Mumbai’s Shanay Jhaveri is the talented new art curator on the block at the Met

Keep an eye out for Shanay Jhaveri, one of the ‘7 young curators defining 2019’, according to Cultured magazine. He is making the South Asian art holdings at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art stronger than ever.

Shanay Jhaveri (Image courtesy: Cultured Magazine)

In 2016, the role of ‘Assistant Curator’ at the Met was specially created for Shanay Jhaveri, an art student who just completed his doctoral degree at the time at the Royal College of Art in London. A nephew of eminent collectors Priya and Amrita Jhaveri of Jhaveri Contemporary at Colaba, Shanay Jhaveri grew up in Mumbai in a family that loves art and culture. His first job at the Met involved making the museum’s holdings of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi art stronger. “As soon as I arrived at the Met in April 2016, I proposed a retrospective of sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee,” the 34-year-old told Mumbai Mirror.

Artwork by Huma Bhabha for the 56th Venice Biennale curated by Jhaveri (Image courtesy: Galerie)

The ongoing art show “Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee,” open until September 2019, has been called a “triumph of curatorial precision” by noted art critic Kaelen Wilson Goldie. The arrival of Jhaveri at Met has also resulted in a retrospective on the works of Nasreen Mohamedi. Besides this, there have also been individual displays of works by Bangalore-based artist Ranjani Shettar, Pakistani-American sculptor Huma Bhabha, and Bangladeshi master artist Rashid Choudhury. The Mumbai Mirror article also quoted Jhaveri as saying, “This Fall, we will be doing a major project with Nikhil Chopra,” a performance artist whose work reflects aspects of India’s colonial past.

Phenomenal Nature by Mrinalini Mukherjee (Image courtesy: 4Columns)

An article in Cultured Magazine features Jhaveri as one of ‘The Seven Young Curators Defining 2019’. In it, Jhaveri expresses that his interests in art are broad, that they are “beyond South Asian modern and contemporary art,” and that “being partly in the West facilitates and encourages those pursuits.”

The curator—who is also a fan of films—is currently working on a sequel for his first book Outsider Films on India 1950/1990, according to an article by quarterly publication Galerie magazine. He is also said to be working on an independently curated art show based on Indian classical music, called “Everything We Do Is Music”, that is travelling to Switzerland.


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