A revolutionary art movement asserted itself in India between the declaration of independence at midnight on August 15, 1947, and the economic boom of the 1990s. This is the first in-depth study of the three generations of artists responsible for critical shifts in the development of India’s modernist art. Their achievements and the country’s unprecedented boom ushered India’s modern and contemporary art into a new era of globalism, a soaring international market, and an explosion in the media and technologies of art. After independence, India’s artists faced a particular artistic challenge: how to express the new nation’s distinctive character while entering a global discourse focused on modernism’s universal premises of experimentation and shared human values. In the absence of a dominant aesthetic, painters could turn where they wished and blend as they liked—from Abstract Expressionism to Tantric spiritualism; from Rajasthani painting to changes in India’s complex politics, religions, classes, and vernacular life. The contributors to this beautifully illustrated publication bring a deep knowledge of both India and modern and contemporary art: Susan S. Bean, Curator of South Asian and Korean Art at the Peabody Essex Museum; Homi K. Bhabha, Harvard University; Rebecca M. Brown, Johns Hopkins University; Beth Citron, Rubin Museum of Art; Ajay Sinha, Mount Holyoke College; and Karin Zitzewitz, Michigan State University.
A major contribution to the emerging literature on modern Indian art, and to histories of modernism and nationalism in South Asia.
This gorgeous volume is ideal for anyone interested in modern and contemporary Indian art.
— Library Journal
Susan S. Bean
Susan S. Bean is Curator of South Asian and Korean Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.