18th October, 2023


Frieze Masters 2023 Artwork Highlights

Prahlad Bubbar’s booth was an unexpected place to find a work by Joseph Kosuth that ponders the nature of art, surrounded by a beautiful 19th-century Tibetan decorative door, an evocative Indian pigment illustration on paper, and an ornate Chinese jug, among other historic objects.

Kosuth’s black-and-white print, Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) realization (1967) asserts the role of an artist as a meaning-maker through the verb, to ‘realize’. The object of his creation takes on a form of meaning unto itself—though Kosuth notes the ambiguity of language in articulating truths, representations can only arrive at an approximation, like philosophy itself.

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15th October, 2023


9 Of The Best London Art Exhibitions This Autumn

To celebrate London’s Indian and Islamic Art Week, Prahlad Bubbar presents a selection of masterworks from the Indian Subcontinent. A highlight is a rare 17th-century embroidery panel from Gujarat, made for the walls of a manor in Ashburnham Place, an English country house. Examples of the same are at the V&A London and the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Other highlights include a rare illustrated page from the 16th-century ‘Third’ Akbarnama depicting the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and an exquisite jade dagger, also from the Mughal court. At the gallery’s contemporary art space Unit 7, in North London, are Shubha Taparia’s beautiful new works from her series ‘Illumination’, delicate but powerful sculptures combining industrial tarp and gold leaf.

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14th October, 2023


Colour: A Tour of ‘Stand Out’ at Frieze Masters 2023

In this video, curator of Stand Out Luke Syson (Director & Marlay Curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge) reflects on colour as lead protagonist across the ages and chooses four highlight works from the section.

The Mandala is one of Himalayan Buddhism’s most ubiquitous and powerful symbols, created as an visual aid for meditation on the path of enlightenment. This 18th century example, presented by Prahlad Bubbar, is of the ‘Mitra Yogin’ tradition and is in an extraordinary state of preservation: the four-armed red Guhyasadhana Avalokiteshvara sits in a lotus flower at the centre with his consort, while around in mesmeric concentric circles, the natural world is represented through symbols and motifs.

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11th October, 2023


Colour Through the Ages in ‘Stand Out’ at Frieze Masters

Prahlad Bubbar:
Symbols Colours have different characters, quiet or bold, hot or cold, and gain extra meaning from the places they can be seen in nature, in fire or the heavens, in spring or autumn. So, separately or combined, they could come to represent abstract concepts, virtues and ideals, the unseen and unseeable.

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19th September, 2023

FAD magazine

Frieze Reveals London & Masters Highlights

Luke Syson (Director and Marlay Curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge) returns to for the third consecutive year to curate Stand Out, a section devoted to challenging traditional hierarchies of media, which are largely obsolete in contemporary art. This year, Stand Out explores the potency and manifold uses of colour, with highlights including:

An exhibition of artworks spanning 1600 to 1800, contextualised alongside Joseph Kosuth’s
conceptual work Réalisation (1967) to highlight their contemporary relevance (Prahlad Bubbar)

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3rd March, 2023

The New York Times

TEFAF Maastricht 2023

The gallery “takes a fresh approach to traditional works, and shows them in a conceptual way,” Mr. Bubbar added. “We try to bring attention to material that has been overlooked.” Though he said he “may try to confuse people by showing a contemporary work,” most of the 20 or so pieces in his TEFAF booth are quite old.

One of the objects may also have a royal history: a late 15th-century “voided velvet” textile — voided because there are areas with no pile — from what is now Iran, part of the empire ruled by the Timurid dynasty. “The period was a high point for the Islamic art world,” Mr. Bubbar said. “The textile was a ceremonial fabric for draping on a throne or sitting on, but not for walking on like a rug.” He is also showing a Mughal miniature painting on paper, part of a larger album, that comes from the mid-17th century in India: “Prince Dara Shikoh as a Royal Ascetic.” “It’s extremely elegant,” Mr. Bubbar said. “A great patron of the arts who is depicted in a yogic pose.”

