About Rajesh Punj
Probing, resolute, pro-active and reactive to both individual and teamwork situations, I am ambitious and highly motivated, with proven organisational skills and a consistent ability to work under pressure. An excellent networker and communicator, I am sensitive to the individual scale and significance of a moment and a meeting. I constantly seek to meet and liaise with new and diverse people in pursuit of acquiring new skills and developing new relationships.
Based between Antwerp and London Rajesh Punj is a freelance art critic, correspondent, curator and collector, with an academic background in European and American Art History and Curating from Warwick University (UK) and Goldsmiths (UK) respectively. Besides an accomplished knowledge of the contemporary art scene, he also has a wider appreciation of the newer markets, including India and the Middle East, having travelled extensively, and from there interviewed leading artists, philanthropists, scholars and sculptors. Currently compiling a second volume of selected interviews that brings him back to his international interests, with leading artists, including Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sean Scully, Joana Vasconcelos, Bill Viola, Cerith Wyn Evans and Bharti Kher among others. As an correspondent and critic he is regularly commissioned by gallerists in Antwerp, Paris and London, for catalogue essays, and publications for articles and interviews, including Sculpture (Washington DC), DAMN (Amsterdam, Antwerp), Asian Art Newspaper (London), Art&Deal (New Delhi); previously, Elephant (London), Flash Art International (Milan), Harper’s Bazaar Art, (Dubai), Art Paper (Beirut), ARC (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), and Art Zip (Beijing, London), among others.
As an artist’s assistant, assistant curator, and associate curator, he has previously worked with Andrea Zittel (US), Anish Kapoor, (UK), Monica Bonvicini, (IT), David Goldblatt (ZA), Simon Patterson, (UK), Julian Opie, (UK), David Batchelor (UK), and Jake and Dinos Chapman, (UK), among others. And more recently interviewing Fiona Banner, (UK), Richard Jackson, (US), Polly Morgan (UK), Katie Paterson, (UK), Liu Xiaodong, (CN), Imran Qureshi (PK), Amar Kanwar (IN), and Dayanita Singh (IN), for print.
And besides writing exhibition previews, reviews and commissioned to write catalogue essays, he is more currently focusing on an ‘interview series’; with leading practitioners from contemporary art, photography, fashion, design, and contemporary criticism. With an archive that includes; Jitish Kallat, (Mumbai), Bharti Kher (New Delhi), Hiroshi Sugimoto (New York), Tammam Azzam, (Damascus/Dubai), Sara Rahbar (New York), Joana Vasconcelos (Lisbon), Rina Banerjee (New York), Tala Madani (Los Angeles), Sean Scully (New York), Berndnaut Smilde (Amsterdam), Steve McQueen (Amsterdam), Nikhil Chopra (Mumbai), Mania Akbari (Tehran/London), Shilpa Gupta (Mumbai), Phyllida Barlow (London), Conrad Shawcross (London), Tony Cragg (Wuppertal, Germany), and Rashid Rana (Lahore), among others. With focus on the international art scene, the first volume of interviews is with established artists, including Bill Viola (New York), Lawrence Weiner (New York), Xu Zheng (Shanghai), Hiroshi Sugimoto (New York), Sean Scully (New York), Joana Vasconcelos (Lisbon), Bharti Kher (New Delhi), Phyllida Barlow (London), alongside artists new and emerging, Rinus van Der Velde (Antwerp), Conrad Shawcross (London), Anne Hardy (London), among others. Having taken an interest in interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary aesthetics. Drawing attention to painting, photography, installation, sculpture, drawing, design, fashion, film, collecting, and curating. Rajesh has cultivated a blueprint for his inimitable ambitions, of curating and commentating on international contemporary art from a wider perspective.
Art Critic and Correspondent: for ‘In Conversation’ interview series, MICAS, Malta, Ospizio Complex, Bieb il-Pulversita, Triq Joseph J. Mangion, Floriana, FRN1830
Contributing Writer: DAMN, Damntown Ltd, Coupure Links 53/001, BE 9000, Ghent www.damnmagazine.net
Contributing Writer: Elephant Magazine, Elephant Art Ltd. The Studio Building, 21 Evesham Street, London, W11 4AJ www.elephant.art
International Correspondent: Art&Deal, Hauz Khas Village, Deer Park, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, Delhi 110016, India www.artanddeal.in
Catalogue Essay: True Love, Johan Creten, Leila Heller Gallery, I-87, Alserkal Avenue, PO BOX 413991, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE www.leilahellergallery.com
Contributing writer: L’ArcoBaleno, New York, Berlin, www.larcobaleno.com
Contributing writer: Al.Arte.Magazine, Antwerp, www.alartemag.be.com
Contributing writer: London, Beijing, Art Zip, www.artzip.org
Curator/contributing writer: Artfetch, Dublin, Clarendon House, 34 – 37 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2, www.artfetch.com
Partner and contributing writer: sedition, 4 Hanover Square, W1S 1BP, www.seditionart.com
Contributing writer: Art Paper/Selections Magazine, Beirut, www.citynewspublishing.info
Contributing writer: Art Cloud, Milan, www.magazine.mytemplart.com/it
Contributing writer: Elephant Magazine, Frame Publishers, 117 – 119 Clerkenwell Road, EC1R 5BY, www.frameweb.com/magazines/elephant
Curator/contemporary art sales: Esperanza Koren, EK Contempo Art, Cadogan Square, SW1 0DY, www.ekcontempoart.com
Contributing writer: Deutsche Bank Art Mag, Regarding Arts, Adalbertstr 8, Aufgang B, 10999 Berlin, www.db-artmag.com
Editorial/content writing: Breathe Arts, 43-44 Ferena, Colaba, Mumbai – 400005, India, www.breathearts.com
* Responsibilities: Working independently and remotely, devising content for a major new Mumbai based publication on modern and contemporary Indian art and design. Liaising with artists, dealers, gallerist, collectors, auction houses and institutions for material. Managing, proofing, devising and delivering on content for the publication.
