Modern Mumbai art spaces show up New Delhi “house conversions” – CNNGo

CONTEMPORARY ART SPACES GALLERIES INDIA

“Private gallery spaces are better in Mumbai,” a writer for CNNGo boldly stated in February this year (2011). Better than where? Apparently Mumbai spaces are hipper, more modern and more unique than what is on offer in New Delhi.

Click here to read the full article on CNNGo.

Zuleikha Chaudhari, 'Propositions: On Text and Space II, 2011, site specific installation with video and light. Exhibition at Project 88. Image from project88.in.

Zuleikha Chaudhari, 'Propositions: On Text and Space II', 2011, site specific installation with video and light. Exhibition at Project 88. Image from project88.in.

New Delhi home of the art institution

In the article, journalist Deepika Sorabjee laments the “low-ceilinged house conversions” of Delhi,

We moved on to a very grand opening – in terms of value of art and attendance – at the new Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. Sprawling in terms of square footage, it is housed (temporarily) in a mall. Again, the ceilings hung just a few feet above one’s head and strangely located as it was, it was disconcerting to see art in a museum that seemed a series of ad hoc air-conditioned conference rooms.

Max Streicher, 'Ashwamedh', 2010, nylon spinnaker, each horse 12.8m high. Exhibition at Gallery Maskara. Image from maxstreicher.com.

Max Streicher, 'Ashwamedh', 2010, nylon spinnaker, each horse 12.8m high. Exhibition at Gallery Maskara. Image from maxstreicher.com.

She continues her lament – “There are more institutional spaces in New Delhi for exhibitions than in Mumbai, but for contemporary art the private galleries lag far behind”– and asks the question, “When will individual galleries show in spaces that match their inventive programs and accomplished artists?”

What does Mumbai do differently?

According to Sorabjee, Mumbai galleries (and the gallerists who run them) have developed a scene unique to the city through taking risks and considering the place of Indian contemporary art on the global stage. She says,

Mumbai’s reworked spaces have retained their history while galvanising the scene to show newer forms of art like installation and video. Unlike in New Delhi, where it is difficult to tell one space from another, here each space has a distinct feel that reflects the gallerist’s vision and respects what the space was before.

Jitish Kallat's 'The Cry of the Gland', an installation of 108 color photographs, was featured at Art Basel by Chemould Prescott Road.

Jitish Kallat's 'The Cry of the Gland', an installation of 108 color photographs, was featured at Art Basel by Chemould Prescott Road.

Start of an art district?

Sorabjee goes on to identify a number of galleries that are “all grouped in South Mumbai, and mainly in Colaba. We can,” she continues, “truly claim the start of a veritable art district.”

Lakeeren. Image from lakeerengallery.com.

Lakeeren. Image from lakeerengallery.com.

The contemporary gallery spaces she mentions include:

Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, "5th Anniversary Exhibition", gallery view. Image from galeriems.com.

Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, "5th Anniversary Exhibition", gallery view. Image from galeriems.com.

Do you agree that Mumbai spaces offer a more current exhibition space to their artists and patrons? Or do you think New Delhi still has something to offer the contemporary art lover?

KN

Related Topics: art spaces, Mumbai venues, New Delhi venues

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