The Artists section contains over 6,500 images of artworks and exhibition views. Images range from work by artists such as Amrita Sher-Gil that date back to 1930 to images of works by emerging artists in 2010. Approximately 3,200 of the images documenting works by 145 artists have been converted from 35mm slides to digital format, while the remainder originated in CD/DVD format. Most of the slides and CDs were given to Kapur and Sundaram by artists and private collectors over the years. Thus, this trove of images brings to light many artworks that are rarely found in publications or other publicly accessible documentation. While the collection includes extensive material on such well-known Indian artists as M.F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta, J. Swaminathan, Nasreen Mohamedi, Bhupen Khakhar, Sudhir Patwardhan, K.G. Subramanyan, Rummana Hussain, Nalini Malani, K.P. Krishnakumar, Navjot Altaf, Sheela Gowda, and Pushpamala N., among others, it does not cover the entire oeuvre of any of these artists. Instead, it reveals Kapur and Sundaram's own preferences and interests.
II. Other Exhibitions and Events
A number of exhibitions and artist-led initiatives that took place in India over the last 50 years had little or no published documentation aside from pamphlets or invitation cards. This section presents an inventory and select scans of 1,150 documents of group exhibitions and events from 1946 onwards. The section also presents an inventory of all 1,550 artists in the Archive, indicating those whose solo exhibitions are documented herein. Digital scans of rare and significant catalogues such as those from the exhibitions 'Progressive Artists Group' in 1964, 'Group 1890' in 1963, and 'SIX who declined to show at the Triennale' in 1978, have also been preserved in this segment of the archive.
III. Kasauli Art Centre
Founded in 1976, the Kasauli Art Centre is perhaps the first artist-led international artist residency centre in India. It differentiated itself from artist communes and collectives by conducting annual artist workshops and academic seminars. With K.G. Subramanyan as president, Professor B.N. Goswamy as vice-president, and Vivan Sundaram as founder and secretary, the Centre became a hub for artists, art critics, historians, theatre persons, dancers, and filmmakers to gather and consider their practices. The Kasauli Art Centre can be considered one of the underlying forces for the development of cultural studies in India; several scholars who gathered here became lecturers and professors of comparative literature, film-studies, and popular visual culture in universities and the Centre was a springboard for important initiatives such as the Journal of Arts and Ideas, the 'Seven Young Sculptors' exhibition, and Indo-German artist exchange programs. AAA has digitised the photo-documentation of the Kasauli Art Centre from 1976 onwards, and presents the first-ever compilation of a chronology of events at the Centre.
IV. Geeta Kapur: Curatorial Work
Since 1978, Geeta Kapur has curated exhibitions in museums and public institutions around the world. This section documents her curatorial career from her earliest exhibition, 'Pictorial Space', at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi to her most recent, entitled 'subTerrain: artworks in the cityfold', presented at the House of World Cultures, Berlin, in 2003. The section includes images of exhibition installations in process and finalised, email correspondence between Kapur and institution officials, working notes, exhibition reviews, and digital scans of catalogues that are now out-of-print.
V. Geeta Kapur: Essays and Lectures
Geeta Kapur's texts have appeared frequently in internationally published anthologies and catalogues, but her early essays, printed in newspapers and academic journals in the 1970s, are now relatively difficult to find. This project digitally preserves most of her early writings and makes them available to the public. This section also contains scans of the majority of her essays published in important anthologies, journals, and catalogues since the 1980s. An e-version of Kapur's seminal book When was Modernism: Essays on Contemporary Cultural Practice in India (Tulika Books, 2000), and complete digital scans of Husain (Sadanga Publications, 1968), Amrita Sher-Gil, (Marg Publications, 1972), and K.G. Subramanyan (Lalit Kala Akademi, 1987) are also included. Among the most astounding items in this section is the never published manuscript of a book about Tyeb Mehta. As an independent art critic, Kapur has lectured in institutions, museums, and international forums since the late 1960s. This section brings together the comprehensive collection of the author's lecture notes and Powerpoint presentations since 1995.
VI. Vivan Sundaram: Artistic Career
VII. Vivan Sundaram: Public Projects
In addition to making artwork and building a comprehensive archive, Sundaram has organised international and national artist programmes and workshops, and has worked as an activist, a curator, and an editor. He has played a pivotal role in mobilising the resources for a number of significant public art projects. Sundaram acted as secretary of an ad-hoc committee for All India Artists' Protest in 1971. He was the founding member and trustee of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) 'Artists Alert' in 1989 and has since curated a number of exhibitions organised by SAHMAT. He is the secretary of The Biennale Society, New Delhi, and he has collaborated with filmmakers and theatre groups. This section contains digital scans of catalogues, pamphlets, and photo-documentation of a selection of his projects. In addition to extensive documentation of his public art interventions and exhibitions with SAHMAT, AAA has digitised the catalogue accompanying the 'Seven Young Sculptors' exhibition, which he curated in 1985. This section also includes photo-documentation of The Biennale Society seminar entitled 'Elective Affintties, Constitutive Differences: Contemporary Art in Asia' that was organised by Sundaram as Biennale Society Secretary in 2007.
Geeta Kapur and Vivan Sundaram's Profile
Geeta Kapur is a Delhi-based critic and curator. Her writing on contemporary art and cultural theory include widely anthologised essays on alternative modernisms and national paradigms; issues of representation and forms of critical contemporaniety; the positioning of interventionist artworks in inter-media practices; and curatorial initiatives in India and the global south. Her books include Contemporary Indian Artists (Vikas, Delhi, 1978), When was Modernism: Essays on Contemporary Cultural Practice in India (Tulika, Delhi, 2000), and, forthcoming, Ends and Means: critical inscriptions in contemporary art (Tulika, Delhi, 2011). In addition to several exhibitions in India, some staged at the Lalit Kala Akademi and the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi and Mumbai, her curatorial work includes the co-curated Festival of India exhibition, 'Contemporary Indian Art', at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (1982); 'Dispossession', the Indian section in the First Johannesburg Biennale (1995); the co-curated 'Bombay/ Mumbai' for the multi-part exhibition, 'Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis', at the Tate Modern, London, 2001; and 'subTerrain: artworks in the cityfold' for the 'Body.City' project at the House of World Cultures, Berlin, 2003. Kapur was a member of the International Jury of the 51st Venice Biennale, 2005; the 9th Dakar Biennale, 2006; and Sharjah Biennale 8, 2007. She has been a member of the Asian Art Council of the Guggenheim Museum, New York since 2007. One of the founder-editors of the Journal of Arts & Ideas, she is advisory editor to Third Text and a Trustee of Marg. She has lectured throughout the world in university and museum contexts, and held fellowships at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; Clare Hall, University of Cambridge; Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi; the Jawaharlal Nehru University; and the University of Delhi. She is currently a member of AAA's Advisory Board.
Vivan Sundaram was born in Simla, India in 1943. He studied painting at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and The Slade School of Fine Art, London in the 1960s. Since 1990, he has focused on sculpture, installation, photography, and video, exhibiting his work in solo exhibitions throughout India, as well as in New York, London, Paris, Toronto, Montreal, and Copenhagen. His work has been exhibited at the Biennial of Sydney (2008), the Seville Biennial (2006), the Taipei Biennial (2006), the Sharjah Biennial (2005), the Shanghai Biennial (2004), the Havana Biennial (1997), the Johannesburg Biennial, (1997), the Kwangju Biennial (1997), and the Asia-Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery (1996).