Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Indian art in focus at Rubin Museum

Indian contemporary art scene is fast evolving, especially in terms of global recognition. New-age artists from the country are making a diverse range of work, in response to the increased complexities of 21st-century. Many of them through their art are grappling with theme like rampant urban expansion, growing slums and migration. It is not surprising that there’s immense interest in Indian art, internationally.

For example, The Rubin Museum of Art boasts of a vast collection of religious art from cultures of the Himalayan mountain range, including those of Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet as well as the interrelated traditions of India and China. A group show currently on view at the museum gallery, entitled ‘Radical Terrain’, is the third one in the series Modernist Art from India. It focuses on the exploration of landscape in Indian art specifically for the generation post Independence.

‘The Body Unbound’ marked the first exhibit in the series encompassing India’s Modernist Art that highlighted predominant themes and extraordinary examples of modernist art from post-Independence period. ‘Approaching Abstraction’ was the second part that built on the explorations between abstraction and figuration, looking to distinguish abstraction in modernist Indian art from abstraction in Euro-American modernism and shows the former’s independent trajectory of abstraction.

On the other hand, ‘The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today’ at the London’s vivacious and spacious venue of The Saatchi in 2010 offered an interpretation of new India by artists with an oeuvre containing strong denunciation of the socio-political implications of impending globalization, the disenfranchisement of remote rural areas and also the rise of fundamentalism and intolerance.

The organizers stated, "The fast flourishing art scene on the one hand and the recent economic upheavals on the other have prompted critical questions about Indian culture and globalization in a nation torn between a dependence on global consumption and a proudly independent mindset. Against this backdrop, contemporary Indian artists are making a wide range of work that responds to the modern complexities."

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