Rajasthan has undergone a rapid transformation into a burgeoning cultural capital in recent decades and the city’s art scene has benefited hugely; becoming the most vibrant and exciting on the subcontinent. The city, still called Sun city by many locals, is now home to a host of independent contemporary art galleries, which feature the work of renowned and iconic Rajasthan artists as well as cutting edge contemporary figures. We look at 10 of the best of these galleries in Rajasthan.
One of the biggest and most pioneering contemporary art galleries in Rajasthan, Artchill Art Gallery became active on the Jaipur Rajasthan art scene in 1994, as a space where upcoming Rajasthani artists could express their creativity. Today it features the work of both recognised and young, emerging Indian painters. Located at the top of the hill within Amber Fort, Jaipur’s famous heritage monument, it provides a visually and spiritually unique experience. On its premises, the Eternity Museum showcases national art treasures, such as the original artworks of Jamini Roy and Ram Kinker, alongside a collection of works by Paritosh Sen, Karmakar, Gue, Shamshad, and many other prominent Indian painters.
Standing tall in the heart of the ever-busy M.I. Road in the heart of the Pink City, this contemporary art gallery draws the attention of Jaipur artists and art lovers from all over India. Established in 2003, Samanvai Art Gallery boasts a large collection of contemporary Indian paintings and modern art in oil, watercolour and mixed media by renowned and promising artists from various Indian states such as Bengal, Kerala, Goa and, of course, Rajasthan. The gallery also provides a haven for artists from across the country who wish to conduct workshops and exhibitions, organised throughout the year.
A meeting point for art lovers and critics, Naila Art Gallery showcases the works of several distinguished artists, which range from traditional to abstract art in various mediums and eclectic styles. Managers of the gallery and accomplished artists Thakur Dushyant Singh and Thakurani Usha Sing are among them. Located within the premises of the Naila Bagh Palace, one of Jaipur’s heritage hotels, this tranquil art space provides a stunning natural environment and welcomes artists wishing to stay and work in its peaceful ambience – in fact, the gallery aims to become a peaceful space of symbiosis for artists and their audiences.
Nestled in the lush green gardens of Ram Niwas Bagh, planned by Maharaja Ram Sigh as a famine relief project in the 19th century, this small but exquisite art gallery makes a difference. The Modern Art Gallery was added to the extensive park in 1983 as a platform to promote the state’s diverse cultural events. It showcases the exclusive works of some of the most well known sculptors and modern artists of Rajasthan. Cosy but authoritative, the gallery makes for a perfect stop on a stroll around Ram Niwas Bagh.
Spread over a large area of 4000 square feet, the Nidhi Gallery for modern and contemporary art houses a vast collection of stunning canvases, water colours and graphics by established painters, as well as promising emerging artists. The gallery has so far successfully organised 21 shows, while the latest additions to its growing collection can always be viewed in the gallery’s exhibition hall. Nidhi displays art that ranges from abstract to semi-abstract, surreal to figurative, in addition to landscapes, portraits, graphic and historical works in all mediums, surfaces and sizes. In an effort to show that art is a universal language, which cuts across borders and regions, Nidhi displays the work of both Rajasthani and pan-Indian artists.
An artistic blend of Indian cultural heritage which incorporates Western concepts, is the defining characteristic of Adroit Art Gallery, nestled in the heart of the Cultural Capital of Rajasthan, Jodhpur. The cosy art space inspires its artists to create inventive designs and cutting-edge quality paintings. Art seems to know no bounds here, with formats and styles as diverse as traditional Rajasthani painting, figurative art, contemporary experiment and still life. Rashmi Soni, the main artist featured at Adroit Art Gallery, creates original abstract paintings, murals and replicas.
In an effort to promote innovative artistic trends and achieve a global perspective and Indian ethos within art, Kaman Art Gallery has held several significant exhibitions over the years, featuring some of the most gifted and exceptional artists on India’s contemporary art scene. Founded by Mitendra Singh, the gallery displays original artworks as well as prints and sculptures, executed in different mediums ranging from charcoal and pastels to bronze and stone. Kaman Art space successfully ventures to popularise the vibrant and eclectic art creations of brilliant Indian artists living and working across the world.
The first contemporary art gallery in Rajasthan, Palette Art Gallery is one of a kind, its unique collection of marvellous paintings showing off a richness of colour and idea. Visitors to the gallery soon realise that ‘art is and will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind.’ The gallery portrays different kinds of art from all over the country, from miniature paintings, wood craft and ceramic, to iron and many more. Its inspiring collection is the fruit of its skilled and experienced artists, who are renowned not only in India but also abroad. The gallery’s meticulously designed products seem to reflect the regal Jodhpur’s complex heritage.
Kamal Sharma was established by an artist with a vision; the skilful and adaptable creative mind behind the venture, Kamal Sharma, took Udaipurian art one step further by developing traditional sketches and portraits into 3D paintings, using mainly oil, acrylic and watercolours. Kamal Sharma Art Gallery often hosts exhibits of its founder’s latest abstract art creations, as well as his extraordinary marble paintings and artefacts. This deeply experimental artist has participated in several national and international exhibitions in an effort to carry forward – and update – the great legacy of his ancestors.
Pristine Art Gallery exhibits a wide-ranging collection of the best picks from Udaipur’s rich crop of contemporary artists. It specialises in many small pieces by Shail Choyal, a guru of contemporary Indian painting, alongside many other highlights, such as the work of Shahid Parvez, a local fine artist. The paintings here represent a clear attempt to bring out humour, which comes from the perception and depiction of the incongruities of existence that are always present in folk and tribal art forms. However, Pristine also manages aptly to convey the flux of modern existence, as well as to fathom new aesthetics and contemporary urbanity.