Ravi Agarwal is an artist, environmental activist, writer and curator. He has pursued an art practice integrally with his other pursuits. His earlier work, in the documentary oeuvre, encompasses ‘nature’, ‘work,’ ‘labour,’ and the ‘street.’ His current interest span questions around ecology and society, urban space and capital in interrelated ways. He works with photographs, video, and public art.

 His work has been shown very widely internationally, including at Documenta XI, the  Sharjah Biennial (2013), and Indian Highway (2009) etc. He co-curated the Yamuna-Elbe, Indo German twin city  public art and ecology twin city project in 2011 New Delhi.  His work has been  written about extensively in publications such as the recent  Art Ecology Now, Andrew Brown, Thames and Hudson, UK, 2014,  Cities and Photography, Jane Thorny, (Routledge) 2013, Third Text,(Dec 2014) ed T.J Demos and Decolonizing Nature, Contemporary Art and Politics of Ecology, T.J.Demos, Sternberg Press (forthcoming 2016). He has recently been appointed co-curator of the Indo-German public art event to be held in Chennai, India by the Goethe Institute, in January 2017.

Ravi is also the founder of the  Indian environmental NGO Toxics Link which has pioneered work on waste and chemicals , and campaigns on conserving the river and the forest in Delhi. He serves on several high level government policy and standards committees, and writes extensively on sustainability issues in journals and books. He has participated in several UNEP international legally binding treaty processes including the Basal, Stockholm and Minamatta Treaties, and the SIACM agreement.  He was  awarded the UN Special Recognition Award for Chemical Safety (2008) and the  Ashoka Fellowship (1997). He works and lives in New Delhi and is an engineer by training. 







2016                Else all will be still, Gallery Espace, New Delhi

2015               Else all will be still, The Guild, Mumbai

2011               Of Value and Labour, The Guild, Mumbai

2010-11           Flux: dystopia, utopia, heterotopia. Gallery Espace, New Delhi

2008                An Other Place, Gallery Espace, New Delhi

2006                Alien Waters, India International Centre, New Delhi

2000                Down and Out, Labouring under Global Capitalism, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The Hutheesingh Visual Arts Gallery, Ahmedabad, India; National  Vakbondsmuseum, Amsterdam


1995                A Street View, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi


2015                Looking In/Looking Out : Contemporary Indian Photography from the Gaur Collection. Massachusetts College and Art and Design, USA, September 2015

2015                The Eye and the Mind: New Interventions in Contemporary Art" curated by Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, India at Gaungdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou,

                        2014, Bejing, Shanghai, 2015. China                            

2014-15           End of the World Biennial (Bienal del Fin del Mundo), curated Massimo Scaringella Argentina and Chile, 2015

2014                Free River Zone, Goethe Institute, New York, 2014

2104                Sahamat, Curated Vivan Sundaram, New Delhi, 2014

2013                Convergence: Contemporary Art from India and the Diaspora. Curated Kathyrn Myers. The William Bentley Museum of Art, School of Fine Arts, Connecticut, USA

2013                Water – curated Gayatri Sinha, Europalia, Belgium, October 2013

2013               Sharjah Biennial 11 May 2013

2013               Zones of Contact propositions for the Museum. Co-curated by  Vidya Sivadas,  

                       Akansha Rastogi, Deekshanath. KiranNadar Museum  Of Art, Noida.

2012                Eye of the needle,

2012               Newtopia, curated Katherina Gregos, various museums venues, Mechelen

2012               Critical Mass, Contemporary Art from India, curated Rotem Ruff, Tel Aviv Museum of  Contemporary Art May 2012


2011-2014       Z.N.E, Examples to Follow, curated Adrienne Goehler,Traveling exhibition,    

                        Mumbai, Adis Ababba, Beijing. Sao Paulo, Berlin

2011               Generation in Transition. New Art from India curated by Magda Kardasz,              

                        Contemporary  Art Centre in Vilnius, Lithunia

2011               Generation in Transition, New Art from India, curated Madga Kardasz,                        

                       Zacheta National Gallery for Art, Warsaw, Poland

2011               The Eye is a Lonely Hunter, Images of Humankind, curated Katerina Gregos

                       and Solvej Helweg Ovesen, Fotofestival Mannheim_Ludwigshafen_Heidelberg,

                       Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany

2011               After the Crash, curated Camilla Boehimo, Orto Botanico Museum, Rome

2010                Where Three Dreams Cross, curated Sunil Gupta et al, Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Winterthur Fotomuseum, Switzerland

2009                Astonishment of Being, curated Deeksha Nath, Birla Academy for Arts and Culture, Kolkotta

2008/ 12          Indian Highway, curated Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Gunnar Kvaran, traveling exhibition, Serpentine Gallery, London (2008); Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Norway (2009);          

                       HEART Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark (2010); Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon-France (2011); MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2011), Bejing


2008                Extinct  part of48deg C, Public Eco-Art International festival, New Delhi, curated Pooja Sood,

2008                Still/Moving Image, curated Deeksha Nath, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi

2007                Frieze Art Fair, Khoj Artists Workshop Stall, London

2007                Horn Please, The Narrative in Contemporary Indian Art ,curated Bernhard Fibicher, Suman Gopinath, Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland.

2007                Public Places, Private Spaces, curated Gayatri Sinha, Zetta Emmons and  Paul Sternberger, Newark Museum, Newark and Minneapolis (2008) USA.

