Explore the Museum with the
curatorial team every weekend.
Time: Saturday and Sunday
11:30 am English Tour
12:30 pm Hindi/Marathi Tour
Open to all.
Museum ticket applicable.
Closed on Wednesdays.
In its aim to promote a greater understanding of traditional and contemporary arts, the Museum regularly conducts public lectures with visiting scholars, researchers and art historians on a wide range of topics. Through extensive programing the Museum seeks to serve the community as an institution dedicated to excellence in cultural education. These open-to-public evening lectures promote cross cultural understanding and cultural awareness.
SEP 2, 2017 6 pm - 7.30 pm Read More
The talk focuses on the two major art manifestations of 2017 the Documenta in Kassel, Germany and the Venice Biennale. While critical reception of the curatorial strategies of both has been mixed, what has not been discussed at length is the artwork on view and the circumstances under which some significant mid-century artists came to be given a prominent position within the exhibition narratives. This view of the recent past and its place within the art historical discourse of our times will be discussed through extensive documentation of the exhibitions and an analysis of the global networks that informed art practice of the time.
Shukla Sawant is a visual artist and currently Professor of Visual Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
SEP 9, 2017 6 pm - 7.30 pm Read More
How to see Biennales through the prism of 'global south' to explore their curatorial strategies? Many books and articles have traced the emerging cultural politics of the global south, from the Havana Biennale to the Kochi Biennale, though its counterparts in the northern hemisphere have remained largely unmarked.
Rather than simply focusing on India's missing pavilion part II in Venice the idea is to see this Biennale 2017 in relation to the previous one curated by Okwui Enwezor. What happens to the political? Is there a return to the artist? Is there a shift from Das Capital to Art? The talk will touch upon some current trends of contemporary art in the light of current Documenta 14 and Venice Biennale 2017 as well as biennales in Istanbul, Havana etc.
Dr. Parul Dave-Mukherji is professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
Free and open for all
Seating will be on a first come first serve basis
SEP 16, 2017 6 pm - 7.30 pm Read More
The popular is a site that has been endorsed in the recent past as a field fit for art activity; since then the popular has taken many shapes, has performed many functions within the province of art. One of the key functions of the popular in art has been to set up alliances between art and what might be broadly designated as the arena of activism.
However, the conceptual fit between art and activism, globally as well as nationally, has a short history. Art making practices that carried a self-conscious and evident ideological positioning in the first half of the twentieth century were derisively dismissed as propaganda. Posters and films which rendered the political aesthetic during the World Wars played a significant role in such characterizations. It is only when the identitarian movements of the 1960s and 70s took shape that the ideological weight of art production, even in the domain of "high" art, came to be acknowledged without embarrassment. The new forms of collective action devised by the these movements and also the loose alliances they forged between the popular and elite helped construct art that was self-consciously political and that was recognized as being a part of concerted ideological action. Side by side, new readings of the popular in art have emerged alongside activist moves within the domain of art. These developments have clearly been enabled by a shift in frameworks of viewing art in the academy and in the public domain as well. It has led to the relocation of what was hitherto positioned quite unproblematically as “high” art into the domain of activism. What I propose to do in this paper is to track the relationship between activism and art, partly through a reading of the SAHMAT (Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust), an institution that has consistently straddled the domain of art and activism since the late 1980s.
Deeptha Achar is Professor at the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, MS University, Vadodara.
August 20, 2017 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm Read More
Join us for a series of panel discussions on:
1. Bombay and the Progressives
Ranjit Hoskote and Zehra Jumabhoy, moderated by Nishad Avari
2. Modernist Art and Architecture
Abhay Sardesai and Sen Kapadia, moderated by Kaiwan Mehta
3. Building Institutions and Corporate Collections
Tasneem Zakaria Mehta and Oindrilla Raychaudhuri, moderated by Mortimer Chatterjee
Open to all, Museum entry charges apply.
August 26, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Read More
If there is an Indian artist who possesses the free-spiritedness of the bohemian and has embraced the emancipatory disposition of art, it has to be Himmat Shah ( b. 1933). He dropped out of every kind of formal training in art that seemed too rigid and fixed for an ingenious mind. Himmat’s artistic life can be mapped by a prolonged nomadic existence, his evolution as an enigmatic persona and an art philosophy that places premium on the prowess of an idiosyncratic individual vision marked by personal distinct experiences and emotions. Over the years, his oeuvre expanded to encompass drawings, burnt paper collages, painted reliefs and sculptures in terracotta as well as bronze. Amongst his most significant achievements, Himmat worked towards infusing a new life and a modern sensibility into terracotta, an ancient medium and a traditional craft. The talk will cover more than six decades of Himmat Shah’s creative practice.
Roobina Karode is the Director & Chief Curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India.
