Visual Arts Criticism: To Explore More

in Bibliography
Published on: 05 June 2017

Subuhi Jiwani

Subuhi Jiwani is a researcher based ​in Mumbai. She shares her findings through writing and video.

Encyclopedia Britannica offers a detailed history of art criticism in the West from antiquity to the 21st century.


James Elkins’ encyclopedia entry on art criticism for The Grove Dictionary of Art brings together theories of art criticism in the West.  


Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology, edited by Eric Fernie, offers a historical overview of the methods adopted by art history in the West, from biographical and stylistic to feminist and poststructuralist. 


Indian Art History: Changing Perspectives, edited by Parul Pandya Dhar, provides a historiographical account of art history in India from colonial times to the present. The focus of the book is art historical studies of ancient and medieval art.  


Towards A New Art History: Studies in Indian Art, edited by Deeptha Achar, Parul Dave Mukherjee and Shivaji K. Panikkar, brings together essays that respond to the need to introduce into Indian art history 'a framework oriented approach which [shifts] attention to the political, social, economic structures that under-gird the production of art'.


Vidya Shivadasreport for the Asia Art Archive attempts to ‘construct a field in within which art writing takes place’ and looks at the work of five art critics: W.G. Archer (1907–1979), Richard Bartholomew (1926–1985), J. Swaminathan (1926–1994), Geeta Kapur (b. 1943) and Ranjit Hoskote (b. 1969).


Sadanand Menon’s lecture touches on the crisis in contemporary Indian art criticism, the shrinking space for it in the mass media and the idea of criticality.


Geeta Kapur’s writings, including lecture manuscripts, magazine articles and her book Contemporary Indian Artists, can be read on the Asia Art Archive website here.


Geeta Kapur’s essay on little magazines that featured critical writing on Indian art, including Contra’66 (edited by J. Swaminathan, 1966–67), Vrishchik (edited by Gulammohammed Sheikh and Bhupen Khakhar, 1969–73), and the Journal of Arts & Ideas (edited by G.P. Deshpande along with an editorial collective, 1982–99), originally published in ART India magazine, can be read on the Asia Art Archive website here.   


The writings of Ratan Parimoo, eminent art historian associated with the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, and a painter, can be read on the Asia Art Archive website here.  


Over 150 essay and lecture manuscripts of K.G. Subramanyan, renowned artist, writer and teacher who was instrumental in shaping the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda, can be read on the Asia Art Archive website here.


Rupam, an English art quarterly edited by artist and theoretician O.C. Gangoly, first came out in Calcutta in the early 1920s. Volumes 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the journal can be downloaded for free from the Internet Archive here.                   


Contra’66,a contrarian little magazine edited by the artist, critic and activist J. Swaminathan from 1966–67, can be read on the Asia Art Archive website here.   


Vrishchik, edited by painter, poet, critic and art professor Gulammohammed Sheikh and his artist friend Bhupen Khakhar from 1969–73, can be read on the Asia Art Archive website here.


Journal of Arts and Ideas, an English art journal edited by G.P. Deshpande, Geeta Kapur, Ashish Rajadhyaksha, among others, ran from 1982 to 1999. Almost all its issues can be read on The Digital South Asia Library website here.