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Indian art is going places, but where do you go when you want to see the best of the burgeoning Indian art scene, and quickly? We trawled through dozens of new galleries and spaces erupting in art districts around the country, and paid our respects to sprawling, institution-like old galleries.
From hothouses for modernists, to where you can find the best of Indian contemporary art, here are five art galleries in Mumbai showcasing the most exciting artistic talent in the country right now.

Jhaveri Contemporary

 

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Considering that founders and sisters Amrita and Priya were the forces behind the first-ever public exhibition of the works of Anish Kapoor — of one the most influential sculptors of his generation — in India, the Jhaveri sisters’ knowledge and influence on the Indian art world is undeniable. Jhaveri Contemporary was started by the duo in 2010 in Walkeshwar, but shifted base to the more accessible and widely frequented by collectors and connoisseurs art hub of Mumbai — Colaba — last year. Jhaveri Contemporary might be a young gallery, but it is already a revered one, for its mandate of showcasing “artists, across generations and nationalities, whose work is informed by South Asian connections and traditions”. The gallery has participated, multiple times, at major international art fairs such as Frieze Masters, Frieze New York, and Art Basel Hong Kong, among many other smaller ones. Last year, Jhaveri Contemporary won the Stand Prize at Frieze New York for its solo display of the late Mohan Samant’s paintings and works on paper. Jhaveri Contemporary’s enviable roster includes names like Rana Begum, Simryn Gill, Lionel Wendt, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Ali Kazim, Yamini Nayar, Anish Kapoor, Gyan Panchal, and many others.
Where: 3rd Floor, Devidas Mansion, B K Boman Behram Marg, Apollo Bandar, Colaba

Volte

 

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Just about a decade old (it was started in 2008), Volte was conceptualised and set up by Tushar Jiwarajka with the vision to democratise art, while at the same time giving his clientele an intimate and discreet experience. The result was Volte, which in the 10 short years since it opened doors has already earned itself a spot among must-visit galleries for contemporary and modern art not just in Mumbai or India, but in Asia. For art lovers with varied tastes, Volte specialises in shows that use technology and an eclectic mix of mediums that range from still paintings, interactive video art, light and sound-powered installations, and performance art. With a roster that boasts of established Indian artists like Ranbir Kaleka, Sheba Chhachhi, Nalini Malani, and Sonia Khurana, international names like Anish Kapoor, James Turrell, William Kentridge, Wim Delvoye and David LaChapelle, as well as lesser known but upcoming artists, Volte has hosted some of the most dynamic and experimental shows to have emerged out of the Indian art scene in recent times.
Where: 202 Sumer Kendra, Floor 2, Pandurang Buhadkar Marg, Worli

Chemould Prescott Road Gallery

 

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Founded in 1963, Gallery Chemould is one of the oldest and most prestigious commercial art galleries in the city. Chemould has been home to some of the biggest names from the first wave of modernist and contemporary art in post-independence India — MF Hussain, SH Raza, Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, have all exhibited there. Despite its repute as the turf of contemporary bigwigs like Nalini Malani, Jitish Kalat, KH Ara, Krishen Khanna and many others, showing politically charged mixed medium art, Gallery Chemould has a longstanding tradition of encouraging emerging talent such as Shezad Dawood and Dhruvi Acharya and giving them a platform to talk about Indian art with a revamped vocabulary.
Where: 3rd floor, Queens Mansion, G. Talwatkar Marg, Fort

Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke

 

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Owned by the formidable mother-daughter duo of Usha Mirchandani and Ranjana Steinruecke since 2006, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke’s focus has always firmly been on discovering, supporting and promoting new talent. At the same time, it has brought several international artists of repute, such as Leiko Ikemura, Kiki Smith, and Jonathan Meese, to India for the first time. The gallery might be only 12 years old in Mumbai, but it has its roots in The Fine Art Resource, a Mumbai art dealership by Mirchandani in the 80s, and later as a Berlin gallery from 1997 to 2003. During Mirchandani and Steinruecke’s 30-year-long tryst with modern and contemporary Indian art, they have been instrumental in organising solo exhibitions by important Indian artists in Berlin. The gallery’s short but eclectic list of artists includes Abir Karmakar, best known for his voyeuristic self-portraits, Vidha Saumya, Surabhi Saraf, Tanya Goel, and others.
Where: 2, Sunny House, 16/18, Mereweather Road, Behind Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba

Project 88

 

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Housed in a sweeping 4,000 square foot space, Project 88 was started in 2006 by Sree Goswami in what was originally a century-old printing press. The gallery has the unique distinction of expertly alternating between some of the oldest names in all disciplines of art, and fresh, new talent that will be the future of Indian contemporary art. Project 88 also often works with experimental mid-career artists from South Asia and other parts of the world. Among its interdisciplinary roster of artists, you will find names like fashion photographer Bharat Sikka, graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee, the globally renowned British-Indian contemporary artist Bharti Kher, the experimental Raqs Media Collective, visual artist Hemali Bhuta, and many others.
Where: Ground Floor, B.M.P. Building, Narayan A Sawant Rd, Azad Nagar, Colaba
All galleries are open Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Sonali Kokra

Kokra is a journalist, writer, editor, and media consultant from Mumbai. She writes on feminism, relationships, sexuality, art, culture, and lifestyle.