September 13, 2020

“Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People” Exhibition Debuts Stateside

Housing for the Life Insurance Corporation of India, Ahmedabad, 1973. Photography courtesy of Vastushilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad.

In 2018, Balkrishna Doshi was the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Even more awe-inspiring is that the 93-year-old still draws, writes, and, up until shelter-in-place orders, made daily visits to his Ahmedabad studio, Vastu Shilpa Consultants. “Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People,” at Wrightwood 659, the Chicago institution designed by fellow Pritzker winner Tadao Ando, celebrates all this and more. The exhibition presents 23 of Doshi’s institutional and residential projects from 1958 to 2014 through over 200 sketches, paintings, models, and photographs. They display the influences of Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, with whom he worked before launching his own firm, as well as Doshi’s ability to meld Modernism with traditional Indian techniques and forms. After opening at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi and traveling to Asia and Europe, this is the show’s Stateside debut.

His sketch of Aranya, a 1989 low-cost housing project in Indore. Photography courtesy of Vastushilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad.
His miniature painting of Sangath architect’s studio, a 1980 project in Ahmedabad, India. Photography courtesy of Vastushilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad.
Amdavad Ni Gufa gallery, a 1994 collaboration with M.F. Husain in Ahmedabad. Photography by Iwan Baan.

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