RECENT


NOTICEBOARD

Anita Khemka on Photo-documenting Laxmi Narayan Tripathi
by Critical Collective
On International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31), Anita Khemka writes on her two-decade-long experience photo-documenting Laxmi aka Dr Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, who led the transgender presence

23 Mar 2021

Interview with Sahil Naik
by Critical Collective
Sahil Naik on participating in the fifth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and his response to the given thematic of the event- the power of a collective commons. (2021)

22 Mar 2021

Interview with Atul Bhalla
by Critical Collective
The artist on our current ecological and water crises and on consolidating his practice in the midst of the pandemic. (2021)

22 Mar 2021

Interview with Student Biennale curators Archana Hande and Vasudha Thozur
by Critical Collective
Curators of the Students’ Biennale speak to CC about working with student-artists and exploring the position of their own practice in the curatorial framework of framework of the exhibition. (2021)

22 Mar 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.

22 Mar 2021

All that is Human: A Conversation between Meera Mukherjee and Adip Dutta
by Jigisha Bhattacharya
‘Nestled’ sheds light on shared history between Adip Dutta and Meera Mukherjee as "two artists separated by generations, varied in their craft, yet connected by their approach to art."

22 Feb 2021

(ME)(MORY)
by Meera Menezes
Two shows, Notes for Tomorrow and (ME)(MORY), illuminate the role of memory in the construction of the self.

22 Feb 2021

Visual Stories, Real and Confabulated
by Sandhya Bordewekar
The author reviews Gallery Ark's exhibition ‘In the Light of….’,that explores remembered stories in the realm of imaginative confabulation.

22 Feb 2021


art history


CINEMA

Stree on the Streets: Constructing female experience of the city in Marathi films Ajji (2017) and Nude (2018)
by Shreya Venkatraman
Exploring pleasure and aspiration in New Marathi Cinema through female narratives. (2021)

Kung Fu localised: Mobility and identity in Assamese film Local Kung Fu (2013)
by Vaskar Mech
Assamese film Local Kung Fu as a case study in indie filmmaking and identity politics. (2021)

What is Tamil about Tamil cinema?
by Stephen Hughes
On the construction of ‘Tamil-ness’ in Tamil cinema as not based on a fixed linguistic identity but linked to production practices. (2010)

The ‘Nation’ in Indian Cinema
by Sharmistha Gooptu
Gooptu provides an analysis of scholarship on Indian cinema studies that 'pluralise' the idea of the 'national' in Tamil and Bengali films. (2011)

The Celebrity as Political Influencer in Anti-Intellectual Times
by Nandana Bose
On the ongoing phenomenon of 'celebrification' of political influence on public platforms and of the Indian celebrity as an opinion-builder. (2021)

On the Offensive: OTT Platforms and Policial Censorship
by Kamayani Sharma
Kamayani Sharma explores the recent wave of censorship norms and regulations, cinematic censure and the way forward. (2021)

The cinematic beauty of "Jinhe naaz hai Hind par" from Guru Dutt's ‘Pyaasa
by Ankit Sinha
On the cinematic allure of pivotal song sequences from Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa, exploring themes of disillusionment and disenchantment of modern society in a post-independent India. (2021)

Notes on Sighting/Citing/ Siting Indian Women in Hindi Cinema of the 1950s and 60s
by Anuradha Needham
The essay delves into the tackling of patriarchal norms and presentation of modern positions of women in Hindi women-centric cinema of the 1950’s and 60’s. (2018)


Lens Based Practices

On Photography: Between Reproduction and Representation
by R. Nandakumar
On notions of the authenticity of the photographic image and its ontological status. (2003)

Photography as compared to other arts
by Jyoti Bhatt
On the many aspects of photography in India - the differences and the interdependence - between painting and photography. (1992)

When Bodies Leak | On Sohrab Hura’s ‘Spill’
by Najrin Islam
On Sohrab Hura's practice spanning the last 15 years and the contextual entanglement that his image-making reveals. (2020)

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" - Prashant Panjiar
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)


CC ARCHIVES

The Bengal School of Painting, To-day
by Nihar Ranjan Ray
Nihar Ranjan Ray critiques the “third-generation” of artists who followed the Bengal School masters Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose and comments on the lack of originality. (1936)

Sketches of Jamini Roy
by Pranab Ranjan Ray
On Jamini Roy’s drawings and their evocation of an ideal image of rural-agrarian Bengal. (1981)

Abanindranath Tagore: A Survey of the Master’s Life and Work
by Mukul Dey
A biographical sketch of the artist’s formative years and his lifelong contributions to the formation of early Modern art in India. (1942)

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)

MUSEUMS

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)

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)


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

Kalaguru Ravishankar Raval (1892-1977): A bridge between Gujarat and the Bengal Revivalist Movement
by Esther David
On Raval's revival of Indian art in Gujarat and its link to the artistic traditions of Ajanta and Bengal.

Amar Nath Sehgal: Selected Sculptures, Graphics and Drawings 1947-1972
by Laxmi Prasad Sihare
The author sheds light on eminent Indian sculptor Amarnath Sehgal, his choice of media, style, and the role of literary and associative elements in his work. (1972)

Engaging with Different Worlds
by B.N. Goswamy
“…Baswani seems to look at the world through the interstices of her mind” writes Goswamy on the wide range of influences on the artist’s work. (2005)

Why Cross the Boundary [1]
by Kamala Kapoor
On the “vaporous ethereality” of the works of V. Ramesh, the author gives a glimpse into the practice of the artist on her visit to his studio in Visakhapatnam. (2011)

Rini Dhumal
by K G Subramanyan
The author describes Rini Dhumal’s ceramic tiles while discussing the artist’s flexibility throughout mediums and an all pervading graphic sensibility. (1997)

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.

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. (2020)

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)


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

Interview with Indrapramit Roy
by Maitrayee Haldar
Indrapramit Roy on the thematic in his art practise and the importance of nurturing creative potential within the current art education system. (2021)

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)

Composing a photograph like a painting: Interview with Pushpamala N.
by Critical Collective
The artist on the underlying themes in her works, ongoing projects and what the future holds for exhibitions and the circulation of art. (2020)

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)


ON GENDER

A Man’s World: Gender, Family, and Architectural Patronage, in Medieval India
by Padma Kaimal
The essay investigates questions of agency and gender and looks at the architectural implications of women patrons on medieval South Indian temples. (2003)

Ascribing Feminist Intent: The Invention of the Indian Woman Artist
by Deeptha Achar
Achar examines the consolidation of the ‘Indian woman artist’ as a category in modern Indian art. (2013)

“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)


AESTHETICS THEORY

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)

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)


CURATING SOUTH ASIA

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)

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)


CC Books

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. (2020)

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)


CC REFERENCE

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)

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)