal’s Partition and Beyond
by Archi Banerjee
The article describes the impact of the 1947 Partition of Bengal on the traditions of clay and shola crafts, while reflecting on the long term changes in their making and design.

25 Sep 2023

The Gaiety Theatre, Shimla
by Shailaja Khanna
Mapping the significance of the Gaiety Theatre, its trajectory from colonial times to present day and the efforts to restore its historical materiality.

22 Aug 2023

Fashion in Flux: Shahpur Jat’s Dada Jungi Lane and New ‘Middlebrow’ Design
by Sanchita Khurana
The author examines the rise of a 'middlebrow' wedding couture culture while tracing a peculiar itinerary of gentrification in Delhi's Shahpur Jat.

20 Jul 2023

A Quilt of History: Satgaon Colchas and Early Bengal Embroidery
by Namrata Ghosh
A study of the Portuguese commissioned embroidered quilts of the 16th and 17th centuries and the fascinating amalgamation of cultures that they represent.

25 May 2023

A Fashionably-Dressed History of Indianness
by Damini Kulkarni
The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre opens with a spectacular exhibition on Indian fashion and its impact on the sartorial sensibilities of the world.

25 Apr 2023

Vasl - A Meeting Point of Extraordinary Beauty
by Critical Collective
In the Thicket Where Birds Sing… brings together 18 artists to create a collection of jewellery based on the history, art and architecture of Pakistan.

24 Mar 2023

Review of Vayan at the National Crafts Museum
by Umara Zainab
Vayan, a one-day symposium, put together a visual and narrative history of brocading cultures and crafts traditions of India.

23 Mar 2023

art history


Scam 2003 - The Telgi Story: A One-Man Show
by Aakashneel Dutta
Despite erratic plot and pacing, the series is a reflection on large-scale corruption and the nexus between politicians and big business. (2023)

The Kotha and the Tawaif in Popular Hindi Cinema
by Anugyan Nag
The courtesan film and song in Bombay cinema, has for long been defined by an Islamicate framework, but has, in recent decades, also moved beyond it. (2023)

Launda Performers and their Acts of ‘Subversion’
by Brahma Prakash
Brahma Prakash writes on the history of the launda naach, performed by a varied caste matrix as acts of defiance against social and gender norms. (2023)

Dance, Defiance and Marginality in Launda Naach
by Akshaya Kumar
On the social transgressions and reconfigurations brought about in the tradition of launda naach by the cinema of performers like Khesari Lal Yadav. (2023)

The Dancing Don and Dance Forms of West Corrupt Our Films
by from archival sources
On Keshavrao Moray and the concerns about the uncritical aping of Western dance at the expense of Indian traditional dance forms. (2023)

Searching for the Fairy-Tale Ending in Made In Heaven: Season 2
by Shankar Tripathi
How far does the second season of Made in Heaven engage with the deep-rooted prejudices and dysfunction of the Indian wedding? (2023)

Vijay Varma’s Likeable Villains, Toxic Masculinity and OTT Stardom
by Sreya Mitra
On Vijay Varma’s recent films: Edgy narratives and portrayals of morally ambiguous and derelict male characters. (2023)

Kathal and Dahaad: The Disappearance and Reclamation of Invisible Women
by Rituparna Sengupta
On the rise of the Dalit female cop and how both gender and caste stymie police investigations. (2023)

Lens Based Practices

Interview with Vishal Kumaraswamy
by Critical Collective
Focused on subaltern experiences and identity, the artist speaks about the use of experimental technology in the making of his art. (2023)

A Parsi Pictorialist - Complex Images and Stylized Models
by Malavika Karlekar
The author provides a brief biography of the career and art of the Parsi photographer, Shapoor Bhedwar. (2013)

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)


In Remembrance: Kavita Singh (1964-2023)
by Saloni Mathur, Jyotindra Jain, Parul Dave Mukherji and Deepti Mulgand
Colleagues, collaborators and students remember Kavita Singh's vitality and intellectual engagement iin India’s cultural sphere.

Theatre Mementos: Reading Bengali Theatre Playbills from the 1940s
by Amreeta Das
These playbills provided insights on the socio-political world of the times and the lives of lesser-known stage practitioners. (2023)

Tracing Ravishankar Raval’s Art Pedagogy in the Gujarati Periodical Kumar
by Vasvi Oza
Ravishankar Raval advocated for new approaches to art education in colonial India through the magazine, Kumar. (2023)

The Santiniketan School of Art
by Benode Behari Mukherjee
The article traces the significance of the Kala Bhavan in the evolution of modern art in Bengal while exploring the impact of Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose. (1935)

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)

A Great Friend of India: Robert Skelton (1929-2022)
by Gulammohammed Sheikh
From their first meeting at the V&A in the 1960s, Gulam Sheikh reminisces about the legendary museum curator and scholar of Indian art, with whom he shared a six-decade-long friendship.

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.


The Alipore Museum: Caught in a Grey Zone
by Mrinalini Vasudevan and Namrata Ghosh
The conversion of Kolkata's Alipore Jail into a museum raises important questions about the repurposing of heritage sites in public spaces.

'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)

Curators and Exhibitions

Invisible Threads
by Nadia Nooreyezdan
Mycelial Legacies brings together works by 30 women alumna of the Baroda School, allowing us to trace their impact and make connections that might otherwise have remained hidden.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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

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.

