Thursday, February 7, 2013

A series of museum shows and collections of Indian art

Several comprehensive shows and collections of renowned museums in the recent years are aimed at giving a fair idea of the current state of the Indian art scene. Here are a few of them:

• The just concluded ‘India: Art Now’ at Denmark-based ARKEN Museum comprised several talented Indian artists and artist groups whose works revolve around among other things the city, the intimate sphere and the relations between culture, identity and the conditions of life in our global society.

• The Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon has maintained a unique relationship between its eclectic collection and rich exhibition. It hosted a comprehensive show of contemporary Indian art, entitled 'Indian Highway IV'. In the curious form of a road movie spread across three continents (South America, Asia and Europe), each stage along the massive and ambitious group show, entitled ‘Indian Highway’, was the platform for a totally new art episode.

• Aimed at providing a glimpse of the vibrant contemporary Indian art, ‘India Contemporary’ was collated at Dutch museum GEM a few years ago to bring out how Indian artists now combines a latent understanding of the western canon of art even while retaining its cultural nuances and origins.

• A two-part show, entitled Passage to India’ courtesy Initial Access, Wolverhampton, was part of its enchanting exploration of Indian contemporary art from the Frank Cohen Collection. ‘Re-Imagining Asia’, curated by Shaheen Merali and Wu Hung for Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt explored the meaning and relevance of the contemporary Asian art in the 21st century, within a wider context of globalization and increasing migration, leading to a truly global world.

• Mention must also be made of ‘India Xianzai’, a major museum show at Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Shanghai, in 2009. It was a comprehensive showcase of Indian contemporary art in China, an outcome of efforts by Seven Art Limited, ICIA (Institute of Contemporary Indian Art) and The ICCR. Diana Freundl, art director of Art+ Shanghai, along with Alexander Keefe visualized the ambitious art project.

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