Visions from India headed to the Columbia Museum of Art

Kanishka Raja (1970–2018, Kolkata, India). Double Duty, 2007. Oil on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Tilton Gallery, New York. Courtesy of Pizzuti Collection.

Kanishka Raja (1970–2018, Kolkata, India). Double Duty, 2007. Oil on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Tilton Gallery, New York. Courtesy of Pizzuti Collection.

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art is proud to announce its featured fall exhibition Visions from India: 21st-Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection, on view October 17, 2020, through January 10, 2021, with a free public preview day Friday, October 16. Based on private collectors Ron and Ann Pizzuti’s original 2017 presentation in Columbus, Ohio, this will be the only other opportunity to see Visions from India in the United States. Opening festivities include an assortment of in-person and online programs.

“Visions from India is truly a visual feast that will dazzle and captivate visitors,” says Della Watkins, CMA executive director. “We are so excited for this special opportunity to connect audiences with art, the world, and each other through this spectacular exhibition.”

A breathtaking sweep of ultra-contemporary painting, sculpture, large-scale installations, and multimedia works from India and its diaspora, Visions from India features some of the most sought-after international artists alongside younger rising stars: Rina Banerjee, Dia Mehta Bhupal, Astha Butail, Anju Dodiya, Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Reena Saini Kallat, Bharti Kher, Bari Kumar, Sheila Makhijani, Jagannath Panda, Kanishka Raja, KP Reji, Mithu Sen, Ranjani Shettar, Sudarshan Shetty, Navin Thomas, and Avinash Veeraraghavan.

Consisting of 29 works, the exhibition showcases a remixing of traditional crafts with radical new applications. As selections from a personal collection, Visions from India is not intended as a survey of contemporary Indian art; however, many of the most celebrated artists today are represented, and the range of artists, media, and themes — including the environment, place, technology, decolonization, religion, and material culture — is fantastically varied.

“I’ve been looking forward to this exhibition for nearly three years, and it’s finally here,” says CMA Curator Catherine Walworth. “Get rid of any preconceived notions you might have about Indian art. It’s going to be a wonderfully surprising art experience straight from the world stage.”

Visions from India Opening Programs

Virtual Evening for Educators
Wednesday, October 14 | 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Zoom
Join us on Zoom for a virtual sneak preview of the exciting fall exhibition Visions from India: 21st-Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection, highlighting work from 20 contemporary artists from India and across its diaspora. Enjoy sneak peeks of the works in the show — ranging from delicate beadwork to large-scale kinetic installations — a preview of virtual tour offerings and lesson plans, and a talk and Q&A with Curator Catherine Walworth. Free with registration; space is limited to 100 participants. Professional development renewal credit forms available. Sponsored by Bank of America.

Visions from India Preview Day
Friday, October 16 | 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Celebrate the opening of Visions from India: 21st-Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection a day early with free admission, extended hours, and a lively day of art. Capacities are limited with timed reservations, so book your space in advance. The CMA is implementing cleaning and physical distancing practices to safeguard staff and visitors. Face coverings are required for everyone over the age of two.

Betwixt and Beyond: Toward a New Indian Art and Identity
Sunday, October 18 | 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. | Facebook Live
Please enjoy the opening weekend lecture for Visions from India: 21st-Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection. Dr. Siddhartha V. Shah of the Peabody Essex Museum discusses the ever-evolving story of India; one quite distinct from the fantasy of a timeless, unchanging India that so many have. By discussing his own research and writing as well as topics within Visions from India, Shah reveals the challenges that Indian artists and creatives face in being from a country both ancient and new and how they find great opportunity to reinvent and unravel centuries of ignorance and prejudice about India and Indian-ness. Introduction by CMA curator Dr. Catherine Walworth. Live Q&A with Shah and Walworth to follow. Free.

Shah is the Peabody Essex Museum’s curator of Indian and South Asian art and its recently appointed director of education and civic engagement. He earned his B.A. in art history from Johns Hopkins University, an M.A. in East-West psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University. His academic and curatorial projects have been featured in publications ranging from India Today and The Times of India to Psychology Today and The New Yorker. Shah also serves on the Advisory Council of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and on the Board of the American Council for Southern Asian Art.

Plaza Rhythms: Garba Dance
Sunday, October 25 | 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
In honor of Navratri, a major Hindu festival dedicated to the divine feminine, learn a Gujarati folk dance known as Garba that revolves around the nine forms of mother goddess Durga. Taught by local dancer and educator Panna Chauhan. All ages. Free with membership or admission. Registration is required, and capacity is limited to ensure physical distancing.


Visions from India: 21st-Century Art from the Pizzuti Collection is presented through the support of our generous sponsors and grantors. Presenting sponsor: Joyce and George Hill. Supporting sponsor: Bank of America. Contributing sponsor: Abacus Planning Group, Inc. Friend sponsors: The Art of Dentistry, Patricia L. Beckler, The Braddock Group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, Consultants in Gastroenterology - Dr. and Mrs. Raj Vasudeva, Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Gimarc, and Nikki and Michael Haley. Patron Sponsors: Sharon H. Bass, Becky and Earl Ellis, Hotel Trundle, Marjorie Russ Trifon, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Betty Robinson and John Hutto, Roopal S. Ruparelia, SC Power Team, Neeta Nandkumar Shah, Ratish Patel and Seema Shrivastava-Patel. Media sponsors: Free Times, Grace Outdoor, and WXRY 99.3 FM. Grantors: National Endowment for the Humanities, City of Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina Arts Commission, and South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.

Visions from India has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

On loan from the Pizzuti Collection.

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