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    ARTICLE

    Painters with a Camera

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    Articles are written collaboratively by the EIA editors. More information on our team, their individual bios, and our approach to writing can be found on our About pages. We also welcome feedback and all articles include a bibliography (see below).

    Held in 1968 at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay (now Mumbai), Painters with a Camera was an exhibition of experimental photography by seven artists from the Baroda School of Art, namely: Jyoti Bhatt, Feroz Katpitia, Narendra Mehta, Jeram Patel, Vinodray Patel, Vinod S Patel, and Gulamohammed Sheikh. The exhibition was unique as it sought to disrupt popular notions about the medium of photography and facilitate its recognition as an art form at a time when prominent institutions, such as the Lalit Kala Akademi and the National Gallery of Modern Art, did not collect or display photography. Designed by Vinodray Patel and VS Patel, the exhibition catalogue consisted of brief biographies of the painters and a cover image featuring the seven artists posing with cameras in a makeshift studio in Baroda (now Vadodara).

    The images contributed by Katpitia, Vinodray Patel, Vinod S Patel, Mehta and Bhatt were created by transferring negatives onto lith film, while those by Jeram Patel and Sheikh mirrored the cinematic style of the French New Wave. Images by Sheikh included a horse grazing in his hometown, Surendranagar, as well as a portrait of art historian Geeta Kapur. Two popular photographs by Bhatt – Venice (1966) and Untitled (A Face) (1968–69) – were also included in the exhibition.

     
    Bibliography

    Gujral, Diva. “Painters with a Camera (1968/69): in Search of an Indian Photography exhibition.” Object 20, no. 1 (2019): 33–58, https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10065730/.

    Kapur, Geeta. When was Modernism: Essays on Contemporary Cultural Practice in India. New Delhi: Tulika, 2000.

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