JULY 13, 2017 06:00 am - 07:30 pm Read More
In early 2015, a video was released onto the internet depicting the destruction of ancient sculptures in the Mosul Museum, claiming that these sculptures were idols that needed to be destroyed, while international organisations responded that they belonged to Iraqi and world heritage and needed to be preserved. The talk will explore how religion, politics and art intersect and raise questions about the politics of culture and images in the age of the selfie.
Professor Tugendhaft is a Harper fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago. He received his PhD from the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at the New York University in 2012 and also holds degrees in Art History and Social Thought from the University of Chicago. Professor Tugendhaft is the editor, with Josh Ellenbogen, of 'Idol Anxiety' (Stanford 2011) and recipient of the American Oriental Society's Jonas Greenfield Prize for Younger Semitists. He is currently working on a book about the Islamic State video of antiquities destruction in the Mosul Museum.
JUNE 03, 2017 06:00 pm - 07:30 pm Read More
The presentation will explore the different approaches to landscape painting in Mysore in the first half of the twentieth century through the works of Venkatappa, Keshavaya, Subramanya Raju and Hanumiah amongst others. It is a time when the physical landscape of the princely state was being transformed extensively through new waterworks, architectural and industrial enterprise, the introduction of electricity and horticultural interventions, as well as the creation of special enclaves of leisure - the racially segregated “hill stations”.
Directed towards tourism and documented extensively by the camera, the transformation of the landscape became an important thematic for artists of the region.The lecture will explore the tensions between the documentary mode of representation enforced on the palace artists tied to commissioned representations of the landscape and the romantic engagement with the genre by Venkatappa who chose instead to step outside the constraints of palace patronage.
Shukla Sawant is a visual artist and currently Professor of Visual Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Sawant works with photography, installation, and printmaking and her theoretical interests extend to writing on contemporary art. She has lectured extensively in various institutions and has been actively associated with artists’ initiatives. Her research interests include Contemporary Art and Art in Colonial India. She has been a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of London and studied at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts Paris. She recently contributed articles on Sultan Ali, Sanat Kar, Chittoprasad, among others, to the Delhi Art Gallery catalogue Manifestations (2004). She has participated in artist residencies at Braziers College, Oxford U.K. (Triangle Arts Trust) Khoj Workshop, Modinagar, Began Grond Residency, Utrecht and has had solo exhibitions in London (Harriet Green Gallery), Amsterdam (FIA), Mumbai (Lakereen) and Delhi (Art Inc.).
APR 14, 2017 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm Read More
The talk will outline the journey of India’s foremost non-objective painter V.S. Gaitonde as he moved from figuration to a non-narrative mode of painting. It will trace his artistic trajectory, dwelling on the different phases of his work and the reasons for these painterly shifts.
APR 15, 2017 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm Read More
The lecture is about artists response to the city of Bangalore, and have looked at the city as a text,site,an archive of myth and history,exploration of material culture and it's nature for inspiration.From early colonial landscapes and photographs of Bangalore to conceptual works artist have been looking at change and conflict of a city that has also become an adjective- Bangalored!
MAR 4, 2017 6:00 am Read More
The lecture will throw light on the working methods of academic painters working in western India in the early twentieth century. It will draw upon autobiographies, early art histories and criticism that appeared in Marathi periodicals of the time, to examine the interface between painting, photography and “ life-study” as a studio practice.
Shukla Sawant is a visual artist and currently an Associate Professor of Visual Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her research interests include Contemporary Art and Art in Colonial India.
MAR 18, 2017 6:00 am Read More
Unbaked clay or mud is a familiar material for building houses in rural Bengal. While it promises financial affordability and an initial low-budget investment during construction, clay structures inevitably necessitate regular cycles of maintenance, especially in the face of heavy rainfall. Opting for clay or mud houses in a university campus therefore merits a closer look.
In the mid-1930s, a couple of significant mud houses came up in Rabindranath Tagore’s university campus Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan, among which one of the more famed example was the Shyamali used by the poet as his residence. While the philosophic resonance of a dwelling close to the earth can be comprehended for a poet’s residence, the contemporary endeavour to construct a mud-building as a hostel for boys enrolled in Kala-Bhavana, the institute of fine arts of the university, is a project of more majestic proportion and responsibility. Adorned on the exterior with tar-coated clay-reliefs ranging from copies of famed examples of sculptures across world art to purely innovative and original compositions executed by the students of the institute themselves, the Kalo Bari or Black House is something like a sketch-book in three-dimensions where students live through their daily moments in a harmonious balance between art-historical references and the sheer delight in creative practice.
The talk intends to meditate upon this unique architectural experiment, analytically appreciating the program of its sculptural reliefs in the context of overall pedagogic foundations of Kala-Bhavana, in an attempt to relate the harmony between sculptural and architectural innovations to the period of the rhythm of the early modern in Indian visual art.
Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Mallik is currently Professor and Head, Department of History of Art, Kala-Bhavana, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan (West Bengal).
FEB 9, 2017 6:00 am Read More
A conversation between artist Dayanita Singh and Lucy Gallun, Assistant Curator in the Department of Photography at the MoMA Moderated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta
Themed around the ongoing exhibition 'Suitcase Museum' by Dayanita Singh curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta
JANUARY 21, 2017 6:00 pm Read More
The Indian Sculptural language in its nascent stage, during the Indus valley civilization appears to be cryptic and opaque. Since we are totally ignorant about its contents, it may not be appropriate to derive any categorical conclusions about its nature. The sculptural manifestations of Mourya period seen after a hiatus of several centuries are iconic and hieratic and fail to leave behind its legacy in the later period. It seems that the challenge of translating the complex narratology of Indian myths and fables in visual terms was accepted and successfully met with in the Sunga Satavahana era of Indian History. The sculptors of this era successfully evaded the elite idiom of the Mouryan court sculpture and strategically formulated a sculptural language coining visual metaphors and allegories to communicate the message to common viewers. The Indian sculptural language retained this potential till the medieval period; rather it became the characteristic feature of Indian sculpture. The lecture attempts to trace the semiotic features of the Sunga Satavahana sculpture and its bearing on the Indian sculptural tradition.
Dr. Deepak Kannal is a practicing sculptor and an Art Historian. He taught in the Department of Art History and Aesthetics and also was the Head of the Department and the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara.
DECEMBER 9, 2016 6:00 pm Read More
Indian textiles since independence have mirrored dynamic social, economic and political changes. An understanding of the evolution of their making and materials are an intrinsic part of broader cultural art discourses, that provide crucial information about creative production of the decades since 1947. In this illustrated lecture, Mayank Mansingh Kaul, Delhi-based designer, writer and curator presents pivotal markers on this modern and contemporary period from the point of view of hand-made textiles in India.
NOVEMBER 26, 2016 6:00 pm Read More
Photographer Ram Rahman will present a less known aspect of his work as a designer and curator of books, posters, exhibitions and museums over the last 30 years.
Many of these projects have involved historical figures, events and cultural and political histories. Rahman designed book covers for the independent Tulika publishers for many years which has specialised in books by senior historians and social scientists. Amongst the projects he will present are the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum at her former residence in Delhi, 'Kham' - the groundbreaking innaugural exhibition of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts which looked at concepts of space in world architecture.
He will also present his work as a cultural activist designing and conceptualising exhibitions for Sahmat including 'Hum Sab Ayodhya' which is still showing as a travelling exhibit 23 years after it was made. More recent exhibition projects have presented modern architecture and photography in a historical context.
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JUNE 4, 2016 6:00 pm Read More
The lecture will throw light on the decade following independence when Mumbai was enriched by a number of initiatives taken by figures such as Ebrahim Alkazi, V.R Amberkar and Baburao Sadwelkar in the field of visual arts, to engage with a wider public through publications, exhibition making and art criticism. Shukla Sawant is a visual artist and currently an Associate Professor of Visual Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
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MAY 6, 2016 6:00 pmRead More
In the critical lexicon of Western reception of Non-Western modern and contemporary art practice, terms such as “diversity” and “region” are fraught and deeply imbricated in the politics of representation of globalization. Often, their usage is double-edged in the way they are employed to valourize or dismiss artworks that are culturally different. Dr. Parul Dave Mukherjee, draws upon Homi Bhabha’s distinction of cultural diversity and cultural difference, to problematize an exhibition which took place in 2011 in Karlsruhe in Germany titled 'The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989' at the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art. As its curators, Andrea Buddenseig and Peter Weibel claimed, this exhibition had inaugurated a moment in the history of contemporary art in which artworks and artists from the non-West were offered visibility in the West. Here non-West referred to a wide range of countries like Malaysia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, among others.
By focusing on contemporary Chinese and Indian artists who took part in this exhibition, Dr. Parul will compare their artworks under the rubric of ‘diversity’; how this much used and abused term is explored by the artists and the curators in their practice and curatorial intervention. Dr. Parul will also relate this moment with the 2014 Kochi Muziris Biennale in Kerala, and foreground the question of the region in the cultural politics of globalization. The larger issue raised will be how “diversity” is perceived in terms of the “region” and how the modern retake is on the verge of producing a new global apartheid between the global north and global south.
