11 Contemporary Indian Artists Shaping the Modern Art Scene

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Explore the vibrant world of contemporary Indian artists, where each piece serves as a dialogue between India’s rich traditions and its modern narratives. Discover how their art reflects and shapes the nation’s identity, tackling themes from politics to social norms. Dive into the essence of today’s India through the transformative lens of its artists.

What Defines Contemporary Indian Art?

We’re witnessing an incredible era where contemporary Indian artists are redefining the art landscape. This wave is a unique blend of tradition and innovation, creating a dynamic and unforgettable expression of India’s cultural journey.

InfluenceInspired by India’s rich traditions and global modernism.
ThemesSocial, political, and personal narratives.
MediumsMix of traditional techniques with cutting-edge technology.
RecognitionGaining prominence in international art forums.

Our artists tackle a broad spectrum of subjects, mirroring the nation’s diversity and complexities. They employ a myriad of techniques, from painting and sculpture to digital art and installation. Each piece tells a story, whether reflecting on history or addressing current issues.

Contemporary Indian Artists

Let’s get started!

1. MF Husain

We’re thrilled to explore one of the towering figures among contemporary Indian artists, Maqbool Fida Husain, often known as M.F. Husain. This prolific painter brought the vibrancy of Indian culture to the global art stage with his masterful strokes and a penchant for vivid colors.


By Ayaz360 – File:MFHussain.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15465085


1915Born in Pandharpur, Maharashtra
1947Founding member of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group
1955Awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India
1971Participated in the São Paulo Biennial
1991Awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India
2006Awarded Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India
2011Passed away in London


  • Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12: which captures the epic narrative with dynamism.
  • Voices: a painting that echoes the vibrancy of Indian cities through abstract forms.

His journey from painting cinema posters to becoming a doyen of contemporary Indian art is nothing short of inspirational. His modified Cubist style has made his art distinctive, incorporating elements of Indian classical art with a modernist sensibility.


Born on July 16, 1937, Zarina’s creative essence was anchored in her origins in Aligarh, India. Her journey transcended boundaries, making her an icon in the art world, based in New York City. Now, let’s celebrate some milestones from her illustrious career.


The artist Zarina. | Ram Rahman. https://scroll.in/article/960503/zarina-hashmi-1937-2020-an-artist-whose-work-is-woven-with-ideas-of-displacement-and-mobility


1937Born in Aligarh, India
2007Received President’s Award for Printmaking
2020Passed away, leaving behind a rich legacy

Zarina’s diverse range of work in drawing, printmaking, and sculpture has been a testament to her mastery of form and her intimate narrative of what home meant to her.


  • Home Is a Foreign Place (1999): Zarina’s series of 36 woodblock prints explore what the concept of ‘home’ embodies, through minimalistic lines and evocative imagery.
  • These Cities Blotted into the Wilderness (Adrienne Rich after Ghazals of Ghalib) (2003): This piece juxtaposes text from Adrienne Rich’s poetry with Ghalib’s ghazals, resonating with the journeys across cities and the melancholia of dislocation.

Zarina’s art has left an indelible mark on us, reflecting her life’s peripatetic tapestry across continents, the longing for a concept of home, and the powerful expression of her identity and memories.

Bharti Kher

Kher was born in London, England, in 1969. She studied at Middlesex Polytechnic, London. Her art traverses the realms of painting, sculpture, and installation, often incorporating culturally rich materials such as bindis.

Bharti Kher


1991Graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic
1993Moved to New Delhi, India
2006Created The Skin Speaks A Language Not Its Own


  • The Skin Speaks A Language Not Its Own: Kher’s astonishing sculpture of a life-sized elephant blanketed in bindis captures attention and invokes deep reflection.
  • VIRUS IX: An example of her captivating installations, this piece interweaves the traditional bindi into a new narrative, framing both the aesthetic and cultural dialogue.

Bharti Kher’s work compels us to consider the narratives of identity, femininity, and the broader nature of existence through her meticulous and often massive installations. Her use of the bindi transcends its traditional context, employing it as a lens through which the contemporary life, class, and consumerism of urban India are examined. Significantly, her engagement with Hindu mythology provides another layer of depth to her diverse creations.

Subodh Gupta

Subodh Gupta was born in 1964 and is a contemporary Indian artist based in New Delhi. His masterful use of everyday items to create thought-provoking sculptures has earned him recognition on a global stage.

Subodh Gupta

By Prateek Gupta – https://www.flickr.com/photos/190518809@N02/50431887526/, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=94839291


1964Born in Khagaul, Bihar, India.
Early 1990sEmerged as a significant figure in Indian contemporary art.
2008Solo exhibition, ‘Everything is Inside’, at Pinchuk Art Centre, Kyiv.
2014Showcased at The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.


