Review of DAG’s The Babu & The Bazaar
by Meera Menezes
DAG’s exhibition explores Calcutta’s history and culture through the prism of oil paintings for wealthy patrons and popular art created around Kalighat in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

25 May 2023

Retrospectives on Pablo Picasso and Faith Ringgold at the Musée Picasso
by Virginia Whiles
On the 50th death anniversary of the artist, Musée Picasso calls for a reflection on Picasso's relationship with African art while juxtaposing his work with the art of Faith Ringgold.

25 May 2023

Aziz Hazara and Soumya Sankar Bose at Experimenter, Kolkata
by Shan Bhattacharya
On the work of two lens-based artists whose art draws from different yet deeply personal experiences which shaped their lives.

25 May 2023

Review of Rhizome: Tracing Ecocultural Identities
by Neerja Deodhar
The curatorial vision behind the exhibition, and its sprawling layout across a museum, invite the visitor to rethink and deepen their relationship with nature and ecology.

25 May 2023

Review of The Planetary King: Humayun Padshah
by Umara Zainab
Ebba Koch's new work provides a holistic picture of the oft-maligned Mughal emperor, Humayun, through a study of his interest, beliefs, ideology and cultural contributions.

25 May 2023

Tension and Opposition in Performance: Nikhil Chopra
by Critical Collective
Over a six-month period, Nikhil Chopra worked in a studio in Gallery Continua, Paris, creating an interchangeability between the body and landscape.

25 Apr 2023

Third Eye of Shiva and World of Kali: A Review of Mul Mathi
by Neerja Deodhar
Combining various textiles and crafting techniques, the 22 artworks created by artisans of the Chanakya Atelier and School of Craft have captured the aesthetic intricacies of Manu and Madhvi Parekh’s

25 Apr 2023

On 1Shanthiroad: In Conversation with Suresh Jayaram
by Mallika Visvanathan
As 1Shanthiroad Studio and Gallery completes 20 years, Suresh Jayaram speaks about the nature of the space and its future in a post-pandemic world.

25 Apr 2023


The Trajectories of Change in Urdu Women’s Magazines Post-1947
by Saba Nehal
The article examines how Urdu women’s magazines reoriented themselves post-1947, keeping in mind the new social reality of independent India.

27 Feb 2023

The Sharif Bibi: Partition and Urdu Women’s Magazines
by Umara Zainab
The author studies the covers of the Urdu women’s magazine, Ismat, to highlight how the imagination of the ideal Muslim woman changed following the Partition of the subcontinent.

27 Feb 2023


A Quilt of History: Satgaon Colchas and Early Bengal Embroidery
by Namrata Ghosh
A study of the Portuguese commissioned embroidered quilts of the 16th and 17th centuries and the fascinating amalgamation of cultures that they represent.

25 May 2023

A Fashionably-Dressed History of Indianness
by Damini Kulkarni
The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre opens with a spectacular exhibition on Indian fashion and its impact on the sartorial sensibilities of the world.

25 Apr 2023

Vasl - A Meeting Point of Extraordinary Beauty
by Critical Collective
In the Thicket Where Birds Sing… brings together 18 artists to create a collection of jewellery based on the history, art and architecture of Pakistan.

24 Mar 2023

Review of Vayan at the National Crafts Museum
by Umara Zainab
Vayan, a one-day symposium, put together a visual and narrative history of brocading cultures and crafts traditions of India.

23 Mar 2023

art history


Extracts from Always Being Born (2023) by Mrinal Sen Bondhu: My Father, My Friend (2023) by Kunal Sen

Extracts from two books provide insights into the life, art and legacy of Mrinal Sen. (2023)

Mrinal Sen: Towards Another Moment of Truth
by Swapan Mullick
Swapan Mullick interviews the auteur on his film Genesis (1986) where the filmmaker reflects on the thematics of his past projects and his cinematic vision. (1987).

Jubilee: Retrofitting the Crisis of Bombay Cinema
by Sachin Sharma
Embodying a nostalgia for early Bombay cinema, Jubilee critically examines the realities of partition, independence and nation-building. (2023)

The ‘National’ Scientist: Rocket Boys, Homi Bhabha, and the Politics of Representation
by Shankar Tripathi
The author reflects on the representation of the dutiful scientist in the service of the nation. (2023)

The Historical Genre in Indian Cinema: Past Bypassed
by Shama Zaidi
The article examines the approach to and depiction of the ‘historical’ by various directors in Indian cinema. (1988)

Bearing Witness: Rape, Female Resistance, Male Authority and the Problems of Gender Representation in Popular Indian Cinema
by Nira Gupta-Cassale
On female resistance as represented in popular Indian cinema. (2000)

