Intimate Cityscapes

Ashvin Mehta

12 x 12 inches

MediumOffset print on paper
AuthorAshvin Mehta

About Artist

Ashvin Mehta
Ashvin Mehta

Ashvin Mehta was born in 1931. He was one of India’s most distinguished photographers, whom Larry Berryman called ‘a master of scale and a metaphysical poet among the a... Read more


Intimate Cityscapes reveals the secret life of a metropolis. In these photographs, which record Ashvin Mehta's journeys through cities across several continents, we do not find the predictable exposure of the civic underbelly. Instead, Mehta's urbanscapes obliquely portray the human presence through a conjunction of object, reflection and gesture. here, mannequins compete with pedestrians in claiming reality, pedestrians compete with their own distorted images in the glass fronts of shops; curtains part to reveal abysses of sky. In the Midst of bustling thoroughfares and marketplaces, Mehta directs our gaze to random rears in the urban matrix, where the rules of normality are overturned in the blink of an eye, where buildings bend and mannequins fly. He focuses on the residue of urban actions, the abstractions of built and un-built forms resonating with the silence of colour. This body of images is unusual, in that it does not reflect Mehta's signature landscapes in splendid isolation, but rather a warm embrace of reality bearing clues to vanity and vulnerability. For the first time, we see Ashvin Mehta unplugged, as a subtle humorist, smiling wryly at the urban spectacle.

This hardbound book was published by Archer in 2003 and contains 96 pages with 69 photographs and is narrated in English.

Ashwin Mehta (1931-2014) is one of India's most distinguished photographers. In a career that spans several decades, he has excelled in various genres, including nature photography, destination photography, and the cityscapes. His work has been collected in a series of books, including Himalaya : encounters with Eternity (Thames & Hudson, London, 1985), Coasts of India (Thames & Hudson, London, 1987), Gifts of Solitude (Mapin, Ahmedabad, 1991), Hundred Himalayan flowers (Mapin, Ahmedabad, 1992), and Happenings - Journal of Luminous Moments (Hindustan Inks, Gujarat, 2003). His work has also been shown in the group exhibitions Creative Eye curated by Raghu Rai (New Delhi, 1972); Indian Photograph 1844-1984, curated by Mitter Bedi (Darmsadt, 1984); and Another Way of Seeing, curated by Circle of 24 (The Netherlands, 1992). Mehta has also been engaged in a number of prestigious collective projects, including A Day in the Life of India (Collins, London, 1995), and the Festivals of India in Britain (1982), Russia (1990) and Germany (1991). He has been commissioned as a destination photographer by Singapore Airlines, the Oberoi Hotels, and the India Tourism Development Corporation. He has also photographed the Indian medicinal plants for a monograph by chemical Export Promotion Council (Chemexil), and the spices of India for the Taj Hotels. Mehta, who first exhibited his photographs in 1966, has since held exhibitions at Jehangir Art Gallery, the Centre for Photography as an Art Form, and Gallery Chemould, Bombay; the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, and the Gardner Centre for the Arts, Brighton, Britain.