Editor-in-Chief and Publisher
Bhavna Kakar is a graduate in Painting from Government College of Art, Chandigarh and a post-graduate in Art History from MS University Baroda. Having received a JRF-UGC research fellowship, her ongoing thesis focuses on pre-modern art and Brahmanical sculpture from the Vidarbha region. With several years of experience in arts management, writing, editing and curating, Kakar established the contemporary art space Latitude 28 in New Delhi to challenge preconceived notions of what comprises art. When she had opened the gallery, there was very little support or community for younger artists who were experimenting with innovative methods and materials. Her independent curatorial practice at the time was already focused on such work, and she was able to consolidate these interests into an institution, which has over the years become a pioneering space in the city for contemporary art practices through collaborations with artists, curators and other institutions. Her recent curatorial exhibitions and projects include Delhi Contemporary Art Week; ‘The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters’, solo project by Prajjwal Choudhury, India Art Fair, New Delhi (2019); ‘Babur ki Gai’, a show on contemporary myth-making, Gallery Latitude 28 (2018); ‘Soaring to Nowhere’, art project by Sudipta Das, India Art Fair (2018); ‘Dissensus’ and ‘Dissensus II’ with Gallery Latitude 28 at Bikaner House, New Delhi and Punjab Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh (2017); ‘G/rove’, Gallery Latitude 28 (2017).
Further, there was also a need for a platform to initiate and sustain critical discourse on the arts. This led to her other project TAKE on Art, a bi-annual magazine that she edits and publish, imagined at a time when the art market was declining in the face of the global economic recession and the disappearance of art criticism from mainstream newspapers and other publications. The magazine tries to build accessible, contemporary and global discourses on the arts with a special focus on South Asia. Kakar’s commitment to fostering art writing practices is one of the driving forces behind TAKE’s continued effort to establish a space for independent art writers by supporting both emerging and established critics through awards, workshops, panel discussions and seminars. In late 2018, she collaborated with Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia to initiate the Art Writers’ Award, which is the first award in the region that focuses not just on visual arts but includes other fields such as photography, design, architecture, theatre, etc. The award supports one Indian writer and offers the recipient an international research residency for a period of upto 45 days.
Bhavna Kakar has also spoken and participated in various forums on Indian contemporary art, art management and South Asian art in India and abroad. Kakar has promoted her work extensively at various international forums and fairs including Sharjah Biennale, Art Dubai, the Asia Triennial Manchester, Dhaka Art Summit and Videobrasil. She has also been part of the Art Basel Hong Kong Conversations in 2019 and 2018. Through several fellowships and informal partnerships, she has travelled to cities like Oslo, Copenhagen, Venice, Hong Kong, New York, Dhaka, Colombo, etc., where she further promoted the magazine. She is currently on the jury of the Art Scribes’ Award and continues to encourage emerging art writers and researchers. Since 2009, she has built and nurtured both spaces, adapting to the various twists and turns that the art world has taken. With several years of experience in arts management, writing, editing and curating, Kakar continues to initiate programs that encourage young writers and artists.