Bharti Kher, Strange Attractors, 2021-2022, installation view, Courtesy of Nature Morte
review

11 contemporary art galleries in India. Our subjective guide to art in India.

The contemporary Indian art scene has flourished since the 1990s and it has opened up to the world through international exchange and dialogues as well as fruitful collaborations with other countries around the world. The younger generation is also keen to explore and work in the field of visual arts and culture. New Delhi and Mumbai have remained cultural hubs for some time now, but the scene is also growing in cities like Kolkata, thanks to new visual art spaces, enthusiasts and young gallerists. We have recently published an article 15 Contemporary Indian and Pakistani artists you should know. Today we would like to take you on a journey through three Indian cities: Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata and show you the most interesting contemporary art galleries we discovered in the past year. 

NEW DELHI

KNMA – KIRAN NADAR MUSEUM OF ART New Delhi

145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket
New Delhi, Delhi 110017

website: www.knma.in

We begin our guide in New Delhi, a city of historical monuments and tourist attractions as well as cultural and artistic sites that are simply a must-see. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art is located in the heart of New Delhi, India’s capital city. It is therefore an excellent place to visit for art seekers who are visiting New Delhi. KNMA is a non-commercial and not-for-profit organization, whose main objective is to emphasise the dynamic relationship between art and culture through activities such as exhibitions, publications, educational and public programmes. Gallery’s core collection highlights the great generation of 20thcentury Indian painters of the post-independence era and also embraces the diverse practices of younger contemporary artists. 

Artists associated with the gallery: Bharti Kher, Ganesh Haloi, Arpita Singh, Bhupen Khakhar, Chiharu Shiota.

Rameshwar Broota, Visions of Interiority, 2020, exhibition view
Rameshwar Broota, Visions of Interiority, 2020, exhibition view

LATITUDE 28 New Delhi 

F 208 First Floor, Lado Sarai
New Delhi 110030

website: www.latitude28.com

Don’t miss Latitude 28 gallery, which has been conceptualised as an incubation space, generating ideas through curatorial projects, artworks, artist talks and curator walks. Latitude 28 has over the years become synonymous with cutting edge art coming from the country. They seek fresh perspectives in an attempt to stimulate commercial interest in new waves of art-making. Most importantly, the organisation aims to create a space where art collectors and enthusiasts can interact with young artists and their practices. They also provide an environment where younger artists have the opportunity to contextualise their work alongside masters of Indian art, experimenting with medium, material and institutional criticism.

Artists associated with the gallery: Anupama Alias, Chandan Bez Baruah, Ketaki Sarpotdar, Khadim Ali, Neda Tavallaee, Niyeti Chadha Kannal, Noor Ali Chagani, Prajjwal Choudhury, Radhika Agarwala, Sanket Viramgami, Shweta Bhattad, Sudipta Das, Wardha Shabbir, Waseem Ahmed, Waswo X. Waswo, Yogesh Ramkrishna, Zahra Yazdani.

Marks In Time / Through Time, exhibition view, Courtesy of LATITUDE 28
Marks In Time / Through Time, exhibition view, Courtesy of LATITUDE 28

VADEHRA ART New Delhi 

D-40 Defence Colony, New Delhi
D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi

website: www.vadehraart.com

Vadehra Art Gallery represents artists of four generations. Its vibrant and comprehensive programme includes carefully organised and frequent exhibitions at two prominent venues in Delhi, art events and interesting talks. At the gallery, contemporary masters take their place alongside the next generation of modernists. The gallery’s extensive contemporary programme includes some of the most exciting names in Indian art as well as young emerging talents. An obligatory spot on the map of Delhi for all enthusiasts of contemporary Indian art. 

Artists associated with the gallery: Shailesh B.R., Nalini Malani, S. H. Raza, Shrimanti Saha, Ganesh Pyne, Sudhir Patwardhan.

