Edge of Desire

Recent Art in India
25 Sept 2004 - 9 January 2005
Special Exhibitions Gallery and BHP Community Trust Gallery

Presented in partnership by the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Asia Society, New York, Edge of desire: recent art in India, was a major exhibition which focused upon Indian contemporary art over the last decade. It included works from 1993 until the present day -  some of which had been specially commissioned for this exhibition.  This dynamic exhibition captured the breadth and depth of practice in India and demonstrated why Indian art today plays such a vital role in the current international art scene.


Surendran Nair
Quaquaversal prolix…otherwise known as Mephistopheles
oil on canvas
210 x 120cm
Private Collection

Subodh Gupta
handmade paper, acrylic, cow dung in PVA solution, LED lights with timer and transformer
127 x 96 x 8cm
Private Collection


Curated by Chaitanya Sambrani from the Australian National University, this exciting show included work by 37 artists; embracing sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, video and interactive media. One of the most important aspects of the exhibition was an examination of the term “contemporary Indian artist”. With this in mind, this presentation clearly established that this notion included not only the more celebrated and bigger names in the Indian art scene but also artists and artisans working outside the art centres, often in small rural communities. By including such a range of practitioners, a highly nuanced understanding of the role of art and how it continues to impact upon people from across the country emerged.

The exhibition was opened by the Premier of Western Australia, Dr Geoff Gallop, at the Art Gallery of Western Australia on the evening of 24 September 2004.

A number of artists travelled to Perth for the exhibition. NS Harsha, who showed a large painting of botanical life in Mysore, came to Perth to engage in public performances with school children. Young artist Shilpa Gupta engaged in performances on the Perth public train system that investigated the modes through which blame works in contemporary international and local cultures.

This exhibition was co-organised by the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Asia Society New York.

Asia Society New York
Australia India Council


Artists included in the exhibition were: Ganga Devi Bhatt (Bastar), Swarna Chitrakar (West Bengal), Atul Dodiya (North Bombay), Shilpa Gupta (Bombay), Subodh Gupta (New Delhi), Archana Hande (Bombay), NS Harsha (Mysore), Rummana Hussain, Tushar Joag (Bombay), Ranbir Kaleka (New Delhi), Ravi Kashi (Bangalore), Mallikarjun Katakol (Bangalore), Sonia Khurana (New Delhi), Raj Kumar (Bastar), Nalini Malani (Bombay), Umesh Maddannahalli (New Delhi), Kausik Mukhopadhyay (Bombay), Pushpamala N (with Clare Arni) (Bombay), Surendran Nair (Baroda), Open Circle (Bombay), Cyrus Oshidar (MTV India) (Bombay), Sudir Patwardhan (Bombay), Raqs Media Collective (New Delhi), NN Rimzon (Trivandrum), Sharmila Samant (Bombay), GM Sheikh (Baroda), Nilima Sheikh (Baroda), Nataraj Sharma (Baroda), Dayanita Singh (New Delhi), Subhash Singh (Bhopal), KG Subramanyan (Shantiniketan), Vivan Sundaram (New Delhi), LN Tallur (Bangalore), Vasudha Thozur (Baroda) and Sonadhar Vishwakarma (Bastar).

Travelling Exhibition Dates:

Asia Society in New York from 1 March 2005 - 30 May 2005.

Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, August - October 2005

Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO), Monterrey, Mexico,

November 2005 - January 2006

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Fall/Winter 2006



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