AD’s guide to the Delhi Contemporary Art Week 2021 at Bikaner House

Seven leading galleries from the capital join forces to host the Delhi Contemporary Art Week (DCAW) annually. This year, the DCAW returns in its fourth edition with plenty of exciting art and art-related activities in store. Opening today until April 15, the week-long cultural event will be held at the colonial Bikaner House and will include participation from galleries such as Vadehra Art Gallery, Latitude 28, Blueprint 12, Exhibit 320, Gallery Espace, Latitude 28, Nature Morte and Shrine Empire. Emphasising the DCAW’s success as a platform to spark a conversation as well as offer connoisseurs and collectors a glimpse into the latest trends sweeping the art world, Roshini Vadehra, director, Vadehra Art Gallery, says, “We hope that people who enjoy art will appreciate the collective effort and visit the wonderful exhibitions. We also have a few events on the cards like talks and walkthroughs (keeping in mind social distancing protocols) to promote contemporary art to different audiences.” 

In an unwitting nod to women power, most of the gallerists exhibiting happen to be powerful female figures in the Indian art world. Admitting that art has traditionally been a male domain, Bhavna Kakar, director, Latitude 28, argues that “there really is no exclusive right to any gender when it comes to having a fine-tuned eye for art.” More impressively, many women artists are also included in the overall curation whereas a beguiling mix of emerging and established talent pool give the event a much-needed diversity and wide appeal. If you are looking for dynamic young artists to engage with, then you must mark the DCAW on your calendar as it promises to showcase rising voices such as Namrata Arjun, Shrimanti Saha, Valay Gada, Zahra Yazdani, Saba Qizilbash, Nihaal Faizal and Wardha Shabbir. Of course, for those with a taste for established patterns can bask in the safety of respected names like Chitra Ganesh, Kamrooz Aram, Reena Saini Kallat and Waswo X. Waswo. We’ve drawn up a quick guide that takes you through the event and its highlights.

Chitra Ganesh, Lipstick tiger

Nature Morte

In the resource-hungry 21st century, water inspires some of the most contentious politics across the world. Borrowing its title from a Haruki Murakami book, Reena Saini Kallat’s ‘Deep Rivers Run Quiet’ explores the urgent questions of the water crisis. Kallat began reflecting on the interdependent relationship between humans and rivers during the creation of ‘2 Degrees,’ an installation exploring the spiritual and material significance of rivers as the cradles of civilisation. That was more than 10 years ago and Kallat is still unable to get over the way humanity has divided water rather than celebrating it as a shared heritage endemic to our species.  

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