2006                Watching Me Watching India ­ curated by Gayatri Sinha and Celina Lunsford, Frankfurt Fotographie International, Frankfurt, Germany

2003                Crossing Generations: DiVERGE: Forty years of Gallery Chemould, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, curated by Geeta Kapoor and Chaitanya Sambrani

2002                Documenta XI, curated Okwui Enwezor,  Kassel, Germany

1996                2nd Biennial of Creative Photography, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi



2014                Urban Utopia, curated Lyla Rao, Birla Museum of Art and Culture, Kolkota,

2014                Zameen, curated Ranjit Hoskote, Art District XIII, New Delhi, October 2014

2012               The Secret life of plants, curated by Maya Kovskaya, Exhibit 320, New Delhi.

2012               Art HK, presented by The Guild Gallery, Mumbai

2012               Chennai Art Fair, presented by The Guild Gallery, Mumbai

2012               India Art Summit, presented by Gallery Espace, New Delhi

2011                Staging Selves - Power, Performativity & Portraiture, curated Maya Kovskaya, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

2011                Tolstoy Farm, curated Gayatri Sinha, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi

2011               India Art Summit, presented by Gallery Espace, New Delhi

2010               CWG, Sports and the City, curated Rupika Chawla, LKA, New Delhi

2009                Detour, curated Ranjit Hoskote, Gallery Chemould, New Delhi

2009                The Purple Wall, curated Gayatri Sinha, India Art Summit, 2009

2009                Recycle, curated Bhavna Vij, Travencore House, New Delhi, Nature Morte, Kolkota

2008                Click! Contemporary Photography in India, curated Sunil Gupta and Radhika Singh, Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi

1995                 First National Exhibition of Photography, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi

1993                Bombay Natural History Society photo exhibition, Bombay, India.



2011                Project Y. Yamuna-Elbe Public.Art.Outreach, Hamburg and Delhi, Oct/Nov 2011.

                         co-curated with Till Krause (



  • Ambient Seas, Artist’s Diary, 2015
  • Yamuna Manifesto ed. Ravi Agarwal and Till Krause, 2013
  • Chemicals, Environment, Health: A Global Management Perspective co authored, Taylor and Francis, 2011
  • Flux: Dystopia, Utopia, Heterotopia, Gallery Espace, 2011
  • In the Shadow of the Vulture, 48 deg C, Public Eco Art, Goethe Institute, New Delhi, 2009
  • Have you seen the flowers on the river ?, Khoj, New Delhi
  • Immersion. Emergence, Youthreach, New Delhi, 2007
  • Down and Out: Labouring under Global Capitalism , co-edited, Jan Breman et al, Oxford University Press and Amsterdam, University Press, 2000
  • Making a Difference, A collection of essays, ed. Rukmani Shekhar, Spic Mackay, New Delhi, 1998
  • Portfolios in The India Magazine, 1995 and 1997
  • Portfolio in The First City Magazine, 2003
  • Monthly Photo Column in First City Magazine, since Feb 2005


Published Articles

Fluid Landscapes, in Nature and History, ed Gunnel Cederof  and Mahesh Rangarajan, Vol 673 Seminar, September 2015, New Delhi

Fight for a Forest, Nature without Borders, ed. Mahesh Ranagarajan and M.D.Madhusudan, Orient Blackswan, September 2014

Contemporary Flows, Fluid Times, Art Fair Magazine, February 2011

Hi Tech Heaps, Forsaken Lives (co-authored), Challenging the Chip, Labour Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry, ed Ted Smith et al, Temple University Press, USA, 2007

Standardised, packaged, ready for consumption, Sarai Reader 05, Bare Acts, Sarai – CSDS, Delhi, 2005

Beyond environmental standards, from techno centric to people centric environmental governance. Troubles Times, Sustainable Development and Governance in the Age of Extremes.” SDPI, Islamabad, 2006

Resisting technology, regaining and a personal ecology, Sarai Reader, 03, Shaping Technologies, 2003

Corporate Social responsibility, a critical perspective from India, Cometische humanisering? Ed Tonja van den Ende et al, Humanistic University Press, Amsterdam, 2005

Walk on the Wild Side, (co-authored) Green Book,  ed Ruskin Bond, Roli Books, 2003


  • Stories from the Theater of Aura and Decay, interview with Maya Koskovoya, Art Journal 42
  • The Art and Politics of Ecology in India, A Roundtable with Sanjay Kak and Ravi Agarwal, T.J.Demos in Third Text Vol 27, Issue 1, January 2013
  • The Khoj Book Interview with Jeebesh Bagchi, November 2008
  • Flash Art, March April, 2011, Rajashree Biswal
  • Art India, Volume XV, 2010-11, Roles People Play, Meera Menezes
  • Art India, Volume XV, 2010-11, The Nature of the Beast, Janice Pariat
  • Art India, Volume XIV, 2009-10, Images with Conscience, Meera Menezes

Public Collections:

  • The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada
  • The William Bentley Museum of Art, Connecticut, USA


Conceived and organized:

Disappearances as work in progress – Approaches to Environmental Romanticism, Panel Discussion at Khoj New Delhi for the Maldives Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2013.

Yamuna – Elbe, Art and ecology seminar, December 2010, Goethe Institute, New Delhi (

Invited to: Arts Residency, Basel, Pro Helvetia, 2009, Khoj Peers Arts Residency, 2007, 2014

Awarded: IFCS- UN Special Recognition Award for Chemical Safety, 2008, Ashoka Fellowship, social entrepreneurship, 1997



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