Editorial/biennale curator of sculpture and art installation: Santorini Biennale of Arts, Santorini, Greece, 1 July – 30 September 2012, www.santorinibiennale.gr
* Responsibilities: Working independently and as part of a small team, determining biennale website content, proof-reading, leading on editing, managing the writing contributions and devising a coherent manifesto for the inaugural biennale of Santorini.
* Leading to my being invited to curating sculpture and art installation for the biennale
Content writer, commissioned contributor: The Culture Trip, Southbank Technopark, London Knowledge and Innovation Centre, 90 London Road, London, SE1 6LN, www.theculturetrip.com
* Responsibilities: Working independently and as part of a small team, contributing leading articles, interviews and exhibition reviews for an international website audience.
Contributing writer: Depart Magazine, 66 A, Monipuripara, Tejgaon, Dhaka-1215, Bangladesh, www.departmag.com
Commissioned writer: ARC magazine, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, www.arcthemagazine.com
Contributing writer: Hound Magazine, email@example.com
Editorial/contributing writer: Breathe Arts, 43-44 Ferena, Colaba, Mumbai – 400005, India, www.breathearts.com
* Responsibilities: Working independently and remotely, devising content and determining articles for gallery website.
Editorial/contemporary writer/researcher: Fayez Barakat, Barakat Gallery, 58 Brook Street, London, W1K 5DT, www.barakatgallery.com
* Responsibilities: Working independently, devising content, writing, researching for cork-street exhibition and determining content for several publications and a Dubai exhibition.
Editorial/guest curator: ‘The Protagonists, A survey show of Contemporary Indian Art, August 1 – 31 October 2011’, Breathe Arts, 43, 44 Ferena, Colaba, Mumbai, India – 400005, www.breathearts.com
Contributing writer: Santorini Biennale of Arts, Santorini, Greece, 1 July – 30 September 2012,
Commissioned catalogue contributor: Photography Publication, Jan Otto Schreiber, Hamburg, www.janottoschreiber.com
Commissioned writer: Take on Art Magazine, New Delhi, www.takeonartmagazine.com
London correspondent: Art&Deal Magazine, 23, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi, 110016, India, www.artanddealmagazine.com
Guest writer: Art Radar, Hong Kong, Taiwan, www.artradarjornal.com
Researcher/writer: Past Preservers, London, Cairo, New York, www.pastpreservers.com
Commissioned writer: Canvas Magazine, Mixed Media Publishing FZ LLC
P.O. Box 500487, Dubai – UAE, www.canvasonline.com
Editorial/contributing catalogue writer/contemporary art exhibitor: For Russian, Eastern and Oriental Fine Art Fair, Piccadilly, 9-12 June 2010, www.russianartfair.com
* Responsibilities: Working independently, devising content for a specialist essay on the modern and contemporary Indian art scene for a major publication, accompanying a Piccadilly art fair. Leading to my taking on a major art stand, for which I liaised, organised, administrated and coordinated a series of leading international artwork, from Berlin and New Delhi, for display in London for the duration of the art fair.
Independent curator: Claire Dorsett, ‘Blue Darling, 7 – 12 December 2010’
Katherine Hardy, ‘Caledonian Jail Bird, 14 – 19 December 2010’, 358 Caledonian Road, N1 IHD
* Responsibilities: Working independently, taking on a temporary gallery space for five months, during which time I devised a series of temporary exhibitions, and devised, edited and managed gallery content.
Contemporary art stand: Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, October 21-24 2010, www.affordableartfair.com
Curatorial adviser: Touring Exhibition, Edge of Arabia, London, October 2010.
Commissioned writer: Catalogue essay for Group Exhibition, Oc-Eo Art, Islington, N1 2DG
Commissioned writer: Arts Council Publication: Art of Ideas, Birmingham, November 2010
Contemporary Art Stand: Russian, Eastern and Oriental Fine Art Fair, Piccadilly, 9-12 June 2010
Editorial/contributing writer/researcher: ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ 29 January – 7 May 2010, Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4SQ, http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/the-new-india.htm
* Responsibilities: Working independently, devising a series of interviews with leading international artists, residing in America, India, Pakistan and the Middle East, for content for Saatchi Gallery exhibition guide.