Sheetal Gattani: Flying Below the Radar, with 50 Layers of Pigment
by Gayatri Sinha
The haptic processes that Gattani employs on painted surfaces lend her work a tantalizing depth and luminosity.


Raghav Kaneria
by Critical Collective
Looking at the artist’s body of work which ranges from sculptures, drawings and murals to serigraphy and photography.

Lalit Mohan Sen
by Manu Thacker and G. Venkatachalam
A biographical note on Lalit Mohan Sen and progression of his works from using traditional Indian styles to adopting a more Western approach to this art. (1950)

For Recipients Unknown (bottled message, with return address)
by Chaitanya Sambrani
Jitish Kallat’s 2020 show, Terranum Nuncius explores the theme of conversing with the unknown.(2022)

Altar- A Photographic Exhibition
by Ram Rahman
In a review of the 2009 show Altar, Ram Rahman writes on the relationship between photography and architectural spaces explored by the artist Samit Das. (2009)

Pratima Devi
by Manu Thacker and G. Venkatachalam
The authors profile the painter Pratima Devi and the influence of the Tagore family on her artistic practice. (1950)

Making Emptiness
by Homi K. Bhabha
Anish Kapoor’s engagement with the concept of space, voids and absence/presence points towards a “quality of an excessive, engendering emptiness” prevalent in his work. (1988)

M. A. Rahaman Chughtai
by G. Venkatachalam
The author writes on Abdur Rahman Chughtai through an examination of his early life, his endeavors in publishing his art and the several masterpieces produced by him over the course of his career. (1949)

Concrete Ciphers
by Meera Menezes
The author explores Pratap Morey's documentation and imagination of the metropolis through works presented in his second solo show at TARQ, Mumbai. (2019)

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

Conversation with Gigi Scaria
by Sohorpem Kazingmei
The artist highlights the centrality of city landscapes in his work, while speaking of his experiments with printmaking as part of his artistic process.

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.

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?

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.

Walking with the Waves
by Gayatri Sinha
Atul Dodiya speaks to Gayatri Sinha about his watercolours on display at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, which reveal his responses to the pandemic and his views on asceticism, nature and art history.

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.


The Cult of the Old Lady
by Nanimadhab Chaudhuri
The archival essay examines worship of an imageless tribal deity of eastern India and the response of tribal religions to the increasing pressures from Hinduism.

Foregrounding Women's Realities in Documentary Cinema: A Conversation with Uma Chakravarti
by Umara Zainab
Uma Chakaravarti unpacks her own journey as a feminist filmmaker.

Reclaiming the Aging Female Star: Zeenat Aman and Rekha
by Mrinalini Vasudevan
Two recent Vogue cover stories provide fertile ground for revisiting the actresses' lives and careers, while championing the female gaze and voice.

The Adventurous Career of Ghasiti Begam
by Krishna Kanta Misra
A biographical profile on the life of Ghasiti Begum and her political interventions in the court of Siraj-ud-Daulah, Nawab of Bengal. (1949)

Three Moghul Ladies
by N A Khundkar
Examining the positions of female figures in the Mughal imperial court, the author elaborates on the lives and contributions of Nur Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal and Jahanara Begum. (1947)

Chand Bibi of the Deccan: Falconry, Feminine Power and Mobility
by Sarah Waheed
On the association between the empress Chand Bibi and falconry in poetry and painting as symbolic of her sovereignty and female agency.

Profiles in Law, Sexuality and Outrage: Uorfi Javed
by Umara Zainab
This essay interrogates how law treats transgressive sexuality through Uorfi Javed's sartorial and political choices.

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.


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)


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)

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

Book Review: Postnational Perceptions in Contemporary Art Practice
by Kamayani Sharma
Bindu Bhadana examines the art of Chitra Ganesh, Tejal Shah and Nikhil Chopra.

Pushpamala N. and "the Artistic Ways of Viewing the Sacred"
by Annapurna Garimella
The book is a collection of articles reflecting on Pushpamala N.’s reimagination of popular images within the framework of nationalism and motherhood.

Book Review: The Vanishing Point
by Hemant Sareen
The Vanishing Point, edited by Rashmi Devi Sawhney, brings together filmmakers, theorists, and moving image artists to trace the peripatetic afterlife of celluloid in India.

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.


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.

What’s Going Wrong with Thanjavur’s Chola and Maratha Legacies?

Even as cinema screens light up to Chola supremacy, their material heritage needs urgent attention.

Drawing Dissent: The Evolution of Editorial Cartooning in India
by Neha Yadav
With their potential to speak truth to power, political cartoons in the print media represent the last stand in a severely compromised media landscape.

Resistance of the Everyday Kind

Artist Orijit Sen speaks with Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi about satire and resistance over time and how new avenues of circulation such as Instagram have altered his approach to art making.

Comics, Cartoons and the Politics of Censorship in Digital India
by Debanjana Nayek
Granting a substantial amount of liberty to cartoonists to create and share their work with a large audience, digital viewership also generates new forms of censorship and bullying.

Current and Future Imprints in Jaipur’s Textile Landscape
by Mrinalini Vasudevan
On the hand-block printing industry that has grown around Jaipur, the problems that plague the artisans and recent government and private initiatives working towards its revival and preservation.

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.