A Khan in Ray Bans: Pathaan and the Rise of the Post-Islamicate Bollywood Film
by Amrita Chakravarty
Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of Muslim characters and the changing conception of Muslim-ness within a national framework. (2023)

Marattam: Rasa and Imagined Realities
by Vedant Srinivas
An analysis of G Aravindan’s belief that in Marattam the aesthetic theory of rasa could engage Western techniques and traditional Indian art practices, to create a unique cinematic form. (2023)

Lens Based Practices

A Parsi Pictorialist - Complex Images and Stylized Models
by Malavika Karlekar
The author provides a brief biography of the career and art of the Parsi photographer, Shapoor Bhedwar. (2013)

The Second Creature - The Creation of an Epic Visual Document of a New Nation
by Malavika Karlekar
Reflections on Sunil Janah’s photographs of tribal women. (2011)

Present-ing Past-ness through Family Photographs: A Walkthrough of My Grandfather’s Collection
by Meera Menon Pattaruveettil
The author examines her family photographs. (2022)

The Suburban Fortress and Images of Migration Workers against the Suburban Landscape in Covid-19
by Tanya Maheshwari
Covid-19 and the idealist imagery of the suburbs. (2022)

Protest on the Grid
by Jahnabi Mitra
On Abul Kalam’s use of Instagram to document and share images of the Rohingya refugee crisis (2022)

‘Capturing’ the Qudsia Bagh: Decoding the Colonial Lens
by Yakin Kinger
The essay unpacks the place of photography as a tool of colonial propaganda. (2022)

Museum of Making Memory: Conjuring the Ghosts of the Photo Studio
by Anuja Mukherjee
The Photo Studio documents its own history, to become a site of haunting. (2022)


Tracing Ravishankar Raval’s Art Pedagogy in the Gujarati Periodical Kumar
by Vasvi Oza
Ravishankar Raval advocated for new approaches to art education in colonial India through the magazine, Kumar. (2023)

The Santiniketan School of Art
by Benode Behari Mukherjee
The article traces the significance of the Kala Bhavan in the evolution of modern art in Bengal while exploring the impact of Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose. (1935)

Past and Future Lives of an Institution:The Hindu/Presidency College Archive
by Sandipan Mitra
On the processes of maintaining, curating and preserving institutional histories. (2023)

Indian Art and Ideology
by Asit Kumar Haldar
The article explores the close relationship between the study of Indian philosophy, the use of symbolism and the development of Indian art. (1951)

Correspondence between Gulammohammed Sheikh and Robert Skelton (1966-1994)

In the rich exchange of letters between Sheikh and Skelton, we are given insights into Skelton’s travels and research in Indian painting.

Recalling Ramkinkar - artist and man
by K G Subramanyan
Recollecting personal experiences of engaging with Ramkinkar, Subramanyan traces the artist’s life, career and the spaces and people who influenced him. (1991)

Picture Showmen
by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
Tracking the figure of Picture Showmen, Coomaraswamy uses historical evidence to contextualise this performance-based practice in the subcontinent. (1929)

Modern Indian Painting
by B C Sanyal
Renowned painter B.C. Sanyal’s reflections on the way in which modern art in India has been shaped and has changed in the country over time. (1968)


The Alipore Museum: Caught in a Grey Zone
by Mrinalini Vasudevan and Namrata Ghosh
The conversion of Kolkata's Alipore Jail into a museum raises important questions about the repurposing of heritage sites in public spaces.

'Renovations' at Jallianwala Bagh

Gurmeet Rai speaks to Gayatri Sinha about the changing attitude to monuments and memorials, Jallianwala Bagh and issues facing the revamping of Sabarmati ashram.

Objects and Their Journeys: In Pursuit of the Provenance of Things
by Jyotindra Jain
The author explores the rising debate around the restitution of cultural heritage, the ethics behind collecting practices in museums and the evolving definition of “provenance” in this context. (2021)

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)

Curators and Exhibitions

Divergent Horizons: An Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art from the Regional Centre’s Collection since 1990
by Suresh Jayaram
On the commonalities of genres employed by contemporary artists in the production of their artworks.

Astonishment of Being
by Deeksha Nath
The author explains how the aim of the exhibition is not to be a passive experience but "an active engagement with the world as we see it and as we’d like to see it change". (2010)

Under the Aegis of Poetry: Art Beyond Language
by Arushi Vats
Curated by Zeenat Nagri, the exhibition What Cannot Otherwise Be Said welds poetic imagination with resistance.

Drawing as Practice: On Modes of Inhabiting Line and Surface
by Najrin Islam
In the exhibition Drawn from Practice II, held at Experimenter Gallery, Kolkata, the act of drawing is addressed as a performative medium unto itself.

