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Sunday, Oct 17, 2021
Outlook.com

Kitsch And Tell

A visual feast with interesting info on the invention of lithography and the history of picture-printing presses in India.

Kitsch And Tell
Kitsch And Tell
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Not too long ago art critics and scholars—and gallerists too—turned up their noses at calendar art, which they described as hybrid-kitsch and considered unworthy of attention. Lately, however, every gallerywala worth his or her onions is scouring provincial towns in search of Raja Ravi Varma oleographs. They will even settle for prints of mythic figures and the gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon done by anonymous artists. Not only has calendar art become big, it now sells: if pop icons like Michael Jackson and Madonna can adorn their record covers or their jeans with our deities, why not we our walls? And, finally, even our scholars have begun to "read" popular Indian art for sociological and psychoanalytic meaning.

The two European authors have woven the lavishly illustrated book round their impressive collection of oleographs that span much of the last century. Their collection, in fact, was exhibited in New Delhi two years ago. While the prints are a visual feast, what is particularly interesting is the chapter on the invention of lithography and the history of...

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