City of Magical Light

Visual Arts
Panel Discussion
Friday, 12th December 2014
From 6:00pm to 8:00pm (IST)
Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai - 400001.


Benaras has always cast an enchantment over us. For some of us. It is an eternal holy shrine, for others it has been a source of illumination and discovery. The artist Manu Parekh has devoted nearly four decades of his life to this city, recording its beauty and mystery in an unfolding sequence of paintings, drawings and sculptures.

Join us for an intriguing conversation between Manu Parekh, who is a Padma shri awardee, and poet and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote, as they decode the enchantment of the “City of Magical Light” and discuss Parekh’s practice.


Ranjit Hoskote

Ranjit Hoskote

Cultural Theorist, Curator and Poet

Ranjit Hoskote is a cultural theorist, curator and poet. He is the author of more than 25 books, including Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005 (Penguin, 2006) and Central Time (Penguin/ Viking, 2014), and the monographs Zinny & Maidagan: Compartment/ Das Abteil (Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/ Walther König, 2010) and Atul Dodiya (Prestel, 2014). Hoskote has translated the poetry of the 14th-century Kashmiri mystic Lal Ded as I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded (Penguin Classics, 2011). With Ilija Trojanow, he has co-authored Kampfabsage (Blessing, 2007; in English as Confluences: Forgotten Histories from East and West, Yoda, 2012). With Nancy Adajania, he is co-author of The Dialogues Series (Popular, 2011), an unfolding programme of conversations with artists. With Maria Hlavajova, he is editor of Future Publics: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art (BAK, forthcoming). Since 1993, Hoskote has curated 30 exhibitions of contemporary art, including two monographic surveys of Atul Dodiya (Bombay: Labyrinth/ Laboratory, Japan Foundation, Tokyo, 2001; and Experiments with Truth: Atul Dodiya, Works 1981-2013, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, 2013), a lifetime retrospective of Jehangir Sabavala (National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay and New Delhi, 2005-2006), a historical survey of Indian abstraction, Nothing is Absolute (with Mehlli Gobhai; CSMVS/ The Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay, 2013), and a survey of 150 years of art by Parsi artists within the narrative of an emergent Indian modernism, No Parsi is an Island (with Nancy Adajania; National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay, 2013-2014). Over 2000-2002, Hoskote co-curated the trans-Asian collaborative project, ‘Under Construction’ (Japan Foundation: Tokyo and other Asian centres). Hoskote co-curated the 7th Gwangju Biennale with Okwui Enwezor and Hyunjin Kim (2008) and was curator of India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011).

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Manu Parekh

Manu Parekh


Manu Parekh (b. Gujarat, 1939) completed a Diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, in 1962. His early work explored the relationship between man and nature, this according to him, was an energetic link to be celebrated. Since then, contradictions have formed the basis of his artistic practice. Polemics have always intrigued Parekh – the energy of the organic form and the inherent sexuality within these forms are intangible elements in his works. Vivid colours and prominent lines are an integral part of Parekh’s work and each exudes the energy he attempts to capture. The city of Banaras has played an important role in his work ever since his first visit following the death of his father. This holy city of hope, faith and tourists offered him a vast number of contradictions in one location. Parekh held his first solo exhibition of graphics and paintings in Ahmedabad in 1968. His most recent solo shows include ‘Banaras – Eternity Watches Time’ presented by Saffronart and Berkeley Square Gallery, London, at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2007 and 'Banaras' at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, in 2004. Parekh has also had solo shows at BosePacia Modern in New York and at ARKS Gallery in London. He was awarded the President of India's Silver Plaque and the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Award in 1972; the National Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1982; and the Padma Shree from the Government of India in 1992.

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