Critical Collective is an initiative by art curator and critic Gayatri Sinha. Critical Collective works towards building knowledge in the arts in India. Since its inception in 2011, it has collaborated closely with institutions in India and abroad to create exhibitions and seminars on art. In order to take is activities on a larger scale; Critical Collective created criticalcollective.in. This website is intended to fill in the lacuna caused by an absence of publishing in the arts, a lack of reprints and a shortage of institutional infrastructure to support knowledge in the domain of the arts.

Although India can boast of a history of outstanding Indological research and publication from the early 19th century, the present scenario in writing on the visual arts is bleak. Major texts on Indian art history, aesthetics, iconography, modern and contemporary art lapse from the public sphere once they are out of print. Very few new studies or anthologies are commissioned.

The website, criticalcollective.in, is based on the need for concerted editing and preservation of writing on the visual arts in India. The website is also designed to address different categories which have virtually no significant writing at present, such as lens based practices, video and photography. As repositories holding rare books on art shrink, there is a real concern around the loss of knowledge in the domain of the arts. This is underscored by the fact that the departments in the arts and humanities are increasing rapidly.

Objectives

i. Provide discourse on Indian visual arts by providing accessibility to recent history and developments in Indian visual arts

ii. Make available the forgotten and lesser known histories of Indian visual arts in order to locate their contemporaneity

iii. Make available new ways of interpreting visual arts in India for the current and future generation

Advisory Board

Abhay Sardesai

Abhay Sardesai has been the Editor of ART India, the premier art magazine of India, since November 2002. He has been a Visiting Faculty in Aesthetics at the Department of English, University of Mumbai, and has also been the Chair of Humanities, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, Mumbai. He teaches at the Smt. P. N. Doshi Women’s College of Arts and also at various other institutions like Jnanapravaha and TISS.

Parul Dave Mukherji

Parul Dave-Mukherji is professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She holds a PhD in Indology from Oxford University. Her current research interests include global art history, contemporary Asian art and comparative aesthetics.

Team

Director
Gayatri Sinha
Gayatri Sinha is a critic, editor and curator who works in the domains of gender, lens-based art, and cultural politics.

She has edited Voices of Change: 20 Indian Artists (Marg 2010), Art and Visual Culture in India 1857- 2007 (Marg Publications, 2009); Indian Art: an Overview (Rupa Books, 2003); Woman/Goddess (1998); Expressions and Evocations: Contemporary Indian Women Artists of India (Marg Publications, 1996]. She has written monographs on the artists Krishen Khanna and Himmat Shah. As a curator, she has worked within museums and institutions in India and abroad including the Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern Art, the National Museum, the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the Grand Curtius and Musee Ansembourg Belgium, the Newark Museum and Minneapolis Institute of Art, in the USA, the Fotographie Forum Frankfurt, among others. She has lectured in Tate Britain, MoMA New York, Aarken Museum Denmark, The Rockbund Shanghai, NYU, Duke University and several other institutional spaces.

Since 2011, she has directly supported knowledge in the arts through her initiative Critical Collective, which is the first such art archive and news magazine on Indian art.

In 2017, she received the Tate Asia research fellowship grant. She is currently editing a volume on Modern and Contemporary Photography.

Researchers
Sohini Singh, Editor (Art History)
Sohini Singh holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi. Her area of specialization centers on the stylistic attributes of Indo-Islamic architecture. Her other research interests include ancient Indian sculpture and iconography.

Sama Haq, Advisor (Art History)
A doctoral research scholar in the National Museum Institute, Sama's area of specialisation seeks to locate the dialectics of migration and transformation in esoteric Buddhist history, art, and archaeology from South Asia to Southeast Asia. She is also keenly interested in the semiotics of visual culture in High Mediaeval and Modern art in India. She has previously taught post-graduate and graduate courses in art history at the National Museum Institute, Jamia Millia Islamia, and Delhi University.

Girinandini Singh, Sr. Researcher and Editorial Coordinator
Girinandini has a Masters in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, UK. She has published with literary magazines like Prufrock, Waccamaw; a journal of contemporary literature, and Litro Magazine, and contributed to Outlook, STIRworld, Vogue, Architectural Digest and Critical Collective. Her work has been included in Waccamaw Journal’s anthology of Best in Publishing:10 Years Retrospective and was nominated for the prestigious American Pushcart Award in 2018. She has also been the project manager for the India Habitat Center's visual arts festival Habitat Photosphere, Bihar Museum's Celebrating Museum Cultures Conference and the Bihar Museum Biennale.

Arundhati Chauhan, Researcher
Arundhati Chauhan is a scholar of Visual Arts at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. Her research interests include lens-based practices, contemporary art, visual culture, and popular image-making practices

Maitrayee Haldar, Researcher
Maitrayee completed her B.F.A in Art History from Kalabhavan, Visvabharati in 2018. Thereafter, she pursued M.V.A in Art History and Aesthetics from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda and graduated from the course in 2020.

Bhavya Sah, Researcher
Bhavya Sah has a masters from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. Her research interests consist of contemporary art, popular culture and lens-based practices.

Design
Sanket Jadia
Sanket Jadia is an artist & graphic designer based in Delhi. He is the recipient of Inlaks Fine Arts Award (2017) and is currently working with Aman Biradri Trust as part of a fellowship program.

Ridhi Khanna (Consultant)
Ridhi Khanna is a visual artist, graphic designer and researcher. Her research and curatorial interests include photography, textiles, architecture and culinary history. She has previously taught courses on art history and history of costume at Pearl Academy, New Delhi and Mumbai. She holds a B. Des. degree in Communication Design from National Institute of Fashion Technology (Mumbai) and an M. A. degree in History of Art from National Museum Institute (New Delhi).

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  • Donors

    Dr. Homi Bhabha

    Mala Marwah

    Krishen Khanna

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