The city of Mumbai is a living, breathing canvas, with millions of lives creating their masterpiece here, one day at a time. Spend a day experiencing the rush of its local trains, its streets and lanes, and listening and watching the stories that unfold around you. But for the best of Mumbai’s art, head to the art galleries that dot the city. For artists, these galleries are gateways to success and recognition. For travelers and art lovers, they are spaces that shine a spotlight on the best of India’s art. Here is a look at some of them. ALSO READ: If you haven’t checked out these art galleries in Mumbai, you’re missing out BIG TIME!
Chemould Prescott Road
Chemould Prescott Road
The oldest of Mumbai’s art galleries, Chemould Gallery started in 1963 within Jehangir Art Gallery as a simple semi-circular wall. What was launched by Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy is now headed by their daughter, Shireen, and is its own space called Chemould Prescott Road. Here, you can find old and new art work, along with some of the most intellectually stimulating conversations in the city.
Photograph courtesy: Project 88 website
While Chemould is a symbol of the old, Project 88 reflects Mumbai’s new art. Managed by Sree Goswami, the gallery showcases the freshest and often the oddest art work you can find in the city. But that’s what makes this contemporary space so special. Graphic novel art, books, videos and traditional drawings and paintings; art is expressed in many forms here.
Galerie Mirchandani & Steinruecke
Photograph Courtesy: Galerie Mirchandani & Steinruecke
If minimalism s what calls you, you might find Galerie Mirchandani & Steinruecke to your liking. Located behind the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and run by Usha Mirchandani and daughter Ranjana Steinrucke, the gallery has showcased the work of artists like Wolfgang Laib and Kiki Smith. It has also offered breaks to young artists, despite the old-school minimalist look of this gallery. CHECK OUT: The fascinating story of the abandoned havelis of Shekhawati in Rajasthan
The Sakshi Gallery in Colaba, run by Geetha Mehra, is a traveler’s art gallery. It doesn’t just showcase a mix of art from around India and the world; it’s been around too. The gallery has been to Bangalore, Chennai and two spots in Mumbai before settling in Colaba, and it has a Taiwan branch. From contemporary to confusing, you’ll find art in all forms here.
Chatterjee & Lal
Photograph Courtesy: Chatterjee & Lal
For performance art, head to Chatterjee & Lal on Arthur Bunder Road. The gallery has seen some memorable performances from artists like Tino Sehgal and Nikhil Chopra, and the gallery probably arranges more performance-based shows than anything else n the city. Curators Tara Lal and Mortimer Chatterjee are very careful in showing the city the relatively new form of performance art, and you won’t leave disappointed.
The Guild Art Gallery
The Guild Mumbai is one of the few contemporary art spaces along Arthur Bunder Road in Colaba. Run by gallerist Shalini Sawhney, the gallery offers an interest mix of, well, anything and everything. Everything is fair game, which makes this space one of the most interesting to watch out. Catch a show here when you can, and keep an open mind if you do.
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Photograph Courtesy: Muk.khan/Wikimedia Commons
Finally, we have the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, which isn’t an art gallery per se but still showcases interesting contemporary art. Director Tasneem Mehta has been able to bring the museum closer to the contemporary art space of the country while still somehow strengthening its connection to the past. And so it is that you find some beautiful modern works of art between ancient pieces. NOW READ: Ever thought how you’ll spend 24 crazy hours with friends in Mumbai?
These are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. Mumbai is full of spaces for artists. There’s the Amrita Jhaveri Project Space by the Jhaveri sisters and the Mumbai Art Room that shows Indian art with an international spotlight. There’s also the Matthieu Foss Gallery, dedicated to photography only, and so many more spaces to see in this big, beautiful mess of a city.