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12th May, 2022

The Eye of Photography

Photo London 2022: Prahlad Bubbar / UNIT 7: Eckart Muthesius

Eckart Muthesius was the legendary German architect, designer, photographer of the interwar period whose magnum opus was the palace built for the Maharaja of Indore, Manik Bagh. He designed not only the building as an extension of its patron’s personality but also the furnishings and landscape that surrounded it. Through his masterful photographs we observe his sensitively tuned ‘modernist’ eye that created the very environment.

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11th May, 2022


Highlights From Photo London 2022

Shubha Taparia’s intriguing photographic collages highlight the changing cityscape and the choices that are made in the preservation and renovation of mostly historic buildings. Her application of pure gold leaf on the photos of stripped down facades reminds us of the value of the buildings and their former occupants. By patching loss with gold, a substance that is a symbol for transformation in various cultures across times and geographies, the artist highlights the nature of change.

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16th October, 2021

Financial Times

Gripping Gorgons and Rodin plasters at Frieze’s new decorative arts section

Stand Out is curated by Luke Syson, who wants to highlight the value of art objects.

Ultimately, Syson is on a mission to take the slightly dismissive word “decorative” out of the decorative arts category. The works in metal, for example, brought to the fair by London dealer Prahlad Bubbar include a 17th-century head of the goddess Gauri from Karnataka and in Syson’s view are a long way from mere fancy. “Metal,” says Syson, “has a transportative quality; it’s cool, otherworldly.”

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16th October, 2021

The Art Newspaper

Obscure objects of desire: five of the best works in Frieze Masters' new Stand Out section

Luke Syson, the director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and the section’s curator, wants to break down the traditional hierarchies of art history.

Peacock incense burner (late 15th-early 16th century). Deccan plateau, India
Prahlad Bubbar

“This incense burner, in the form of a beautiful copper alloy peacock, was made for the Islamic courts of Deccan India. What I love about it is how the craftsmanship of the metalwork makes whatever it represents special. It adds an otherworldly element to what it describes—the majesty and poetry is intensified when you make a living beast. It also provides different sensual experiences: the smell of burning, wafting incense combined with metal, which is mysteriously cool to the touch. It feels part of recovering a sense of life, too—objects, such as this peacock, enshrine this quality.”

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16th October, 2021


Highlights of Frieze Masters 2021 on Frieze Viewing Room

Nathan Clements-Gillespie, Artistic Director of Frieze Masters, gives a tour of the fair’s main section on Frieze Viewing Room.

Prahlad Bubbar, from 2:05 onwards.

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5th October, 2020


Photo London Digital Curated Picks

Still on architecture, but bouncing to the contemporary, I found a triptych of one of the buildings in Smithfield, the long-fading meat market in the middle of London, consistently eyed up by property developers for a generation or more. It’s by Shubha Taparia, and the whole point is the beautiful classical drapery of that green nylon netting that builders like. It billows and creases like a pair of silk stockings on a elderly patroness of the Met.

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5th October, 2019

AnOther Magazine

Witchy Films, Frieze and Face Gym: Daisy Hoppen’s October To Do List

To coincide with the exhibition Moderne Maharajah at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Prahlad Bubbar presents Modernist and Art Deco Paradise: Indore, a small exhibition reimagining the visual world of the Indian Maharaja Yashwant Rao Holkar II, who built and furnished his palace, Manik Bagh or ‘Jewelled Garden’, with supreme examples of art and design, from Mughal and Maratha artefacts to Western modern masterpieces. The pieces on show look truly exquisite and it’s a stand that I would in my dreams do some shopping in.

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5th October, 2019


Instagram: Frieze Masters

This weekend, find antique textiles from leading international galleries at Frieze Masters in London’s Regents Park. At @friezeartfair look out for the Tibetan rugs and minimalist Manik Bagh carpet c.1930 on @prahladbubbar’s stand.