Dr. Parul Dave-Mukherji is professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She holds a PhD in Indology from Oxford University. Her publications include Towards A New Art History: Studies in Indian Art (co-edited), New Delhi, 2003 and guest edited special issue on Visual Culture of the Journal of Contemporary Thought , 17 (Summer 2003); Rethinking Modernity, (co-edited) New Delhi, 2005. Her recent publications include InFlux- Contemporary Art in Asia, (co-edited) New Delhi, Sage, 2013 and forthcoming 20th Century Indian Art, Skira (co-edited with Partha Mitter and Rakhee Balaram). Her research interests include global art history, contemporary Asian art and comparative aesthetics.
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APR 2, 2016 6:00 pmRead More
Dr. Manisha Patil focuses on two contemporaries, Mahadev Vishwanath Dhurandhar and Antonio Xavier Trindade, who studied at the Sir J.J. School of Art in 1880s and shaped their careers in the city of Bombay in the late 19th and early decades of the 20th century. Dr Patil discusses how these two gifted artists essayed stellar roles in the Bombay art scene and Sir J. J. School of Art in particular, including the pedagogical shifts within the art school in the closing years of the 19th century and the first four decades of the 20th. It further aims to cover the careers of the next generation of artists in their families who strived to preserve their fathers’ memories.
Dr. Manisha Patil is a curator, art historian, teacher and practicing artist. She teaches Art History at the Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai.
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FEB 6, 2016 6:00 pmRead More
Dilnavaz Mehta's illustrated talk will explore the narrative of the artistic, cultural and historical vignettes of a few significant prints and an overview of the factors which led to the production of these early prints of India.She will be focusing on the period starting from the seventeenth century till the nineteenth century, when India was largely visually documented through illustrations in the form of etchings, engravings, lithographs and aquatints.
Dilnavaz Mehta is a Mumbai- based art historian and collector.
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FEB 13, 2016 6.30 pm Read More
Professor Parimoo will be focusing on the parallels the Pahari School Ramayana Drawings of Ayodhya Kanda have with the language of cinema and how the artist creatively uses the well-known device of 'continuous narration’ to take the viewer through a yatra, pilgrimage, and simultaneously allowing the drawings to turn into a visual travelogue.
Professor Ratan Parimoo is a noted art teacher, painter, historian and critic who has specialized in traditional and contemporary arts of India.He is currently the Director of the L. D. Museum and N. C. Mehta Gallery, Ahmedabad.
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FEB 11, 2016 6.00 pm Read More
Presented as part of the outreach for the ongoing exhibition, ‘Silver Magic: Vintage Photographs of the Golden Age of Hindi Cinema, Portraits by J. H. Thakker’. Ram Rahman will lecture on J. H. Thakker's studio process. Focusing on the elaborate lighting and time consuming procedure of making these remarkable portraits, he will explore how the lighting was a crucial factor in creating the emotional power of this work. He will also discuss how studio lighting has entered into the street photography of Philip DiCorcia, Jeff Wall and Gregory Crewdson in the US and in the work of Max Pinckers in India, all of whom create fictional worlds in the street with a complex relationship to documentary reality.
Ram Rahman is a photographer, artist, curator, designer and activist and a founding member of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) in New Delhi. A leader in the resistance to communal and sectarian forces in India through its public cultural action, he lives and works in New Delhi.
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NOV 7, 2015 6:00 pmRead More
Dr. Garimella’s lecture will consider the many histories of miniature painting, its abiding significance, and the emergence in the last two decades of gallery-based artists who use miniature painting as a medium of their artistic expression.
Dr. Annapurna Garimella is a Delhi-based designer and an art historian. Her research focuses on late medieval Indic architecture and the history and practices of vernacular art forms in post-independent India. Her most recent curatorial projects include Vernacular, in the Contemporary (Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi), Faith: Manu Parekh in Benaras, 1980-2012 (Art Alive, New Delhi) and Drawing 2014 (Gallery Espace, New Delhi).
OCT 20, 2015 6:00 pm Read More
Girish Shahane will discuss how Vivekananda made the contrast between material progress and spiritual tradition the basis of an equal exchange between nations considered at opposite ends of the developmental spectrum, and examine how this notion played out in the century after Vivekananda's visit.
SEP 4, 2015 6.00 pm Read More
Attempting to move away from the conventional engagement with Dalit art that focuses on a particular artist or work, Prof. Deeptha Achar’s lecture examines the possibilities through which one could converse with the category of ‘Dalit Art’ in the interest of an emancipatory politics.
SEP 21, 2015 6:00 pm Read More
Dr. Finkel describes some of the most ancient board games, and its resonance in games that we play in the present. He will also share insights from his work recording traditional games in rural India.
SEP 22, 2015 6.00 pm Read More
In this talk, Maggie Baxter will look at Indian designers’ continuing passion for handloom fabric as well as their close collaboration with traditional weavers. Focussing on a small number of designers and fashion labels, Baxter will reflect on how age-old skills and specialist production have developed not only as a prized commodity but also as a genuine alternative to the mass of mechanical output.
