An extensive exhibitions programme includes a strong focus on contemporary art. A series of curated exhibitions titled 'Engaging Traditions', invites artists to respond to the Museum’s collection, history and archives. These exhibitions are presented in the Kamalnayan Bajaj Special Exhibitions Gallery (KBG) in the main Museum building and may involve interventions into the vitrines holding the permanent collections. The Museum also hosts exhibitions in collaboration with galleries and other institutions in the Special Project Space (SPS) in the Museum Plaza. The Museum has successfully partnered with international museums and institutions to showcase contemporary artists and exhibitions which relate to the Museum’s permanent collection.

A series of curated exhibitions titled 'Engaging Traditions', invites artists to respond to the Museum’s collection, history and archives, addressing issues that speak directly to the traditions and issues that underlie the founding of the Museum, yet evoke the present by challenging orthodoxies and questioning assumptions. Several distinguished contemporary artists including Jitish Kallat, Sudarshan Shetty, L.N. Tallur and Ranjini Shettar have participated in this programme.

Through collaborations with international institutes, the Museum has hosted several exhibitions. Contemporary Photography and the Olympic Posters were presented from the V & A Museum, London. German artist Eberhard Havekost's works were presented in collaboration with the Dresden State Art Collections and the exhibition Social Fabric was showcased with INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts) London, and the Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai. The Museum collaborated with the Guggenheim Museum, New York, to present the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai,and the Ermenegildo Zegna group on the project ZegnArt Public in 2013. Most recently, the Museum hosted an acclaimed masterpiece of the Florentine Renaissance, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s (Italian, 1378-1455) The Gates of Paradise (1425-52), through a special collaboration with the Guild of the Dome Association, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institute, and the Museum of the Opera del Duomo. Folk Archive, a vibrant, visual account of contemporary popular British culture was held in collaboration with the British Council.



By Nalini Malani
Curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta and Johan Pijnappel
Jan 11, 2020 - Mar 31, 2020
Preview: JAN 10, 2020 at 6 pm as part of Mumbai Gallery Weekend

Presented by Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
in association with Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai
Supported by Volte Art Projects

In this exhibition, Nalini Malani explores concepts and concerns that have preoccupied her for decades - notions of oppression and dominance, of freedom and justice. Her art pushes the boundaries of the visual and engages in an optical theatre that is a commentary not only on the present but also on who we are, where we come from and where we are going. As the pioneer of experimental art in India, she creates immersive installations, ephemeral wall drawings, erasure performances, animation chambers and her signature video/shadow plays. Her work questions the profound certainties of life, of society, of experience-persisting 'evidence', which is encountered and felt. In her practice, Malani, as an engaged witness, exerts an artistic pressure on inherited iconographies and cherished cultural constructs.

Nalini Malani secured a Diploma in Fine Arts from Sir J.J. School of Arts, Bombay, 1969 and the French Government Scholarship for Fine Arts to study in Paris from 1970 to 1972. In 2010, she was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2013, she won the Fukuoka Prize for Art followed by an exhibition at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. She received the St. Moritz Art Masters Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, the Asian Arts Game Changers Award Hong Kong in 2016, and the prestigious Joan Miró Prize in 2019. Malani has had 15 International museum solo exhibitions and her works have been acquired by 30 museums including MoMA, MET, Tate Modern and Centre Pompidou. Her latest critically acclaimed retrospective 'The Rebellion of the Dead', 1969-2017 was shown at the Centre Pompidou and Castello di Rivoli.


Kalanand 2019

Oct 10, 2019 - Dec 10, 2019      

An exhibition of Emerging Artists of India

The Spirit of Ink

AUGUST 3, 2019 - SEPTEMBER 15, 2019       

by Lim Tze Peng

Italian Palimpsest: A selection of 12 artworks from the Collezione Farnesina

MAR 30 - APR 30, 2019       

Swimmer’s Manual and Other Stories

APR 8, 2018 - MAY 11, 2018