Mumbai Art Expo 2009: Lots to hear, less to see

Mumbai Art Expo 2009: Lots to hear, less to see

The Art Expo forgoes a lot of the younger, more exciting parts and personalities of the Mumbai art scene, but what's left is all class
Mumbai Art Expo
A 1985 Oil on paper painting by F.N Souza is tagged at Rs 1,800,000. (Image: "Untitled",F.N Souza, Courtesy Dhoomimal gallery, From

Despite an uninspired name that does little to sell the event to young enthusiasts, this weekend's Art Expo at the Nehru Center is a lot better than it sounds.

On the heels of the massive India Art Summit in Delhi last month, which art commentators almost universally crowned a success, Mumbai’s version of a major art gathering is smaller, but more focused.

If you’re thinking of heading there over the next three days, there are 27 gallery exhibits to see, half from Delhi, with a notable absence of many important contemporary Indian art galleries. Especially excluded are the younger lot, though representing will be Gallery BMB -- artist Bose Krishnamachari’s trendy new showroom, which opened here this week.

But what the Mumbai Art Expo lacks in trendy galleries, it makes up in high-brow speakers. Scheduled to talk is a cocktail party of leading intellectuals, incisive critics, dapper consultants and edgy artists like Mallika Advani, Kay Saatchi, Dr. Rashmi Poddar, Jitish Kallat and Ranjit Hoskote. Even the high priestess of Indian art, Anjolie Ela Menon, will drop in to moderate a talk on the aesthetics of the erotic. 

In short, at this month’s art event, it’s better to listen than to look.

Editor's Note: The Art Expo blog has more and you can preview the art for sale at