On the recent arrest and detention of Shahidul Alam in Dhaka. Responses by artists, and an appeal by SAHMAT.

09 Aug 2018

Terrain: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind

Nilima Sheikh’s Terrain: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind - unfolds like a screen scroll and a hand held muraqqa at Bikaner House, New Delhi, till July 29. A review by Gayatri Sinha.

26 Jul 2018

Graphic Testimonies

In the wake of the recent release of the second volume of First Hand: Graphic Narratives from India, John Xaviers traces the history of graphic non-fiction as an emerging genre in India.

26 Jul 2018

Joining the dots

Meera Menezes explores Dreamtime and other myths in the art of Australia’s indigenous artists at NGMA, Delhi.

17 Jul 2018

Late Raza

CC reviews the Raza Foundation’s tribute exhibition Uttar Raag at Triveni Kala Sangam, Delhi.

16 Jul 2018

'Gold or Garam Masala?'

Virginia Whiles reviews the Subodh Gupta retrospective at La Monnaie de Paris.

20 Jun 2018

The Burden of Chronology

The temporal obedience of Tate Modern’s ambitious new photography exhibition, The Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art, is its greatest undoing. A review by Diva Gujral.

20 Jun 2018

Another (Film) History Rises to the Surface

Amrita Chakravarty writes about the continued significance of the Nemai Ghosh archive in its latest outing at the Nehru Memorial, Delhi.

20 Jun 2018


British painters in India
by M. S. Randhawa
The writer gives an account of British painters, their patronage and collection in the early nineteenth century. (1981)

Drawing the line: Censorship and the arts
by Shanta Gokhale
The essay explores the dilemma of censorship and the arts in the context of M F Husain's drawings published in 1996.

Contemporary Indian Art: A question of method
by Ajay J. Sinha
Ajay Sinha provides ground for the recent western interest in Indian art of the late twentieth century. (1999)

Manipulating Cultural Idioms
by Marcella C. Sirhandi
The writer profiles five contemporary Indian artists to "demonstrate the endurance of traditional Indian culture".

Between Modernism and Modernisation:Locating Modernity in South Asian Art
by Preminda Jacob
Jacob urges art historians to adopt the critical frame of modernity rather than modernism in their study of South Asian art. (1999)

Museums in India: Valuable educational institutions
by Arthur R. Slater
This essay offers a perspective on the value of museums as "an educational asset" in India.

A sketch of Benares
by Sister Nivedita
"But Benares is more than the precincts of a group of temples." Sister Nivedita peels the layers of the palimpsest that is the ancient city of Benares.(1907)

Drawings by Sarada Charan Ukil on the Krishna legend
by M. S. Randhawa
M S Randhawa makes a statement on Ukil's anecdotal pencil drawings, style and compositions on the subject of Krishna. (1979)

art history project


Portraits in Time
by Veeranganakumari Solanki
On Tanmoy Samanta's exploration of the subject of portraiture. (2017)

Rabindranath Tagore, Implied Painter: On the Narratology of Visual Art
by Patrick Hogan
The writer attempts to read Tagore's ambiguous paintings through the lens of "narratological discourse analysis." (2012)

The Artist and the Dangers of the Everyday: Medium, Perception and Meaning in Shilpa Gupta’s work
by Claudio Maffioletti
A perspective on the creative choices in the artist’s work. (2011)

India Inside Out: Critical Perspectives on the Work of Mrinalini Mukherjee
by Victoria Lynn
On the indigenous modernism of Mrinalini Mukherjee. (2015)

The Art of Biren De
by A.S.Raman
"While rejecting everything repetitive, whether Eastern or Western, he tries to evolve a vocabulary based on his own equipment and experience." (1958)

The Sacred Search
by Alka Pande
"As Raza ages with time he starts distilling." On the abstract visual language used by the artist over the course of his career. (2002)

Abacus: A monumental sculpture
by Gulammohammed Sheikh
Sheikh highlights the "new dimensions" added to the oeuvre of Nagji Patel through his public sculpture in Vadodra, Gujarat. (2004)

Chasing Gazes
by Subuhi Jiwani
The writer reads Tejal Shah's Pentimento against a Foucauldian discourse of photography as a technology of power. (2009)


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)

The Three Forms of Art
by Abanindranath Tagore
Abanindranath Tagore contrasts the arid naturalism of modern European art with the spiritualistic bent of ancient Greek, Japanese and Indian art. (1907)

Treatment of Riti and Guna in the Dhvanyaloka
by Prakas Chandra Lahiri
The essay presents the critical interventions of the Dhvani theorists with respect to concepts of riti and guna in rasa theory. (1935)


Representation of the Dalit identity in Indian cinema
by Shoma A. Chatterji
Shoma Chatterji provides a map of Indian cinema's varied engagement with caste.

From Caste to Class
by P Shyma
The author examines the way in which North Kerala has been re-figured as a bastion of upper-caste Left politics in recent Malayalam cinema.

The Missing Periyar and the Curious Tamil Nationalism of Kabali
by Karthick Ram Manoharan
On the frustrated radical politics of Pa Ranjith’s 2016 film.

Temporary Bans and Bad Laws
by Suzanne L. Schulz
The author examines the film ban as an instance of the political deployment of censorship. (2016)

Mother India’s Son
by Amrita Chakravarty
Amrita Chakravarty examines the ways in which the Sanjay Dutt biopic allegorizes a new India.

“Citizen Kane shocked the hell out of me” - An interview with Vidhu Vinod Chopra
by Bikram Singh
Vidhu Vinod Chopra recounts the making of the critically-acclaimed Parinda.