A Philatelic Journey through Babasaheb’s Life
by Sukanya Baskar
A variety of ephemera from the postal world such as stamps, first day covers and information brochures enrich the visual representation of Dr. BR. Ambedkar and his public persona.

A Century of the Artist’s Studio: 1920-2020
by Virginia Whiles
On the theme of artist studios, the author reviews the “ambitious global exhibition” consisting of more than 100 works by over 80 artists and collectives at Whitechapel Gallery.

The Rough Draft of History: Printmaking through Crises
by Arushi Vats
Review of 'Living a Dark Night'. (Gallery Espace, February 12-March 23, 2022), which enlists the tradition of reportage in art-making to reflect on experiences of the global pandemic.

Ai Weiwei: The Liberty of Doubt
by Virginia Whiles
A review of Ai Weiwei’s exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, which focuses on “small pieces that raise the issues of authenticity and value through his own versions of traditional forms.”


Concrete Ciphers
by Meera Menezes
The author explores Pratap Morey's documentation and imagination of the metropolis through works presented in his second solo show at TARQ, Mumbai. (2019)

An Unreasoned Act of Being: New Sculptures by Himmat Shah
by Gayatri Sinha
A reading of Shah’s sculptural forms reveal the varied influences from his personal life that shape his aesthetic practice. (2007)

The Goddess, the Sculptor and the Mirror
by B.N. Goswamy
The sacrality of the mirror and its association with Goddess Bhagavati are reflected in Balan Nambiar experiments in using the medium to create his art. (2012)

Interview With A Ramachandran
by Manisha Gera Baswani
The artist reflects on his childhood in Kerala and his artistic practice before the opening of his exhibition, Eklinji Fantasy at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. (2014)

Materialising the Unthought Known: Reflections on the Work of Anish Kapoor
by Christopher Bollas
On the lasting impressions made by the artworks of Anish Kapoor, by drawing from studies on the psychoanalysis of dreams. (2018)

Navigating Nation, Signifying Sikhism: The Work of Arpana Caur
by Manav Ratti
The author provides an in-depth study of the works of Arpana Caur, locating her art in the midst of her activism and feminism. (2013)

World of Memories
by Vidya Shivadas
The author reflects on how Madhvi Parekh’s life experiences have significantly impacted her art through a review of her exhibition World of Memories. (2006)

Balkrishna Doshi’s Experiments in Art
by Vasudevan Akkitham
Vasudevan Akkitham gives us an intimate view of his early years, his affinity to artists and his studio, Sangath, as a productive space. (2023)

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?
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

Today is Better than Yesterday: In Conversation with Surekha
by Mallika Visvanathan
Surekha speaks about her recent works displayed at 1Shanthiroad, Bengaluru, made in response to the feelings of stagnation and loss which characterized the first waves of Covid-19.

Pieces of Home: In conversation with Tanmoy Samanta

The artist discusses his latest series of works created in the midst of the pandemic, which reconsider the ideas of home and earthly existence, using pigment, rice paper and shape-shifting collages.

In conversation with Ravi Agarwal

CC speaks to artist Ravi Agarwal about the relationship between art and ecological activism in informing the curatorial vision of his recent exhibition 'New Natures: A Terrible Beauty is Born'.

In Conversation with Randhir Singh

On photographing buildings across Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, as part of “The Project of Independence: Architectures of Decolonization in South Asia, 1947-1985,” at the MoMA.

Breathing Life into Dust: Interview with Artist Amol K. Patil

A Prince Claus awardee, and selected for documenta 15 in 2022, Amol K Patil on the significance of ‘dust’, the politics of touch and making the invisible, visible through his practice.

“Loneliness of the Great”
by Ella Datta
Ella Datta speaks to A. Ramachandran on his latest suite of drawings on Gandhi.

The Afterlife of a Photograph: Devashish Gaur speaks to Critical Collective

Recipient of the Sharjah Art Foundation’s inaugural prize for Vantage Point Sharjah 9 (VPS9), Devashish Gaur on the “intergenerational exploration of identity” in his practice.

In Conversation with Jitish Kallat
by Critical Collective
I draw therefore I think with artists from 29 countries is launched by South South projects. Curator Jitish Kallat speaks to speaks to CC about Charles Darwin's 1837 Tree of Life sketch as an inspira


Three Moghul Ladies
by N A Khundkar
Examining the positions of female figures in the Mughal imperial court, the author elaborates on the lives and contributions of Nur Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal and Jahanara Begum. (1947)

Chand Bibi of the Deccan: Falconry, Feminine Power and Mobility
by Sarah Waheed
On the association between the empress Chand Bibi and falconry in poetry and painting as symbolic of her sovereignty and female agency.

Profiles in Law, Sexuality and Outrage: Uorfi Javed
by Umara Zainab
This essay interrogates how law treats transgressive sexuality through Uorfi Javed's sartorial and political choices.

Women and the Nation in Pushpamala N
by Mallika Visvanathan
Pushapamala speaks about symbols like Mother India as well as the play with the tableau and the archive in her work.

Woman in Didactic Fable and Popular Tale in Sanskrit
by Leela Arjunwadkar
The portrayal of women in Sanskrit literature varies from idealised images to prejudiced depictions, as well as realistic representations of the expectations placed upon them by society. (1984)

Indian Women and Public Life
by Sarwari Jahan Abdul Karim
The essay advocates for the rights of women to participate in all forms of public life: nationally and internationally. (1935)

Woman in the Sculpture of the Deccan, An Artistic Study
by G. Yazdani
Drawing examples from the caves of Bhaja, Karle, Ellora and Palampet, Yazdani enumerates the aesthetic merits of sculptures depicting the female form. (1942)

Sati in Vijayanagara
by K. Sarojini Devi
On the act of Sati performed by the women of Vijayanagara in the medieval period gathered from epigraphic materials and witness accounts of foreign travellers.


Anandavardhana's Treatment of Aprastutaprasamsa
by P. K. Narayana Pillai
The essay discusses the degree of novelty in Anandavardhana’s theory of dhvani, and the rhetorician’s opinions regarding the contributions of his successors towards the theorization of dhvani. (1957)

A Critical Survey of the Ancient Indian Theatre Accordance with the Bharata Natyasastha and its Commentators
by Subba Rao
Construction of ancient Indian theatre, as propounded in Bharata's Natyashastra is interpreted in an objective manner by comparing the theoretical with the practical aspects. (1953)

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)


Parvez's performative gestures:The subversion of the capitalist art economy
by Deeksha Nath
The author writes on performance and lens based artist Parvez’s seven month long project in Switzerland questioning the presumptions around audience interaction and the sites of art presentation.

Restless Creations: Adeela Suleman's Art for Social Change
by Virginia Whiles
Virginia Whiles speaks with sculptor Adeela Suleman on her use of found objects and dark humour in her work, as a way of exploring social and ecological violence, tragedy and censorship in Pakistan. (2021)

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)

CC Books

Modernism/Murderism: Remembering a ‘Forgotten Debate’ on Modern Art!
by Sandhya Bordewekar
The book looks at the debate on Modern Art between Pherozeshah Rustomji Mehta and Jyoti Bhatt, from the pages of Kumar.

Readings on the Temple: Review of Marg's 75th Anniversary Volume
by Pika Ghosh
This review focuses on a volume of Marg's archival essays on the evolution of temple-building, iconography and worship in India.

Moving Beyond Pain: Review of Vasudha Thozur’s Diaries, Projects, Pedagogy
by Meera Menezes
Conceptualised as “montaged text and image documents”, the book provides insights into Thozhur’s painterly concerns and thought processes.

Review of 20th Century Indian Art (2022)
by Sandhya Bordewekar
The book traces almost 150 years of art historical events that informed the evolution of Modern, Post-Independence and Contemporary Art across South Asia.

Review of Incredible Treasures: UNESCO World Heritage Sites of India
by Gautami Raju
The book gives an overview of 38 sites in India, ranging across man-made structures and natural wonders, that have been honoured with a UNESCO heritage tag.

Looking through the Portal: Photographs, Lives, Histories
by Ranu Roychoudhuri
Review of Portal: The Curious Case of Achintya Bose (2020)

Art and Trousers by David Elliott
by Parul Dave Mukherji
On Elliott’s sweeping look on “how contemporary art unfolds in different parts of the world,” through the liet motif of trousers.

Solvyns in Bengal
by Critical Collective
Solvyns' views of late 18th century Bengal delight in a comprehensive book and exhibition by DAG.


Crafting Cultures at Good Earth: An Interview with Anita Lal

Anita Lal, the first Indian to collaborate with Christie’s on their design collection ‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds’, talks about the cusp of geography and culture that inspires her work.

Nila House - A Vision in Indigo
by Critical Collective
A generous studio-workshop-gallery space, Nila House is currently host to the Corona Quilt Project installation.

The future of India’s past

An overview of projects undertaken to create and recreate cultural and material heritage in India.

On Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience
by Roobina Karode
Roobina Karode in conversation with art historian and curator Siva Kumar, artist Ravi Kumar Kashi and Sumathi Ramaswamy on Gandhi, his image and its legacy in contemporary art. (2021)

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. (2021)

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)

Abanindranath Tagore and the creation of a Regional Avant-Garde
by Partha Mitter
In Abanindranath Tagore's sesquicentennial year, Partha Mitter makes "a bold claim that he created a regional Asian expression of avant-garde art whose implications are still unfolding”. (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)