JUL 28, 2015 Read More
Matt Packer presents two of his current projects: as the current Director at the Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry and as Curator of Disappearing Acts (Lofoten International Art Festival, 2015). He introduces the contexts of Northern Ireland and Northern Norway, and discusses some curatorial approaches and artistic practices that have applied themselves to these contexts.
MAY 30, 2015 Read More
B.V. Suresh presents his work from the last 15 years, and discusses the developments in his oeuvre: across painting, video and installation. Through this interactive session, the renowned artist guides you through other dimensions that emerge through his multi-media approach. B.V. Suresh’s corpus of different technical explorations and digital sensualities, draws on his interventions as well as the viewers.
MAY 23, 2015 Read More
In this lecture Shukla Sawant examines the relationship of landownership and landscape representation in the works of the founder of Santiniketan, Rabindranath Tagore and his pedagogical partner Nandalal Bose. Taking a hermeneutic view of Tagore’s writings and his relationship with the environment, Sawant’s lecture will throw light in particular, on the mural Halakarshan by Nandalal Bose.
MAY 9, 2015 Read More
Bengaluru has a reputation for being a city with a vibrant contemporary art scene, with independent art spaces that nurture artists and support artist led projects beyond galleries. Jayaram’s presentation looks at what makes it work; the people who make it happen and the factors that support it.
APR 25, 2015 Read More
In this lecture, art historian Professor Parul Dave-Mukherji debates the future of nationalist art histories in the face of an ever shrinking world. She especially questions the evolution of a narrative for Indian art, when the logic of the uni-linear narrative itself is at stake. Looking at the change in the thrust of art historiography from “when” to “where” in contemporary debates around globalization, Prof. Mukherji studies the consequent shift in art practice and the writing of art history in India. She further discusses the influence of time and space on contemporary artists, and what they in turn have to offer art critics and historians.
APR 18, 2015 6.30pm Read More
Dr. Jain aims to put forth a comparative analysis of the Goddess myth, in the Sanskrit Devi Mahatmya and in the regional versions of the story and their subsequent visual representation in art and ritual. Through varied visual sources, this lecture deals with one of the most intriguing iconographic motifs in Indian art: the Goddess killing the buffalo and the goddess Kali, or Durga, trampling upon the body of her consort Shiva. Dr. Jain points out that while these motifs are amply represented in the scriptural Hindu sculptures, in later painting, as well as in the vernacular living traditions, they are nearly absent in the living Brahmanic ritual practices.
Dr. Jyotindra Jain is an art and cultural historian and museologist. He studied Cultural Anthropology, Indian Studies and Ancient Indian History in Mumbai/ Bombay and Vienna, where he completed his doctoral dissertation in 1972. Dr. Jain was Director of the Crafts Museum, Delhi, Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and is now at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi. Dr. Jain has been an Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow, a Homi Bhabha Fellow and a Visiting Professor at the Center for the Study for World Religions, Harvard University, USA. His teaching and research encompass the entire breadth of folk and tribal art, Indian popular visual culture, ritual dynamics and cultural institutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. He has published a number of books on Indian folk art, including Ganga Devi: Tradition and Expression in Mithila Painting, Other Master: Five Contemporary Folk and Tribal Artists of India and Kalighat Painting: Images from a Changing World.
The lecture will be held on Saturday, 18th April 2015, in the Education Centre, at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. Do join us for tea in the Plaza at 6:30 pm, followed by the lecture at 6:30 pm. Since the seating is limited, we request you to please RSVP with us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to seeing you at the lecture.
Internationally renowned architect Steven Holl will discuss the winning proposal for the new Mumbai Modern wing. Widely recognised for his ability to blend space and light with great contextual sensitivity and to utilize the unique qualities of each project to create a concept-driven design, Steven seamlessly integrates new projects into contexts with particular cultural and historic importance. This lecture aims to bring the design of the new building into focus and to introduce the city of Mumbai to Steven’s ongoing and past projects.
Considered to be one of America's most important architects, Steven Holl has been recognized with architecture's most prestigious awards and prizes. In 2002 the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institute, awarded him their prestigious National Design Award in Architecture. In 2001 France bestowed the Grande Médaille d'Or upon him, for Best Architect of the Academy of Architecture. Steven Holl is a tenured Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. He has lectured and exhibited widely and has published numerous texts, including most recently, Urban Hopes (2013). The office has recently won a number of international design competitions including the new design for the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and the new Visual Arts Building at the University of Iowa, among others.
