• Issue
  • Jan 02, 2024

New Delhi: Out of the Doldrums and Into the Fire

ARPITA SINGH, The Swans Did Not Come Back This Year, 2022, oil on canvas, 91 × 122 cm. Courtesy the artist and Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi.

A sure sign that the Indian art world had finally emerged from its Covid cocoon was the staging of the India Art Fair, on schedule, in February 2023. Attracting 85 exhibitors, the fair nudged New Delhi’s galleries to mount a slew of noteworthy exhibitions at their own premises. Making up for two years of doom and gloom, there was a notable air of celebration at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), which hosted “Pop South Asia: Artistic Explorations in the Popular.” Curated by artist Iftikhar Dadi and KNMA’s Roobina Karode, this large-scale exhibition highlighted pop art in the region by bringing together works by artists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, from the sharply satirical installation Happy New Year (2013) by Anant Joshi, to Ramesh 
Mario Nithiyendran’s ceramic sculptures 
of quirky faces.