Exhibition reviews and previews, artist interviews and features.

The Great Defender

Appupen’s Rashtraman comics use ribald humour to reflect political reality ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. On November 28, Appupen put up an installment from his new comic book Rashtrayana II: Divide and Fool, which is being serialized on Brainded, the website and collective he co-founded five years ago. The chapter featured …

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Force and Composure

Krishen Khanna remembers Satish Gujral, who passed away on March 26, 2020 ♦ Note: After Satish Gujral died, I spoke to his friend and my grandfather, Krishen Khanna for India Today. This is what he had to say. My friendship with Satish Gujral feels eternal, did I know him for fifty years, or a thousand? …

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Protest Code

Suñatā Samantā: Emptiness Equality invites you to look beyond the obvious in art to see discontent and dissent ♦ Originally published in India Today. Scribbled on the back of a landing, positioned so that you see them as you walk down the stairs when leaving Suñatā Samantā, are two scraps of text in Hindi and …

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Exile and the Kingdom

An ongoing exhibition of miniatures inspired by the Ramayana, at the Met in New York City ♦ Originally published in India Today. Far from the bustling, big-ticket shows of Dutch Masters or Camp fashion, beyond the high-ceilinged galleries of large American canvases, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a maze of jewel-box galleries. Hosting exhibitions …

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The Book of Waswo

The new miniatures from the studio of Waswo X. Waswo are as captivating as his latest photobook. ♦ Originally published in India Today. Nearly two decades ago, when Waswo X. Waswo was travelling in Pushkar, a group of camel herders started referring to him as “Chacha”. “The name just stuck,” the artist tells me in …

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The Angst of Being a Modern Indian

The Cosmopolitans ♦Anjum HasanPenguin India, 309 pages, Rs 499. “Being a modern Indian is hard work,” a former king tells Qayanaat, the protagonist of Anjum Hasan’s The Cosmopolitans. If this is true for the King, the dispossessed monarch of fictional, small-town Simhal, it’s certainly so for Qayanaat, a 53-year-old single woman who lives in Bengaluru, subsisting …

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Looking for home at the National Museum’s Cosmology to Cartography: A Cultural Journey of Indian Maps exhibition.

Epic tale

Raavan Chhaya is iPad myth lit ♦ Indian epics cast a long shadow into popular culture, but it’s safe to say they could never have been described as “trending” before now. Every other day, a new fantasy series, comic or film inspired by the Rama-yana or the Mahabharata finds space on a the shelf or screen …

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Long exposure

Chirodeep Chaudhuri captured Durga Puja at his ancestral village in Bengal over 12 years ♦ Twelve years is a long engagement for an artistic project. But by saving up his vacation, Chirodeep Chaudhuri (formerly Time Out’s national art director), managed to capture Durga Puja in his family village of Amadpur over just such a length of …

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Stepping up

Artists engage with a land rights movement that touches down in Delhi this October ♦ What do a Delhi painter, an English photographer, a Swiss multimedia artist, and one lakh rural Indians fighting for land rights have in common? More than you’d expect, according to Walking: A Dialogue between Art and Social Movement. The exhibition coincides …

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