FEB 14, 2015 6.30pm Read More
Gaganendranath Tagore (1867-1938), was a multifarious genius whose contribution to the modern art movement in Bengal has been greatly overlooked, in favour of his brother, Abanindranath. His works, from 1907 to 1930 – most comprehensively preserved at the Rabindra Bharati Society – are an exciting record of Gaganendranath’s artistic journey. Dr. Parimoo attempts to trace Gaganendranath’s oeuvre through four distinct phases: from his sketches and illustrations for Rabindranath’s plays (1907-10), to his ‘nocturnes’ and experiments in black ink with the Japanese technique ‘sumi-e’ (1911-15), and then on to his satirical drawings and Himalayan scenes (1915-21). Gaganendranath emerged as a rebel in his final years, gradually moving away from traditional and naturalistic language, towards cubism and abstraction. From 1921 until his death, he also employed mysterious effects to depict fairy tales and personal dreams: streaks of light and mysterious shadows. Dr. Parimoo’s presentation attempts to draw on the shared creative spirit between Gaganendranath and his uncle, and study the influence of Rabindranath’s theatre and poetry.
Prof. Ratan Parimoo is a noted art teacher, painter, historian and critic who has specialised in traditional and contemporary arts of India. He was Head of the Department of Art History and Aesthetics from 1966 to 1991 at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, and was instrumental in setting up the Department’s Archive. As a Commonwealth scholar, Prof. Parimoo studied History of European Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (1960-63). He received the Rockfeller Grant to study in the USA in 1974. He was invited to participate in the twenty-third World Congress of the International Society of Education through Art held in Australia in 1968. He is the editor of the encyclopaedic critical anthology, Creative Arts in Modern India. In 2010 he edited Historical Development of Contemporary Indian Art 1880-1947. His publications include Paintings of the Three Tagores: Abanindranath, Gaganendranath and Rabindranath; Studies in Modern Indian Art; Sculptures of Sheshasayi Vishnu; and Essays on New Art History: Studies in Indian Sculpture. He is currently the Director of the L.D. Museum, and N. C. Mehta Gallery, Ahmedabad.
FEB 23, 2015 Read More
As a well-known curator of African contemporary art curator with a focus on environment, Meskerem Assegued, will discuss her work in anthropology, as well as the major exhibitions she has curated in Ethiopia and in the other parts of Africa and the world. In this lecture presentation, Ms Assegued discusses her ongoing projects, including the founding of the Zoma Contemporary Art Center (ZCAC) and its artistically sculpted center at Harla, Ethiopia. She makes a case for sharing knowledge through artistic endeavours and open discussion as necessary tools to mitigate the adverse human impact on the environment. Ms Assegued’s practice reiterates the importance of understanding history and the ability of art to bring the past into the present so that it can help the future. Further, she delves into the history of ancient sculpture and architecture of India and draws parallels to her work.
Meskerem Assegued is an anthropologist, curator, and writer. In 2002, she founded ZCAC (Zoma Contemporary Art Center), an artist residency located in Addis Ababa and Harla, a small village south of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Over the last 16 years, Meskerem has curated numerous exhibitions both in Ethiopia and abroad. These include Giziawi #1, an art happening in Addis Ababa (2002); Devine Light by David Hammons at ZCAC (2003); Green Flame with Elias Sime, Ernesto Novelo, and Julie Mehretu; and the co-curated Eye of the Needle, Eye of the Heart by Elias Sime with Peter Sellars (2009). She was a member of the selection committee for the 2004 Dak’Art Biennale and the 2007 Venice Biennale African Pavilion, and is currently doing research for an upcoming exhibition at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany.
FEB 7, 2015 Read More
Maharana Amar Singh II of Mewar State (1698-1710) is credited with introducing a number of reforms that established law and order in the state. He determined the status of 16 Umravs, and 32 Sardars as 1st and 2nd grade nobles and fixed their territories as Thikanas or Jagirs. Among these, a few like Devgarh and Badnore are noteworthy. Miniature painting flourished in these feudatories, governed and influenced by the grandeur of Mewar and its art of miniature painting. The style that developed in their ateliers of painting was within the tradition and style of the parent kingdom, and is today classified as a sub-style of the main stream. According to Prof. Andhare, style is the index of identification of any painting which can determine its age, school, subject matter, etc. Each work is an amalgamation of elements floating around at that point in time, and by studying the evolution of the composition of such elements into well-formed patterns scholars are able to recognise each specific school or a gharana, as in Indian classical music. In this illustrated presentation, Prof. Andhare discusses a sub-sect that developed in one such thikana of Deogarh.
Dr. Shridhar Andhare is a former curator of paintings at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangralaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum), Mumbai; former director of Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum, Ahmedabad; and honorary director of NC Mehta Gallery, Ahmedabad. He specializes in the history of Indian miniature painting, museum installation, and restoration of paintings. He is the author of The Chronology of Mewar Paintings (1987), Deogarh Painting (1977), Bundi Painting (1971), A Catalogue of Miniature Paintings of Sanjay Sharma Museum, Jaipur (also in press) and Jain Monumental Painting (in Press- March 2015). In addition to this, a number of his articles on Jain Art have been published in Indian and international books.
