An extensive exhibitions programme includes a strong focus on contemporary art. A series of curated exhibitions titled 'Engaging Traditions', invites artists to respond to the Museum’s collection, history and archives. These exhibitions are presented in the Kamalnayan Bajaj Special Exhibitions Gallery (KBG) in the main Museum building and may involve interventions into the vitrines holding the permanent collections. The Museum also hosts exhibitions in collaboration with galleries and other institutions in the Special Project Space (SPS) in the Museum Plaza. The Museum has successfully partnered with international museums and institutions to showcase contemporary artists and exhibitions which relate to the Museum’s permanent collection.
A series of curated exhibitions titled 'Engaging Traditions', invites artists to respond to the Museum’s collection, history and archives, addressing issues that speak directly to the traditions and issues that underlie the founding of the Museum, yet evoke the present by challenging orthodoxies and questioning assumptions. Several distinguished contemporary artists including Jitish Kallat, Sudarshan Shetty, L.N. Tallur and Ranjini Shettar have participated in this programme.
Through collaborations with international institutes, the Museum has hosted several exhibitions. Contemporary Photography and the Olympic Posters were presented from the V & A Museum, London. German artist Eberhard Havekost's works were presented in collaboration with the Dresden State Art Collections and the exhibition Social Fabric was showcased with INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts) London, and the Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai. The Museum collaborated with the Guggenheim Museum, New York, to present the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai,and the Ermenegildo Zegna group on the project ZegnArt Public in 2013. Most recently, the Museum hosted an acclaimed masterpiece of the Florentine Renaissance, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s (Italian, 1378-1455) The Gates of Paradise (1425-52), through a special collaboration with the Guild of the Dome Association, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institute, and the Museum of the Opera del Duomo. Folk Archive, a vibrant, visual account of contemporary popular British culture was held in collaboration with the British Council.
Curated by Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala
Participating artists: Amina Ahmed, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Bari Kumar, Chitra Ganesh, Hamra Abbas, Jaret Vadera, Krishna Reddy, Priyanka Dasgupta, Ranu Mukherjee, Rina Banerjee, Shaurya Kumar, Shelly Bahl, Shahzia Sikander, Mariam Ghani, Sreshta Rit Premnath and Zarina Hashmi
The exhibition ‘Beyond Transnationalism: The Legacy of Post Independent Art from India’ undertaken at the cusp of India’s 70 years of independence seeks to understand the many positions of artists of South Asian descent living in the United States. The exhibition, commissioned by the Raza Foundation for their festival Raza Utsav in February 2018, unravels the multiple subjectivities of each of the individual artists as palimpsests of varied lived experiences; interactions and relationships no longer unnecessarily tied only to nations. This exhibition asks questions about new ways to articulate this new beyond.