MEERA MUKHERJEE (12th May, 1923 - 27th January, 1998):


'A Pensive Meera at the end of a day at Elachi', December 1990. Arun Ganguly.

Galerie 88 is honoured to mark the beginning of Meera Mukherjee’s centenary year, by announcing the forthcoming exhibition “Meera Mukherjee: Photographs by Arun Ganguly”. A selection of extraordinary photographs from the archives of Arun Ganguly on Meera Mukherjee, the exhibition is jointly curated by Adip Dutta and Tapati Guha-Thakurta, and is now scheduled to open at the gallery on Friday, 17th June, 2022.

At the centre of these photographs is the theme of work and labour - and the intricacies and enormity of both in Meera Mukherjee's techniques of making sculptures in the cire perdue (lost wax) metal-casting technique. Her indebtedness to the method learnt fin Bastar flowed over to the community she lived and worked with in Elachi, on the outskirts of Kolkata, where she seasonally carried out the collective work of casting. Redefining what it meant to be an artisan cum artist, she recognized the critical role of collective work and bodily labour in the particular form of art-making to which she dedicated her life and being.

Unfamiliar neighbors at first, Arun Ganguly first met Meera Mukherjee in January 1978 at her Paddapukur home in Bhowanipur when he came to make colour transparencies of her work process for her upcoming lecture in Baroda. Setting up a parallel process of black and white photography for his own archives, he began extensively photographing Meera Mukherjee at work over several seasons of her sculpting, beginning in 1978 and resuming in full flow in the 1990s. His photographs poignantly carry over into the months after her death in 1998, when he ended his series by documenting the completion of her last unfinished work, a monumental seated Buddha, by the community she had trained and nurtured.

We look forward to welcoming you at Galerie 88 for the exhibition and other programmes for this centenary year, leading to the publication of a long-planned book on Meera Mukherjee, to be compiled and edited by Tapati Guha-Thakurta.



Pursuit Sculpture

Adip Dutta, Alex Mathew, Biman Bihari Das, Gautam Pal, K. Laxma Goud, N. N. Rimzon, Nagji Patel, P. S. Ladi, P. R. Daroz Partha Pratim Deb, Rajendra Tikku Shyamal Roy, Thomas John Kovo