Shows to See in New Delhi, February 2024
By The Editors
Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the India Art Fair (IAF) will take place from February 1 to 4 at the NSIC Exhibition Ground in the New Delhi’s Okhla neighborhood, located near the iconic Lotus Temple. This year, the fair will feature 108 exhibitors, a 26-percent increase from last year’s 86 participants, and a new Design section will also be introduced. As IAF brings together some of the most established galleries in the region, the Indian capital will concurrently host parallel exhibitions from a myriad of established institutions and art spaces. Our editors have compiled a list of must-see shows in New Delhi during IAF.
Jan 20–Mar 2
Mariam Suhail: Larger than Life-size Raven on a Roof
Inspired by the unnoticed and undocumented details in conversations, media, culture, and daily life, the Rawalpindi-born Pakistani artist Mariam Suhail uses various sources to deconstruct and reimagine what may exist between exchanges, ideas, historical events, and daily occurrences. Suhail’s multidisciplinary creations take the form of sculpture, video, digital images, text, and drawing, and her work has been shown at the 56th Venice Biennale. She was also a participant in the Han Nefkens Foundation Artists’ Residency Program in 2016. At GallerySKY, Suhail showcases her latest charcoal paintings that explore different forms, objects, and disparate notes from individual to collective observations.
Jan 30–Apr 27
Al-An Desouza: familiar paths, different destinations
At Talwar Gallery, Al-An Desouza’s solo exhibition, titled “familiar paths, different destination,” showcases deSouza's recent works, Flotsam and A Condensation of Blood, with an earlier series, The Lost Pictures. The recent series is based on photographs deSouza took of their father’s apartment after he passed away in 2018. The works are digital paintings based off the original photographs, with some parts blurred or erased. The obscured images infuse an opacity that guards the personal nature of the mourning, establishing a multiplicity of personal, political, and cultural histories.
Jan 25–Mar 31
MIRROR/ MAZE: Echoes of song, space, spectre
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
Bringing together works from the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art collection, “MIRROR/ MAZE: Echoes of song, space, spectre” displays a culmination of artworks from Kolkata-based visual artist Jayashree Chakravarty, London-based painter Raqib Shaw, British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor, visual artist GR Iranna, Goa-based artist Nikhil Chopra, Jaipur-based photographer Dhruv Malhotra, New Delhi-based artist Subodh Gupta, and filmmaker, writer, and artist Martha Fiennes. The collection builds on the theme of pushing artistic boundaries to “ineffable and indefinable” realms, daring artists to challenge conventions through a range of mediums.
Jan 24–Feb 29
Zahra Yazdani: Scripted Selves: Sutures of Signs and Symbols
Curated by Manan Shah, Iranian photographer Zahra Yazdani presents her solo show “Scripted Selves: Sutures of Signs and Symbols” at Latitude 28 to explore the oftentimes paradoxical dichotomy that can be observed within the human figure. The “(un) folding, (dis) entangling and (mis) appropriating” of forms found in Yazdani’s nude subjects are dismantled through the artist’s use of “collage" photography to blur the lines between reality and illusion.
Dec 23, 2023–Feb 10
Neeraj Patel: extremes of ruin and utopic excisions
Nature Morte sets the stage for Neeraj Patel’s newest large-scale paintings in “extremes of ruin and utopic excisions” where it reveals motifs of faults, glitches, and errors resembling those found on digital devices. Accompanying these will also be Patel’s distinct work of paper reliefs and multilayered metal “paintings” from recent years. The depiction of “Industrial Landscapes” was inspired by the ruined and repurposed industrial architecture around Baroda. Metal pipes, Escher-esque stairs, and parts of construction cranes are entangled in a weave of layered perspectives, becoming snapshots of abandoned spaces.
Jan 20–Mar 2
Raghu Rai: Photographed
Celebrating the lengthy career of the multi-award-winning photographer and photojournalist Raghu Rai, the exhibition comprises photographs taken by friends, family, colleagues and self-portraits of Rai that span 60 years. Innovative use of shadows and reflections elevate the mundane while firmly integrating the photographer’s presence in his birthplace of Jhang during the British Raj's rule, a present-day Pakistani city, and the lives of his loved ones. Photographs are captured entirely in black and white, showcasing stark moments that reveal the many triumphs of India’s most influential photographer.
Jan 30–Mar 1
Zaam Arif: Waking Dream
Vadehra Art Gallery, D-53 Defence Colony
“Waking Dream” is the first solo exhibition by the Houston-based Pakistani artist Zaam Arif in India, hosted by Vadehra Art Gallery. The show features 12 oil paintings that explore the human experience and the connections between memory and identity. Arif is a self-taught artist in a family of painters, and his powerful figurations are drawn from familiarity and strangeness. Cinematic compositions often feature surrealistic scenes of exterior-spliced interior spaces, with protagonists ridden with existential ennui, often captured in stillness and quietude.