TAKE ON ART
TAKE on art is a biannual art journal published from New Delhi since 2009, comprehensively covering reports and critiques on art and cultural events globally from a South Asian perspective. TAKE maintains a critical approach towards discourses on art through curated issues. Previous issues have interrogated themes such as the Sacred, Writing, Residency, Photography, Sculpture, Collectors, Biennale, Design, Market, Curation, Gallery and Modern, situating developments in these areas within the contemporary understanding of art. TAKE’s commitment to critical writing extends to nurturing and publishing emerging art critics in the region alongside contributions from leading writers and critics elsewhere. For almost a decade, TAKE has been building alternative art histories for the region, situating texts on forgotten discourses and artists within the established cannon.
TAKE on art was launched in 2009 with its first edition, Issue Zero—a publication filled with blank pages conceptually inviting the art community to share what they would expect from a new art journal. The spirits in the Indian art world at the time were not exactly soaring. The global financial downslide was looming, and the art boom of the previous years that had triggered many ambitious ventures had collapsed. The feedback that Issue Zero received indicated that there was indeed the need for renewed perspectives on art given the rate at the which artistic production had transformed in the region over the previous decade, but the comments were also mixed with disbelief at the audacity to launch a publication when times were so bleak. We chose to be encouraged nevertheless and plunged into what we thought could only be an adventure. This was the mindscape that coloured the magazine’s first editorial initiative, TAKE Black, Issue 01.
In retrospect, the odds have always been against publications on art in India. The readership for academic and critical writing on art has always been niche, with short-lived though thriving art columns in mainstream newspapers. The presence of art journals has also been sporadic. Art history is filled with more publications that have eventually spiraled into decline (despite having contributed immensely to the canon) than those that have survived. As an independent publication that sought to support itself, we had the editorial legacy of publications such as Vrischik, Journal of Arts and Ideas, and Contra to live up to, and a similar demise to fear. Blogs were all the rage in the 2000s, and predictions about the death of print media were stirring. If we were going to make history, there was no better time to get started.
We are well on our way since we launched this curious journey with the support of Latitude 28, one of the leading contemporary art galleries in New Delhi for cutting edge art practices. Despite this association, TAKE has had the editorial liberty to maintain its presence as an independent publication with discerning coverage of work by emerging and established artists, curators and writers.