  • Very Hungry God (2006): A stunning installation that utilizes stainless steel utensils to reflect on hunger and consumption.
  • Line of Control (2008): A powerful sculpture addressing the scars of political divisions, created from thousands of utensils welded together.

We find ourselves both humbled and excited by Gupta’s ingenious repurposing of mundane objects to engage with issues like migration and globalization. It’s through works like these that he has carved a niche for himself among contemporary Indian artists, connecting culturally specific experiences with universal themes.

Jitish Kallat

Jitish Kallat, a luminary whose diverse work includes painting, sculpture, and installations, profoundly showcasing Mumbai’s spirit. We have curated a succinct compilation of Kallat’s journey and some of his remarkable artworks.

Contemporary Indian Artists 1.png

By Jitiŝ kallat – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87670653


1974Born in Mumbai
2014Artistic Director, Kochi-Muziris Biennale
2017Mid-career survey exhibition at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi


  • Wind Study (Hilbert Curve) (2017): This work, as seen on Sperone Westwater, is a testament to Kallat’s innovative use of materials, creating a mesmerizing engagement with natural forces through burnt adhesive and graphite on paper.
  • Covering Letter: An immersive installation that fascinates us with historical dialogues manifested through interactive art, previously curated by Catherine David.

We are continually inspired by how Kallat’s art pushes boundaries and captures the essence of our times, making him a defining figure in the realm of contemporary Indian artists.

Sheela Gowda

Sheela Gowda was born in Bhadravati, India, in 1957. In the realm of contemporary art, she stands out for her remarkable ability to transform everyday materials into powerful statements.

Sheela Gowda

Photo: Lenbachhaus Munich Archive https://www.dreamideamachine.com/?p=56472


1979Completed studies at Ken School of Art, Bangalore
1982Achieved postgraduate diploma from Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan
1986Earned a MA in painting from the Royal College of Art, London

Gowda’s use of unique mediums such as cow dung, incense, and human hair are not just creative choices; they’re imbued with the essence of Indian tradition and daily life. Two of her masterpieces, the immersive ‘Private Gallery’, a piece rich with textures and cultural symbolism, and her installation work involving the transformation of common materials showcase her exceptional ability to communicate complex themes through art.


  • Private Gallery (1998): Utilizes cow dung, brush, and ink, reflecting the rustic vividness of India.
  • Untitled Installations: Known for incorporating architectural and found materials to offer a narrative on India’s societal fabric.

Her influence among contemporary Indian artists is undeniable, and her contribution to the art world continually inspires us.

Nikhil Chopra

As aficionados of contemporary Indian artists, we’re thrilled to spotlight Nikhil Chopra, a groundbreaking figure whose work seamlessly blends performance, drawing, painting, and photography. His dynamic oeuvre not only captivates us with its visual allure but also invites us to ponder deeply on themes like identity, history, and the politics of the body. Hailing from the culturally rich heritage of India, Chopra’s art commands global attention and respect.

Nikhil Chopra

The Met’s Artist in Residence Nikhil Chopra set to perform https://www.architectandinteriorsindia.com/people/4144-the-mets-artist-in-residence-nikhil-chopra-set-to-perform


1974Born in Kolkata, India
1996Completed Bachelor of Commerce
2001Graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU Baroda, India
2003Moved to the United States for further studies
2005Earned a Masters from Ohio State University
2016“Floating Cities & Loaded Dice” performance


  • Floating Cities & Loaded Dice: unveils transformative journeys through meticulously crafted characters and settings.
  • Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing IX: captures our collective imagination, leaving us spellbound with its historical nuances and artistic depth.

In our ongoing exploration of contemporary art, we assert that Nikhil Chopra’s contributions beautifully encapsulate the convergence of traditional Indian aesthetics and the global contemporary art scene. With each live art piece and installation, Chopra continues to redefine the boundaries of artistic expression.

Abbas Batliwala

We are constantly thrilled by the dynamic and vibrant world of contemporary Indian artists, and one name that stands out is Abbas Batliwala. A celebrated figure from Udaipur, Rajasthan, born in 1958, Abbas is a powerhouse of inspiration drawn from rich folk traditions. His artworks aren’t just paintings; they’re stories told through bold strokes and a symphony of colors.

Abbas Batliwala



1958Born in Udaipur, Rajasthan
Post-1976Completed postgraduate degree in Drawing and Painting
ActiveExhibited at Dhoomimal Art Centre and other prominent galleries
RecognizedWorks auctioned at notable auction houses

Batliwala’s expertise in oil on canvas brings to life his unique artistic vision. His mastery over the medium can be seen in remarkable pieces like

  • Cockroach: where the intricate details defy the simplicity of the subject.
  • Two Figures with Flower: achieved the highest auction record for his work, proving the allure and value of his art.

