The Kasauli Art Centre was founded by Vivan Sundaram at his family home ‘Ivy Lodge’ in the Kasauli Hills, which was bequeathed by his mother Indira Sher-Gil Sundaram to him and his sister Navina Sundaram. From 1976 until 1991, the Kasauli Art Centre (KAC) held artists’ workshops, seminars and symposia on film and critical theory, and experiments in theatre-making; all underlining Vivan’s belief in interdisciplinary exchange and art-making as a practice of collectivity and dialogue. Artists, academics and cultural practitioners lived and worked on the premises of Ivy Lodge, in what was perhaps one of the first experiments in artists’ residencies in the country. The Kasauli Art Centre was imbued with an ethos of hospitality: the spaces of the home were transformed into areas for conversations, discussions and screenings, while the exterior areas provided space for theatre-making experiments and performances.
From 1976 to 1984, the Kasauli Art Centre received a grant from the Museum of Fine Arts as a result of a collaboration set up between the Department of Fine Arts (now Department of Art History & Visual Arts) and the KAC by Dr. BN Goswamy and Vivan Sundaram. In exchange, artists participating in the art camps at Kasauli contributed an artwork each to the Museum. This collection forms the core of the exhibition, which is annotated by additional paintings, prints, sculptures and sketches, photographs, artists’ correspondence, catalogues and hitherto unseen archival material. The exhibition also includes scripts from the theatre-making experiments, films on the international workshops made by Navina Sundaram and video interviews with leading cultural practitioners produced especially for the exhibition. The exhibition is arranged non-chronologically: thematic strands in each gallery explore different facets of the Kasauli Art Centre and chart its evolution through individual and collective praxis.
The exhibition has been produced by the team at Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Art History & Visual Arts, Panjab University. Vivan was involved with all aspects of the project until February 2023.
Credits: Latika Gupta (curator), Sourav Sil (design & production), Malavika Madgulkar (research), Gayatri Uppal, Santosh Sahni and Maithili Bavkar.
The exhibition is on view from 16 October to 4 December 2023.
Monday through Friday (except public holidays)
10 am to 5 pm
3 pm–3.45 pm & 4 pm–4.45 pm every day