FRIN/GE, 2021, curated by Shaleen Wadhwana, installation view, Courtesy of Vadehra Art Gallery
FRIN/GE, 2021, curated by Shaleen Wadhwana, installation view, Courtesy of Vadehra Art Gallery

ART ALIVE New Delhi 

S-221 Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi – 110017

website: www.artalivegallery.com 

Since its inception in 2001, Art Alive Gallery has been looking at contemporary Indian art from a comprehensive point of view. The gallery believes in engaging both the artists and art lovers, nourishing their curious nature and feeding it with the creative energy that defines the Indian art scene. The gallery aims to bridge the gap between artists and patrons to nurture a culture of engagement with art and encourage a deeper connection between them. Art Alive Gallery not only shares the impressions created by contemporary Indian artists but also their journeys, life stories and inspirations. 

Artists associated with the gallery: Jogen Chowdhury, Jayashree Chakravarty, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Krishen Khanna, Sujata Bajaj

Teja Gavankar (left) and Meghna Patpatia (right), Patterns of Intensity, 2021, curated by Ranjit Hoskote, exhibition view, Courtesy of Art Alive Gallery
Teja Gavankar (left) and Meghna Patpatia (right), Patterns of Intensity, 2021, curated by Ranjit Hoskote, exhibition view, Courtesy of Art Alive Gallery

GALLERY ESPACE New Delhi 

16, Community Center, Sujan Mahindra Road, New Friends Colony,
near Surya Hotel, New Delhi, Delhi 110025

website: www.galleryespace.com 

Stop by one of the older art galleries of the city, Gallery Espace, founded by Renu Modi in 1989. Over the last 23 years, Gallery Espace has worked with an interdisciplinary approach, which is evident in the dynamic projects and the diverse list of artists represented. Unconstrained by preconceived notions and art movements of the past, Espace has curated exhibitions, arguably some of the first in the Indian art scene. Recently, Espace has also embarked on cross-cultural artistic exchanges with artists from South Asian countries.

Artists associated with the gallery: Shambhavi, Amit Ambalal, Purvai Rai, Manisha Gera Baswani, Karl Antao.


SHRINE EMPIRE New Delhi

D-395, Dron Marg, Block D, Defence Colony,
New Delhi, Delhi 110049

website: www.shrineempiregallery.com 

Since its inception, Shrine Empire has focused on promoting artists not only from India but also from across the South Asian region. The gallery’s programme establishes a unique identity of place through curated exhibitions as well as commissioned projects that explore the transitions between aesthetics and the social/political concerns of the immediate context. In collaboration with local and international partners, the gallery contributes to the discourse on contemporary art in South Asia through activities such as discussions, artist talks and workshops.

Artists associated with the gallery: Baaraan Ijlal, Divya Singh, Gautam Kansara, Karan Shrestha, Neerja Kothari, Omer Wasim

Ayesha Singh, It was never concrete, 2019, exhibition view, Courtesy of Shrine Empire Gallery
Ayesha Singh, It was never concrete, 2019, exhibition view, Courtesy of Shrine Empire Gallery

NATURE MORTE New Delhi 

The Dhan Mill
287, 288, 100 Feet Rd
Chhatarpur Hills
New Delhi 110074

website: www.naturemorte.com 

Another one, on our must-see list, is Nature Morte Gallery. Peter Nagy restored Nature Morte in New Delhi in 1997 as a commercial gallery and a curatorial experiment. Since then, Nature Morte has become synonymous with ambitious and experimental art forms in India. It is recognised as a champion of conceptual, lens-based and installation genres and represents a generation of Indian artists who have earned international recognition. The gallery currently has two exhibition spaces in New Delhi. 

Artists associated with the gallery: Mona Rai, Bharti Kher, Zimbiri, Viswanadhan, Bharat Sikka, Manish Nai

Bharti Kher, Strange Attractors, 2021-2022, installation view, Courtesy of Nature Morte
Bharti Kher, Strange Attractors, 2021-2022, installation view, Courtesy of Nature Morte

AKAR PRAKAR New Delhi 

New Delhi: D 43, First Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110024

Kolkata: P 238, Hindustan Park, Kolkata, West Bengal – 700029

website: www.akarprakar.com 

Since it was launched in 2004, Akar Prakar Art Gallery has created a space for indigenous representations of Indian contemporary and modern artists through long-term collaborations with art curators and museums. Operating from two locations, in Kolkata and New Delhi, Akar Prakar curates art narratives derived from contemporary and modern artists and art movements of the subcontinent. Recently, they have expanded their curatorial activities to include new and historical narratives on Southeast Asian art and culture.

