Mona Rai, Mixed Media
Courtesy of Nature Morte
The art gallery Nature Morte inaugurated its first exhibition in New Delhi in November 1997 and since then has become synonymous with the highest levels of South Asian contemporary art. The gallery’s program and representation of many of the most important artists of the region to come of age in the past two decades means it has acquired significant stature. Nature Morte represents many of the most prominent names in the South Asian art scene today while continuing to give opportunities to emerging talents.
A fixture of New York’s East Village from 1982 to 1988, Nature Morte was revived in New Delhi in 1997, at the dawn of the globalisation of the contemporary art world. Led by Peter Nagy and Aparajita Jain, the gallery is focused towards exhibiting and promoting art that is pertinent to South Asia but can also speak to a global audience, presenting exhibitions that subsequently gain recognition from curators, collectors, and the general public. In January 2018, Nature Morte showcased a new body of work by the photographer Gauri Gill and the entire exhibition was presented at the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1 branch in New York three months later. The very same year, its artists showcased works at prestigious venues such as the Frieze Sculpture Park (London), Museum Tinguely (Basel), Biennale of Sydney (Australia), Asia-Pacific Triennial (Brisbane), La Monnaie de Paris (France), among other international venues. In 2019, Nature Morte’s artists have mounted solo exhibitions at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (Thukral & Tagra), Grounds for Sculpture, New Jersey (LN Tallur), the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai (Seher Shah), and the Met Breuer, New York (Mrinalini Mukherjee). Over two decades, Nature Morte has identified and worked with a generation of artists from the sub-continent who have risen to international acclaim including Bharti Kher, Imran Qureshi, Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Mithu Sen, Dayanita Singh, and Raqs Media Collective.
The gallery has been located in its multi-level space in Neeti Bagh, central south Delhi, since December 2003. In addition, the gallery has maintained multiple branches in various locations: Berlin (2008-2014), Calcutta (2006-2009), and the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon (2011-2014). Nature Morte was the first gallery from India to be included in the most important international art fairs (starting with The Armory Show in New York in 2005) and has participated in Art Basel, Fiac Paris, Art Basel Miami Beach, Paris Photo, Art Dubai, Tokyo Art Fair, Art Basel Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi Art Fair, Frieze New York, among others. Nature Morte has also organized projects and exhibitions with international artists coming to India and combining their works with those of Indian artists to foster crosscultural communications. In addition to its own programming, Nature Morte has collaborated with institutions in India such as the British Council, the Alliance Francais, the Sanskriti Foundation, the India International Centre, the India Habitat Centre, Max Mueller Bhavan, the Italian Cultural Center, Khoj International.