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.
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.
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.
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.”
The contemporary gallery spaces she mentions include:
- Project 88
- Gallery Maskara
- Chemould Prescott Road
- Chatterjee & Lal
- The Guild
- Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
- Sakshi Gallery
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?
- 3 new Shanghai art spaces point at flourishing art scene – February 2011 – Could what is happening in Mumbai be mirrored in Shanghai?
- Delhi plans new art museum in power plant – Guardian article – January 2011 – more that points to New Delhi being India’s art institution city
- Ai Weiwei’s Shanghai studio demolition: top stories, photos, video – January 2011 – we round up media coverage of this blow to the now-arrested artist
- If it makes you scratch your head, its art – Sakshi 25th anniversary exhibition – December 2010 – a first-time curator put together this golden jubilee show
- New artist village opens in former Taipei squatters’ community – November 2010 – Treasure Hill Artist Village as shared home for former residents and practicing artists