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1st August, 2019

The RIBA Journal

Shubha Taparia: ‘Pallets’ rises from inspired silhouette remade at home

The phenomenon inspired Taparia to construct an installation within her own artist’s studio, 28m by 10m in size and hanging 6.5m above the studio floor. Suspending scaffolding poles, ropes, stepladders, netting, pallets and timber boards from the studio’s beams, Taparia projected the whole lot onto a massive stretched, geotextile screen below it – her aim being to create a piece with something of the agency of her original experience. Those coming to see the work would have to crick their necks, but the artist wanted that to be a deliberate, conscious act.

‘Culturally, looking up has always had contemplative associations,’ Taparia points out, rooting her work of prosaic materials by inference in the grand tradition of decorated ceilings and domes. The digital C-type print ‘Pallets’ is an abstracted vignette from this contemporary ceiling-scape.

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3rd October, 2017

Frieze Masters

Highlights: Frieze Masters 2017

Museum-Quality Presentations – Discover solo and curated shows of major 20th-century figures and extraordinary objects, including:
Prahlad Bubbar (London) with Surrealist poet Paul Eluard’s personal copy of the seminal text L’Immaculée Conception, with manuscript notes by authors Eluard and André Breton and an iconic drawing by Salvador Dalí.

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12th October, 2017


Close Encounters: Frieze Masters 2017

Prahlad Bubbar responded to the fair’s complex context with a curatorial centred around Paul Éluard’s personal copy of The Immaculate Conception, a 1930 publication by Éluard, Dalí, and André Breton. The book was presented at the centre of the booth, around which revolved an inspired constellation of works ranging from photographs by Man Ray (notably, a stunning black and white portrait from circa 1930 of the Maharaja of Indore), a remarkable photograph taken inside a Venetian vaporetto from 1960 by Italian photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin, a cosmic diagram etched into a crystal from 18th century Nepal, a 16th-century Tibetan mandala, as well as an opaque watercolour and gold on paper image of a ‘composite ram’, made up of various other animals, including a tiger and a boar.

Central to this curatorial were the waxed paper negative prints of two 19th-century images by Dr John Murray: one of the entrance to Akbar’s Palace and one of the view of the Taj Mahal from the east. The idea behind these negatives, I was told, was the subversion of the photographer’s gaze. Rather than seeing the surface of the image, these negatives represent an occupation of their representation from within—a total rejection of the colonial frame by inhabiting it totally. The gesture is apt. The gallery consciously used the fair floor to resist binary divisions in order to uncover fluid interrelations across space and time—a cosmic kind of geometry that Frieze Masters as a whole has not quite accomplished…yet.

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25th September, 2017

The New York Times

Italy Between Past and Future: Gianni Berengo Gardin

These images from the mid-20th century capture the ubiquity and possibility of travel and escape. The 31 black-and-white images displayed in the London gallery exhibition of Gardin’s work, “The Italians,” are, for the most part, those he made in the midcentury, when Italy hovered between agrarian provincialism and an internationally touted cosmopolitanism. His images are not merely of the real, the documented — they are also reveries of the imagination.

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19th September, 2017

Gianni Berengo Gardin – Gli Italiani / The Italians at Prahlad Bubbar in London

Prahlad Bubbar the leading specialist in classical Indian/Islamic art and 19/20th century photography is showing a selection of  works  by Gianni Berengo Gardin, Italy’s most celebrated living photographer. Berengo Gardin is best known for his iconic images of Italy, in particular of Venice in the 1950s and 1960s, although he has also travelled widely taking photographs throughout Europe, America and the East.

29th September, 2016

Frieze Masters Magazine

Telling Tales - Mughal India

Prahlad Bubbar, Frieze Masters Stand F10

A Swiss adventurer’s souvenir of Holi: This scene conveys the elegance of courtly life, with a group of finely dressed women celebrating the Hindu ‘festival of colours’, Holi, in exactly the way people do today – by dousing each other with coloured pigments. The delicate costumes, tents, flowers, golden trays and fine jewels testify to the grandeur and ease of life in 18th-century Lucknow.


