Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
Launched in 2010, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art was the first private museum for modern and contemporary art in India. The initial and larger branch of the museum is located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, while the second location, opened in 2011, is in Saket, New Delhi. The KNMA’s prominent exhibitions are generally held in the Saket space. A third space, the KNMA Cellar, was opened in 2019 at Okhla, New Delhi.
The museum houses the private collection of its founder and chairperson, Kiran Nadar, and is funded by the Shiv Nadar Foundation. Initially consisting mainly of modernist art, the collection has grown steadily over the years to also include a significant number of contemporary art works, with the aim of more accurately representing the recent history of Indian art. Works from the collection form the bulk of the museum’s exhibitions on Indian artists, and have at times also been loaned to other institutions. The KNMA’s curatorial team is headed by Roobina Karode.
Significant exhibitions held at the KNMA’s Saket venue include Constructs | Constructions in 2015; Anatomy Lessons: Artist. Pedagogue. Poet. Scholar, a show of works by KG Subramanyan soon after his passing in 2016; Delirium // Equilibrium in 2018; and Jangarh Singh Shyam: A Conjuror’s Archive in 2018-2019. KNMA has also held retrospectives of artists, including A View to Infinity, 2013 on Nasreen Mohammedi; You Can’t Keep Acid in a Paper Bag, 2014 on Nalini Malani; Visions of Interiority: Interrogating the Male Body, 2014-2015 on Rameshwar Broota; Hammer on the Square, 2016 on Himmat Shah; The Dark Loam: Between Memory and Membrane in 2016 on Jeram Patel; Step Inside and You are No Longer a Stranger, 2018 on Vivan Sundaram; and Submergence: In the Midst of Here and There, 2019 on Arpita Singh.
Exhibitions held at the Noida venue include of bodies, armour and cages, a solo show of works by Shakuntala Kulkarni in 2012; Zones of Contact: Propositions on the Museum in 2013; Hangar for the Passerby, curated by Akansha Rastogi, in 2017; and Unfoldings: The Route Map of Experience, a solo show by Jayashree Chakravarty in 2021 that marked the completion of the KNMA’s tenth year. Annually, an exhibition of works by the graduating MFA batch at Shiv Nadar University is also held at the Noida venue. Such a Morning, centred around Amar Kanwar’s film of the same name, was held at the KNMA Cellar in early 2019.
The museum has also set up exhibitions in collaboration with other institutions, most notably Oneiric House/ round about midnight, a solo show by Sonia Khurana at 24 Jor Bagh in 2014; Nasreen Mohammedi, an exhaustive show of the late artist’s works held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in collaboration with KNMA and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid in 2016; Our Time for a Future Caring, held at the India Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019; and The Soul (Un)Gendered, a retrospective of Anupam Sud’s work, held at Delhi Art Gallery, New York in 2019.
In addition to exhibitions, the KNMA holds various workshops aimed at introducing children and adults to contemporary art, often presided over by artists. The museum also hosts lectures and talks by notable scholars on Indian art, often in conjunction with exhibitions.
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