skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Devika Singh

Dr Devika  Singh

Smuts Research Fellow

Centre of South Asian Studies

Research Associate, Sidney Sussex College

Research Interests

Devika Singh is the Smuts Research Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies. She specialises in Indian modern and contemporary art and architecture. Her research interests include the writing of Indian art and architectural history, the history of photography in India, the redeployment of the past in modern Indian thought and artistic productions and, more broadly, the global reconfiguration of modernism and its transnational networks – a topic on which she co-organized a CRASSH-supported conference: She is currently writing a monograph on artistic practices in post-independence India for Reaktion Books. In addition, Devika Singh is working on an exhibition on photography in India which she is co-curating at the Media Space in London. 

Devika Singh completed an hypo-khâgne and a khâgne at Lycée Condorcet in Paris and holds a BA in the history of art from the University of Cambridge (King’s College) and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, which was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB). After working in Paris for Marian Goodman gallery, she returned to Cambridge for her PhD research funded by the AHRC and a Knox studentship (Trinity College), for which she pursued extensive research in India. She has held an AHRC fellowship at the Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC, a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) fellowship at the Freie Universität, Berlin, and an André Chastel Fellowship of the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art (INHA) at the French Academy at Rome (Villa Medici). In 2015 she received a Small Research Grant from the British Academy.

At Cambridge, she contributes to the teaching of the ‘Display of Art’ course on the history of museums and exhibitions at the Department of History of Art, which she convened in 2013, and is the convenor of a new MPhil option course on modern Indian art at the Centre of South Asian Studies. She speaks French, English, German and Hindi. 

Key Publications

(forthcoming) ‘Postwar India and its Historical Legacy: Responding to Socialist Realism in Communist Bengal’, in Okwui Enwezor, Atreyee Gupta and Ulrich Wilmes (eds), Postwar – Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2016. 

(forthcoming) ‘German-Speaking Exiles in the Bombay Art World’, in Partha Mitter, Parul Dave Mukherji and Rakhee Balaram (eds),Twentieth-Century Indian Art, Skira, Milan, 2016. 

(forthcoming) 'Revisiting the Post-Independence Indian Art Scene: Ebrahim Alkazi and Exhibitions that Made its History', in Parul Dave Mukherji (ed.), Directing Art: A Tribute to Ebrahim Alkazi, Mapin, Ahmedabad, 2015. 

(forthcoming) ‘Isamu Noguchi and Jaipur’s Jantar Mantar’, Hannah Barry Gallery, London, 2015 (contribution to the exhibition catalogue of Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq). 

‘Zarina's Folding House', in Zarina: Folding House, Gallery Espace, New Delhi, 2014.

‘Indian Nationalist Art History and the Writing and Exhibiting of Mughal Art, 1910-1948’, Art History, volume 36, issue 5, 2013, pp. 1042-1069.

‘A Modern Formation? Circulating International Art in India, 1950s-1970s’, in Shanay Jhaveri (ed.), Western Artists and India: Creative Inspirations in Art and Design, Thames and Hudson, London, and The Shoestring Publisher, Mumbai, 2013, pp. 46-57.

‘Approaching the Mughal Past in Indian Art Criticism: The Case of MARG (1946-1963)’, Modern Asian Studies, volume 47, issue 1, 2013, pp. 167-203.

‘Delhi City Report’, frieze, no. 148, June-August 2012, pp. 142-149.

‘A German Insider in Bombay Cinema: Franz Osten’s Situated Orientalism’, in Shanay Jhaveri (ed.), Memory and Representation, Cultuur Centrum Brugge, Bruges, 2012, pp. 28-33.

‘Amar Kanwar. La juste mesure du documentaire’, Art Press, no. 379, June 2011, pp. 42-46.

‘Contextualiser l’art contemporain indien. Une histoire des expositions de groupe de 1968 à nos jours’, in Sophie Duplaix and Fabrice Bousteau (eds), Paris-Delhi-Bombay, Editions du Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2011, pp. 88-95.

‘The Compass that keeps on spinning’ (essay on artist Amar Kanwar), in Juan Guardiola (ed.) INDIA: Auteur films, independent documentaries and video art (1899-2008), La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2009, pp. 168-175. Reprinted from ArtAsiaPacific, no. 59, July-August 2008, pp. 126-131.

Other Publications

Other publications include: 'Mrinalini Mukherjee', frieze, April 2015, pp. 152-153 ; ‘Sheela Gowda’ (Ile de Vassivière), Art Press, May 2014, p. 18; ‘Zarina’, frieze, June-August 2013, p. 235; ‘Ranjani Shettar’, June-August 2011, frieze, p. 205; ‘Looking back at the influential Summer of 1977’ (interview with curator Vasif Kortun), ArtAsiaPacific, March and April 2010, pp. 62-63; ‘Being Singular Plural: Moving Images from India’ (Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin), Art Press, November 2010, p. 98; ‘Tsuruko Yamazaki: Beyond Gutai’ (Galerie Almine Rech, Paris), ArtAsiaPacific, July-August 2010, p. 124; ‘Christian Boltanski’ (Monumenta, Grand Palais, Paris, and MacVal, Vitry-sur-Seine),frieze, May 2010, pp. 136-137; ‘Resemble Reassemble’ (Devi Art Foundation, Delhi), Art Press, April 2010, pp. 78-79; ‘Indian Highway’ (Serpentine Gallery, London), frieze, March 2009, p 148-149; ‘Looking Back/Looking Forward’ (best of 2008), frieze, January-February 2009, pp. 96-115; ‘Still Moving Image’ (Devi Art Foundation, Delhi), frieze, November-December 2008, p. 209; ‘Fire in the Belly: The poetics of Ranjani Shettar’, ArtAsiaPacific, November-December 2007, pp. 144-149.