“Nepal Art Now” preview show of Vienna 2019

“Nepal Art Now” preview show of Vienna 2019 at Nepal Art Council, Babar Mahal

 For the first time, over 90 artworks from 37 contemporary Nepali artists are going to be exhibited at the Welt Museum in Vienna next year in a showcase of modern Nepali art. A pre-exhibition of all the artwork to showcase in Vienna is currently on display at the Nepal Art Council, Babar Mahal, until December 22.

Curated by Dr. Christian Schicklgruber, director and chief curator of the Welt Museum, the late Dina Bangdel and Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha of the Nepal Art Council, the exhibition will be on display in the Austrian capital city from April 11 to November 5, 2019.

Such an expansive exhibition of modern Nepali art – from the inception of modern art in the 1950s to recent innovations in abstract, mixed-media and repoussé work – has never been displayed internationally before, said Schicklgruber. Similar exhibitions have taken place in Denmark and France, but never on this scale.

This will be a monumental, landmark exhibition,” said Kayastha.

The idea for the project was first born in 2015 when Schicklgruber and Bangdel were in Singapore, looking to put up an exhibition showcasing Nepali art from the 10th to the 18th century.

“Then I thought to myself, Nepali art did not stop in the 18th century,” said Schicklgruber. The idea was then reconceptualised with Dina Bangdel to showcase the entire oeuvre of Nepali contemporary art. The two managed to list 80 artists that they wanted to feature in the exhibition, but after Dina Bangdel’s passing in 2017, Kayastha was brought into cull the list down to a more manageable number. 

The curators finally settled on 37 artists, showcasing art styles from traditional paubha work to Mithila art, sculptures and abstract art. 

“We wanted to create a chronology of Nepali art,” said Kayastha, commenting on their curatorial process.

The curators spent two months visiting artist studios and picking representative works. Most of the art comes from the studios of the artists themselves while some have been lent by private collectors like Prithvi Pande, Birendra Shahi, Prabhakar Shumsher and the Siddhartha Art Foundation.

One of the primary aims of the exhibition is to introduce an international audience to the variety of Nepali contemporary art. At the confluence of Western and Eastern Europe and the once-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna is no stranger to conflicting influences that lead to breakthroughs in art. 

The city – which gave birth to the Secession movement and fostered some of the world’s most innovative artists like Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele – is an ideal venue to showcase Nepali art to Europe and the wider world. Interestingly contemporary Viennese art does not deal with social issues in the way Nepali art seems to do, said Schicklgruber.

A few artworks were even commissioned for the exhibition. The artists represented in the exhibition range from Nepali modern art pioneers Lain Singh Bangdel, Laxman Shrestha and Shashi Shah to more contemporary artists like Manuj Babu Mishra, Kiran Manandhar, Ragini Upadhyay.



“Nepal is known only for its ancient art and culture,” said Sagar SJB Rana, coordinator of the Project. “We want to change that and show the world our contemporary art.”

Artists name:

  1. Ajit  Kumar Sah
  2. Ang Tshering
  3. Anil Shahi
  4. Asha Dangol
  5. Ashmina Ranjit
  6. Birendra Pratap Singh
  7. Chandra Shyam Dangol
  8. Erina Tamrakar
  9. Gopal Das Shrestha
  10. Hitman Gurung
  11. Kabi Raj Lama
  12. Kiran Manandhar
  13. Koshal Hamal
  14. Lain Singh Bangdel
  15. Lachhiman Maharjan
  16. Laxman Shrestha
  1. Lok Chitrakar
  2. Manish Harijan
  3. Manuj Babu Mishra
  4. Mekh Limbu
  5. Mukti Singh Thapa
  6. Pramila Giri
  7. Rabindra Shakya
  8. Ragini Upadhyay Grela
  9. Rajan Shakya
  10. Samundra Man Singh Shrestha
  11. Sanjeev Maharjan
  12. Shashi Bikram Shah
  13. Seema Sharma
  14. Sheelasha Rajbhandari
  15. Siddhi Muni Shakya
  16. Subodh Chandra Suman
  17. Sunil Sigdel
  18. Sunita Maharjan
  19. Surendra Man Shakya
  20. Udaya Charan Shrestha
  21. Uma Shankar Shah


By Beata Wiggen


Source: http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2018-12-13/showcase-of-contemporary-nepali-art-in-vienna-next-year.html


  1. Hi
    Good vishes for ur big art show to all of u…..

    December 22, 2018 Reply
  2. Otto

    It’s a great show, but I would be more happy about, if more of so many talented artist from Nepal would have been part of it.
    As I know Christian Schickelgruber, and meet him in Kathmandu Dec.2017 on his way to prepair the show, I try my best to include more artists to the Vienna Show, but there was not enough space, for all this wonderful artist of Nepal.
    So it’s a beginning and the world will get knowledge about the modern art of Nepal step by step.
    For my opinion, it’s nessersary to have more galleries with international networks to support the modern Nepali Art, as in the end art and art business is a highly professional job and without networking galleries and supporting institutions no success is possible.

    All the luck for everybody in the business


    September 4, 2019 Reply

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