Artists associated with the gallery: Ganesh Haloi, Jayashree Chakravarty, Piyali Sadhukhan, Debasish Mukherjee, Sarbari Roy Choudhury.

Piyali Sadhukhan, Kingdom of Cards, 2021, exhibition view, Courtesy of Akar Prakar New Delhi
Piyali Sadhukhan, Kingdom of Cards, 2021, exhibition view, Courtesy of Akar Prakar New Delhi

KOLKATA

EMAMI ART Kolkata 

Kolkata Centre for Creativity
777, Anandapur EM Bypass, Kolkata, West Bengal – 700 107

website: www.emamiart.com 

The next stop is Kolkata – the cultural centre of the Eastern part of India. Emami Art, one of the most prominent art organisations in eastern India, is a key space for cultural production in the region. It is also deeply committed to promoting a regional, national and international agenda through innovative and alternative programmes, an emphasis on community and social engagement, and a long-term vision for the future. Emami Art is committed to being a catalyst for change, research, innovation and inclusivity. The organization focuses on a forward-thinking, comprehensive approach and is relentless in its support of emerging, and established artists, as well as its commitment to contemporary and historical material.

Artists associated with the gallery: Arpita Akhanda, Prasanta Sahu, Ghana Shyam Latua, Jogen Chowdhury, Debashish Paul


MUMBAI

SAKSHI Gallery Mumbai 

3rd Pasta Lane,
Colaba, Mumbai 400005

website: www.sakshigallery.com

We move to Mumbai – a mix of iconic old-world charm architecture, cultural and traditional structures. Sakshi Gallery is located in the heart of Mumbai’s art district, Colaba. It is one of the most important galleries in India. Since its inception in 1984, it has developed a strong repertoire of Indian and international artists. Sakshi Gallery has presented ground-breaking exhibitions of Indian art around the world, representing and working closely with important Indian artists as well as introducing many emerging artists.

Artists associated with the gallery: Vasudha Thozhur, Manjit Bawa, K. G. Subramanyan, Ankush Safaya, Jehangir Sabavala

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, 2021, exhibition view, curated by Geetha Mehra, Courtesy of Sakshi Gallery
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, 2021, exhibition view, curated by Geetha Mehra, Courtesy of Sakshi Gallery

JHAVERI CONTEMPORARY Mumbai 

3rd Floor Devidas Mansion
4 Merewether road
Apollo Bandar Colaba
Mumbai 400 001, India

website: www.jhavericontemporary.com 

Jhaveri Contemporary’s aim is to represent artists of different generations and nationalities whose work is based on South Asian connections and traditions and was founded in 2010 by sisters Amrita and Priya. One of the ways by which the gallery distinguishes itself from others is through its dedication to original scholarly work, which is reflected in its thoughtfully curated shows. Associated with this philosophy is another guiding principle: showcasing the heterogeneous practices of long-established luminaries as well as emerging talents, often through engaging conversations. By focusing on bringing out lesser-known art histories, Jhaveri Contemporary facilitates dialogue between artists, curators and historians to contribute to the wider art field.

Artists associated with the gallery: Gyan Panchal, Hardeep Pandhal, Lionel Wendt, Lubna Chowdhary, Manisha Parekh

Shezad Dawood, House in a Garden, 2021, exhibition view, Courtesy of Jhaveri Contemporary, © the artist, photo: Mohammed Chiba
Shezad Dawood, House in a Garden, 2021, exhibition view, Courtesy of Jhaveri Contemporary, © the artist, photo: Mohammed Chiba

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About The Author

Zuzanna
Auguścik

Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief at Contemporary Lynx. Graduate of French philology at the University of Warsaw, enthusiast of French literature and cinematography. She is interested in analogue photography and experimental/historical photographic techniques.

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