Ebrahim Alkazi: Directing Art mapinpub

Ebrahim Alkazi: Directing Art

The Making of a Modern Indian Art World
Dr. Parul Dave-Mukherji

A doyen of India’s art and theatre scenes, Ebrahim Alkazi has been credited with garnering worldwide visibility for Indian art.


…a valuable document in an area of scant research.’ —The Hindu

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A doyen of India’s art and theatre scenes, Ebrahim Alkazi has been credited with garnering worldwide visibility for Indian art.
Ebrahim Alkazi: Directing Art acknowledges Alkazi’s lifelong commitment to modern and contemporary art in India through his establishment of Art Heritage gallery and an art journal in New Delhi. Drawing from his experience as the fi rst Director of the National School of Drama, how does he arrive at innovative modes of curating modern art and envisaging the public? Realizing quite early in his career that art writing was germane to art reception, Alkazi edited a journal for four decades from 1977 onwards; its early years coinciding with the politically tumultuous period of the Emergency.

Featuring essays by and conversations with leading practitioners and art historians, Directing Art places Alkazi’s contribution within a historical as well as critical context. If Amal Allana reveals Alkazi’s twin passion for modern theatre and art through a familial narrative, Yashodhara Dalmia underlines his contribution to the public reception for modern art. Focusing on Bombay, Shukla Sawant looks beyond the English speaking elite audience, towards the vernacular one which continued to underpin Alkazi’s understanding of the community at large. Devika Singh revisits the post-Independence Indian art scene to contextualize the emergence of Art Heritage and Akansha Rastogi explores the history of art exhibitions curated by Alkazi through the trope of a ‘ghost’ exhibition. Following Parul Dave Mukherji’s revealing interview with eminent artist and Alkazi’s long-standing friend, K.G. Subramanyam, in conclusion, Partha Mitter refl ects on the latter’s role as an art patron.

Richly illustrated with select artworks from the Alkazi Collection, this volume is the fi rst of a growing series and provides a critical context for the publication of art writings and exhibitions shown at Art Heritage. A chronicle of the remarkable life and work of Ebrahim Alkazi, Directing Art hence provides an invaluable education in Indian art through its contextual analysis of the modern and contemporary. 

Parul Dave-Mukherji is former Dean at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and has authored several works on global and Indian art history. Partha Mitter is a writer and historian of art and culture, specializing in the reception of Indian art in the West. Yashodhara Dalmia is an art historian and independent curator based in New Delhi. Amal Allana was Chairperson of the National School of Drama, and has directed over 60 plays for the stage. Devika Singh is a critic and art historian, focusing on Indian modern and contemporary art and its international contexts. Shukla Sawant is associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and has been involved in several biennales and artist-led initiatives. Akansha Rastogi is a curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.

Ebrahim Alkazi: Directing Art is the inaugural volume of a series of six publications. Subsequent volumes will include select reprints from the Art Heritage journals and catalogues that accompanied exhibitions over a period spanning nearly four decades, from 1977 onwards.

Contributions by Parul Dave-Mukherji, Amal Allana, Yashodhara Dalmia, Shukla Sawant, Devika Singh, Akansha Rastogi and Partha Mitter

• Preface
• Introduction
• A Space for Thought . . .
• Art Heritage 1977–1982 Select exhibitions
• Modernism and Indian Art
• Art Heritage 1983–1988 Select exhibitions
• ‘This is Modern Art’
• Art Heritage 1989–1995 Select exhibitions
• Ebrahim Alkazi and Exhibition Making
• Art Heritage 1995–2000 Select exhibitions
• Around Exhibitions: Circles of Engagement
• Art Heritage Season 2001–2006 Select exhibitions
• Conversation with K.G. Subramanyan
• Art Heritage 2007–2013 Select exhibitions
• Portrait of a Nationalist: Ebrahim Alkazi
• Art Heritage 2014–2016 Select exhibitions
• Appendices
• Select Bibliography
• Index
• Image Credits
• Acknowledgements
• Contributors
ISBN 9789385360107
Pages 364
Number of illustrations 408
Size 9.75 x 12" (248 x 305 mm), hc
Date of Publishing 2016
Language(s) English
Co-publisher(s) Mapin in association with Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi
Rights Available World rights

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