The fusion of the creative vision of a painter with the work of a world-class architect is rare anywhere in the world. Nestled in the heart of Ahmedabad, India, lies a unique and captivating art space that defies conventional norms – Amdavad ni Gufa. It’s an underground art gallery about the city’s rich cultural heritage and its commitment to fostering creativity.
The Architectural Marvel: Amdavad ni Gufa
Amdavad ni Gufa is an underground art gallery, located right next to our campus. Designed by the architect B.V. Doshi, it exhibits works by the artist M.F. Husain. The gallery is a unique juxtaposition of architecture and art. #AhmedabadCity pic.twitter.com/791Rl2wE2b
— Ahmedabad University School of Arts and Sciences (@ahmedabad) October 7, 2019
Amdavad Ni Gufa is an underground gallery within the CEPT institution where you may witness the creative energies of M.F. Hussain and B.V. Joshi. The project was completed between 1992 and 1995, a period of three years.
The gallery, formerly known as Husain-Doshi ni Gufa, is unusual in that it was created to show the cooperation between an architect and an artist. You may behold the skill of the greats as well as the works of well-known painters such as Maqbool Fida Husain.
The entrance itself is a modest opening in the ground, leading visitors into a subterranean world of creativity. One of the most striking features of Amdavad ni Gufa is its undulating roof, resembling the curves of a cave. The structure is shaped like a cave, with roofs that resemble interconnecting domes.
White mosaic tiles adorn the exterior, reflecting sunlight and therefore controlling heat. The design was largely influenced by the Ajanta and Ellora caves but with a modern twist. The most intriguing aspect of the white façade is that the white tiles were made from shattered scrap tiles and ceramic dinnerware.
The gallery has hosted exhibitions featuring paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia art, showcasing the diversity of contemporary Indian art. The artists who exhibit here often push the boundaries of conventional art, exploring themes that range from social issues to personal narratives.
The Gallery Is An Artistic Essence
Amdavad ni Gufa is one of the designs of Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, the 2018 laureate of the Pritzker Prize. A subterranean art gallery with domed roofs, Amdavad ni Gufa exhibits the work of the eminent artist Maqbool Fida Husain. #Gujarat @GujaratTourism @alphonstourism pic.twitter.com/f0FTfYufLf
— Incredible!ndia (@incredibleindia) June 26, 2018
Entering Amdavad ni Gufa is like stepping into a different dimension. The transition from the bustling streets of Ahmedabad to the serene underground gallery is a journey that immerses visitors in a world of creativity. The subdued lighting, the earthy aroma of the materials used in construction, and the rhythmic play of natural light create an atmosphere that encourages introspection and contemplation.
This interaction between architecture and nature is a testament to the thoughtful design principles that underlie Amdavad ni Gufa. Rows of columns support the dome on the inside. There are no straight walls and many curves because the interiors look like a cave. Natural light enters via the roof apertures. The sun’s rays dance across the entire space during the day.
Husain painted on the gallery walls with broad strokes and brilliant colours, treating them as a canvas. The artwork features human figures as well as animal motifs, notably his well-known horse sculptures. He additionally embellished elements such as doors and even air conditioners. The figurines look like old cave paintings in a modern setting.
As visitors meander through its labyrinthine passages, the gallery is a marvel to witness. So, when are you visiting Amdavad ni Gufa?
Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons