Established at the initiative of avid art collector Kiran Nadar, KNMA opened its doors in January 2010 as the first private museum exhibiting Modern and Contemporary Art from India and the subcontinent. A non-commercial, not-for-profit organisation, the Museum intends to exemplify the dynamic relationship between art and culture through its exhibitions,publications, educational and public programs. By reaching out to diverse groups of audience, KNMA aspires to be a 'people-centered' and 'action-oriented' space. Supported by the Shiv Nadar Foundation, KNMA is plugging the social need of promoting art and instilling its deep appreciation amongst individuals and the larger public. In Kiran Nadar's words, "though the idea of opening a private art museum occurred with the intention of sharing my art collection with the larger public, I was also acutely aware of the existing dearth of institutional spaces in India that could bring visibility to the diversity of modern and contemporary art".
KNMA is driven by the need to welcome in our everyday life, the presence and relevance of artistic enjoyment and aesthetic awareness. In order to activate the museum as a discurvise site, we are encouraging research, innovative programming and seeking active collaborations. Roobina Karode,the Director and Chief-Curator reiterates, "KNMA is premised on the belief that art museums today are not merely repositories of art objects or sites of display, but can be mobilized as spaces for dialogue and sustained interaction".
About the Collection
The growing permanent collection of KNMA is focused on significant trajectories of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art. The core of this collection, built over the last two decades, highlights a magnificent generation of 20th century Indian painters, mainly the Bombay Progressives such as FN Souza, V S Gaitonde, M F Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee and Ram Kumar. Some of the rare and seminal works of pre-Independent and early post-Independent have been sourced and permanently brought home. The collection equally engages with an array of contemporary practices of younger generations of artists. With artworks from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Diaspora, the Collection transcends national boundaries and extends itself into the nuances of transcultural processes and shared histories. It represents a variety of media, from painting , drawing, sculpture, prints, photography, and video to monumental installations and assemblages. Works are displayed and rotated through the museum's research-intensive exhibitions and programs that also simultaneously highlight the directions of the growing collection. The KNMA Collection will be eventually housed permanently in a landmark building that will make art viewing a stimulating and memorable visual experience.