Once the capital of British-ruled India, Calcutta – or Kolkata in Bengali – has long been a breeding ground for intellectual, political, and artistic movements. The second largest city in India, Kolkata continues to develop as a center of Indian culture, with many independent art galleries springing up over the past 20 years. The galleries in our curated selection highlight an emerging contemporary Indian art movement and exhibit some of the best Indian contemporary artists.
Experimenter Gallery is, in essence, a gallery that is deeply contemporary, showcasing only those artists and works that represent and interpret the society we currently live in. The gallery is committed to supporting young artists who work across artistic disciplines to create a contemporary art community that spans localities and situations. Past exhibitions have not shied away from political dimensions, presenting work by Shilpa Gupta and Iman Issa addressing issues in India’s armed forces. In addition to organizing thematic exhibitions, Experimenter runs an annual ‘Curators’ Hub’, providing a platform for critical engagement and discussion of the curatorial aspirations in Indian contemporary art. The effects have been a dynamic and compelling series of events, placing the gallery securely as an innovator on the contemporary art scene.
With over 15,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Emami Chisel Center is an immensely popular destination for art enthusiasts in Kolkata. The collection is comprised of paintings, sculptures, and drawings, either commissioned or donated by artists, other curators, private collectors, and art galleries. The gallery itself is striking, set in low lighting with pillars, podiums and an elegant steel staircase leading up to the second-floor balcony and square atrium; there is a visual feast for the visitor wherever they turn. The art is vibrant, replete with color and often in surrealist style. The center organizes the Emami Cultural Fiesta, showcasing not only visual arts but performance art as well. Through its exhibitions and events, Emami Chisel is laying the groundwork for an art revival in Kolkata.