London correspondent: Asian Art Newspaper, PO Box 22521, London, W8 4GT, www.asianartnewspaper.com
* Responsibilities: Working independently, devising content, liaising with artists, galleries, institutions, for press material, conducting previews, reviews, major features, whilst writing a series of leading artist’s interviews, as London correspondent.
Contributing writer: Art Asia Pacific, 245 Eighth Avenue #247, New York, NY, 10011, USA, www.artasiapacific.com
Researcher & session leader
Crash Course in Contemporary Art, July – August 2009, iniva, Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA, http://www.iniva.org/learning/learning_projects/2009/across_the_visual_arts
Contributing writer: Kultureflash, www.kultureflash.net
Commissioned writer: Art Review, 1 Sekforde Street, London EC1R OBE
Freelance gallery technician: Milton Keynes Gallery, 900 Midsummer Boulevard, MK9 3QA
Contributing writer: Next Level Magazine, 58 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JL
Editorial/assistant & contemporary art writer: Eyestorm, London
* Responsibilities: Working in a team and independently, devising content, writing, researching and corresponding with artists for website content and display.
Independent curator: Water Mark, Nathan Briner, Independent Exhibition, 25 October –
12 November 2007, Hillgate Street, Notting Hill, London
Commissioned writer: Art India Magazine, Art India Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. Jindal Mansion, 5/A Dr G Deshmukh Marg, Mumbai 400 026
Contributing writer: Untitled, London
Senior gallery assistant: Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA
Curating intern: The Architecture Foundation, 2a Kingsway Place, Sans Walk, London, EC1R 0LS
Research consultant: PEER, 99 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6QL
Curatorial researcher: ICA, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH
Art prize jury member: Celeste Art Prize & Goldsmiths College, London
Project co-ordinator: 4th Floor, 53-56 Great Sutton Street, Farringdon, London EC1V 0DG
Freelance art writer: Flash Art International, 68 Via Carlo Farini, Milan, 20159, www.flashartonline.com
Art writer: Peppered Sprout Limited, 37- 41 Duke Street, Liverpool, L1 5AP
Gallery curator/exhibitions organiser: MOT, Regents Studios, London, www.motinternational.org
* Responsibilities: Artist liaison, exhibitions organiser, installing, art handling, curating display and devising programme content for the independent space.
Curating intern; MOT, Unit 54, 5th Floor, Regents Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London, E8 4QN
Art researcher & assistant: Caroline Wiseman Modern Art, Lansdowne Gardens, London, SW8 2EG
Gallery technician: Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindley Place, Birmingham B1 2HS
Editorial/reader and researcher: Cambridge Publishing Management, 149b Histon Road, Cambridge CB4 3JD, French Art History Encyclopedia.
* Responsibilities: Editing, and devising content for French/English Art History Encyclopedia.
Assistant curator: for Jake& Dinos Chapman, Monica Bonvicini and Jim Lambie, Modern Art Oxford, 30 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP, www.modernartoxford.org.uk
* Responsibilities: Working in a small exhibitions team, assisting and liaising with leading international artists, gallerists and commercial dealers. Responsible for exhibition content and press and publicity; administrating, organising and curating the individual exhibitions for Jake and Dinos Chapman, Monica Bonvicini, Jim Lambie and Tracey Emin in 2003.
Gallery technician & artist’s assistant: Exhibition Administration, MAO, Oxford
Freelance gallery technician: Haunch of Venison, 6 Haunch of Venison Yard, London W1K 5ES
Curator’s Programme, Iniva, Rivington Place
Certificate of Higher Education& Birkbeck College,
University of London
Postgraduate Masters Degree
Goldsmiths College in Curating
University of London
History of Art with Modern and Contemporary Architecture
University of Warwick
Joint – Honours Bachelors of Arts Degree
in Fine Art and History of Art (2.i) with one year of Social Anthropology
Oxford Brookes University
Position/Role: Collector, Consultant, Sales
- Private collector of modern and contemporary artworks
- Art consultant for international client base, associated with art fairs, fair publications
- Sales, acting as a liaison for gallerists, dealers and artists, with a specialist audience of modern and contemporary Indian works
- Specialist research on the emerging markets
Position/Role: Critical writer and Art Correspondent
- Delivering copy for international magazine publications, article amendments, proofing, acquiring press images; corresponding with editors, artists, designers, photographers, gallerists, auction houses, dealers and collectors
- Determining content, guest editing, features writing, conducting leading interviews with artists and designers, assigned for international exhibition previews and reviews
- Commissioned critical essay writing for exhibition catalogues and academic publications, including Saatchi Gallery, London, and the Arts Manchester Triennial, Manchester
- Attending press views, private views, acquiring press material and attending press conferences, for content and correspondence
- Networking with writers, academics, curators, gallerists, auction houses and artists
- Attending exhibitions, reading publications, magazines and articles, watching and listening to national and international radio programmes, television, internet research
- Commissioned to curate modern and contemporary displays for national and international exhibitions and biennales
- Researching, writing and reading content for exhibitions, determining display and audience appreciation