The 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries in Mumbai

Mumbai 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 Bombay by many locals, is now home to a host of independent contemporary art galleries, which feature the work of renowned and iconic Indian artists as well as cutting edge contemporary figures. We look at 10 of the best of these galleries.


Since opening in 2009 Volte has quickly established itself
as a force to be reckoned with in the Mumbai arts world. Housed in the old
Kamal Mansion in Colaba, Volte is home to a range of multimedia installations,
exhibitions and events. Gallery owner Tushar Jiwarajka brings a wealth of
international experience to proceedings as well as a taste for the bizarre,
surreal and otherwise obscure, which has given Volte its unique identity. Jiwarajka’s
combination of eclectic taste and international expertise has led to some
ground breaking exhibitions and a stable of innovative and renowned artists.
These include local talent such as Pandit Bhila Khairnar and Boshudhara Mukherjee
as well as international artists such as Belgium’s Wim Delvoye and South
William Kentridge.

The Guild Art Gallery

Founded in 1997, The Guild Art Gallery has built up a
reputation for its focus on innovative and avant-garde art from the
subcontinent and beyond. Its interdisciplinary approach involves a variety of
artistic media as well as a programme of academic events and lectures, featuring
artist/curator conversations and seminars. The gallery represents a broad range
of artists including such luminaries as Baiju Parthan, T.V. Santhosh, Riyas Komu
and Navjot Altaf. The Guild is active in publishing and has published over 50 catalogues and 7 major volumes on artists. The gallery has expanded its program to include representing international artists and to present curated international exhibitions. The gallery’s support for dynamic, unique
artists allows these artists to develop the possibilities of their art in a
fertile inter-disciplinary context. Some of the recent exhibitions at The Guild
Art Gallery have included Rakhi Peswani’s ‘Anatomy’, Kaiwan Mehta’s ‘The
Street, and the Studio…’
and Baiju Parthan and Prayas Abhinav’s ‘Variable

Chatterjee & Lal

Founded by the husband and wife team of Mortimer Chatterjee
and Tara Lal in 2003, Chatterjee & Lal is a small but exciting addition to
the Mumbai art scene. Focusing on boundary pushing, innovative art works in a
range of media, Chatterjee & Lal was one of the first art galleries in
India to feature a performance arts installation when Nikhil Chopra occupied
the gallery for three nights. The gallery also expands its operations into the
streets of Mumbai, putting on performances, and creating installations in
non-traditional spaces. The gallery combines an emphasis on young up and coming
artists from the subcontinent with art from those who are inspired by the
region. In 2007 they moved into a larger location, reflecting both their growth
and that of the Mumbai art world.

Sakshi Art Gallery

Sakshi Art Gallery, in Mumbai’s Colaba district, was
established in 1984 as a means of introducing a more commercial structure into
India’s chaotic art market. In doing so it has garnered a reputation as a
centre of influence in the Indian art world. Its support for leading Indian
artists such as M.F. Husain, Ram Kumar, F.N. Souza and K.G. Subramanyan,
amongst others, has put it at the forefront of the art scene in Mumbai and
throughout the country. It is now one of the largest private art galleries in
Mumbai and its location has contributed hugely to the city’s emergence as an
artistic hub. Whilst it has put on exhibitions throughout the world, Sakshi Art
Gallery remains committed to supporting young artists in India and promoting
their work abroad.

Project 88

Built in a former 19th century printing press,
Project 88 occupies a huge 4000 square feet space which allows it to put on a
particularly expansive range of works and installations. It has garnered a
reputation for its immersive exhibitions and performances, its artist residencies
and its collaborations with other galleries both in India and overseas. The
gallery has attracted an impressive roster of artists, both established names
such as Bharti Kher and Hemali Bhuta, and relative unknowns who work on the
periphery of the arts world, such as the eccentric Otolith Group and the
graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee. Recent exhibitions have included Hemali
Bhuta’s ‘Point-Shift and Quoted Objects’
and Banerjee’s ‘Barwa Khiladi – A
gallery of underachievers’.

Chemould Prescott
Road Gallery

A commercial off-shoot of the venerable Gallery Chemould,
which has been a mainstay of the Mumbai art scene since 1963, Chemould Prescott
Road Gallery
maintains its parent gallery’s commitment to contemporary Indian
art. It combines this commitment with state of the art facilities and a
capacious exhibition space inside a 19th century relic of British
colonialism. Gallery Chemould became famous for advocating the work of Indian
modernist icons such as MF Husain, KH Ara and S H Raza, and giving them a venue
to show their pioneering work in what was then a deeply conservative art
market. Gallery Chemould upholds these values as it continues to support young
upcoming artists from throughout India. Recent exhibitions have featured the
work of Vishal K Dar, Anju Dodiya, Bhuvanesh Gowda and Pushpamala N.


Tasveer is unique on the Mumbai arts scene in its focus on
the photographic arts. It is in fact the home of the national photography
collective of India and as such houses a wide array of photographic riches
documenting the history of India as well as the archives of several iconic
Indian photographers, from the fields of fashion, the arts and reportage. As
well as celebrating the work of Indian photographers, Tasveer also features
exhibitions by some of the leading figures in the international scene, as well
as curated thematic exhibitions. Some of the latter include ‘Chinese
Photography Now’
and ‘Maharajas’, a document of the elite who once ruled much
of India. Tavseer has also put on recent exhibitions featuring the work of
Raghu Rai and Derry Moore.

Gallery Maskara

An exceptional space, both in terms of size and ethos,
Gallery Maskara benefits from being based in a former grain factory, the
soaring roofs of which allow it to put on installations of dizzying size and
scale. Maskara also places an emphasis on subverting the more staid and
conventional elements of the Mumbai art world, and encourages more of an
inter-disciplinary approach to the production and exhibition of art. The
gallery aims to act as a catalyst in India’s underfunded arts scene and promote
the work of innovative and radical artists in a professional and commercial
context. The gallery’s owner Abhay Maskara also seeks to transcend the
reductive labels of national arts and in doing so reveal the way in which
culture and art exists in an international dialogue beyond national

Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke

Run by mother-and-daughter team Usha Mirchandani and Ranjana
Steinruecke, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke combines exhibitions of
internationally renowned artists with a roster of up and coming local talent. Ranjana
Steinruecke worked in both Manhattan and Berlin before moving to Mumbai and
still maintains links with the thriving art scene in both of those cities. This
is evident in Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke’s past exhibitions which have
featured leading contemporary figures from Germany such as Wolfgang Laib,
Sigmar Polke, Kiki Smith, and Jonathan Meese. Some of the local artists the
gallery represents are Manish Nai, Varunika Saraf, Abir Karmakar and Ratheesh
. The gallery has also featured works by older more venerable artists such as C.K.
and Jyothi Basu. Recent exhibitions have featured the mixed media art of Surabhi
and the paintings of Siji R. Krishnan, which reference the motifs of
Indian art whilst creating a unique new visual language with which to express

Pundole Art Gallery

When it opened in 1963, Pundole was one of the first art
galleries to be established in India. It is now a respected institution on the
art scene, which has promoted contemporary visual art in India throughout its
existence. It has been a formidable advocate and supporter for artists such as M.F.
, V.S Gaitonde, Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee, K.H. Ara, F.N. Souza and
Krishen Khanna, and in doing so has established their reputation within India
and in the international art world. The gallery façade still features a huge
mural by M.F. Husain and his works have been central to the gallery’s continued
success. Whilst Pundole has not expanded to the extent that some its neighbours
have, it nonetheless retains a significant influence thanks to its illustrious
history and its vital place in the development of India’s art market.

By Thomas Storey

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