RECENT


NOTICEBOARD

'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

A Prophetic Vision that Dares to Imagine Otherwise

Chitra Ganesh’s new digital animations at the Rubin Museum of Art, NY provide dream-like visions that dare to imagine otherwise. A review by Natasha Bissonauth.

19 Jun 2018

The Female Body in Experiential Space

Shakuntala Kulkarni speaks at length with Amrita Gupta Singh in the context of her latest exhibition Juloos and Other Stories at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai.

18 Jun 2018

The Poetics of Labour

Adip Dutta reviews the ongoing exhibition at Experimenter, Kolkata.

01 Jun 2018

Interview

In the wake of two exhibitions Shanay Jhaveri speaks to Gayatri Sinha of The Met’s new approach to its “blind spot”, modern and contemporary art in South Asia.

23 May 2018

Admitting the Popular
by Paula Sengupta
An exhibition in Kolkata brings to the haloed portals of the Victoria Memorial Hall the microcosmos of printmaking in Chitpur with the exhibition 19th Century Swadeshi Art in Bengal.

23 May 2018


ARCHIVES

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)

Craft Design
by Bireshwar Sen
Bireswar Sen contemplates the state of the rich crafts tradition of the country, threatened by the commodification of the modern art market. (1929)

Expressionism in India
by Anis Farooqi
Anis Farooqi on the interlinkages of modern Indian art with major international art styles of modern art namely Expressionism. (1979)

Views on Art
by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay
The writer emphasises the urgent need to restore art to social life in order to preserve its vitality. (1950)

The philosophy of our people
by Rabindranath Tagore
"In the world of art, our consciousness being freed from the tangle of self-interest, we gain an unobstructed vision of reality, the incarnation of the real, which is a joy forever." (1926)


art history project


artists

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)

Swaminathan and the Moment of Group 1890
by Vivan Sundaram
The writer recalls the Group 1890 and its leader J Swaminathan, an artist determined to turn his back on the past. (1995)

Paintings of Ranbir Singh Kaleka
by M. S. Randhawa
"My paintings are not an illustration of an idea but rather of a passage, a chapter of thought, in which human relations and human nature are depicted." (1973)

The artist of the inner life
by Soumitra Das
"Like a magician, he conjured up images and half-thoughts, which found their way to his jottings". Soumitra Das relates the oneiric spell cast by Ganesh Pyne's graphic art. (2014)

Arpana Caur
by Ram Dhamija
"I cannot think of any art that is not born of the artist's personal involvement with life and society". Ram Dhamija profiles the artist at the very beginning of her career. (1984)


CINEMA

“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 while lamenting the limited imagination of film-makers in India.

Active Viewing: An ethnography of the active viewing of the Indian film audience
by Lakshmi Srinivas
On the complicated 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)

Soundbaazi: Space, Place, Meaning in the Hindi Film Soundtrack
by Gautam Pemmaraju
The essay traces the evolution of sound design in Hindi cinema, from the analogue era and the talkies, right down to our digital present. (2013)

Inhabiting Passionate Spaces: Reframing Intimacy in 50’s Bengali ‘Romantic Films’
by Subhajit Chatterjee
The writer examines the ways in which an evolving 'cultural modernity' is indexed in the autonomous couple of the 50's romantic socials. (2008)

“Gunga Din” Another Scandalously Anti-Indian Picture!
by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas
Khwaja Ahmad Abbas deconstructs the racist myth of Gunga Din. (1939)

The Art of Mrinal Sen
by Usha Chettur
Mrinal Sen discusses false starts early in his career, awakening to a social consciousness in the Famine years and recent award-winning turns, in this interview to Usha Chettur. (1970)

Satyajit Ray and the Film Society Movement in India
by Rochona Majumdar
Ray’s cinephilia was channeled not only into the making of films, but also into initiatives like the Calcutta Film Society. Rochona Majumdar provides an account. (2018)


ON GENDER

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
by Malavika Karlekar
Malavika Karlekar writes of the "redoubtable" Nawab Begum of Bhopal, Sikander Begum, who skirted the restrictions of purdah society to pose for the camera. (2010)

The Sight/Site of Woman in the Art of the Forties: Reality, Realism and Representation
by Chilka Ghosh
Chilka Ghosh tracks the representation of women in the work of the primarily male art establishment of 1940s Bengal. (2000)

‘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)

Making ‘A Space For Healing’: Strategies For Resistance and Recovery
by Roobina Karode
Roobina Karode maps the practice of women artists as agents for cultural transformation. (2007)


CURATING SOUTH ASIA

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
"Diversity is what defines Pakistani art today." Quddus Mirza on the emerging trends in the practices of Pakistani artists. (1998)

Borderlands

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
Deeksha Nath responds critically to 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. (2010)

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?
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

A touch of the primitive
by Eunice de Souza
“My sources are all on the periphery of art - picture, postcards, lurid calendars, all this interests me terribly.” 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)

A personal vision of tribal and folklore
by S A Krishnan
J Sultan Ali in conversation with S A Krishnan. (1980)


Curators and Exhibitions

crossing generations: diVERGE
by Chaitanya Sambrani

After Dark
by Gayatri Sinha

“Aesthetic Bind”
by Saloni Mathur

Water
by Gayatri Sinha

Ideas of the Sublime
by Gayatri Sinha


Lens Based Practices

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)

More Than a Collection: Photography in the Asia Art Archive
by Procheta Mukherjee Olson
The essay investigates the ways in which "art, photography and archives intersect" in the work of the Asia Art Archive. (2017)

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)

Lala Deen Dayal’s Legacy
by Niyatee Shinde
Niyatee Shinde writes about Lala Deen Dayal's photographic documentation of the colonial era. (1993)