The Indian artist Sudhir Patwardhan is chiefly a painter in the realist tradition moving between images of the city, inhabitants, and milieu. Along with bodies and buildings, his traverse charts the shape of urban change through acts of witness positioned at windows, on terraces, on the train platform, and within the bustle of the city street. Although various aesthetic inflections in his work acknowledge a debt to canonical peaks in the history of western art, they find traction in generative tensions with the conceptually-driven practices of Indian artists such as Akbar Padamsee, Gieve Patel, and Nalini Malani. Here, in conversation with Prajna Desai, Patwardhan articulates how he came to art as a self-trained practitioner, alighting on Marxist histories and personal narratives that have shaped his practice of pigment on a two-dimensional substrate. Sudhir Patwardhan lives and works in Thane, a city near Mumbai.
Temptations to pronounce a politics of ecology and technology are incisively moderated in this essay on Tetsumi Kudo’s multimedia installation, presented in MoMA’s Gallery 420 through the fall, prompting a broader critical commentary on the negotiations of cultural typification and belonging in the artist’s oeuvre.
This conversation took place via email from December 2020 to February 2021. Though participants had already been acquainted for a long time before this, they began their exchange with casual personal introductions.
Global South collaborations, site specificity, public engagement, cultural mediation, translation, and the politics of the environment—these are but some of the many facets of curator Đỗ Tường Linh’s research and practice.