Saved events

The Imaginary Institution of India: Art 1975-1998

Gieve Patel, Off Lamington Road, 1982-86.

A landmark group exhibition of art made in response to India’s changing cultural-political landscape during pivotal years.

Featuring artwork by over 25 Indian artists, this major exhibition is bookended by two transformative events in India’s history: Indira Gandhi’s declaration of a state of emergency in 1975 and the Pokhran nuclear tests in 1998. The fraught period between these years was marked by social upheaval, economic collapse, and rapid urbanisation.

Within this turbulence, ordinary life continued, and artists made work that distilled historically significant episodes as well as intimate moments and shared experiences. Across a range of media, the vivid, urgent works on show – about friendship, love, desire, family, religion, violence, caste, community, protest – are deeply personal documents from a period of tremendous change.

This is the first institutional exhibition to cover these definitive years, with many works never before seen in the UK.

Tagged with: Art & design

This exhibition is organised by the Barbican in collaboration with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi.

kiran nadar museum of art

Participating artists

Pablo Bartholomew, Jyoti Bhatt, Rameshwar Broota, Sheba Chhachhi, Sheela Gowda, Sunil Gupta, Safdar Hashmi, M.F. Husain, Rummana Hussain, Jitish Kallat, Bhupen Khakhar, K.P Krishnakumar, Nalini Malani, Tyeb Mehta, Meera Mukherjee, Madhvi Parekh, Navjot Altaf, Gieve Patel, Sudhir Patwardhan, C.K.Rajan, N. N. Rimzon, Savi Sawarkar, Himmat Shah, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, Arpita Singh, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Vivan Sundaram, J. Swaminathan.

See more art for less

Visit all our exhibitions for free, as many times as you like. Members Plus can bring a guest for free, too.

Art Gallery

The Barbican was designed to be different

Our exhibitions are just the same