With COVID-19 making international travel an unappealing venture for many, those desiring the stimulation of exotic locales without adding a new stamp to the passport must find opportunities where the exotic comes to them. Domestic audiences seeking a taste of India are in luck thanks to a pair of exhibitions which now happen to coincide with the nation’s celebration of Diwali.

Chicago’s Wrightwood 659 hosts the first U.S. exhibition of Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi (b. 1927, Pune, India). “Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People,” illuminates Doshi’s melding of Modernism with traditional Indian techniques and forms, yielding a body of deeply humanist work.

Recipient of the 2018 Pritzker Architecture Prize, his field’s highest honor, Doshi adapted the principles and forms of Modernism into his work with local cultures, traditions and environments, from low-cost housing and academic institutions, to urban planning projects. In so doing, he both redefined modern Indian architecture and shaped new generations of architects.

To adequately represent his vast body of work in the show, exhibition curator Khushnu Panthaki Hoof, also Doshi’s granddaughter, went beyond simple drawings, sketches and table-top models.

“Full scale installations supported by specially composed music were designed to recreate the essence of Doshi’s architecture,” Hoof told Forbes.com about what visitors will experience. “Each of the installations enables the visitor to reflect upon the challenges posed by the construction of the buildings while simultaneously sensitizing the visitor to his or her own presence in space.”

“Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People,” focuses on some 20 of the architect’s most significant projects dating from 1958 to 2014. In addition to the full-scale models which vividly convey the physical experience of Doshi’s buildings, a wealth of material from the architect’s archive and studio are presented including artworks, video, photography and more.

“Creating illusions and extending the space by means of images and movies offer yet another layer of experience that encourage the visitor to become part of the space,” Hoof said. “Doshi believes architecture is a backdrop and it heightens our dormant sensibilities and recapitulates nostalgic associations, so the landscape created by these installations try to give a glimpse of his approach to architecture by offering a montage of experiences.”

Wrightwood 659 devotes itself to presenting socially engaged art and architecture. Social engagement has long been a guiding principle of Doshi’s.

“The focus in most of his works has been to encourage dialogue and exchange between the inhabitants, break down social barriers, and inspire people with a sense of belonging,” Hoof said. “More than architecture, this work talks about lifestyle, climate and celebration as the factors defining architecture where architecture is not seen as a product, but rather a living, evolving organism with possibilities to grow and adapt.”

Doshi’s approach to architecture appears particularly prescient in 2020. He has concerned himself with creating quality low cost housing and developing more livable cities for decades. Both are major issues facing most of the developed world, the United States included.

In all of his projects, Doshi centers the inhabitants above all else.

“Doshi’s projects do not follow a uniform signature style, but rather exhibit an awareness of an architect’s social responsibilities that has an impact on people’s lives,” Hoof said. “Each project, though completely different from the other in its physical manifestation, represents these concerns.”

“Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People,” will remain on view through December 12.

Meanwhile, in Nashville, the Frist Art Museum presents “Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World,” the first major survey of the artist’s work in the U.S., which includes large-scale installations, sculptures and paintings produced over two decades.

Banerjee (b. 1963, Kolkata, India) moved with her family to England in 1968 after her father, a civil engineer, was recruited to work there by a multinational company. The family moved again in 1970 when her father accepted a position in New York City. After starting her professional life as a polymer research chemist, Banerjee realized that her real passion was for art and received her Master of Fine Art degree from Yale University in 1995.

The thirty-three fantastical, exuberant, unusual works in the exhibition show Banerjee’s ongoing desire to summarize the complexity, beauty and sense of disequilibrium that can arise in a world undergoing constant fragmentation and renewal. She is renowned for works about the splintering of identity, tradition and culture often prevalent in diasporic communities. In a single assemblage, one can find materials sourced from around the world, including African tribal jewelry, Murano glass, and South Asian antiques.

“They raise a question: when people are uprooted from their place of origin, how do they cultivate a new identity that goes beyond the cultural legacy that has been left behind,” Frist Art Museum chief curator Mark Scala said when announcing the exhibit. “A dilemma for any migrant, this question is particularly acute for the transient artist.”

By embracing this rootlessness, Banerjee’s works recast the idea of authenticity from being a measure of geography, history and genetics to being an encapsulation of human fluidity. This change in perspective affirms the role of displaced individuals in redefining contemporary society.

The titles of Banerjee’s works, often more than fifty words long and filled with idiosyncratic spelling and free association, represent her rebellion against the worldwide dominance of the English language. These titles, Banerjee says, are “my attempt to massage [the English language] to speak for a vast number of people who use it sparingly, awkwardly, creatively under the pressures of globalization, colonization, and the commercialization of English culture.”

Included in the exhibition, which is on view through January 10, 2020, are a selection of her sculptures featured in the 2017 Venice Biennale.

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