10 Young Indian Artists We Love

A look at 10 amazing Indian artists, all under 40, who express themselves in new and exciting ways that evolve constantly.

Many of these artists have not yet sold a piece of work; a few among them separate the works they sell from the art they make. Some have not yet shown in a gallery. What they do have in common is that they are all below 40, and cannot but think about the world and express it in new and exciting ways that evolve constantly.

1. Sumakshi Singh, Gurgaon

The question of how people “see”, says Sumakshi Singh, “with their eyes, with their bodies in space, with their minds”, is key to her work.

Sumakshi Singh

Artist: Sumakshi Singh

2. Pallavi Paul, New Delhi

Working primarily with videos and the installation form, Paul says her work usually deals with philosophical questions that surround the concept of non-fiction. “In other words, it is the theatre of factuality or the fact itself that I am interested in as an observer as well as an artist,” she says, adding that these regimes of fact or truth production offer insights into how time is structured and how things are remembered and archived.

Artist: Pallavi Paul

Artist: Pallavi Paul

3. Tanya Goel, Delhi

The abstract painter’s works are a record—in physicality as well as metaphorically—of the disappearing as well as emerging architectural grid of the city. “Cities are a flux of activity, additions and erasures of intentional/unintentional grids,” says Goel.

Artist: Tanya Goel

Artist: Tanya Goel

4. Shreyas Karle, Mumbai

Borders are passé as far as Shreyas Karle is concerned. His creations are often a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of common objects. An education in fine arts was always at the back of his mind, he says, “since I had closely seen my cousin’s college life in an art school in Bandra (Mumbai)”. The artist, who holds a master’s in visual arts from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, says, “Since I got into an art college directly after my class X, I was considered a failure in the mainstream education system.” Karle is the co-founder of CONA Foundation, an alternative artist space in Borivali, Mumbai.

Artist: Shreyas Karle

Artist: Shreyas Karle

5. Asim Waqif, New Delhi

An architect by training, Asim Waqif’s art practice stems from his interest in the built environment and how it influences people. Waqif’s work, though, is not art for art’s sake; he’s also actively attempting to influence the viewer, particularly on issues of ecology and sustainability. But this “activism” is delivered with a touch of humour.

Artist: Asim Waqif

6. Prajakta Potnis, Mumbai

Capitalism, the impact of war, environmental degradation, genetically modified food, loss of privacy, the works of Potnis, who did her master’s from the Sir JJ School of Art in Mumbai, are inherently derived from contemporary anxieties.

Prajakta Pontis

Artist: Prajakta Pontis

7. Benitha Perciyal, Chennai

Nature, identity and memory are central to Chennai-based artist Benitha Perciyal’s work. Born in the town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, which is dotted with temples and surrounded by the Anaimalai hills, Perciyal’s origins seep into the material she works with.

Benitha Perciyal

Arist: Benitha Perciyal

8. Hemali Bhuta, Mumbai

Space has always been a crucial aspect of Hemali Bhuta’s work. “My attempt in current practice is to explore the idea of a hybrid space, in between the studio and the gallery, in between randomness and composition and, most importantly, where the form ceases to become space,” she says.

 Hemali Bhuta

Artist: Hemali Bhuta

9. Parag Sonarghare, Vadodara

Parag Sonarghare was born in Nagpur, Maharashtra, and trained as a painter at the Government Chitrakala Mahavidyalaya before graduating in art history from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in 2010. His oeuvre is an amalgamation of performance and canvas, and defies easy categorization.

Parag Sonarghare

Artist: Parag Sonarghare

10. Prabhakar Pachpute, Pune

After graduating from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Pachpute assisted artist Tushar Joag and, in 2011, joined the Clark House Initiative—an artists’ collective which comprised Sachin Bonde, Nikhil Raunaq, Rupali Patil, Yogesh Barve, Poonam Jain and Amol Patil besides curators and co-founders Sumesh Sharma and Zasha Colah. Besides charcoal, Pachpute works across a range of media, including terracotta, ceramic, fibreglass and paper pulp.

Prabhakar Pachpute

Artist: Prabhakar Pachpute

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

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