Active Viewing: An ethnography of the Indian film audience
by Lakshmi Srinivas
On the transactions of meaning between Hindi cinema and its audiences. (1998)

Stop This Slander!
by Baburao Patel
Baburao Patel outlines the pernicious imperialist ideology behind a spate of "anti-Indian" films released during the war years. (1939)


Women in Cinema Collective and the Malayalam Industry
by Tara S Nair
On the formation and relevance of the collective to safeguard the interests of women in the Malayalam film industry. (2017)

Begums of Bhopal - Saris and a scabbard

Malavika Karlekar writes of the "redoubtable" Nawab Begum of Bhopal, Sikander Begum, who skirted the restrictions of purdah society to pose for the camera.

The Sight/Site of Woman in the Art of the Forties: Reality, Realism and Representation
by Chilka Ghosh
On the representation of women in the work of the primarily male art establishment of 1940s Bengal.

‘Strong female characters’ in Hindi cinema
by Damini Kulkarni
Damini Kulkarni on the ‘burden of representation’ of women and the changing market dynamics of the Hindi film industry. (2017)

Gender, Class, and Cultural Conflict: Indu Krishnan’s Knowing Her Place

Lata Mani examines the gendered nature of conflict in the South Asian diaspora through the role of the female protagonist in the film. (1992)

Re-claiming the body

Arshiya Lokhandwala shares her thoughts on seven women video artists and the engagement with feminist themes in their work. (2005)

Queer gender binary
by Soumitra Das
Soumitra Das uses the Radha-Krishna motif as metaphor to question queer gender identity in popular art. (2017)


Kal, Aaj aur Kal

Quddus Mirza writes about museum initiatives in Pakistan over the last seven decades. (2010)

Breaking away from the past
by Quddus Mirza
Quddus Mirza on the emerging trends in the practices of Pakistani artists. (1998)


Amit S. Rai cogitates on the possibility of art recuperating a banal Indo-Pak dialectic as he responds to a show featuring Pakistani works at the Devi Art Foundation. (2010)

The Neighbourhood Project
by Deeksha Nath
On the shows by L. N. Tallur, Bangladeshi artist Mahbudur Rahman and four Sri Lankan artists involved in The One Year Drawing Project at the Devi Art Foundation.

Curating as site: the case of South Asia

CC interviews Iftikhar Dadi, art historian, artist and co-curator of the landmark exhibition Lines of Control (2012).

Shared Histories: Collective Exhibitions
by Shreya Chaudhuri
Shreya Chaudhuri examines some of the leading trajectories in the recent phenomenon of curating in South Asia.

Artists Groups and Collectives

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

A touch of the primitive
by Eunice de Souza
Bhupen Khakhar in conversation with Eunice de Souza. (1971)

The Medium and its Message
by Eunice de Souza
Vivan Sundaram talks about painting in the time of cinema, in this interview with Eunice de Souza. (1979)

Meeting Ground
by Anjum Singh & Manisha Parekh
On the heels of recent solo shows, Anjum Singh and Manisha Parekh discuss their early influences and praxis. (2000)

A Dialogue with Sankho Chaudhuri: The Act of Sculpting has to be fulfilled
by Prayag Shukla
Prayag Shukla in conversation with Sankho Chaudhuri on the emerging trends in modern Indian sculpture. (1955)

In conversation
by Abhishekh Hazra
Riyas Komu talks to Abhishek Hazra on the explicit political choices in his work. (2006)

In conversation
by Ashrafi S Bhagat
Benitha Perciyal shares insights about her practice and unusual choice of materials. (2011)

Beyond Narrative Painting
by Yashodhara Dalmia
An interview with Tyeb Mehta. (2011)

Curators and Exhibitions

The Body Redux: A Curator’s Post-script on Exhibiting India
by Naman Ahuja
On the continuum between classical and contemporary art and multiple strands of Indian art history in the exhibition.

crossing generations: diVERGE
by Chaitanya Sambrani
The essay offers perspective on the exhibition curated by Geeta Kapur and Chaitanya Sambrani.

After Dark
by Gayatri Sinha
An exhibition curated on the axis of a globalising India and the artist's response to violence in Indian polity.

“Aesthetic Bind”
by Saloni Mathur
On the series of five exhibitions curated by Geeta Kapur to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Gallery Chemould. (2014)

by Gayatri Sinha

Ideas of the Sublime
by Gayatri Sinha

Lens Based Practices

The Tresidder Album:A Case Study of a Private Ethnography
by Rashmi Viswanathan
On the emergence of the photograph as "ethnological register" in a case study of the Tresidder Album. (2016)

Sea of Files
by Aveek Sen
"The piles grew and grew until they turned into a sea of files, at the centre of which I would sit." An excerpt from the life of Nony Singh, "the archivist." (2013)

The Partition of the Indian Subcontinent Seen through Margaret Bourke-White’s Photographic Essay ‘The Great Migration: Five Million Indians Flee for Their Lives’
by Dilpreet Bhullar
Dilpreet Bhullar reads Bourke-White's photo-essay published in LIFE through the twin epistemic frameworks of Partition studies and 20th-century documentary realism. (2012)

Invented Worlds: India through the camera lens of Waswo X. Waswo
by Curtis L. Carter
On questions of 'domination and exploitation' through a postcolonial reading of Waswo's body of work. (2007)

A Proposition for Departure
by Sohrab Hura
The photograph is an index of intimacy rather than truth. The artist in his own words. (2017)

Portraiture: A new personal approach
by Sam. B Tata
On a new approach to straight photography. (1951)

Pandora’s Camera
by Peter Nagy
Peter Nagy focuses on the history of photography in India through his reading of Christopher Pinney's book Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photographs. (2000)