Ravi Agarwal

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Ravi Agarwal

A well known environmental activist, Ravi Agarwal, effectively bridges the gap between art and activism. Within his artistic practice, he has been exploring the idea of nature epistemologically interrogating the manner in which it is constructed. He also brings forth the complex linkages that exist within questions on Labour, Capital, Production, and Caste and their linkages to the Ecology at large. Acknowledging that reality itself composes of multiple perceptions, Ravi utilizes the possibilities offered by the digital to metamorphose his images into alternate worlds. At times, the artist’s own body becomes a site depicting the condition of the labouring body by which he highlights the hierarchies prevalent in the rigidly defined power structures.

His works have been shown widely including at Kochi Muziris Biennale [2016], Sharjah Biennale [2013]; Documenta XI [2002] et cetera.

Ravi Agarwal’s works  have also been exhibited at Gallery Espace; India International Centre, New Delhi; Kiran Nadar Museum Of Art, Noida; National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai; Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide, Australia; Orto Botanico Museum, Rome; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland; Newark Museum, Newark and Minneapolis  and others.

In 2011, he co-curated a twin city public art show, Yamuna-Elbe Public Art Outreach in Delhi and Hamburg.

Ravi Agarwal has numerous publications to his credit, including Chemicals, Environment, Health: A Global Management Perspective, 2011; In the Shadow of the Vulture, 2009 and Immersion. Emergence, 2007. He has also contributed to Making a Difference, A collection of essays, ed. Rukmani Shekhar, 1998.

He is also a the Founder of Toxic Link, an enviornmental organisation.

The artist lives and works in New Delhi.

Ravi Agarwal

1958 Born
Lives and works in New Delhi
Founder of Toxics Link (Indian NGO).


Self-taught artist, environmental activist, writer and curator


2010-11 Flux: Dystopia, Utopia, Heterotopia, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2008 An Other Place, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2006 Alien Waters, India International Centre, New Delhi
2000 Down and Out, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; the Hutheesing Visual Arts Gallery, Ahmedabad; National Vakbondsmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1995 A Street View, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi

Group (Selected)

2013 Zones of Contact propositions for the Museum, co-curated by Vidya Shivadas, Akansha Rastogi, Deeksha Nath. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida.
2012 The Needle on the Gauge: The Testimonial Image in the Works of Seven Indian Artists, curated by Ranjit Hoskote, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide, Australia.
2012 Newtopia, curated Katerina Gregos, various museum venues, Mechelen, Belgium
2012 Critical Mass, Contemporary Art from India, curated by Rotem Ruff, Tel Aviv Museum of Contemporary Art
2012 Z.N.E, Examples to Follow, curated by Adrienne Goehler, traveling exhibition, Berlin, Mumbai, Adis Ababa, Beijing, Sao Paulo.
2012 The Secret Life of Plants, curated by Maya Kovskaya, Exhibit 320, New Delhi.
2012 Art HK, presented by The Guild Gallery, Mumbai
2011 Generation in Transition, New Art from India, National Gallery for Art, Warsaw, Poland (traveling)
2011 Staging Selves – Power, Performativity & Portraiture, curated by Maya Koskovaya, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai
2011 After the Crash, curated by Camilla Boemio, Orto Botanico Museum, Rome
2011 Tolstoy Farm, curated by Gayatri Sinha, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
2011, ’08 Indian Highway, curated by Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Gunnar B. Kvaran, traveling exhibition, Serpentine Gallery, London (2008); Astrep Fernley Museum, Oslo, Norway (2009)
2010 Art Celebrates 2010! Sports and the City, curated by Rupika Chawla, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
2010 Where Three Dreams Cross, curated by Sunil Gupta et al, Whitechapel Gallery, London; Winterthur Fotomuseum, Switzerland
2009 Detour, curated by Ranjit Hoskote, Gallery Chemould, New Delhi
2009 Astonishment of Being, curated by Deeksha Nath, Birla Academy for Arts and Culture, Kolkata
2009 Recycle, curated by Bhavna Vij, Travencore House, New Delhi; Nature Morte, Kolkata
2008 Extinct, curated by Pooja Sood, 48deg C, Public Eco-Art International Festival, New Delhi
2008 Still/Moving Image, curated by Deeksha Nath, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi
2008 Click! Contemporary Photography in India, curated by Sunil Gupta and Radhika Singh, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
2007 Public Places, Private Spaces, curated by Gayatri Sinha, Zetta Emmons, Newark Museum, Newark and Minneapolis, USA
2007 Horn Please: The Narrative in Contemporary Indian Art, curated by Bernhard Fibicher and Suman Gopinath, Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland
2006 Watching Me Watching India, curated by Gayatri Sinha and Celina Lunsford, Frankfurt Fotographie International, Frankfurt, Germany
2003 Crossing Generations: DiVERGE: Forty Years of Gallery Chemould, curated by Geeta Kapoor and Chaitanya Sambrani, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
2002 Documenta 11, curated by Okwui Enwezor, Kassel, Germany
1995 First National Exhibition of Photography, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
1993 Photo Exhibition, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai

Curation/Conceived and Organized

2010 Yamuna – Elbe Art and Ecology Seminar, December 2010, Goethe Institute, New Delhi
2011 Project Y. Yamuna-Elbe Public.Art.Outreach, co-curated with Till Krause, Hamburg and Delhi

Art Fairs/Summits/Biennials

2013 Sharjah Biennial 11
2012 Chennai Art Fair, presented by The Guild Gallery, Mumbai
2012 India Art Summit, presented by Gallery Espace, New Delhi
2011 The Eye is a Lonely Hunter, Images of Humankind, curated by Katerina Gregos and Solvej Helweg Ovesen, FotoFestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, Germany
1996 2nd Biennial of Creative Photography, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi


2008 IFCS- UN Special Recognition Award for Chemical Safety
1997 Ashoka Fellowship of Social Entrepreneurship


2009 Basel, Pro Helvetia
2007 Khoj Peers Arts Residency

Photographic Books/Catalogues

2009 In the Shadow of the Vulture, 48 deg C, Public Eco Art, Goethe Institute, New Delhi
2007 Immersion Emergence, Youthreach, New Delhi Since
2005 Monthly Visual Column in First City Magazine
2003 Portfolio in First City Magazine
2000 Down and Out: Labouring under Global Capitalism, Oxford University Press and Amsterdam University Press, New Delhi
1998 Making a Difference: A collection of Essays, ed. Rukmini Shekhar, Spic Mackay, New Delhi
1997, ’95 Portfolios in The India Magazine

Selected Publications

2010 Fight for a Forest, Nature without Borders, Seminar 613, ed. Mahesh Rangarajan and MD Madhusudan
2007 Hi Tech Heaps, Forsaken Lives (co-authored), Challenging the Chip, Labour Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry, ed. Ted Smith et al, Temple University Press, USA
2005 Standardised, Packaged, Ready for Consumption, Sarai Reader 05, Bare Acts, Sarai – CSDS, New Delhi
2006 “Beyond environmental standards, from techno centric to people centric environmental governance”, Troubled Times: Sustainable Development and Governance in the Age of Extremes, SDPI, Islamabad
2005 Corporate Social responsibility, a critical perspective from India, Cometische humanisering? ed. Tonja van den Ende et al, Humanistic University Press, Amsterdam
2003 Walk on the Wild Side, (co-authored) Green Book, ed. Ruskin Bond, Roli Books, New Delhi
2003 Resisting technology, Regaining a Personal Ecology, Sarai Reader, 03, Shaping Technologies

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