skip to Main Content

Artist In Focus : Jitish Kallat

Jitish Kallat

In this section, we pick one artist to showcase their work and creative journey so far. Today, we look at contemporary artist Jitish Kallat

New Ways to See the Old

Drops of rain on the maximum city. However, they are not entirely lost. The young artist interestingly has a plan.

Jitish Kallat is one of the emerging and important young faces of the contemporary art scene in Mumbai. His Exhibition at Chemould Prescott showcased Rain Study. A unique registering of an otherwise banal event.

The environment and the relation to everything – is important to Kallat. There are links and maps that are formed that he eye cannot see. This is what he projects. The very complexity of the environment that he lives in, and all that happens, is presented thus.

Jitish Kallat – The Artist

Firstly, Kallat earned early acclaim as a painter, representing facets of daily life and visual culture in the bustling city of Bombay (with 20 million + inhabitants) down to the most minute detail.  Secondly, conveying the weight of history, as well as the energy and ambition that drives this city, that which inspires him everyday.

“The highly populated city of Bombay, where I live, is almost a theatre where the codes of daily existence are pushed to the extreme and this continually percolates my practice,” elaborates Kallat.

Why did he engage with the theme of the cosmos?

Seems like there is a recurring motif in his work. Kallat believes that he too is the resident of the galaxy. He is entitled to the place as much as the elements and each has their own special space.

The iconic Gallery Chemould, showcases his works.  It was founded in 1963 by late Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy. One of the oldest established commercial art galleries deserves a special mention. It celebrates art and gives young artists space to exhibit their thoughts.. Interestingly, it has the distinction of having represented major artists. Some of them namely are  M.F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta, S.H. Raza, emerging from the first waves of India’s modernist and contemporary art movements.


Born in 1974 in Mumbai, Jitish has had several notable exhibitions to his credit

Arken Museum, Ishoj, Denmark (2012-13); Public Notice 3 at the Art Institute of Chicago (2010-2011); Indian Highway IV at MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2012) and at Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France (2011); The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today at Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2010); Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art at Essl Museum – Contemporary Art, Klosterneuburg, Austria and at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (both 2009); Indian Highway at the Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2008-09),

The artist lives and works in Mumbai, and is married to notable artist Reena Kallat.

To learn more about your favourite artist and their creative journey, visit Artist in Focus

Back To Top