In the 1970s, Pheroza J. Godrej was a young artist looking for a gallery that would champion new names like her. The research turned out to be in vain; So she opened the Cymroza Art Gallery in 1971, in a Breach Candy space that her parents loaned her, for what was considered by many to be a childhood experience.
Godrej is now a revered art historian, collector and conservationist, and Cymroza an institution that is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Celebrations include Cymroza Chronicles, an exhibition, in Cymroza, of rare and ephemeral works from the archives that provide insight into the formative years of the gallery and the history of the exhibition as well as Godrej’s personal journey. with art. At Pundole’s, Ranjit Hoskote will curate a major investigative exhibition, titled Mapping the Lost Spectrum, incorporating highlights from the collection of Jamshyd and Pheroza Godrej. At Chatterjee & Lal, Nancy Adajania will curate The Unpaved, Crusty, Earthy Road, the first retrospective of fiber artist Nelly Sethna, an artist championed by Godrej.
The impact of Pheroza J. Godrej and Cymroza on the Mumbai art scene
Cymroza was born to fill a void in the Mumbai art scene; Jehangir was the only public gallery, and private galleries were spaces built around established names and subject to access control. Where were the new artists going? Who would spotlight those who didn’t have a single show on their resume? Godrej, fresh out of her first show in Chetana, wanted to be the answer.