NOV 20, 2014 Read More
In his lecture presentation, Mr. Dungarpur will highlight the contradictory reality between cinema’s huge popularity in India and the simultaneous, colossal loss of India’s moving image legacy. Mr. Dungarpur proposes that the lack of awareness about the need to preserve and restore our cinematic heritage has already led much of it to be lost forever. His research and understanding of this urgent need led him to establish the Film Heritage Foundation, with its mission to save India’s cinematic heritage, and promote its preservation through local and international collaboration.
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, founder of Film Heritage Foundation, is a filmmaker, archivist and restorer who passionately believes in the cause of film preservation and restoration. He is the director of the award-winning documentary, Celluloid Man, which pays tribute to India’s legendary archivist P.K. Nair while celebrating the history of Indian cinema and its much needed preservation and restoration. Shivendra collaborated with Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation to restore Uday Shankar’s Kalpana and Dr. Lester James Peries’ Nidhanaya, and with the British Film Institute (BFI) on the restoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger. Shivendra was invited to give the 11th Dadasaheb Phalke Lecture at the Nehru Centre in London. He has participated in several panel discussions and master-classes with archivists and restorers from around the world. With the Film Preservation & Restoration School India, due to take place early next year in Mumbai, Shivendra hopes to build an indigenous resource of film archivists and restorers.
NOV 22, 2014 Read More
Rahman places the work of the famed late photographer Raghubir Singh in the context of Indian and international photography. Too long out of sight since his premature death, Rahman discusses his work and his artistic development through a personal prism, sharing many personal insights through his long and close association with Raghubir.
Ram Rahman is a photographer and activist. He studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and later completed a degree in Graphic Design from Yale University School of Art in 1979. His most recent solo shows include, Bioscope: Scenes from an Eventful Life presented by Bodhi Art in 2008 and Visions of India: Photographs by Ram Rahman at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2002. Amongst the shows Rahman has curated are Heat: Moving Pictures Visions, Phantasms and Nightmares at Bose Pacia in 2003 and Noor Devyani Krishna, A Retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art in 2000. Rahman is one of the founding members of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) in New Delhi, a leader in the resistance to communal and sectarian forces in India through its public cultural action. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.
OCT 16, 2014 Read More
A surgeon by training, Dr. George Birdwood was a visionary and able administrator who contributed significantly to the growth of 19th century Bombay. He was an ardent supporter of the arts, history and culture, whose efforts were responsible for Indian art gaining recognition in the West. Dr. Gupchup will discuss Dr.Birdwood’s vision for the arts and his prominent role in the establishment of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the city’s oldest, now the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. She will highlight the complexities and vicissitudes that the Museum planners faced and Dr. Birdwood’s effort in steering the Museum project through troubled times, whilst carrying forward his vision of making the Museum a true 'college of Inquiry' with the support of his friend and the Joint Secretary of the Museum, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad.
OCT 16, 2014 Read More
A relationship between the creation of art and the creation of memory is a commonly observed feature in societies around the world. Indeed artists themselves in many places work as much from recollection as directly from a model in front of them. In this lecture, Professor Mack explores the theme of art and memory across a number of cultures, ancient and modern, and in the work of individual artists from well-known ones such as Giacometti to largely unidentified indigenous sculptors working outside the western canon. It discusses different kinds of memory objects and practices including traditions of portraiture and of memorials of various types. For this presentation, Professor Mack draws on his experience of curating an exhibition which celebrated the British Museum’s 250th anniversary, to reflect on the double perspective of museums as sites of history and as sites of memory.
SEP 20, 2014 Read More
Since his death in 1967, Indo-Portuguese painter Angelo da Fonseca has been dismissed by most art historians as a provincial figure of interest only to practicing Christians. During his life, by contrast, Fonseca’s application of Hindu and Buddhist conventions to ostensibly Christian scenes was considered so controversial that he was driven out of Goa amid charges of heresy, and his work continued throughout his career to emphasise the connections, not the divisions, between all religious traditions. For the first time, Fonseca will appear in a major survey of modern Indian art this year. Dr. Arrowsmith will introduce some of Fonseca’s more experimental works, many of which have never been exhibited, and will explain why the artist is worthy not just of national, but of global recognition.
MAY 10, 2014 Read More
Begun in 2010, the Sethusamudram Project was a 3 year collaborative art project initiated by Theertha International Artists Collective, Colombo, Sri Lanka, and 1.Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery, Bengaluru. The Project collectively developed and envisioned programs to engage with and address the highly complex and variegated history and emotions surrounding the relations between India and Sri Lanka. It drew on the links, similarities, and shared anxieties, emotions and histories between the two geographical areas, and covered a wide area of study that included society, politics, history, religion, mythology. Through this illustrated talk, Suresh conveys how the Project showed that it is only “through regional interaction and dialogue that we hope to redeem their trauma. Art connects, heals, and can often be a catharsis for both the artist and the viewer”.
