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How to Learn More

George September 22, 2023

As the field of modern and contemporary art history continues to expand, so does artistic practice. One way to remain engaged with the subject is by following the work of the major artists, institutions and galleries – some of which are listed below. These provide rich opportunities for engagement with modern and contemporary Indian art, including exhibitions, performances, seminars and artist talks, which can be explored in person but also online. Many seminal artworks and catalogues are accessible on Asia Art Archive, and several institutions also share their work on Google Arts and Culture, and on social media. If you are in a large city in India, such as New Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru, we hope you’ll feel empowered to visit museums and galleries in person and ask questions about what you see. Leading institutions and galleries you may wish to visit include:

  • Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (New Delhi)
  • National Gallery of Modern Art (Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru)
  • Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Mumbai)
  • Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation (Mumbai)
  • Museum of Art and Photography (Bengaluru)
  • Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai)
  • Project 88 (Mumbai)
  • Chatterjee and Lal (Mumbai)
  • Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai)
  • Experimenter (Kolkata and Mumbai)
  • Nature Morte (New Delhi)
  • Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi)

It is also important to think about ways of engaging with art outside of institutional spaces. Many artists produce works as part of public art commissions in streets, parks and promenades, at local festivals or sometimes even open up their studios to share their practices with wider audiences. It is also always a good idea to explore the local art scene, festivals and programmes in your own neighbourhood. As we have seen in this course, especially in the Indian context, living traditions and indigenous practices are often left out of mainstream discourses, and engaging with these can be extremely enriching and meaningful to one’s larger understanding of contemporary art. 

Should you wish to deepen your knowledge of modern and contemporary Indian art, the MAP Academy’s Encyclopedia of Art features a plethora of relevant articles, glossary entries as well as clusters which cover a number of ​​pertinent topics and themes. We are listing a number of resources below that will be a helpful start. That said, engagement with this subject doesn’t always need to be purely academic – art can provide a meaningful and sensitive way to think through the times we’re living in, offer moments of solace in our busy lives and provide opportunities for shared experiences with fellow enthusiasts. We hope this course will inspire a lifelong interest in this field, in a variety of ways. 

If you are keen to explore more forms of South Asian Art, we also encourage you to sign up for our short course, Textiles from the Indian Subcontinent. You can also watch out for our Core Course on Modern & Contemporary India Art, which will be a deeper dive into the subject. In the meantime, below are preliminary resources through which you can continue your journey:

Build Your Library

  • Contemporary Indian, Tradition: Voices on Culture, Nature and the Challenge of Change, Carla Borden
  • Indian Art, Partha Mitter
  • The Triumph of Modernism: India’s Artists and the Avant-garde, 1922-1947, Partha Mitter
  • The Paintings of the Three Tagores, Abanindranath, Gaganendranath and Rabindranath: Chronology and Comparative Study, Ratan Parimoo
  • When was Modernism: Essays on Contemporary Cultural Practice in India, Geeta Kapur 
  • Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia, Iftikhar Dadi
  • Contemporary Indian Artists, Geeta Kapur
  • Photography in Victorian India, Ray Desmond
  • Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photographs, Christopher Pinney
  • Art and Visual Culture in India, Gayatri Sinha
  • Indian Painting: Essays in Honour of BN Goswamy, Edited by Mahesh Sharma & Padma Kaimal
  • Cholamandal: An Artists Village, Josef James
  • A Fragile Inheritance: Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art, Saloni Mathur