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Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
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Their Only Calling

In the years leading up to Indian independence, the battles of nat­ionalism were played out not only through political agitation, but also on canvases.

Their Only Calling
Their Only Calling
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

In the years leading up to Indian independence, the battles of nat­ionalism were played out not only through political agitation, but, in retrospect, also on canvases. Indian art at the time, moving bet­ween aping western idioms and techniques, appropriating and reworking them, and strongly repudiating them, are now a fertile ground for discour­ses on nationalism and colonialism. A whole generation of artists who were shaped by that moment in time, soon after independence in 1947, are seen today as representatives of Indian art the world over.

Some of the first Indian artists to be recognised and acknowledged by the international art community, artists such as those belonging to the Calcutta Group, the Baroda Group or the Progressive Artists’ group established new modes of expression to reflect their times, therein beginning a new chapter in Indian art. Their art is now considered foundational to an understanding of ‘Indian fine art’ as a category that is both indigenous and yet universal. I have had the good fortune to have personally known many of these stalwarts.

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