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Subodh Gupta, Ali Baba, 2011, wood, steel, stainless-steel utensils, aluminum, paper, lights, wire, computer. Installation view. Photo: Subodh Gupta.

“Paris-Delhi-Bombay . . .”

Subodh Gupta, Ali Baba, 2011, wood, steel, stainless-steel utensils, aluminum, paper, lights, wire, computer. Installation view. Photo: Subodh Gupta.

MORE THAN TWO CENTURIES after the collapse of the French East India Company, France is still trying to get to know India. Indeed, the former relationship between the two countries has largely been forgotten, overshadowed by the British domination of South Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But this year, two exhibitions in Paris brought this particular intercultural encounter to center stage. The Musée Guimet’s “Lucknow,” based on an exhibition originally presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, shed light on the French scholars, soldiers, and traders who commissioned and collected art in eighteenth-century north India when East India Company officials first traveled to the subcontinent. Meanwhile, at the Centre Pompidou, “Paris-Delhi-Bombay . . . ,” a blockbuster exhibition of forty-eight contemporary artists curated by Sophie Duplaix and Fabrice Bousteau,

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