A journalist-turned-art-writer, Ankush Arora is interested in narratives and histories of South Asian art, with a focus on how artistic traditions shape practices of modern and contemporary artists. Following a career in arts criticism and arts management in India, Ankush moved to the United States in 2021 for a two-year masters program in art history at Syracuse University. 

His past projects in India include catalogue essays for DAG’s recent exhibition, “Primitivism and Modern Indian Art” (Mumbai, New York; 2019-20); editing a research report on the arts management sector in India (commissioned by SDA Bocconi Asia Center); and press release writing on the participating artists of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018. Previously, he worked at Akar Prakar, New Delhi, where he looked after physical and online programming, involving exhibitions and publications of Indian modernists, particularly from Bengal.

He has contributed essays and articles to ReutersArchitectural DigestFirstpostThe Wire, and The Hindu.

(Featured image: Polish artist Goshka Macuga’s installation at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018)

Long-form projects

Catalogue essays, Primitivism and Modern Indian Art, DAG, 2019 – 20

Copy-editor and proofreader, Toying with Gandhi – Sculptures by Debanjan Roy, 2021, exhibition catalogue published by Akar Prakar

Copy-editor and proofreader, Sense and Sensation – Paintings in pen and ink by Ganesh Haloi, 2021, exhibition catalogue published by Akar Prakar

Copy-editor and proofreader, Translating Modernity – Sculptures by Prodosh Das Gupta, 2020, exhibition catalogue published by Akar Prakar

Copy-editor and proofreader, Memorialising Ganesh Pyne – Photographs and Photo-Collages by Veena Bhargava, 2020 (Mapin Publishing and Akar Prakar)

Report editor, Arts Management in India – Challenges in formal education for arts management in India (2019), commissioned by SDA Bocconi Asia Center 

Press release writing on artists of Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2018-19

Reportage on the growing censorship of Bollywood films in the backdrop of a resurgent right-wing India, India: Censors under fire, Freemuse, 2016

Art reviews, essays and interviews (2013 – present):

FIRSTPOST (2019 onwards)

Through 100 objects, Vidya Dehejia’s new book makes a case for multiplicity of voices to thrive in India

From Bihar Museum’s biennale to ‘Lokame Tharavadu’ at Kochi, how Indian art world navigated first half of 2021 

The more things change, the more they stay the same: A short story about art and NFTs

For art curation in India, challenge lies not only in preserving culture, but also envisioning what must be preserved

In new S.H. Raza biography, Yashodhara Dalmia humanises the iconic artist’s life and work

2020, a year in Indian art: From virtual galleries to lost livelihoods and new artistic vocabulary, changes a pandemic wrought 

A winter without the Kochi Biennale: Despite loss of serendipity, a meaningful engagement with post-COVID era 

At this year’s Kochi Biennale, Arpita Singh’s playful, surrealistic narratives seek resonance in polarised times

Rameshwar Broota’s unsettling visions of paranoias and vulnerabilities in our moment of reckoning

Natvar Bhavsar wants to paint for 1,000 years: ‘People are always trying to tell a story… I have taken it out of art completely’

Remembering Zarina Hashmi: Simplicity and meditativeness of artist’s minimalist style are timeless

Coronavirus Outbreak: Kiran Nadar paints gloomy forecast for India’s art market, predicts possible drop in prices

Coronavirus Outbreak: Art world braces for pandemic’s impact with online initiatives, social media outreach

Visual artist Sahil Naik on appropriation of architecture, and why the ‘doing over’ of what exists has his interest

Erin Gleeson’s new exhibition reflects on the synergy between Cambodia’s turbulent history and its art

Mumbai exhibition showcases Akbar Padamsee’s legacy of contradictions, celebrating ‘inherent duality of life’

Economics of India’s arts sector may take longer to improve than envisioned: CII taskforce’s Tarana Sawhney

Delhi’s Jamia Nagar has long been perceived as a Muslim ghetto – a label new art initiatives are interrogating

Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee’s Met retrospective showcases wild, free-flowing sculptures

From conflict-ridden North East, eight artist re-imagine borders in subtle, ironic ways

Nasreen Mohamedi: Beyond the Line

An artist’s response to Sabarimala

THE WIRE (2019)

How do you revive a newspaper’s photo archive in present-day India?


G R Iranna’s evocative installation stands as a symbol of unity in these tumultuous times

This exhibition memorialises Ganesh Pyne, one of the most revered artists of independent India

At Venice Biennale, there’s more to India than just Gandhi

Whitney Biennial takes a closer look at political and racial issues

Chicago Architecture Biennial interrogates historical narratives of built environment

THE HINDU (2019)

The line that unites two generation of artists


Cambodian contemporary art: In Conversation with Erin Gleeson

Dharmendra Prasad: In search of borderless utopia

Debasish Mukherjee: Fabric as memory


Profiles of participating artists

REUTERS (2013 -2015)

Imaging Sri Lanka’s colonial past

Photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta’s homecoming

Baby steps for India art market, best yet to come

Glimpses of Indian Buddhist art

Photo Gallery – Impressions from the India Art Fair

The body as an art form in India

Inside is everything in Subodh Gupta show

A walk through the India Art Fair 2014

Delhi Art Gallery’s nude portrait exhibition draws protesters

Reliving ‘Aruna’s Story’ – on stage

Photo gallery: A walk through Mayawati’s Dalit Park

Shamshad Begum: A tribute to a voice long gone

Remembering Reshma, Pakistan’s ‘first lady’ of folk music 

Revisiting Satyajit Ray through Nemai Ghosh’s lens

ARTDOSE (2019)

Ranbir Kaleka: Where the mind travels

Arpita Singh: A life in painting

India Art Fair: Beyond the Subcontinent

Pushpamala N: The Body Politic


The muted intensity of Farrokh Chothia’s Jazz Portraits

ART1ST (2018)

The Earthiness of Vipul Kumar’s Ceramic Sculptures

When art transcends human creativity

From India and the World, a gallery tour of masterpieces on 200-year-old freedom struggles

New art exhibition in Delhi introduces rare genre of colour field painting to art lovers

Interwoven narratives of Indian and Thai textiles


Reuters (2013 – 2015)

Barkha Dutt on India’s ‘fault lines’ and personal reinvention

Being gay and ‘No One Else’ in India and the USA

Revisiting Bangladesh, 43 years after the independence war

Guns, war and a dove – Sri Lanka looks for a new life

Mahabharata retold, with a twist from writer Kiran Nagarkar

Ten years on, Chetan Bhagat says better prepared to face critics

Navtej Sarna on India’s Jerusalem connection

Rana Dasgupta on a ‘vastly under-imagined Delhi’

Reema Abbasi and a glimpse of Pakistan’s Hindu past

The Quint (2016)

How a travelogue uses familiar cinema and books to remember cities


Posted in Art

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