Mind the DashThe Modern/Contemporary & the ‘In-Between’ in Indian Art
11 Sep 2020

Mind the Dash: The Modern/Contemporary & the ‘In-Between’ in Indian Art

A Talk Series | 11, 18, 25 September 2020

This series brings international scholars and seminal public collections together, exploring connections and continuities through Modern & Contemporary Indian Art – to bridge divides and imagine a future. These conversations are aimed towards a nuanced (re)looking at art historical terms, exploring two key collections along the way.

September 11, 2020 Friday 6.30pm IST | 2pm GMT | 9am EST

The Modern in the Contemporary Space
A conversation with Zehra Jumabhoy, Siddhartha Shah, Puja Vaish
Guest Speaker & Moderator: Mortimer Chatterjee
‘Goliath in David’s Sandals’: Making of the Art Collector / Puja Vaish
Introduction to the series. Vaish will speak about the Nicholson collection, opening up the trajectories of art-making and collecting.

Collecting during the era of ‘The Third Epoch’: modern art and patronage in India /
Mortimer Chatterjee
Building on his research into some of the foremost art collections of the post-independence
period, Chatterjee will share his thoughts on what they can teach us.

My Dear Davey and Chester/ Siddhartha V. Shah
Shah introduces the Herwitz Collection through the relationships that the American couple forged with artists around India and describes his vision for the forthcoming galleries.

“The Quintessential Moderns?”: PAG & The Rest / Zehra Jumabhoy
This talk will discuss the development of the Asia Society museum exhibition, The Progressive Revolution: A Modern Art for a New India (New York, 2018). The session will contest and contextualise the notion that the Progressive Artists’ Group were the ‘quintessential Moderns’.

Debate and Q & A moderated by Mortimer Chatterjee


Watch now:


Mortimer Chatterjee

Mortimer Chatterjee received his MA in the History of Indian Art and Architecture from SOAS and co-founded Chatterjee & Lal with his wife, Tara Lal, in 2003. Today, based in Mumbai’s Colaba art district, the gallery is focused on contemporary artists as well as historical material related to both fine art and design. Chatterjee has also been responsible for maintaining major private and corporate art collections. In 2010, he co-authored a publication on the art collection of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), along with curating an exhibition of that collection at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai. 


Puja Vaish

Puja Vaish is a curator and artist, and the Director of the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation in Mumbai, India. The JNAF collection comprises post-independence Indian art and is housed in the CSMVS Museum, forming the Modern and Contemporary Art Wing of the Museum. Puja was curator at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. She was lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda and has taught at Delhi College of Art and at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, Mumbai.


Dr. Siddhartha V. Shah

Dr. Siddhartha V. Shah is Curator of Indian and South Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts – the oldest continually-running museum in the United States that is home to the Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection of post-independence art from India. He has spent the past two years reinterpreting and reinstalling the collection which opens to the public in November 2020. He earned his BA in art history at Johns Hopkins University, an MA in Hindu philosophy and psychoanalysis from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a PhD in South Asian Art at Columbia University.


Dr. Zehra Jumabhoy

Dr. Zehra Jumabhoy is a UK-based art historian, writer and curator specializing in modern and contemporary South Asian art. She was the Steven and Elena Heinz Scholar at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, where she completed her doctorate on contemporary Indian art and nationalism and was an Associate Lecturer. She continues to lecture on Asian art and theory on undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes at various universities in the UK and South Asia.She Guest Curated an exhibition on Bombay’s Progressive Artists’ Group at the Asia Society Museum in New York (2018-2019). She has been a consultant on the Peabody Essex Museum’s rehang of its Herwitz collection.