Research Project | Mapping the Field of Indian Art Criticism

Vidya Shivadas's research project looks at art criticism and writing in India over the period of six decades. Her survey focuses on five Indian writers and critics: William George Archer (1907-1979), Richard Bartholomew (1926-1985), Jagdish Swaminathan (1928-1994), Geeta Kapur (b. 1943), and Ranjit Hoskote (b. 1969), each playing an important role in shaping contemporary art discourse in India, and in registering multiple cultural issues, artistic domains, and moments of history. This project looks at the development of art history not through exhibitions and artworks but through criticism and writing.

Shivadas’ research culminated in a final summary report, a chronological timeline, a comprehensive bibliography, a summary of materials collected, and documentation of interviews done in the course of the project. Vidya Shivadas presented her research at AAA on 5 May 2011. Her talk surveyed the field of Indian art criticism over the last six decades.

About Vidya Shivadas
Vidya Shivadas is a curator and art critic based in New Delhi, India. After her Bachelors in Sociology from Delhi University and a Masters in Art Criticism from Faculty of Fine Arts, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vidya worked as an art reporter in a national daily The Indian Express between 2000 and 2002. She joined Delhi-based gallery, Vadehra Art Gallery, in 2002 and worked there as a curator. Vidya has also been actively involved in the setting up and running of the not-for-profit Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art, launched in 2007 to support artists and educational activities in the visual arts. One of her areas of academic interest is the relationship between institutions and art practice. Her essay on the National Gallery of Modern Art was published in Towards a New Art History: Studies in Indian Art in 2003. In 2006, she worked as a researcher on the Getty funded study Museology and the Colony, a nation-wide study of museums in India conducted by Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and University of California, Los Angeles, under the guidance of Dr Kavita Singh and Dr Saloni Mathur. In 2007 she received a fellowship from the Goethe-Institut and the education department of Documenta 12 to participate in Documenta 12's education programme.

Judges for AAA Research Grant 2009 include:

Rasheed Araeen, Editor, Third Text, Pakistan.
Jane DeBevoise, Chair, Board of Directors, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong.
Claire Hsu, Executive Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong.
Hu Fang, Director, Vitamin Creative Space, China.
Phoebe Wong, Head of Research+, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong.

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Project File: Mapping the Field of Indian Art Criticism

Project File: Mapping the Field of Indian Art Criticism