APR 26, 2014 Read More
The recent publication of InFlux: Contemporary Art in Asia, provides a point of departure to raise questions about the current state of contemporary art in Asia. Parul aims to examine the shift in its critical reception, from the time of its emergence in the 1990s to the present, through a global recession and the challenge posed by post-nationalist geography. She questions the extent to which the aspiration to move beyond a Eurocentric definition of Asia to an inter-regional understanding has been fulfilled in its art practice and critical reception. She will focus on the recent works by N Pushpamala and the Raqs Media Collective in the way their practice has engaged with the category of “Asia” though travel and discourse.
APR 5, 2014 Read More
The practice of erecting wayside shrines which dates back to ancient India still proliferates in contemporary times, and in metropolitan cities such as Mumbai. Not only do these ubiquitous sanctums persist in the midst of drastic modern changes that often seem to be at odds with traditional locations, aesthetics and purposes; some of them even surpass established temples, churches and mosques in their popularity. Their persistence could be attributed to the fact that these shrines allow a culturally diversified, socially and linguistically multi-tiered, and fluctuating migrant population to engage with the city. Vidya’s extensive study, conducted over a period of two years, delves into some of the issues related to the making of roadside shrines: their ownership, aesthetic deliberations, spatiality, as well as their economic and political ramifications. Through this study of roadside shrines, she attempts to document the conditions of modern city life and the shifting social, religious, and emotional boundary lines that define this city.
MAR 22, 2014 Read More
For the recently concluded 24th Europalia biennial celebrating India, Gayatri Sinha curated Water as an art walk in Liège, Belgium. The festival which ties up with the Government of the featured country collaborated here with the ICCR and the Indian Ministry of Culture to showcase a multidisciplinary programme. Water was primarily staged in sites surrounding Liège’s water bodies: a 17th century museum and an 18th century banker’s house located on the banks of river Meuse formed an integral part of the exhibition. Gayatri drew on the century-old pan-Indian discussion on water, re-imagining it through video works, photographs and sculptural installations. The exhibition was a conflation of histories: sea trade with Europe, migration, the poetics of water in the Indian tradition as well as its deeply problematic social reading in contemporary India. Through her lecture, Gayatri will also examine the issue of the state as sponsor, and issues of meaning and aesthetics in a transcultural context.
MAR 15, 2014 Read More
Girish Shahane was the artistic director of the third edition of Art Chennai, a visual arts festival founded and run by Sanjay Tulsyan. Art Chennai 2014 consisted of exhibitions spread across two dozen locations, including public spaces, malls, educational institutions and art galleries. Shahane will speak about the challenges and rewards of curating shows for this festival.
FEB 22, 2014 Read More
N.S. Bendre (1910 - 1992), who trained in Indore and was considered a master of many pictorial media, achieved tremendous fame in India during the 1930s. A trip to the US and Europe in 1947/48 gave him first-hand experience of the European art movements. With such accomplishments, in 1950 he became the first Head of the Painting Department at the newly established Faculty of Fine Arts of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. Bendre emerged as their most influential teacher and inspired many young artists during his 16 years there, before settling in Mumbai in 1966. Slightly older than the generation of Progressive Artists Group, Bendre completely changed art education and became one of the pioneers of modern Indian art. In this lecture, Prof. Parimoo, one of Bendre’s first students, focuses on the latter’s work and teaching in Baroda.
FEB 6, 2014 Read More
Peter Fischli will talk about his journey as an artist which has been greatly influenced by Robert Venturi’s book Learning from Las Vegas, in which the Learning stands for modernism/ Bauhaus and Las Vegas stands for post modernism. He will speak about growing up in a house shaped by the Bauhaus that his father built in 1930 and how he escaped from it with the help of Venturi’s book. He sees both modernism and post modernism as a big influence in his work. By showing specific works, he will show Fischli/Weiss is a larger frame of time. In association with Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.
JAN 20, 2014 Read More
Georges Rousse began making installations in the types of abandoned or derelict buildings that have long held an attraction for him creating ephemeral, one-of-a-kind artworks by transforming these sites into pictorial spaces that are visible only in his photographs. It was his discovery of Land Art and Malevich’s Black Square on a White Ground that set him on his current trajectory that explores the relationship of painting to space. Georges’ presentation will discuss his works, which call upon painting, design, sculpture and architectural construction to effect a transformation in the building. It will trace his process, from an empty space and drawings to a photographic work, which will be the lasting impression of the place and a document to its poetic metamorphosis. Georges is in India for a project with an NGO that aims to transform a space in the Shivaji Nagar slum with his signature artwork.