From food politics to personal experiences to histories of discriminatory practices, a handful of contemporary practitioners are trying to negotiate a place for Dalit identities in the Indian art world
Bhanu Athaiya passed away in the early hours of Thursday in Mumbai. She had been diagnosed with meningioma in 2012 but had continued to work; her last costume design was for the Marathi film Nagrik in 2014.
Street-tough yet suave, this “Bombay biryani” was just one among many in Jafferbhai’s inventory. He was reputed to conjure up recipes based on people’s expectations and memories of a once-upon-a-time biryani. How many such recipes he knew could be anyone’s guess.
“We cannot expect to host a large number of visitors together in one spot for public tours, lectures or workshops till a vaccine has been produced and is available to all,” said Tasneem Zakaria Mehta, the managing trustee and honorary director of Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla.
This enhanced sense of urban alienation has made many turn to American artist Edward Hopper, whose depictions of mid-century America often figure empty rooms and cities that frame a lone human, looking out of windows, lost in a private soliloquy.
The artist’s first retrospective, spanning 70 years of his art, is on at Mumbai’s NGMA, curated by art critics Ranjit Hoskote and Nancy Adajania. The show underlines how Gobhai didn’t like the ‘seduction’ of colours and went on to be best known for his abstract paintings in earthy shades — grey or brown
This year, the traditional festivities, which include a lavish bhonu of Parsi delicacies and a visit to the agiary, were toned down, in keeping with advisories to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in India.