We’re not just awed by Abbas’s longevity in the arts scene but also by his ability to keep reimagining the contours of contemporary Indian art. His paintings often feature exaggerated, large-sized eyes, carving out a signature aesthetic that is instantly recognizable and deeply resonant.

Tirthankar Biswas

We’re thrilled to showcase the achievements of Tirthankar Biswas born in 1957 in Naihati, West Bengal, a prominent figure among contemporary Indian artists. Biswas hails from West Bengal, where his passion for art has deep roots, stemming from a young age. With a gift for capturing movement and emotive force in his works, Biswas has carved out a unique space for himself in the art world.

Tirthankar Biswas



Milestone YearAchievement
1980 – 1982Earned Diplomas in Fine Arts (Painting) and Sculpture from the Government College of Art and Crafts, Kolkata.
1985Participated in the R.F.I. Group Show at Jahangeer Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1995 – 2002Exhibited artworks in New Delhi at prestigious galleries including the Habiart Gallery.
2013 – 2014Displayed works at international venues such as the OSTEN BIENNIAL of DRAWING in Macedonia and the Bank Art Fair in Singapore.


  • Venice 2013: is noted for its dynamic portrayal of the ephemeral play of light and shadow, reflecting the artist’s fascination with movement.
  • Meastro Heron (Indian Egret): represents his ability to render wildlife with a blend of realism and impressionistic flair, inviting us to appreciate nature’s elegance.

Through his paintings and sculptures, Tirthankar Biswas invites us to witness the energy of life through vibrant strokes and thoughtful compositions. His commitment to art is evident in each piece he creates, making him a valuable contributor to the landscape of contemporary Indian artists.

Ravinder Reddy

We’re diving straight into the heart of contemporary Indian artists, and one cannot help but get excited about the vibrant and dynamic artwork created by Ravinder Reddy. His bold sculptures have become iconic within the art community, infusing traditional Indian aesthetics with a modern sensibility that stands out in galleries and collections across the globe.

Ravinder Reddy



1956Born in Suryapet, Andhra Pradesh
1980Completed Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Sculpture
1982Earned Master’s of Arts in Creative Sculpture
Studied at Goldsmiths College, London


  • Everywhere: This piece turns heads with its painted and gilded polyester resin fiberglass, embodying the artist’s unique approach to form and color.

Manoj Sarkar

Exploring the vibrant world of contemporary Indian artists, and today we’re delving into the life and work of Manoj Sarkar. His unique and sharp-defined color schemes have carved a distinctive niche in Indian art.


1952Born in Kolkata
1979-1980Studied in Italy
PresentOver 125 national exhibitions


  • Inimitable Landscape
  • The Human Condition

Sarkar’s artwork is a bold expression that seamlessly fits within the tapestry of Indian contemporary art. His masterpieces reflect deep insights into the human condition and natural landscapes, each telling a unique story. As we dive into his collections, these artworks stand out for their powerful portrayal of emotion and impeccable use of color.

By blending traditional techniques with innovative perspectives, Sarkar inspires us with his dedication to the craft. His exhibitions have crossed national boundaries, resonating with audiences in places like Italy, England, and Holland, reflecting the universality and relevance of his work. We find excitement in every brushstroke and take pride in sharing his contribution to the vibrant narrative of contemporary Indian art.

FAQ – Contemporary Indian Artists

Who is Indian famous modern artist?

One famous modern Indian artist was M.F. Husain, often referred to as the “Picasso of India.”

What is contemporary art in India?

Contemporary art in India is a dynamic blend of traditional themes with modern expressions, characterized by diverse practices like performance, video, and neo-abstract art, reflecting the country’s cultural changes and modern reality.

Who are the famous artists in India 2024?

In 2024, some of the famous artists in India include Arpita Singh, Ganesh Pyne, Sushen Ghosh, and Shreyasi Chatterjee, as noted in various art exhibitions and shows.

Who is India’s best artist in 2024?

Determining the “best” artist is subjective and can vary based on individual opinions and art critiques. However, notable mentions from recent sources include Muskan Rajput and Sushmita Vernekar, who are recognized among the talented string artists in India as of 2024.

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Carlo Hummel
Carlo Hummel

Greetings, I'm Carlo!

At the youthful age of 21, I've found my purpose in shedding light on the latest trends, innovative interior designs, influential artistic creations, and notable events within the dynamic landscape of contemporary culture. My passion for these aspects of life drives me to share my unique perspective with others, fostering a deeper connection to the ever-evolving world of culture and creativity. Modernity Rules!

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