In 1974 we formed the New Group and had four shows, two in Delhi and two in Bombay before we disbanded. The members were Amitava Das, Mona Rai, Meena Dhanda, Rajni Mehta, the sculptor Pradeep Saxena and Jai Zharotia. After he returned from England, Manjit Bawa also joined us and we showed together in Jehangir Art Gallery. He and I were the only two painters in the group. In the 70s, for our exhibitions at the Lalit Kala, we used to sit in the gallery all day, but hardly anyone came. The spirit of the artists however was strong. There was a very strong sense of community. After four shows we broke up.
At that time in the 70s Garhi was an important centre, and some of the most important discussions took place there. Once a month every Monday someone would cook, it could even be Swami or Krishen. Once Maurice Graves came there. Francoise Guillot who was married to Jonas Salk at that time came and showed us her work. Another group called The Unknown came up at this time, with Arpita and Paramjit Singh and Rajendra Dhawan. Art was looked at in studios, and the discussions around it could be passionate. Manu Parekh's house in Jangpura, or the artist’s homes in Nizamuddin were the main residential areas where we all collected. Richard Bartholomew took all the photos before the exhibitions. At that time the artists or galleries used to produce two page catalogues, but Richard used to make very nice folders.
During that time Coffee House in Palika Kendra was also a kind of movement which attracted intellectuals every evening. IK Gujral, Raghu Rai and a host of other intellectuals used to gather... we paid 25 paise for coffee and 25 paise for palak vada. Rajendra Dhawan had just returned from Paris, his palette was very subdued, very East European. At that time J Swaminathan, Ambadas and Himmat Shah had a great show and then a party at J Swaminathan's home in WEA Karol Bagh. There was a lot of generosity and bonhomie. Another important site was Studio 26 in Gole Market. It belonged to BC Sanyal. Then Ram Kumar worked there and finally Jogen Chowdhury took over. At one point Jatin Das, FN Souza etc. wanted to start an artist’s forum. It was initiated by FN Souza and was meant to be called The White Flag Revolution. It was more about the fact that paints and materials were difficult to obtain, but nothing came of it.
If words can survive, what use are prisons? by Urvashi Butalia
Aveek Sen (1965-2021): A Tribute
The biennale in Covid times by Gayatri Sinha
House of Wonders by Shivani Kasumra
Revisitation: Pratibimba/ Reflection
In conversation with Kabir Khan
Women at Work: The (In)Visibility of Female Labour Onscreen by Silpa Mukherjee
The Offbeat Cinema by Rattnotama Sengupta
The Pioneers of Indian Cinema by Jag Mohan
Anandavardhana's Treatment of Aprastutaprasamsa by P. K. Narayana Pillai