A Potted Panorama

A must-read for those interested in contemporary art as its Cinderellas—art from south India, sculpture, printmaking—have been included.
A Potted Panorama
Indian Art, An Overview
By Gayatri Sinha
Rupa Rs 1,995; Pages: 238
This is an ambitious tome. To give an ‘overview’ of Indian art of the last century is not only a daunting task. It could have been disastrous, especially in a single volume, and one that is as easy on the wrist as is this one. It could merely have thrown up to the eye some shiny nuggets by the holy cows securely ensconced in the pantheon of Indian art.

Fortunately, and astutely, Sinha has chosen and briefed her contributors well. Though an aerial survey, one also gets a more intimate aperçu into both individual artists and groups. Modernity in Indian art is the motor impulse here. But one man’s ‘revivalism’ may be another’s modernity. So, what we have here are multiple modernities. If the much-vaunted Progressive Artists Group of Bombay (Husain, Souza, Bakre, Gade, Ara, Raza) is credited by some to have ushered in the vanguard of modernity in the late ’40s—on the gusts blowing in from post-war Europe—West Bengal artists like Somnath Hore and Chittaprasad were no less ‘modern’ in their depiction of the social realities of their time, their sensibilities honed by the devastating famine of 1942.

Here, there’s no one High Table of Art. Nor is modernity the Last Best Thing. From Jyotindra Jain’s insights into Kalighat pats through A. Ramachandran’s comments on Raja Ravi Varma’s marketing genius, to Rupika Chawla’s foray beyond the mythicising of Amrita Sher-Gil, Santo Datta and R. Sivakumar’s reappraisals of The Bengal School and Santiniketan respectively, the spirit of modernity imbues them all. Equally illuminating are the essays on the last three decades of art, most particularly the last one when artists went beyond the frame, into installation and more. A must-read for those interested in contemporary art as its Cinderellas—art from south India, sculpture, printmaking—have been included.

Next Story : History In The Breaking
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, please Log in or Register
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
REVIEW
Review
This engaging history of the RBI—rich in events and tales of conflict over policy—effectively ends in 1981. What brings up the rear is biased, tepid stuff.
MAGAZINE May 18, 2017
Review
Getting into Jayalalitha’s shoes, Outlook’s Tamil Nadu correspondent reviews a book that seems to be only a poor caricature of Amma.
MAGAZINE May 18, 2017
Review
Sonal Mansingh’s metier enveloped her soul. At the forefront of a renaissance in performing arts post 1947, this is a celebration of a life danced to the full.
MAGAZINE May 18, 2017
Excerpts
Excerpts 'Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows' by Balli Kaur Jaswal. Published by HarperCollins...
MAGAZINE May 11, 2017
Review
Southal’s Punjabi widows lead lives of abject pettiness, yet explode into lurid sexual thoughts when prompted. This novel unearths their buried desires.
MAGAZINE May 11, 2017
read more>>>
Advertisement

OUTLOOK TOPICS :

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

or just type initial letters