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5th May, 2016

British Journal of Photography

Early British Colonial Travellers Show Earliest Images of India

Working at the height of Britain’s colonial control over India, the images of Britain authorities’ official photographer, as well as a surgeon and a former banker with a love for their camera, are exhibited for the first time in London, providing some of the earliest known images of 19th century India.

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25th April, 2016

The Economist - 1843

India in Sepia

During the 19th century, technological advances and the spread of colonial rule led to an increase in global mobility – at least for members of the military and wealthy Europeans. The result was a boom in travel photography, a story richly illustrated by a new exhibition at the Prahlad Bubbar gallery in London.

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1st October, 2015

Asian Art Newspaper

Islamic Art Week - October 2015

Highlights include works commissioned by Europeans living in India showing a high level of tolerance and intellectual curiosity, and of course plenty of romance. A supreme example, minus the romance, would be the perceptively drawn image of the poet Jami. A contemplative man rests on his staff, clutching a book. The face is expressive of experience and the travails of life. Dressed in rose coloured flowing robes, a pale blue shawl, and a chestnut coloured turban, he is offset against an ethereal and atmospherically affected landscape.

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18th June, 2015

The New York Times

India’s Earliest Photographers

“The show is a survey of the photographic medium in India from 1855 to 1930, highlighting some key moments”

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17th June, 2015

British Journal of Photography

The New Medium: exhibiting the first photographs ever taken in India

The New Medium is a neat survey of the birth and rise of photography as a major art form in the subcontinent. Twenty-five photographs are ordered chronologically around the bright, airy rooms of the gallery, each one chosen to reflect a distinct decisive moment in Indian photographic history. Driven by Bubbar’s background in art history, his recognition of context binds the project together as the beginnings of a technological and artistic revolution in the context of one distinct and, in itself, rapidly evolving culture.

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2nd April, 2014

BBC News

Rural India in Black and White

Gianni Berengo Gardin is one of Italy’s most celebrated living photographers, best known for his pictures of his post-war homeland.

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3rd April, 2014

The Guardian

Gianni Berengo Gardin's Best Shot

I was 30, living on the Lido in Venice, and every morning I took the vaporetto, or water bus, across to where I worked in San Marco. I always carried my Leica with me, taking photographs for my own pleasure. I love Venice in the winter – the fog and the rain. This was taken one winter’s morning, when all the men were off to work.

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7th April, 2014

Financial Times

Photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin – Interview

On the day I interview photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin, Italy is behaving like the little girl with a curl – either very, very well or horribly. Milan is in chaos because of a transport strike and my iPhone has been pick-pocketed at the train station. On the upside, the spring sun is a balm and my organic gelato tastes heavenly.

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20th April, 2014

The Telegraph

The Sense of a Moment: Gianni Berengo Gardin

Berengo Gardin stayed in Indore with a friend of a friend – Virendar Bubbar, the father of Prahlad Bubbar, whose London gallery is showing original prints from the book until 23 May – but spent most of his time exploring the surrounding countryside with a local interpreter.

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2nd August, 2013

Wall Street International

The Surreal in Indian Painting

The Surreal in Indian Painting: Select Works from the Arturo Schwarz and other Private Collections, an exhibition of twenty-four paintings dating from the 17th to the 19th century, will be staged by Prahlad Bubbar at his gallery at 33 Cork Street, London, from 4 October to 15 November 2013. The exhibition is timed to coincide with Islamic Art Week and Asian Art in London.

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16th September, 2013

Master Art

India’s surprisingly long Surrealist tradition unveiled in Cork Street

An interesting take on Asian art will be on display at Prahlad Bubbar’s gallery at 33 Cork Street, London W1 from October 4 to November 15 with the exhibition ‘The Surreal in Indian Painting: Select Works from the Arturo Schwarz and other Private Collections’, timed to coincide with Islamic Art Week and Asian Art in London.

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